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16

Coriander leaf/cilantro looks VERY similar to flat leaf parsley. When I have both at the house I sometimes resort to smelling them to know which is which. Cilantro is very strong smelling, and you'd definitely change the flavor of the dish if you left it out. Flat leaf parsley is significantly more subtle and has a much milder flavor and scent. It is not ...


13

They're rather different. Gyros are Greek in origin. They are simply meat, tomatoes, onion, and tzatziki sauce on pita. In Greece the meat is typically pork (never had one). In America, specifically here in Chicago (their local origin), the meat is a combination of beef & lamb. Shwawarma is Middle Eastern in origin. The possible toppings are much more ...


11

The magic word is "water" - the dough needs sufficient moisture to stay moist while it expands to one big pocket and enough to generate the steam to make that pocket. Most people when doing doughs make them too dry because they're easier to work with. As the dough rests, it will pull together more. Ideally make your doughs for this kind of bread slightly ...


11

Yes. Make it again and don't add horseradish. I'm totally serious - no traditional hummus recipe in the known universe has horseradish in it. There is nothing you are going to be able to do to your existing batch to remove that flavor, other than diluting it, but I don't think you'd be able to dilute it enough to be worth the effort.


10

My guess is that the chicken is a variation on chicken kebabs. These are often made by marinating the chicken in yogurt with garlic and turmeric. The same technique can be used for chicken on the bone. I'm not sure for the rice -- maybe someone else can help out? The hot sauce is most likely harissa. This is a generic term for a number of spicy sauces ...


10

1- To work with phyllo or yufka sheets the key is to keep them from drying out. A damp, but not dripping, towel laid over the sheets is essential. Cover it after each time you take out a sheet. They dry out very fast and then just disintegrate. 2- The butter should be melted but not hot. Many recipes call for it to be clarified as well but I don't ...


9

You cannot make good hummus from canned chickpeas, you should make it from fresh dried beans The beans need plenty of soaking and rinsing When cooking, add one tsp of baking soda per cup of beans. Baking soda chemically softens the bean proteins. Never add salt or other flavourings during the bean cooking stage Traditional hummus is somewhat coarse, but ...


8

I think that most of the trick with the doner kebab places is simply the time and the amount of meat. The way the gyro is set up, there's always meat cooking on the outside (near the grill heat), which sends out the aroma. Since the spit is usually a metre high, that's a lot of meat, giving off a lot of aroma. Also, remember that the shop has meat grilling ...


8

Both crispy and caramelized onions are cooked for a long time, and will be very brown. However, they are cooked slightly differently. Caramelized onions are usually cross-cut on the onion to release its moisture, and then cooked over very low heat in a crowded pan, stirring infrequently, so that they gradually release their sugars and liquid and it turns ...


8

For the times I've done gyros as such, you basically make a 'paste' out of it in the food processor. Throw ground lamb in and give it a whirl, mix your spices and such in, put it on a spit, fridge to give a bit hard, and then on the spit. It comes out with a texture like that. That's how that kind is often done. For 'proper' tasting meat (more like the ...


7

While you can make a decent hummus with a blender, it will be thinner than the hummus you would make in a food processor (at least thinner than my recipe). If you have a potato masher or ricer, either would do the job nicely, giving you a texture that is less smooth than you might get with a food processor, but definitely good. I like the texture when done ...


7

Growing up, my mother always used to bake them. They do turn out a bit drier than if you deep-fried them, but not overmuch. They cook for about 15-20 minutes at 400°F (~200 °C), or until golden and crispy on the outside. Alternately, you can pan-fry them, as other answers have suggested. Or you can split the difference and oven fry them. If you're ...


6

You need a temperature of at least 250°C (480°F) to get a real good steam puff inside the bread the moment it goes in oven. It is the initial rush of heat that cooks just the outside layer, and also makes steam inside which forces open the bread and makes a pocket. Once the bread is partially cooked through, you wont get a single clean pocket Traditional ...


6

I make hummus often, too, and I've used an immersion blender, mini food processor, and blender. The secret to getting a smooth hummus, regardless of the tool, is using plenty of olive oil but adding a small amount of water to make it easy to blend thoroughly. I use about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of olive oil per batch (with one 16-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and ...


6

You've certainly got the right idea - cream of tartar is nothing more than an acidifier and so any acid can be used as a substitute. It combines with water to create tartaric acid. Two important characteristics of cream of tartar are that it is (a) dry and (b) mostly flavourless. Vinegar, lemon juice, etc. are all wet and add some flavour of their own. The ...


6

In Israel I have often seen hummus/falafel/thina served with a hot sauce called skhug, I have mostly seen the green variety (skhug yarok), which is a sauce made of fresh herbs, garlic, chili, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and some spices. Hummus is often just served with thina on the side and with olive oil, but there is a lot of variety ... I have seen ...


5

I was able to track down the dish. It is called Lahuhe. There is a picture of it here: http://pickuptheforkbuenosaires.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/mg_5093.jpg?w=640&h=426 Thank you to everyone for trying to help me out.


5

Greek yogurt is simply strained yogurt. It was only fairly recently that Greek yogurt was widely available in the United States, so prior to wide availability, a simple substitute was to strain normal yogurt. The type of sauce you are trying to make would definitely use a strained yogurt. Whether you wanted to strain your own or buy strained yogurt (aka ...


5

McCormick Science Institute: History of Spices: Papyri from Ancient Egypt in 1555 BC classified coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme as health promoting spices (3). Records from that time also note that laborers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Cheops consumed onion and garlic as a means to promote health. The Spice Encyclopedia at ...


4

Of course there are other types of dolma, but they are not supposed to be similar to grape leaf dolma, just like ricotta isn't similar to cheddar, even though they are both cheeses. To imitate grape-leaf dolma, I would look for a big-leafed green vegetable with some taste on its own and slight acidity. Sadly, most types of salad will be way too tender for ...


4

"Tahini Sauce" and "Taratour Sauce", which are sauces based on tahini, are often simply called "tahini". Generally the recipe is tahini, lemon juice, salt, and optionally herbs and/or garlic. Example recipes: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/tahinisauce.htm http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/11/simple_tahini_sauce.php


4

I have no idea why it starts with Greek yogurt. Wherever I've had it - at home, restaurant-made, or ready-bought, it contained just plain yogurt, water and salt. (The ratio varies to taste). This includes ayran made in traditional Turkish restaurants run by Turkish owners. Also, I can't think of a practical reason why true (strained) Greek yogurt could make ...


4

[not a definitive answer] Making good hummus is non-trivial. I think roasting sesame seeds is as volatile as roasting coffee beans with a few seconds or degrees changing the flavour drastically. It's quite possible the tangy flavour comes from the way they process their sesame seeds. I've had Israeli hummus (from Jerusalem) and it tasted very different ...


4

Capsaicin dissolves easily in oils (and alcohol). Steeping or gently heating chili peppers in oil will easily produce a spicy oil. You could use crushed red peppers but you might get more interesting flavors by using a fresh pepper. A single habanero would give you an interesting fruitiness and all the heat you could ever want. As for the lemon- Lemon ...


3

Actually "Greek Yogurt" is a bit misleading of a name. The Levant region, the area around Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Israel, and Jordan is where this type of yogurt is from and consumed. Less so in Southwestern Europe (Greece), where it is used mostly as a dessert. It is actually called Labneh which is derived from Lebanon, and it is simply strained yogurt. ...


3

Dolma among Armenians and in my household is stuffed zucchini, eggplant, potato, tomato, or onion. We call stuffed grape leaves "Sarma." Now, the ingredients are similar. Some differences exist in different cultures. For example, you will see Dolma (as in stuffed onion, zucchini, or eggplant) in Iraq use curry while only rice, meat, garlic, and lemon juice ...


3

mortar and pestle works perfectly. Watch out for your fingers, though. When the pestle gets all slippery it is pretty easy to hurt yourself. In a pinch, I have also used a heavy glass (think mojito) with a thick bottom as a pestle, and a plastic bowl as a mortar. Messy, but when you must have hummus messiness is just a detail.


3

I've always made my hummus in the blender. Just make sure to put the oil, yogurt and any other liquid ingredients at the bottom (in first) so that they're blended in first, before it gets too dry from the chickpeas. It'll get pretty thick, but a quick scrape with a spatula will get things moving again. A recent trick I learned was to use warm chickpeas ...


3

Crispy onions are... well... crispy. They've been carmelized, and then cooked further until the moisture evaporates. A wide pan, lots of thickly-sliced onions (figure at least one good-sized onion per serving; they cook down a lot), medium-low heat, plenty of extra-virgin olive oil, a big pinch of salt, and about an hour. They'll go soft, then caramelize, ...


3

As sarge_smith hinted at in his comment to hobodave, at least from the gyros and shwarmas I've had. Gyros are made from a loaf of ground meat, onions and seasonings, spit roasted. (this might be a regional thing, though) Shawarmas (and doner kebab) are cuts of meat, marinated and stacked, then spit roasted. As you slice the shawarma meat off the cone, ...



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