Hummus, Safsoof, Awamee; Arabian Appetizer, Salad and Desert

Main point: Arab cuisine is full of healthy, delicious and beautiful dishes. Here, we picked 3 of those that has already published on Arab America chef Habeeb Salloume

Source: Arab America

Writer: Habeeb Salloume


2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons tahini

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon cumin

pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

Place chickpeas, water, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne in a blender; then blend into thick paste. (If a thinner consistency is desired, add more water.) Place in a shallow platter and refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, decorate with parsley; then sprinkle with the oil.

Chickpea and Burghul Salad – Safsoof

This salad is a form of the popular Arab salad tabbouleh that mother often made on feast days during our farming era.

1/2 cup medium burghul, soaked for 10 minutes in warm water, then drained by pressing water out through a fine strainer.

1 large bunch parsley, very finely chopped

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 medium cucumber, about 6 inches, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

A pinch of cayenne

Place burghul, parsley, chickpeas, green onions, tomatoes, cucumber and mint in a salad bowl, then stir and set aside. Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients, then pour over salad bowl contents and stir. Chill for about 1 hour, then toss and serve.

Syrupy Balls – Awamee

Makes about 3 dozen pieces

2 cups flour

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 oz package yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water

2 cups warm water

1 1/2 cups maple or similar syrup, mixed with 1/2 cup water

2 cups cooking oil

Combine flour, cornstarch and salt in a mixing bowl, then pour in yeast and mix well. Add water then stir until mixture resembles texture of pancake batter, adding more water if necessary. Cover; then set aside for 1 hour.

In the meantime, prepare syrup, then set aside, but keep slightly warm.

Heat oil in a saucepan, then drop 1 tablespoon of batter into hot oil, deep-frying a few at a time. Cook over medium heat until ‘awamee turns golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels­ to drain for a few seconds. Dip ‘awamee balls into syrup, then remove with a slotted spoon and arrange on a serving platter. Continue until all the batter is used. Eat freshly made. If not immediately eaten the balls will lose their crispiness and some of the taste.