Delightful Arabian-style dips

Delightful Arabian-style dips
It's time to get the girls over and enjoy the magic, mystery and adventure of Disney's Aladdin on DVD and video while indulging in delicious Arabian inspired dips! Work your magic in the kitchen just like the Genie and whip up these scrumptious, easy to follow recipes.
More on Aladdin DVDEggplant Dip

1 large eggplant (aubergine)
2 cloves of garlic
60 ml tahina (middle-eastern sesame seed paste)
60 ml lemon juice
Salt (to taste)
Red pepper
Olive oil
Chopped parsley
Slices of red capsicum to garnish

Cook the eggplant in a hot oven, when it is cooked through (test it by pricking with a skewer) and the skin is blackened, douse with cold water, peel and chop into small pieces. Mash two cloves of garlic into a paste with a pinch of salt. Add the eggplant to the garlic paste and mash to a smooth consistency. Blend in the tahina and lemon juice. Serve in a bowl with little olive oil drizzled on top and garnish with chopped parsley, red pepper slices.

Hummus bi Tahina (Chickpea and Sesame Dip)

125 g chickpeas, soaked for a few hours
Juice of 2 lemons
3 Tbs. tahina (middle-eastern sesame seed paste)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt (to taste)

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
Few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water. Process the chickpeas in a food processor with the lemon juice, tahina, garlic, salt and enough of the cooking liquid to get a soft creamy consistency. Serve on a plate and garnish with a little olive oil, a dusting of paprika and parsley.

Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.

Muhammara (Hot Pepper Dip)

3 medium onions, finely chopped
½ cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil
¾ cup crushed walnuts
¾ cup breadcrumbs blended with cold water to a purée
2 Tbs. paprika (or 1 tsp. chilli powder for a very hot muhammara) or 1 small can hot pepper purée
A pinch of ground cumin
Salt (to taste)
1 Tbs. pine nuts sautéed in a little oil
Sauté the onions gently in the oil until soft and golden; add the walnuts, the breadcrumb purée, the pepper (chilli or purée), the cumin and salt to taste. Continue to sauté gently for about ten minutes on a low heat until the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and garnish with pine nuts.

Muhammara is usually eaten as a dip with bread but it can also be used as a spicy dip with kebabs, grilled meats and fish.

Ekmek Turkish Bread

This is a delicious Turkish Bread recipe. The bread has to be prepared three days in advance and it is best eaten fresh out of the oven!

1-½ cups bread flour
¾ cup water

5 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
2 cups warm water
6 cups bread flour
1 tsp. Salt

Stir ½ cup of flour and ¼ water in a bowl and cover. Leave overnight at room temperature. The following day add ½ cup flour and ¼ cup water to the bowl and sit at room temperature overnight. On the third day repeat again and let sit overnight.

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a bowl and let it stand for about ten minutes, until it is creamy. Break the starter into small pieces and add it to the mixture. Stir in four cups of flour and the salt, and then stir in the remaining flour half a cup at a time.

When the dough pulls together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle flour over the dough and cover with a dry cloth - let it rise until it is twice its size.

On a lightly floured surface push any air out of the dough. Divide the dough in half and knead for three minutes. Then shape into an oval loaf.

Sprinkle two sheet pans with corn meal. Roll and stretch the two loaves until they are about 35cm ovals. Use flour to dust the tops of the loaves and cover with a dry cloth in a warm place until its size has doubled.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Mist the bread with water three times in the first 15 minutes. The loaves are cooked when you tap the bottom of them and they sound hollow. Let the loaves cool before serving.

Serve the dips in decorative bowls and lay the bread out on platter - enjoy!