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Saad Fayed

Saad's Middle Eastern Food Blog


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Hookah Pipe 101

Saturday May 31, 2014

You may know it by hookah, narghile, sheesha, even hubbly bubbly. Middle Eastern water pipe smoking in on the rise in Western countries and you may have even noticed hookah lounges popping up in your neighborhood. So, what is hookah?

More About Hookah

  • Top Hookah Bars in San Antonio
  • Photo of Hookah Sale in Jerusulem

    Foolproof Saffron Chicken

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    Saffron chicken is a staple in my family's dinner rotation. The kids love it for its bright color and not too spicy flavor and I love it because it's its tasty, pairs well a variety of side dishes, and its simple to prepare. The thing about my saffron chicken recipe is that its not for those who are seeking a spicy or tangy dish. Not to say that it is bland, it has a soft flavor that is far from boring. This makes it great for those who can't eat spicy or for families with small children. Try it to night and let me know what you think! Saffron Chicken Recipe

    More Chicken Recipes:


    Graduation Party Menu Idea: Kebab Bar

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    There are times when we are cooking for our family or having a get together with friends, and we want to serve a dish that is exciting and fun. Many times our family members or friends do not like to eat the same thing, and it can be frustrating to find a dish that will please everyone. I have come across this situation many times, and I have the perfect solution for it: the kebab bar.

    A kebab bar allows your guests to choose their own meats and veggies for their kebabs. After assembling them, they hand them off to the chef (you) to be grilled! Here's how to make a kebab bar at home!


    Say Goodbye to Mayo With This Potato Salad Recipe

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    Love potato salad, but not the mayo? Why not try a Middle Eastern version of potato salad for your next summer meal? Imagine boiled red potatoes, cubed and tossed with garlic, lemon juice and spices. Serve it warm or chilled, it is sure to be a winner! Learn how to make Middle Eastern potato salad...

    Potato Salad Not Your Thing? Try Grilled Vegetables for Your Next Side Dish!

    Grilling brings out the flavor of vegetables like no other way of cooking. All you need are some fresh vegetables, a little olive oil, salt and pepper and you have an easy side dish with no mess to clean up!

    My favorite vegetables to grill are peppers, squash, onions and eggplant. This vegetable mixture grills beautifully and the flavors of each vegetable mesh together well.

    Try grilled vegetables at your next cookout.


    Squash Seeds are Delicious Roasted

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    Before you throw out the seeds of your squash, think twice! Squash seeds are a tasty snack, like pumpkin seeds in the fall. Roasted squash seeds are very popular in the Middle East and its not uncommon to find them sold commercially in the snack aisle of grocery stores. Here's how to roast squash seeds.

    The seeds of squash aren't the only seeds roasted in the Middle East. Watermelon are also roasted and are absolutely delicious! The black seeds, not the white seeds, of the watermelon are roasted. You can store them in a plastic bag and they will remain fresh for a couple of weeks! Roasted Watermelon Seed Recipe

    What kind of seeds do you like to roast?

    No More Sniffing or Shaking... How to Pick the Right Cantaloupe

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    Have you ever been in the produce section of your grocery store looking for the perfect cantaloupe? I certainly have and for years, I played the guessing game about which one was ripe. I knocked on cantaloupes, sniffed, and inspected with the most discerning eye, but still no luck. Mimicking the actions of what appeared to be knowledged cantaloupe enthusiasts really got me no where.

    One day, I got frustrated and finally asked the produce manager of my local supermarket how to pick the perfect cantaloupe. He was more than happy to share his cantaloupe wisdom with me. His tips were simple and when I went home, I immediately sliced the most perfect cantaloupe I had ever bought. Today I share with you the tips of the produce manager of my local supermarket. Since that day, he has become somewhat of a "go to" guy for me. He has helped me choose fruits and veggies that I have never bought like star fruit and ugli fruit. Here's how to choose the perfect cantaloupe.

    Why You Should Make Your Own Hummus

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    If you have read a few pages of the Middle Eastern Food site, you should know by now that I am a hummus fanatic. I think it is a fantastic snack and is great for kids. It always puzzle me when I see people buying store bought hummus. Sure, it's convenient, but there are so, so many reasons why you should be making it at home. Why You Should Avoid Store Bought Hummus

    Hummus without Tahini Recipe


    Chocolate Hummus Recipe

    Saturday May 31, 2014

    Yes, you read that title correctly. This recipe combines chocolate and hummus. A few ingredients are added to the traditional hummus recipe, while others are omitted. Take away the tahini, add some honey and cocoa powder and voila, you have chocolate hummus.

    You may be wondering how in the world you eat chocolate hummus? Pretzels, fruits, pita chips, and veggies are actually quite tasty with chocolate hummus. While it may not be the most healthy snack because of the sugar, it contains a ton of fiber and protein.

    Try chocolate hummus today! Here is the recipe for chocolate hummus.

    Squash Seeds: Where to Find Them?

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    If you have been looking for koosa seeds and can't find them anywhere, don't fret. You can find them online. About Middle Eastern Food reader, Liz George, found some seeds at one online retailer and I found the seeds at another. For those of you who are unfamiliar with koosa, you should know that koosa is squash. In the Middle East, especially in Lebanon, a very delicious type of squash is grown and you cannot find it in the U.S. But, for those who want to try their hand at growing them in your garden, here is where to find koosa seeds.

    Like pumpkin seeds, squash seeds are roasted and eaten in the Middle East. If you have never had them, I urge you to try them today! They are absolutely delicious! Watch out, they are addictive like pumpkin seeds -- you can't just eat one!

    Tah-Dig: I Bet You Have Made This and Never Knew It

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    Rice is one food that I do buy in bulk. I love that discount shopping clubs like Costco and Sam's Club sometimes offer basmati and jasmine rice in amounts to feed the masses. There is just so many ways you can make rice. It has to be the most versatile side dish. Growing up, we had rice a lot.

    My favorite part was the burnt rice at the bottom. The sticky, chewy, burnt flavor was what I really looked forward to and I had to beat my siblings to it. I even have a memory of fighting my brother over it! Little did I know then that the crusted rice at the bottom is an actual dish called tah-dig in Persian cooking!

    My recipe for tah-dig is so easy, but may take a few times to get the rice the way you like it. Some people like it more or less crusted. Every stove is different too, so you may have to take it up or down on the heat. But, all in all, it's a fool-proof recipe that even a beginner could make. How to Make Tah-Dig

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