Middle-Eastern Grocery Sources and Recipes

Sources for Middle Eastern grocery items in Colorado Springs:

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Falafel is essentially a pita packed with a crunchy mix of chickpea (garbanzo bean) patties and lettuce. This recipe makes 4 servings at 99 cents each serving. The preparation time is ~15 min, and the cooking time is ~6 min. Each serving has ~319 cal, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 541 mb sodium, 1 mg cholesterol.

1 can (19 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - drained and rinsed  
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped 2 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 C unflavored bread crumbs 1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped parsley 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, mashed 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt 4 small pita breads
1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 cups shredded lettuce
1 Cup nonfat plain Yogurt  
1/4 C. Tahini (sesame paste available in most health food stores)  

Combine chickpeas, onion, bread crumbs, parsley, cumin, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper into food processor. Whirl until well blended. Divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each into a ball and flatten slightly.

Coat nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add falafel balls. Cook 2-3 min per side or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Place yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in food processor. Whirl until smooth. Stir in cucumber.

Split each pita bread halfway down side. Put 1/2 cup lettuce inside each pita, Add 3 falafel balls and top with some of the cucumber sauce.

Variations: add alfalfa sprouts, or crumbled feta cheese, or cubed cooked chicken, or raisins, or chopped celery, or nuts.

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Chai Tea

Here is a way to make a fast and rich tasting Chai tea that is lower-cal

1 teabag of Lipton Chai Spice flavored tea
Hot water
1 tsp. non-dairy coffee creamer
1 Tbl. Torani Ginger Spice Syrup (available in cooking stores and in Cost-Plus)

Middle Eastern Pita Pocket Bread

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water for five minutes,mix flour and salt together in large bowl.

Add dissolved yeast and mix well until dough forms a ball and bowl sides are clean (you may use your hands). Cover with cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Knead dough on board until smooth,about 5 minutes. Place in bowl,cover and let rest 10 minutes

Roll out into 5" rounds and place on lightly floured cookie sheets. Cover and let rise 15 minutes on each side.

Bake in 475 degree oven for 5-6 minutes,turning over halfway through baking.

Place immediately in plastic bag (if not serving immediately) to keep breads soft.

Use within a day or freeze.

Split and serve with desired fillings of meat, salads, falafel. Or cut Pita in wedges and use as a dipper for Hummus and other dips and spreads.

Yield: 16-18 breads

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Hummus and Techina Chick Pea Spread

Drain beans.

Blend with lemon juice,garlic,olive oil and techina in blender,food processor or thoroughly mash by hand until smooth. Spread in mound on flat plate and swirl with knife to flatten.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top,if desired.

Serve at room temperature with Pita bread.

Yield 2 cups

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Israeli Techina Sesame Seed Sauce

Place Tahini in bowl of electric mixer, blender, or food processor.

Add 1/4 cup lemon juice slowly until mixture feels think and grainy, add 1/4 cup more lemon juice until it is thin and smooth. Add water if mixture is still too grainy.

Stir in salt,garlic,pepper and cumin.

Spread on plate, top with olive oil and coriander in center.

Adjust seasonings as desired.

Use as a sauce when baking fish or lamb, or thin with water and use as a salad dressing. A few tablespoons of this is used to add flavor to hummus.

Yield 1 1/2 cups

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Lebanese Tabbouleh Cracked Wheat Salad

Wash wheat, cover with hot water, let stand 30 minutes. Drain, squeeze dry.

Mix together the chopped tomatoes, green onions, parsley and mint.

Stir in oil lemon juice,salt and pepper. Mix in the wheat until well blended.

Chill. Serve on romaine lettuce leaves as a finger salad, or use a fork, if you prefer.

6-8 servings

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Iranian Grape-Cucumber Salad

Arrange grapes and cucumber on lettuce in salad bowl.

Mix next five ingredients,stir into yogurt and spoon over salad. Watercress or young spinach leaves may be substituted for the lettuce.

Yield 6 servings

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Israeli Eggplant


  • 2 large eggplant
  • 2 tsp.salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic,minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 hot chili pepper
  • 4 tsp.sugar
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 clove garlic,minced

Wash and dry unpeeled eggplant. Slice into 1/2" thickness, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Mix flour, water and eggs for batter, dip eggplant in batter and fry in hot oil.

Arrange slices in a casserole dish and season with salt, pepper and garlic.

Put sauce ingredients in a blender and blend well. Pour into pan and bring to boil, cool.

Cover the eggplant with sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

May be served hot or cold.

Yield 4-6 servings

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Lebanese Baked Kibbeh Pounded Lamb

In strainer,rinse cracked wheat thoroughly. Drain by squeezing with hands.

Combine cracked wheat, 2/3 of the ground lamb, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and cold water in large bowl.

With hands, knead until mixture is combined and smooth. Pat 1/2 of this mixture evenly into a 10" by 15" jelly roll pan.

Brown remaining 1/3 of the lamb in vegetable oil.

Add pine nuts, cinnamon and salt and pepper.

Spread mixture over meat layer in pan. Cover filling with remaining uncooked meat mixture, pat surface smooth.

Score top in diamond pattern with knife.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

If desired, drizzle with melted butter and place under broiler until browned.

(To make meat easier to handle, dip hands in cold water as necessary.) 8-10 servings

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Lebanese Djaj Ma'a Limoon Marinated Chicken

Combine mashed garlic, salt, pepper, vegetable oil and lemon juice. Stir well.

Marinate chicken pieces in this dressing for 1 hour. Drain and save marinade.

Place chicken in open roaster, bake at 350 degrees approximately 1 hour or until tender, basting occasionally with remaining marinade.

6-8 servings

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Lebanese Djaj Mehshe (Stuffed Roasted Chicken)

Clean chicken and soak 1/2 hour in salt water; drain and dry.

Saute gizzard and onion in butter.

Add browned pine nuts, seasonings and partially cooked rice.

Stuff chicken with rice mixture. Sew the opening or close with small skewers.

Roast in open pan in 300 degree oven about 40 minutes per pound.

During last half hour, baste chicken with drippings.

Extra stuffing may be baked in separate casserole, adding drippings from chicken.

4-6 servings

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Cream Cheese Oznei Haman

In a large bowl, beat sugar, margarine and cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and egg, blend well, stir in flour and salt and mix well.

Cover with plastic wrap and refigerate 1-2 hours for easier handling.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerate the remaining dough.

Cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds and place one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Spoon 1 tsp. jam into the center of each round and shape into triangles by folding three sides in without covering the jam, pinch corners to seal.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Cool 1 minute before removing from sheet.

Repeat with second half of dough.

These can also be filled (probably more commonly) with a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and finely chopped nuts Back to recipe index

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