Sunday, January 3, 2016

A trio: Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup (Adas Soup), super quick radish pickle and easy no cook play dough



Very icy and slushy here in Amman. We expected a snow storm but it turned out to be more of a slushy storm with freezing temperatures. My toddler is so bored as he hasn't gone out for 3 days now due to the very cold weather and because he is off from school for his winter break. So I really needed to think of many ways to entertain him, well...as much as I could...believe me a range of 12-14 hours a day are a hand full and require tons of activities to keep him occupied. So one of the things that I resort to is this easy home made play dough. I think it is great as you get to make it so quickly, dye it in any color your kid prefers, it's safe if he/she did eat some of it (mine likes to taste everything...ehhh) as it is made from materials in the kitchen, no chemicals or any thing. It is not gluten free though but it is so lovely to work with..my little one did enjoy it big time. I found the recipe at a great blog the imagination tree ...Thank you Anna for the amazing site and recipe.



And since we are about to start winter break for most schools here in Amman and its cold, you need some indoor activities to fill the kiddos time. Do make this for your kids...they will love it. 



To make the no cook play dough you will need:

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (I actually needed more)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of Tartar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
gel or water food coloring

Directions:
Mix flour and cream of tartar
Dissolve salt in water; add food color (I found that dissolving the salt in the water first will result in a smoother dough and adding the food color will help in having a better distribution of color through out the dough)
Add to the flour mix and add the oil.
Add more flour if too sticky.
Knead well till nice and smooth.
Add a drop of Glycerin for some shine

Note: This dough will keep for up to 6 months..now how great is that..

Make sure you wrap it well so it won't dry out.


On the food side, such cold weather calls for dishes to warm your heart and soul. And what is best than the typical and most favorable soup here in the Middle East "Adas soup"; the Arabic word for red lentils soup? There are so many versions of this soup depending on the handed down recipes from ancestors as it is ancient. Some people add veggies to make it more nutritious, some add rice. Mine is so simple with only few ingredients that makes it easy, delicious, affordable, not to mention a low calorie recipe (not the typical me) and its gluten free. We love having our soup with bread and pickles. We also love making spinach pies for a typical winter meal. I wanted to give this soup and extra zing so I made a quick (literally one hour) radishes pickles that will have all of your family rave over. However, I do warn you, this pickle tend to really have a very strong odor in the fridge if you have leftovers, so it is best that you make an amount that you will consume the day of or make sure you store it in a very sealed container. Radishes tend to have that kind of strong smell once pickled.



The steps are so easy...

Slice your pickles into very then slices (the amount you like), I added one carrot for an extra color.



Make your pickling liquid (this amount is for around 6 large radishes and 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup apple vinegar
1/4 cup grape vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and make sure all sugar has dissolved. Let it cool to room temp then add over radish and carrot. Let it set in the fridge for one hour and enjoy...sooo good..


For the soup...



Adas Soup (Middle Eastern Red lentils soup)
Ingredients:
2 cups red lentils, washed and drained
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp cumin
Chicken or vegetable stock, I use water :) (I start with an amount of 4 cups)
Salt
1 Tbsp EVOO

For garnish:
Chopped parsley
Lemon juice

Directions:
In a large pot or a pressure cooker (it tends to finish the job in half the time); combine lentils, onion, cumin and water. Cover and bring to a boil, let it simmer till all ingredients are cooked (about 30-40 minutes) depending on the kind of lentils. If its too thick you can add water. Puree the soup to a smooth consistency, add salt to taste. Bring back to a boil and finish it with olive oil. Take it off heat enjoy with some chopped parsley, croutons, pickles and of course lemon juice.

كيف بالله التلجات؟ هاد وقزقزنا بدون ثلج...سلش في الواقع...الحمد لله على نعمة المي والمطر اكيد بس البرد كان قارص...الله يعين اللي ما عنده دفا...زكمان يعين اللي عنده صغار زي حالاتي قاعدين بالبيت لانهم معطلين من الحضانة 10 ايام (الحمد لله اليوم دووااااام)...عن مين بحكي..طبعا عن هارون افندي...حزنانة عليه 3 ايام محبوس بالبيت كمان شوي بده يرقص على الحيطان من الزهق هاد وانا بحاول اسليه ... الله بيعين...بس بما انه العطلة الشتوية فعليا بتبدأ لكتير من الاولاد هالكم من يوم وحتى للمداومين زي حالاتنا بدك تحاولي تسليهم باشياء مفيدة وممتعة جوة البيت...شو عملت للاستاذ؟ عملت معجونة..ما بدها طبخ وسهلة وموادها رخيصة ومتوفرة بكا بيت تقريبا وكمان مش مؤذية من ناحية انه ما فيها مواد كيماوية واذا اكلها الاستاذ (اللي عندي ما عنده مانع) ما بقلق كتير...



مقادير هالعجينة وطريقتها هي (وبالمناسبة بتضل العجينة صالحة 6 اشهر...هاد اذا خلوها هالقد :) )

معجون اللعب  بدون طبخ
المقادير:
2 كوب طحين (ممكن تحتاجي اكتر
2 ملعقة طعام كريم الطرطير (هاد مهم وبتلاقوه عند العطارين وكمان بكوزمو عند البهارات اسمه cream of tartar ويستخدم كعنصر رافع بالخبز مع الكربونات)
1/2 كوب ملح (ملح طعام عادي)
1 1/2 كوب ماء مغلي
2 ملعقة طعام زيت عادي نباتي
الوان طعام (جل او سائل)

الطريقة:

يخلط الطحين وكريم الطرطير
يخلط الماء والملح ويذاب ثم يضاف اللون والزيت
يسكب فوق الطحين وتعجن
يضاف الطحين اذا كانت دبقة
تعجن لتعنم بملمسها

طبعا بس تخلصيها لفيها بكيس بلاستيك مشان ما تنشف



وطبعا مع البرد شو ازكى والذ شوربة؟ شوربة ستي وستك؟ شوربة العدس اكيد...العدس الاحمر او المجروش..احنا بنعتبره وجبة كاملة الصراحة مع فت خبز او ممكن فطاير سبانخ...هالمرة حبيت اعمل كمان جنبه مخلل فجل وشوووو؟ بساعة واحدة بس كان عندي مخلل بيشهي...اهم ملاحظة رجاءا...اذا عيلتك ما بتحب الفجل لا تكتري الكمية لانه هاد المخلل بيعبق ريحته بالثلاجة والصراحة مش احلى ريحة بالعالم...فاهمين علي ....ممتاز...هو زاكي كتير...اعملي على قد ما رح تاكل عيلتك...



مخلل الفجل السريع
المقادير:
ضمة فجل 
حبة جزرة 
1/2 كوب خل ابيض
1/4 كوب خل تفاح
1/4 كوب خل عنب
1/2 كوب سكر
ملعقة صغيرة ملح


الطريقة:
يبشر الفجل والجزر الى شرائح رفيعة تعبأ بمرتبان او وعاء بغطاء


تخلط باقي المكونات بقدر على النار لتغلي ويذوب السكر والملح وترفع وتبرد تماما لحرارة الغرفة
تسكب فوق الفجل وتترك بالثلاجة ساعة او اقل
وصحتين




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