What is that Middle Eastern breakfast stuff?

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Tara Banfield

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Oct 3, 2004, 3:34:12 PM10/3/04
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On a documentary I saw awhile back, one of the participants was filmed
eating what I think was his breafast (I'm not sure which country he was
from -- he spoke Arabic), and it looked like a flatbread that he dipped into
a mixture that had some oil in it (reminded me of Italian salad dressing).
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks --

Tara B.
terror-at-eskimo-dot-com


PENMART01

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Oct 3, 2004, 3:41:48 PM10/3/04
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> "Tara Banfield" writes:
>
>On a documentary I saw awhile back, one of the participants was filmed
>eating what I think was his breafast (I'm not sure which country he was
>from -- he spoke Arabic), and it looked like a flatbread that he dipped into
>a mixture that had some oil in it (reminded me of Italian salad dressing).
>Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Quaamell Dunngeh.


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Bob (this one)

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Oct 3, 2004, 4:12:47 PM10/3/04
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Tara Banfield wrote:

Likely zatar which is mostly powdered thyme. Mixed with olive oil and
eaten as you describe. It was the local version of pita and dipped
into the zatar-oil mixture.

Pastorio

Charles Gifford

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Oct 3, 2004, 6:14:48 PM10/3/04
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"Bob (this one)" <B...@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:10m0naf...@corp.supernews.com...

> Tara Banfield wrote:
>
> > On a documentary I saw awhile back, one of the participants was filmed
> > eating what I think was his breafast (I'm not sure which country he was
> > from -- he spoke Arabic), and it looked like a flatbread that he dipped
into
> > a mixture that had some oil in it (reminded me of Italian salad
dressing).
> > Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks --
>
> Likely zatar

Za'atar

> which is mostly powdered thyme.

Incorrect. This has been discussed here many times over the years.

> Mixed with olive oil

Not usually

> and eaten as you describe. It was the local version of pita and dipped
> into the zatar-oil mixture.

According to the original poster's description, this may be correct. Then
again, it might not be. There are a lot of possibilities.

> Pastorio

Charlie


Michel Boucher

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Oct 3, 2004, 7:01:49 PM10/3/04
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"Charles Gifford" <taxi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:sR_7d.1939$UP1....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net:

> "Bob (this one)" <B...@nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:10m0naf...@corp.supernews.com...
>> Tara Banfield wrote:
>>
>> > On a documentary I saw awhile back, one of the participants was
>> > filmed eating what I think was his breafast (I'm not sure which
>> > country he was from -- he spoke Arabic), and it looked like a
>> > flatbread that he dipped into a mixture that had some oil in it
>> > (reminded me of Italian salad dressing).
>>

>> and eaten as you describe. It was the local version of pita and
>> dipped into the zatar-oil mixture.
>
> According to the original poster's description, this may be
> correct. Then again, it might not be. There are a lot of
> possibilities.

Right. The Arab world is made up of over twenty countries going from
Wst Africa to the Philippines. Quite a few of them have some form of
Arabic as the official language and quite a few others have Arabic as
a secondary language. Knowing that someone spoke Arabic is not very
instructive.

However, the "Italian dressing" info leads me to suspect it might be
ful madammes (lots of variant spellings as it's transliterated) which
uses a tomato sauce in the preparation. It's a common enough
breakfast in that part of the world, IIRC.

Here is one description of it:

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=18236

--

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a poor man to pass through the eye of a needle."

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Bob

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Oct 3, 2004, 7:13:18 PM10/3/04
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Tara wrote:

It was probably za'atar, as others have mentioned. Za'atar is both the name
of a single herb (wild Syrian marjoram) and a spice mixture which contains
that herb (thyme is often used instead), sumac, salt, and toasted sesame
seeds. The recipe I have calls for one part dried thyme, one part lightly
toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 part sumac, and salt to taste.

I'm more fond of the following recipe (from _Street Food_, by Clare
Ferguson):

Dukkah (Nutty Spice Mix with Flatbread with Olive Oil)

4 flatbreads such as pita breads, warmed
Virgin olive oil, for dipping

Dukkah mix
2/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup roasted chickpeas
1/2 cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons mild paprika (optional)

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden. Roast the hazelnuts
and chickpeas in the same pan for about 4-5 minutes or until aromatic.
Remove and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the roasted chickpeas.

Pan-toast the coriander seeds and cumin until they darken, then let cool.
Mix all the dukkah ingredients, except for the paprika and reserved
chickpeas, in a bowl, then grind in an electric grinder or mortar and
pestle. Stir in the paprika and reserved chickpeas and serve with separate
bowl of olive oil. Torn flatbread is dipped first into the oil, then into
the dukkah.


Bob


Katra

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Oct 3, 2004, 7:15:52 PM10/3/04
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In article <cjpk61$rh2$1...@eskinews.eskimo.com>,
"Tara Banfield" <fak...@kitchen51.net> wrote:

Couscous????

K.
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see, I have friends in both places." --Mark Twain

Leila A.

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Oct 3, 2004, 11:27:22 PM10/3/04
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Michel Boucher <alsa...@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<Xns9577C195DD2B...@130.133.1.4>...

> "Charles Gifford" <taxi...@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:sR_7d.1939$UP1....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net:
>
> > "Bob (this one)" <B...@nospam.com> wrote in message
> > news:10m0naf...@corp.supernews.com...
> >> Tara Banfield wrote:
> >>
> >> > On a documentary I saw awhile back, one of the participants was
> >> > filmed eating what I think was his breafast (I'm not sure which
> >> > country he was from -- he spoke Arabic), and it looked like a
> >> > flatbread that he dipped into a mixture that had some oil in it
> >> > (reminded me of Italian salad dressing).
> >>
> >> and eaten as you describe. It was the local version of pita and
> >> dipped into the zatar-oil mixture.
> >

Yes, za'atar is mixed with oil for a dipping sauce or to spread on
bread dough for a kind of foccaccia called "manaqeesh".

Many Arabic dictionaries translate za'atar as thyme so it's
understandable that people call it that. It's actually Syrian wild
marjoram, or "hyssop", dried and mixed in varying proportions with
sumac, (not the poisonous stuff we know in the US) sesame seeds and
salt.

> However, the "Italian dressing" info leads me to suspect it might be
> ful madammes (lots of variant spellings as it's transliterated) which
> uses a tomato sauce in the preparation. It's a common enough
> breakfast in that part of the world, IIRC.
>

Ful mudammes (spelling varies because of the nature of Arabic to
English transliterations) is fava beans stewed for a long time. Tomato
sauce is NOT essential to ful mudammes. THere's a restaurant in Cairo
popular with tourists and locals alike that claims to serve Ful
mudammes 1,000 ways. This is an exaggeration, of course, but there are
lots and lots of ways to cook ful mudammes.

Yes, Arabs do eat ful mudammes for breakfast. I like it with lemon
juice, chopped garlic and olive oil. Served with a side dish of
tomatoes & cumin, and dipped with Egyptian whole wheat sourdough pita
- that's a real old fashioned Cairo taste treat. Used to cost 50
cents, 20 years ago.

Still, it sounds like the OP saw za'atar with olive oil. It should be
quite soupy. Sliced cucumbers are the preferred condiment to eat with
this.

Leila

Tara Banfield

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Oct 5, 2004, 5:06:55 PM10/5/04
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"Bob" <virtualgoth@die_spammer.com> wrote in message
news:416086e3$0$56609$45be...@newscene.com...
> Tara wrote:
(Where is that breakfast?)

> It was probably za'atar, as others have mentioned. Za'atar is both the
name
> of a single herb (wild Syrian marjoram) and a spice mixture which contains
> that herb (thyme is often used instead), sumac, salt, and toasted sesame
> seeds. The recipe I have calls for one part dried thyme, one part lightly
> toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 part sumac, and salt to taste.
>
> I'm more fond of the following recipe (from _Street Food_, by Clare
> Ferguson):
>
> Dukkah (Nutty Spice Mix with Flatbread with Olive Oil)
>

(Recipe from Bob)

Oh, golly. That answers ALL my questions. About 10 years ago, I met some
older ladies at the local nutrition center who told me fascinating stories
about their lives, and one described Bob's recipe for dukkah (but couldn't
recall the name), and how she had first refused to eat it while living with
her host family many years earlier. By the time she left, she was
experiencing cravings for it.
When I saw the documentary, the light came back on., and now, I have the
most Google-able bunch of keywords EVER! It wasn't couscous, but I'm
reminded that I need to revisit that too.
Thank you, Charles, Michel, Leila, Bob & Katra!
Tara


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