I’m an eggplant convert. I never ever used to eat it, but I’ve been experimenting with it lately, and really it’s not so bad! The key is the salt drain—never skip it! I started off simply with eggplant parmesan, and eggplant with meat and tomato sauce, but now I’m going way out of my comfort zone with this vegetarian moussaka. Continue reading
Ades soup is a classic Syrian dish. These red lentils turn yellow when boiled, and often confuses people who’ve never seen the soup before (“Wait, I thought you said RED lentil soup. This is yellow!”). It’s an easy and comforting dish you can make on a chilly winter evening and that you can enjoy for lunch the next day. The first time I made this dish was in college, and my roommates were not to keen on tasting it (I don’t know why!). Lucky me! I ate a lot of soup that week.
It’s flavored with coriander and cilantro, one of my favorite flavors. If you don’t like cilantro, just use parsley instead. Or leave it out, this soup has enough flavor on its own. To add some extra flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock in place of the water.
Ades Soup, or Syrian Red Lentil Soup, adapted from here and some family traditions:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 red onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add oil.
2. When the oil is hot, add the coriander and let cook for about one minute.
3. Then, add onions and garlic. Add some kosher salt. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until onions soften.
4. Add the lentils to the pot. Mix and coat them with oil.
5. Add 5 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, mix flour with the remaining cup of water to make a paste. Add to the lentils.
7. Stir in the lemon juice and some more salt. Continue stirring over high heat until the mixture boils. Then, cover and cook another 15 minutes.
8. Add the cumin and cayenne. Mix well. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
9. Then add the cilantro. Serve with some lemon wedges and more chopped cilantro on top, if desired.
It is customary to eat lentils in a time of mourning, based on the food that Yaakov cooked when Avraham died. (Another customary mourning meal is a hardboiled egg with a loaf of bread, which symbolizes the circle of life.)
Rice and lentils is a popular Syrian dish. It’s often served as a weeknight meal along with jibben or a light fish, but that’s not why we’re posting it now; it is a one-pot meal and is it’s our custom to eat this on the night before Tisha b’Av (which is tomorrow!). Serve it with some plain yogurt and you have a pretty balanced (and simple) one-pot meal. Serve it alongside a million other dishes, like pizza, jibben, salad, knishes, sambusak, etc, and you have yourself a typical Syrian dairy meal. Continue reading