My husband enjoys watching cooking shows on TV, and also likes the short recipe videos on Facebook. The problem is that once the content has appeared, it is nearly impossible to find it again. If Jorge doesn’t have paper and a pencil handy, he relies on his memory if he wants to tell me about the dish and how to make it.
We both like to try new cuisines, so when he told me he’d watched the preparation of a Saudi Arabian recipe, I was game to try it. The list of ingredients sounded like KETO adherent’s worst nightmare. The preparation of this off-the-charts carb-fest became an even bigger challenge because Jorge could not tell me what quantity of each ingredient wold be required. Nonetheless, I was intrigued, and we winged it when it came to measurements. The result was starchier than we’re used to, but tasty.
And so with no additional fanfare (or apologies), I give you:
The 1,001 Arabian Nights Melange
3 cups cooked spaghetti
1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup steamed white rice
1 cup cooked garbanzos
5 medium-sized white onions (cut in rounds and fried in olive oil until golden brown)
8 angel-hair pasta “nests” (fried uncooked in olive oil until golden brown)
Olive oil (as needed for frying)
6 cups of tomato sauce (seasoned with I T. cumin, Salt and Pepper, to taste)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
20 whole Kalamata olives
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt
You need to have first 7 ingredients kept warm, and all ingredients should be placed in separate containers (mise en place) ready to be combined quickly and served at once.
Spread the spaghetti over the bottom of a large bowl. Sprinkle the lentils over top, then add the layer of rice, then the garbanzos and the onions
Using a large spoon, add dollops of the tomato sauce over the onions until one half of the sauce has been used.
Place the angel hair nests on top of the onions. Dollop on half of the remaining tomato sauce over the nests.
Sprinkle the olives, pine nuts and cilantro over the top. and then dollop the rest of the tomato sauce and all of the yoghurt on the very top.
* To Serve
Take the bowl to the table and lightly toss all the ingredients together. Each guest will then serve him or herself from the bowl. This dish is interesting because each bite is a different mixture of texture and taste
Serve with a cucumber and mint salad (slice cucumbers and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them – sprinkle with mint leaves – salt and pepper to taste)
Pair the meal with a chilled crisp white wine