Tag Archives: Yogurt

Blog Anniversary and Kibbeh B Laban (Kibbeh Meatballs in Yogurt)

Four years ago, the same day the Taste-Buds started. I cannot believe it has been so long already! Although the blog has changed from its original format and my Taste-Buds moved on from blogging, I still consider it as this common venture that gave us a lot of fun and taught us new things. It even helped me get over my baking aversion, I can make some very decent cookies and brownies now, I even made a custard from scratch (supervised by Clint), but I did all the steps myself! A big breakthrough for me!

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Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini (Mexican Squash) – Koussa Mehchi

To my surprise, what we call zucchini in Lebanon is called Mexican squash in the USA. The even most surprising part was to see how much veggies eating habits Lebanon shares with Mexico. Tomatoes is an obvious thing, but the most amazing for me was the chickpeas in their pods. It is a snack we eat in Lebanon and it is getting rarer now. It is one of my favorite things to munch on in between meals and you can imagine what a nice surprise it was to see them here.

It is funny how often I see something and tell Clint we eat that in Lebanon and he tells me that it is a food imported by the Mexican community or eaten by them. So you can imagine how funny it was to see that the type of zucchini we eat is called Mexican squash.

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Mango Lassi

The first time I tried a mango Lassi I was hooked. The simplicity of the composition concentrates the flavors in a wonderful experience.  This is not the only benefit to it either, besides being healthy it is super simple to make.

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Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan

I got a chance to make the chicken tikka masala recipe the other day for my family and so jumped on the opportunity. I made the dish with no changes from the challenge recipe as this was my first time making it. The flavor was very similar to the one served in the local Indian restaurant here I love so much and surprisingly it was not that difficult to make!

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Challenge 12: Chicken Tikka Masala

Hello fans and fellow Taste Buds! I have really been anticipating my attempt at making this dish since the birth of our blog. My first time trying this spicy treat was actually just a few years ago at an Indian restaurant called the Punjabi Dhaba in a small town near my home. The chicken tikka masala I had there was so impressionable on me that immediately upon trying it I had made up my mind that it was among my all time favorite dishes! I hope some of you will have an equally enjoyable experience with this.

The origin of chicken tikka masala is disputed with some believing it came from the Punjab region of India, while others claim it was the creation of a chef in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland several decades years ago. Its similarity to butter chicken gives rise to some of the ambiguity of its beginnings. Tikka literally means “small chunks” and masala is a “mixture of spices.” The chicken goes well with this curry masala, but I have had it with lamb tikka as well with similarly delectable results. I have also heard of other versions made with tofu and paneer (an Indian cheese), but I have not had a chance to try those for myself.

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Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

I woke this morning excited and ready for this challenge after having some substantial time off from the blog. Indian cuisine is one of my favorites and so this recipe was of particular interest to me. I decided to craft this one with small pieces of chicken breast to mirror the chicken tikka masala I so enjoy at an Indian restaurant near me from time to time.

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More Lebanese Please!

Today I made the Chickpeas Fatteh, which I had heard is one of Viviane’s favorite authentic Lebanese dishes.  In beginning this adventure, I must have checked 6 or 7 different stores for something close to Lebanese bread and to no avail. I found some “Middle Eastern Flat Bread” at Trader Joe’s, but this ended up not fitting the bill so after reaching my limit of frustration, I decided to go ahead with some pita bread. The rest of the ingredients were easy to come by in the average US supermarket.

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Chickpeas Fatteh for Lunch, Please!

I was not planning to prepare the challenge as soon as I posted but it was a spur of the moment when I decided to make it. My mom made wide kidney beans stew and kidney beans are not exactly on my list of edibles. Gladly, I happened to know the menu of the day in the morning, so I was able to ask my mom to soak the chickpeas and boil them for me. So by the time I got home chickpeas were ready. I know I categorized Chickpeas Fatteh under entrée but I almost always eat it as a main dish.
Chickpeas Fatteh Close-up

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Challenge 7: Chickpeas Fatteh

Based on the fact that my Taste-Buds have been asking me to post a Lebanese recipe, here I am complying. I wanted to make this post a double recipe entry and include Tabbouleh, but I thought I will leave it to another time, that is due to the fact that I ate it twice this week already.  You can say I am all Tabbouleh-ed out.  So I set my mind on a simple but awesome recipe, a personal favorite and extremely easy to make. It is mostly a summer dish but I thought it would be great to have it after the holidays, since it is nourishing and not too heavy. The dish is called: Chickpeas Fatteh. Consider it a Lebanese crumble, since Fatteh derives form the Arabic counterpart that means crumbs.

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Mixed Rice and Beef Breyani

After almost a week of trying to find the right window of opportunity, I finally found the time to make the Breyani on Wednesday morning. Immediately after getting off work (at about 8am), I was off to the store to gather my ingredients. It was actually nice shopping so early in the morning since most people were either just heading to work, or were not awake yet. I’m not a fan of the holiday crowds. I always feel like I am dodging cars in the middle of a busy freeway when walking the stores this time of year.

This recipe required numerous spices of which I only had about half of. In addition, some of the spices are not used that often in every day cooking here in the US. To my relief, I found all of them but the saffron at the first store I hit. I decided to go with beef instead of lamb in this dish since buying this much lamb would surely empty my entire Christmas savings account. I also had to settle for dry spices instead of fresh ones in some cases as I did not want to drive another 30 miles to an Indian store for solely this reason. I could not believe how much saffron was at the second store. They wanted about $15 for not even a pinch of the stuff. There was even a choice between 3 brands, all about the same price! I reluctantly chose one to ensure I got the fully authentic experience.

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