Category Archives: Caravan Serai

Holiday Recipes from the Middle East: Mhalabia

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Happy Holidays from Caravan-Serai Tours and Willamette Intl Travel!

Each holiday season our friends over at Caravan-Serai offer an assortment of our favorite recipes from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates!

Today’s recipe is a Syrian pudding recipe from Aleppo. It’s made with milk, rose water, crushed pistachios, some cardamom, corn starch as sugar. If you have traveled to Syria or Jordan you have probably tasted this light and exotic tasting pudding. Treat your family to it this holiday season!

Flickr Creative Commons (c) Andrea Nguyen

Flickr Creative Commons (c) Andrea Nguyen

3 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs rose water

1 cup cold water

2 cardamom pods, crushed

6 tbs corn starch

Crushed pistachios

  • Mix milk and sugar together in a sauce pan, then heat to a boil – stirring frequently.
  • Whisk water and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth; stir into boiling milk. Cook milk mixture over medium heat until thickened to the consistency of cake batter, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir cream, rose water, and cardamom into milk mixture.
  • Divide into 6 serving dishes or keep in a bowl, what ever you prefer, and put into the refrigerator to cool – about 2-4 hours
  • Just before serving sprinkle crushed pistachios on top.

Caravan Serai is a Seattle-based company that specializes in small-group escorted tours to destinations in the Middle East and North Africa such as Jordan, Turkey and Morocco. Expert guides escort guests through fun-filled and tasty itineraries, valuing comfort and safety all the while trekking across ancient paths and historical ruins.

Call Willamette Intl Travel to Discuss More Options for Travel in the Middle East!

To read what a Sample 5-Day Tour through Jordan might look like, click here:

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Holiday Recipes from the Middle East: Cucumber Salad & Galayat Bandura

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Happy Holidays from Caravan-Serai Tours and Willamette Intl Travel!

Each holiday season our friends over at Caravan-Serai offer an assortment of our favorite recipes from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates!

Cucumber & Yogurt Salad ~ Salat Khyar

  • 1lb cucumber
  • 2lb yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh mint

Peel and dice the cucumbers, crush garlic with salt and mint and stir into yogurt. Add the cucumbers and mix. Serve with mint garnish.

Galayat Bandura

This dish is a popular dish which can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as hot mezza or main course. You can add scrambled eggs, tuna, or chicken – whatever you like! “Gulayat” is the Arabic word for skillet, so the name literally translated means skillet of tomatoes.

  • 1lb tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Saute the pine nuts in oil until light brown, remove from oil and save as the garnish (save the oil in the skillet).
  2. Finely chop tomatoes and chilies
  3. Slice garlic and saute in the same oil until light brown, then add the tomatoes, chilies (I recommend starting with half the amount of chilies and taste the mixture after a few minutes to see if you want to add more), and salt
  4. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Pour into shallow serving dish and garnish with pine nuts

Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 to discuss options for travel in and around the Middle East.

To read what a Sample Tour through Morcco & Tunisia would look like, click here.

Caravan Serai is a Seattle-based company that specializes in small-group escorted tours to destinations in the Middle East and North Africa such as Jordan, Turkey and Morocco. Expert guides escort guests through fun-filled and tasty itineraries, valuing comfort and safety all the while trekking across ancient paths and historical ruins.

To read more about Caravan-Serai, click here.

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12 Days of Holiday Cooking

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Welcome to the 2014 12 Days of Holiday Cooking from Caravan-Serai Tours!

Each holiday season our friends over at Caravan-Serai offer an assortment of our favorite recipes from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates!

 

Lentil Soup ~ Shourbat Abas

1 Cup brown lentils
6 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 up olive oil or ghee
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
a dash of pepper
croutons for garnish

  • Rinse lentils and drain
  • Place in a saucepan with the water over medium heat and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for half an hour
  • Remove from heat; strain/mash lentil and water mixture through a vegetable strainer
  • Return pureed lentil mixture to pot and cook over medium heat and stir in cumin, salt, and pepper
  • Brown the chopped onion in oil or ghee, then add to the lentil mixture
  • Cook the lentils and onion over medium heat for 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle the soup with chopped parsley and croutons

This makes a great first course, is easy, and requires very few ingredients! It’s also great on a cold winter day. Enjoy!

Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 to discuss options for travel in and around the Middle East.

To read what a Sample 9-Day Tour of Jordan with Caravan-Serai would look like, click here.

Caravan Serai is a Seattle-based company that specializes in small-group escorted tours to destinations in the Middle East and North Africa such as Jordan, Turkey and Morocco. Expert guides escort guests through fun-filled and tasty itineraries, valuing comfort and safety all the while trekking across ancient paths and historical ruins.

To read more about Caravan-Serai, click here.

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Filed under Caravan Serai, Middle East, North America, Travel by Taste, Vendors, VOTM

Rice Pudding with Caravan-Serai

Happy December! It’s that time of year again: each winter, our friends at Caravan-Serai publish a series of Middle Eastern recipes guaranteed to delight! Try this specialty, Roz bil Halib, or Rice Pudding with Pistachios.

rice

Most cultures have some form of rice pudding. What makes this particular dish different is the addition of pistachios and rose or orange blossom water. There are two versions here – try them both this holiday season. This is a dish to make in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups milk (low-fat or whole)
  •  1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  •  1 cup short-grain rice
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped
  •  1 – 2 teaspoon lemon zest, minced
  •  2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  •  1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine milk, condensed milk & rice & bring to boil over medium heat.
  2.  Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer & cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3.  Add cardamom, vanilla & 2/3 of the apricots, & cook until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in zest & cream, if using it.
  5. Garnish with pistachios & the remaining apricots, & serve warm or cold.

If serving cold, press parchment/baking paper directly onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming, & chill at least 3-4 hours (or overnight if desired).

Caravan Serai is a Seattle-based company that specializes in small-group escorted tours to destinations in the Arab World such as Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. Expert guides escort guests through fun-filled and tasty itineraries, valuing comfort and safety all the while trekking across ancient paths and historical ruins. Thematic tours are occasionally offered, like the Persian Gardens of Iran, yachting in Turkey, or desert trekking in Morocco. Read more about them here: https://wittravel.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/vendor-of-the-month-caravan-serai/

For a great firsthand report from one of our client’s tours to Iran, check out the link: http://www.wittravel.com/reports/Iran_April08.pdf

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