Monday, April 6, 2009

Makloubet Zajer

That is what we had for dinner tonight.
Translation: Rice with Beef and Cauliflower.
My mother-in-law makes this dish and I l o v e it
so I gave it a whirl tonight.
I rocked Makloubet Zajer and impressed myself with my flair for international cooking (beyond quesadillas and spaghetti!).
Small child and husband loved it.

As requested here is the recipe for Tajen.

(Meatballs & Vegetables in Tahineh Sauce)


For the Kafta (meatballs)
1 lb ground beef
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small bunch of parsley, about half a cup chopped
1 ¼ tsp salt or according to taste
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp allspice
A dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg
3 tbs vegetable oil

For the Tajen
1lb potatoes
1lb eggplants
1lb zucchini
4-5 tomatoes
1 medium onion

For the sauce
¾ cup tahineh
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ cups water

Preheat over to 425.

Combine the meat, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, spices and oil and mix well. Shape into round or oblong patties and set aside.

Soak the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes to make them easier to peel. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables, including the tomatoes, into coarse cubes. Slice the onion into thin slivers and add to the vegetables. Season with the salt and spices and transfer to a large oven-proof pan. Add the kafta (meatballs) at regular intervals. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the tahineh sauce by mixing the tahineh with the lemon juice and water until you get a smooth runny sauce. Cook in a saucepan over low heat on the stove for a few minutes while stirring constantly. Let it simmer for three to four minutes then add to the cooked meat and vegetables mixing it thoroughly with the juices. Bake another 15 minutes in the oven uncovered and serve very hot.

You may server it with a simple green salad or with rice.

Cook’s Notes: I didn’t peel the tomatoes or the potatoes. I peeled the eggplant and zucchini leaving peel stripes. Regarding the sauce, we like it saucy around here so I added more of the tahineh and water. You want the sauce to be thin but with body. If the sauce becomes thick during baking or when reheating, just add water.

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