Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Middle Eastern Veg Platter

As I continue having friends over to enjoy the Holiday season, we decided to prepare a Middle Eastern themed vegetarian's platter. Consisting of Eggplant Mozzarella Rings, Hummus, Pita Bread and stir fried vegetables, this whole preparation took us around one and a half hour in the kitchen.
A recipe wise break up of this platter below.


The Middle Eastern Veg Platter

Eggplant and Mozzarella Rings


Eggplant is a common vegetable used in Middle Eastern cooking and is used in various courses from salads, appetizers to the main dish.My recipe is a vegetarian option for steak lovers with Middle Eastern flavors.

Ingredients

  • A large eggplant
  • Mozzarella Cheese Slices
  • 1/2 Cup Maida, All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Tahini Paste (Paste made with Sesame Seeds, easily available in the market)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

Eggplant and Mozzarella Rings
Method

  • Cut the eggplant into slices, sprinkle salt and pepper and keep aside to rest
  • When the eggplant starts leaving the water, pat it with a paper towel and keep aside. This removes the bitter taste of the Eggplant
  • Sprinkle garlic powder generously over the eggplant slices and keep aside
  • In another bowl, mix the maida, rice flour, salt and pepper, red chilli powder, tahini paste and curd and mix well until it reaches a thick consistency
  • Coat the eggplants into this batter and make a sandwich with two slices along with a slice of Mozzarella in the center
  • Heat 2 tbsps of Oil in a pan and when hot, shallow fry the eggplant on a low flame until perfectly cooked. Turn upside down to make sure both sides are well done
  • Use proper oil as eggplant absorbs the oil very fast. Use a grill pan if possible to get the Steak like look

For the Hummus

Ingredients


  • 1 cup Boiled Chickpeas (Canned or Soak at home for 12 hrs and pressure cook for 2 whistles/microwave for 25 mins)
  • 2 pods of Garlic
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Curd
  • 1 tbsp Tahini Paste (Paste made with Sesame Seeds, easily available in the market)
  • 1 green chilly, finely chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Chilli Powder for Garnish

Method

  • Take all the ingredients and blend into a fine paste. Sprinkle some red chilli powder and Olive Oil for garnish.

The Middle Eastern Veg Platter
For the Stir Fry Veggies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Spinach, blanched and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese, cut into cubes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Oil

Method

  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add garlic and fry till golden brown.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and tomatoes and cook well.
  • Add the blanched spinach and cook well till all the water is absorbed
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle Sesame Seeds and serve hot.




Once all the components are ready for the platter, serve hot along with Store-Bought Pita, preferably in a square/rectangle shaped platter.

I love to use this as a filling for my Shawarma as well, where I simply cut the eggplant into strips, and stuff in the pita along with hummus and veggies