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Archive for the tag “Zaatar”

Tea and Falafel


If there’s anyone in this city who has their finger on the collective Jeddawi pulse, it’s Jeddah Blog’s Abdullah Yahya. Whether it’s honest advice on the best coffee shops  or the latest restaurant openings and dining options this is the one person you want among your handy Whatsapp contacts.

For this blog post, Abdullah has been on the hunt for a speciality breakfast hangout and he chanced upon the charmingly named Tea & Falafel on Madina Road. Scroll down to read Abdullah’s review, see what he ordered and find out how much he awarded the outlet in the all-important Jeddah Blog rating.

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but many agree that it is indeed their favorite meal of the day. As Jeddawis, in the past we only had limited options for breakfast places, but this has been changing quickly in recent years.

If social media is any indication, breakfast joints are all the rage, and of all the times we eat out, the longest we wait for an empty table is usually when we go out for breakfast.

Rustic and homely at the same time

One of the latest places to open in Jeddah is Tea & Falafel which is located on Madinah Branch Road (address: 6614 Abi Haitham Al Ansari, Al Muhammadiyah District, Al Muhammadiyah District,, Jeddah 23624). Although it is still in its soft opening phase, it is very popular already.

The tastefully decorated single’s section

It has a single section downstairs and a family section upstairs. It’s not a large restaurant and there are less than 10 tables in the family section, and maybe as many in the singles section. It is nicely decorated and brightly coloured with upbeat quotes. My favourite is their take on BFF as “Best Falafel Forever”

The spice bar

Part tea shop, part restaurant, it serves Arabic food with an emphasis on falafel. You can indulge in all of your falafel fantasies here with creations such as falafel nachos, falafel waffles, manakeesh with falafel, etc.

We loved the bright sunlight pouring in.

Since it was our first time, we played it safe and ordered an Arabic breakfast plate (40SR) which came with samplers of Arabic traditional biggest hits (hummus, falafel, foul,  manakeesh, hummus, foul, labneh, tahini, makdous, jam, potato wedges, pickles, and pita bread). It comes with a pot of English breakfast tea but we replaced that with Karak tea.

I also ordered fresh orange juice (SR14 ), falafel stuffed with nuts (serving of two pieces, SR6), and zaatar mankeesh (SR8)

Everything we tried was good, but the falafel, we thought, were exceptional. They were not too greasy and they tasted pretty good especially the falafel stuffed with nuts. I also liked the Karak tea.

Next time inshaAllah we will be trying other items on the menu, and you can bet there will be a next time, because not only did we like the food, but the service was good, the ambience was cool, and the prices were excellent. We ended up paying SR68 for 2 persons. Great value for money.

Jeddah Blog rating:

Ambience 8/10

Service 8/10

Food 9/10

Value 9/10

Overall rating 8.5/10

-photo credits: Abdullah Yahya

Jeddah Food: Beyond Fast Food and Five Star Hotels


Regular readers of Jeddah Blog will know by now that we adore anything to do with food. We’ve covered a range of eateries from business lunches to Teayana, PF Chang’s and Al Baik and we love them all. But where is the local food, I hear you ask?

What is especially exciting about this particular blog post is that it has been written by a true insider of Jeddah. A person who has lived here for nearly all of her life, and who knows Jeddah like the back of her hand.

Today’s guest blogger Qurratulain Sikander lets us in on her favourite haunts where real, local food is served. If you want to experience Jeddah the way that locals do, then you just might want to bookmark this page.

With unlimited social posts, and physical presence of International Food Chains and high-end restaurants in Jeddah, it is no wonder, that one is led to believe that good food is only available in these dine-in scenarios.

Do not underestimate the power of local food and non-international food places to get your taste buds dancing. Today, I will share a select few of my favorite food places, which apologetically do not necessarily host a luxurious interior, but serve up delish food!

  1. Foul and Tameez from your local street vendor

Residing in Al Zahra District, we had a local place which served foul (pronounced ‘fool’), as well as, hot yummy crisp bread called tameez. You do not really need a brand to find this local food. Check your area and for sure you can find one shop selling it. Mostly, it is eaten for breakfast, but can be partaken at any possible time. Priced at less than SR 10 for bread and the lentil (foul), you really can’t go wrong with it! To get an extra kick try squeezing lemon on top of the foul, and pairing the food with an ice cold laban. Simple and yum!

  1. Nakheel Super Market

You can find these non-auspicious grocery stores throughout Jeddah. Despite its humble setting, the bakery serves up some zesty spinach fataeer! These are bread triangles baked with a zesty spinach filling. You can walk in in the morning and request a fresh one to be made.

Zaatar Manaeesh

                        Zaatar Manaeesh

While you’re there, ask for a Manaeesh Labnah; a thin round bread topped with a yoghurt consistency cheese. To get the real local taste, ask for zaatar atop the labneh. Zaatar is a dry herb, which will add several levels of flavor to your Manaeesh. A good point to note, zaatar is known to be great for weight loss. So yes ladies, you can have this with no-guilt. Just do not over-eat the yummy carbs. Pair this with a chilled mushshakil (mixed) juice from the juice section.

  1. Wazzan for fast shawarma and quick fresh juice

Located just across from Ikea on Tahlia Street, this place is no small fish, but considering its presence for more than two decades, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Known to serve up Lebanese cuisine, you can opt to dine in or take-away. The Shawarma is juicy and well paired with pickle and thoum (garlic). I usually do not leave without a tray of Falafeel and Wark-el-Anab (stuffed grape leaves). The taste has been consistently good quality, and considering its long-time presence, I doubt any local who may not have eaten here. So to be a true Jeddahian, hop on to the band-wagon as well!

  1. Kudu for its no-nonsense value breakfast, and a mean Quatro

An Arab brand, you can see Kudu throughout Jeddah, as both stand-alone and food court counters. The breakfast is surely sufficient and value for money. On days of an early morning shopping spree, this was my best choice to eat and hop to retail therapy, while remaining within the mall. Nothing lavish, but simple and clean. What did make Kudu stand out for me, is their introduction of Quatro Sandwich. Now this is not really a local cuisine, but the spicy chicken stuffed into the bun with creamy sauce, is both an ordeal to finish, and a struggle to leave unfinished. Do make sure you get the meal, otherwise, you may regret not having a drink to stop the fire on your tongue. Do not let this stop you though! It is a flavour-bursting wonder!

  1. Ruz Bukhari from the local road shop

Another value for money, with simple succulent meal offering, is the Ruz-Bukhari (ruz is Arabic for rice). This is a pairing of cooked rice, with either grilled whole or half chicken. This comes with sauces like tomato sauce and Tahini (sesame seed) sauce, and the usual salad of onion rings and gerger.

ruz bukhari

The meal is a perfectly satisfying mix for dinner, where the serving is sufficient for more than one person. Make it your weekly take-out. My place of choice was a local shop in Al- Zahra, and before that, in Al-Azizia. So shop around and look for a local provider. This meal is a yummy quick buy and completely satisfies meat eaters.

  1. Mandi

Now Mandi can be either chicken, lamb or even a camel! It’s cooked such that the meat is so tender that it literally slides off the bones.

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

The traditional way is to cook the meat while buried in the ground in the desert. However, in the city, pressure cookers seem to be doing this job for the sellers. In terms of where I like my Mandi from, I am loyal to Raydan Mandi. You can find several shops throughout the city. The one I frequent is on Heera Street. Your meat will come with abundant rice, and of course the sauces and salad. Another meal with completely different flavorus to enjoy.

The above are just some of my local treats. What are your local foods of choice? Leave a comment and let us know!

Qurratulain Sikander blogs at Quezz Lifestyle.

Zesty Zaatar Recipes to Awaken Your Tastebuds!


Some weeks ago, my neighbour gave me a wonderful gift of some fragrant zaatar (or za’tar) and olive oil. Zaatar is a very Middle Eastern flavour, and is a  blend of herbs (thyme), sesame seeds and salt. Other than dipping some bread into the zaatar and olive oil (which tasted delicious), and sprinkling some zaatar over hummus (gorgeous!), I didn’t really know what else I could do with it. I asked the nice ladies from aMuslima.com if they had any ideas, and they have been kind enough to send me some tried and tested zaatar recipes

The first recipe has been sent to us by UmmZaytun, and is a family recipe handed down to her by her mom-in-law.

“Zataar has some very unique properties – some have said it makes you smart and some say it makes you healthy”, says UmmZaytun. “This recipe handed down to me by my late mother-in-law (may Allah forgive her) is to help you relax and be healthy. It is usually taken if you aren’t feeling so well, or it can be taken to relax you or members of your family.”

Zaatar Milk (serves 2)

Ingredients

2 cups of milk (or soy, almond, lactaid milks are also fine)
2 table spoons of zataar
2 table spoons of honey (or more if you like it sweet. You can also replace with sugar if honey isn’t available)
1 table spoon crushed dry mint
**you can add other dry ingredients such as other types of dry mint, thyme – depends on if you like the flavor.

Method

1. Place all of the ingredients in a small pot.

2. Simmer on low heat until almost to boiling point.

**Don’t walk away from the pot because it will boil over! 🙂

3. To serve: strain the milk and pour into cups. Enjoy & relax!

Zaatar Pizza or Fathira Za'tar, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, KSA

Zaatar Pizza or Fathira Za’tar

Our second Zaatar recipe today has been sent in by Qathrun Nada Djamil. Pizza is a family favourite in many households. Why not try this Middle Eastern version of pizza using zaatar. A great recipe to make with your kids over the summer holidays, and for Iftaar during Ramadan.

Zaatar Pizza

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 tbsp milk powder

2 tablespoons instant yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

Half cup oil

A pinch of salt

Half cup warm water

Cup of zaatar and half cup of olive oil, mixed together

 

Method

1. Combine flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in salt. Make a well in the center. Add water and oil.

2. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until well combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes.

3. Flatten the dough and cut it in round circle (cutter circle shape).

4. Take 1 tea spoon of zaatar and olive oil and brush it (topping it) over the circle of dough.

5. Place it on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Ready to serve… You can eat hot or cold.

Enjoy!!

Do you have any recipes you’d like to share with us? Drop us an email and yours may be published on Jeddah Blog in a future blog post.

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