Monday, July 28, 2014

Guest Post: JUMA Kubba Mosul

Eid Mubarak everyone! May Allah shower His blessings on us and accept our departed as martyrs.
I have the great pleasure of introducing the writer behind MCW's first guest post, the amazing Iraqi food enthusiast Philip from London. Philip is the founder of JUMA (, showcasing Iraqi and other Middle Eastern food. He has been hosting pop ups cooking authentic Iraqi food and aspires to one day opening his own restaurant. This short video ( shows Philip in action, in addition to which he has hosted a number of evenings at restaurants, where he's taken over the kitchen for a night and introduced people to Iraqi dishes like Dolma, Kubba Haleb, Kibbeh Hamuth amongst others.
My sincere thanks to Philip for taking time off from his incredibly busy schedule and offering to do this delicious and extra-special Kubba Mosul (كبة موصل) guest post. We wish you speedy success and hope to see JUMA Kitchen in London, New York, Doha, Dubai, Tokyo, and eventually even in Baghdad some day!
Please take a moment to follow Philip on twitter @Juma_Kitchen and ‘like’ his Facebook page so you can follow his journey of putting Iraqi cuisine on the map!

JUMA Kubba Mosul


For the outta layer:
- 500g lean beef mince
- 4 cups extra fine bulgar (Cerish)
- 2 cups normal bulgar
- salt

For the inside:
- 600 – 800g lamb mince (with fat)
- 2 medium onions
- JUMA spice blend (black pepper, all spice, cinnamon, cardomen, cloves, rose petal, & nutmeg)
- Pine nuts
- Salt

- Rolling pin
- Large sandwich bags (Cut on one side) or greaseproof paper


1. Mix together the fine bulgar and the cerish with your hands, using a some water to assist with the binding process.

2. Pass through a siv – removing any excess liquid.

3. Take the beef mince and add to the bulgar mix.

4. Season generously with salt.

5. Mix briefly with your hands, and then add to the blender.  While blending, add a splash of water.  After 1 minute, check the mix and you are looking for a thick dough that is elastic in texture, but stiff.

6. Finely chop the onion.
7. Place pine nuts in a pan and heat with a little oil.  These burn easily so don’t leave the pan alone.  Keep moving the nuts around so they all become golden. Drain excess oil from the nuts.  Set aside.

8. Now for the filling, blend the lamb, onion, 2 tablespoon of salt, and 3 heaped teaspoon of JUMA spice.  This is what is looks like...
How to roll and make the Kubba Mosul.

1. Prepare a smooth, clean surface.

2. Wet your hands and place some drops on the surface (This will allow the sandwich bag to stick)

3. Place a sandwich bag down (You can use greaseproof paper if need be) and lubricate the top of sandwich bag, as you did on the kitchen surface.

4. Take a ball of dough, the size of a small tennis ball and place in the centre. Place a sandwich bag on top again.
5. Begin rolling with a rolling pin.  Start from the centre and roll outwards.  Don’t worry if its not a perfect circle.  You can correct this later.  The main thing is to aim for a diameter of around 3mm.
6. Slowly uncover the top layer.

7. Depending on the size of your kubba, place a mould/plate over the top of the flattened bulgar and cut around the border removing any excess.  Don’t throw it though, add it back into the bulgar mix.

8. Once you have achieved a neat circle, you can begin adding the mix.

9. Place the mix in the centre of the disc and begin spreading it, from the centre to the edges. Also, add the pine nuts. Please allow for a 1.5 cm gap from the edge of the disc, as you need this area to glue the discs together.
10.Repeat steps 4 and 5 to create a lid to go over the lamb/pine nut mix.

11.Once you have rolled and cut another disc shape, remove sandwich bag from the top layer, however keep the bottom bag.  Slowly remove the disc and bag from the surface using your hand underneath to support the disc. Then fllip it on top of the pine nuts.
12.Keep the sandwich bag on the top layer and push down on the edges ensuring an air-tight disc.
13.Remove top layer of the bag slowly and smooth all surfaces and edges using wet hands.

14.IMPORTANT: Please leave to stand for around 40 minutes to allow for the kubba to glue together as you do not want any water to get into them when you boil them.
15.Once all discs have rested, you are finally ready to boil them.
Gently, place them in simmering water in a wide, shallow saucepan.
As soon as they begin to float, place on kitchen roll to remove excess liquid.

16.Once cooled, place in the freezer.  You can now grill, fry or boil to order.
I personal like to pan fry them in some olive oil serve them with “Camel” mango pickle.

Friday, July 25, 2014

656. Parmesan Filo Crisps

Salty Parmesan and herbs encased in a paper-thin crisp pastry dunked in honeyed luscious thick yogurt does sound strange indeed, but it is a combination you would have to try to believe it works.
Inspired from Ramsay's TV cooking show, this came from the Middle Eastern episode, which is what made me venture to try it despite my reluctance. I liked the combo, and would readily make this bourag again. Others preferred it without the honeyed yogurt, but like I said, just give it a chance.


4 Tbsp (50g) butter, melted
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 large sheets filo pastry
olive oil, for frying
freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
1 cup Greek or strained yogurt
2 Tbsp runny honey


Trim sheets of filo pastry to a large square.
Brush the sides of the square with melted butter, then brush a diagonal line from one bottom corner to a top corner, effectively dividing the squares into two triangles.
Sprinkle a quarter cup of the cheese over the surface of the square, avoiding the brushed parts.
Sprinkle the cheese with a pinch of thyme and pepper.
Fold the cheese from the bottom corner to the top corner, pressing on all the brushed areas to adhere, Vut the large triangle into two smaller triangles along the diagonal line of melted butter in the middle.
Repeat for the remaining three sheets and ingredients.
Brush a large pan with some olive oil and fry the eight triangles one or two at a time for 1-2 minutes per side until golden and crispy.
Marble the honey into the strained yogurt and serve alongside the crispy pastry.

 صحة و عافية

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

655. Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Bites

These chocolate-covered frozen banana-peanut bites can almost be pulled of as healthy.
Dark chocolate? Superfood.
Bananas? Potassium bank.
Peanut butter and coconut oil? Healthy fats and filling.
Good for the occasional treat, great for treating any child.
Some kitchen tools make this a breeze to assemble, but you don't need anything special. A piping bag facilitates adding the peanut butter on the banana, but you can also use a spoon (it's just a bit messier and longer). Pouring the melted chocolate in a narrow glass for dipping also really makes coating the bites easier and faster. Fast is key in the chocolate-coating process: the bites are semi-frozen, and will cool the temperature of the melted chocolate. If you do not work fast enough, you might have to re-melt the chocolate.


2 ripe but firm banana
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
150g dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil


Slice the banana evenly into about half centimeter discs.
Pipe the peanut butter on one side of half the banana discs.
Top with the remaining half of banana discs.
Holding the sandwiched bananas between your thumb and index, carefully insert a toothpick in the center all the way down.
Freeze the lot for about half an hour.
Heat the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in a clean, dry glass bowl over steaming water until melted.
Pour the melted chocolate in a narrow glass about half way.
Dip the semi-frozen banana pops in the chocolate to coat, let drip off the extra, and place on a plastic-lined plate.
Freeze and enjoy frozen whenever you fancy.

 صحة و عافية

Monday, July 21, 2014

654. Chicken Coconut Korma

I am very intrigued by the depth of flavor coconut milk lends to a dish.
I first tried it in the chickpea vegan curry and I absolutely loved it.
This chicken korma was reminiscent of my mother's delectable chicken curry; delicious yet different.
I am beginning to be proud of my growing Indian food repertoire :)
I adapted the recipe from Favorite Family Recipes.


Chicken marinade:
450g chicken breasts sliced thin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp sugar
2 medium tomatoes, lightly blended (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups natural yogurt
1 tsp. salt
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1 tsp. garam masala (an Indian spice)


Marinate the thinly sliced chicken in the spices for at least an hour.
In a large sauce pan, put the oil, garlic, and ginger over medium heat until it starts to simmer.
Then add the remaining spices (except salt and masala) and sugar and simmer for another minute.
After that, add the blended tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the yogurt and blend in with a wire whisk.
Then stir in the chicken pieces and salt.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and garam masala then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes fairly thick.
Serve with rice.

 صحة و عافية

Saturday, July 19, 2014

653. Griddled Garlic Butter Flatbread

These flat breads don't even need an oven, nor hours of resting and kneading.
I have adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe to my food processor, giving me a working dough in seconds.
A minute or two on either side in a searing hot griddle pan and I got beautiful charred and fluffy flat breads.
Excellent as is, they were brought up to a whole new level when brushed with a garlic-herb butter.


2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking powder 
1 3/4 cup natural yoghurt

For the garlic and herb butter (optional): 
2 cloves of garlic 
a bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill 
1/2 cup butter


Add all the flatbread ingredients to a food processor and mix until a dough forms.
Tip out the dough onto a clean surface and bring together.
Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate, then leave aside while making the butter.
To make the garlic butter: Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the crushed garlic and finely chopped herbs, then set aside.
Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball).
Pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick (about the size of a saucer).
Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 2 cm at each end.
Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.
Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle, then pile onto a serving board and serve while still hot.

 صحة و عافية

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

652. Qamr Al Deen Apricot Drink

Qamr Aldeen (قمر الدين) is a tangy-sweet apricot fruit leather that was my absolute favorite candy as a child.
During Ramadan, it is quite popular to make a juice from this thick apricot leather. One summer when Syria had seen better days, I observed women sitting in their front porch boiling huge pots of fresh apricots picked from their own garden destined to be qamr aldeen.
Indeed, the best qamr aldeen I have tasted comes from Syria.
So to make the drink, the fruit leather is cut up into smallish pieces and soaked in water for a couple of hours or overnight in the fridge.
You then blend the mixture, with a bit of sugar and orange blossom, and there you have it.
Due to its natural sugar content, it restores the vitality of a fasting person very fast.


400g qamr aldeen apricot fruit leather
4 cups boiling water
4 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp orange blossom water


Cut up the qamr aldeen into smallish pieces and put in a bowl.
Add the sugar and boiling water to the qamr aldeen, cover and set aside for a couple of hours (4 hours is good enough, or overnight in the fridge).
Add the orange blossom water to the mixture, and blend the lot until smooth.
If the drink is too thin for your linking, dilute it in some water.
Chill it before serving.

صحة و عافية