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Eating out
Local dishes
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Machboos Al Samak
Recipe by Laila Abdullatif, Dubai from Sustainable fish recipes published by the Choose wisely campaign
Approximately 6 –8 servings

4 cups water
1 kg rice
1 kg Shaari Eshkeli (pink ear emperor) fish cut into fillets or pieces
3 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
a few curry leaves
100gm of cooked black-eye beans
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 kg of chopped fresh tomato
3 pieces dry lemon
2 tsp of mixed spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric)
1 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
oil for frying.

Clean the fish thoroughly and fry in oil on frying pan until partially cooked. Sauté the onion, garlic and curry leaves until brown. Add the fresh tomato and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, mixed spices, dry lemon, coriander leaves and beans. Cook for 5 minutes. Add fish, rice and 4 cups of water. Simmer until rice is cooked.

Recipe by Laila Abdullatif, Dubai from Sustainable fish recipes published by the Choose wisely campaign
Approximately 6 –8 servings

1 kg Faskar fish fillets (two-bar seabream)
1 kg fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
handful of chopped fresh coriander
handful of curry leaves
handful of fenugreek leaves
2 pieces of dry lemon
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp mixed spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili powder)
salt to taste
oil for frying

Fry fish in oil until partially cooked. Sauté garlic, onion and curry leaves until brown. Add fresh tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mixed spices and dry lemon. Add chopped coriander and fenugreek. Cook for 5 minutes. Add fish and 4 cups of water and continue to cook on low heat. Serve with rice

Hot-smoked Green Tea Souli Wraps
Recipe by Micki Johnson, Dubai from the Sustainable fish recipes published by the Choose wisely campaign
Approximately 6 servings

4 large Souli fillets (approx 1.5-2 kg of Souli – small-tooth Emperor)
4 green-tea bags
½ cup of white rice
½ cup demarara sugar
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

6 white flour tortilla shells or wraps
½ mayonnaise or yoghurt
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Juice of 1 lime, a handful of mint, roughly chopped, salt and pepper to taste

Line a pot with aluminium foil. Open teabags and pour green tea into bottom of foil-lined pot. Add rice and brown sugar to bottom of pot. Place strainer or steamer basket into pot. Lightly coat the Souli fillets with oil, season with salt and pepper, and place into strainer. Tightly cover the post with lid and put over a high heat under extractor fan or outside. Leave pot over high heat until smoke starts to escape from under the lid. Don’t open the lid. Turn off the heat and leave fillets to smoke for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, open lid, remove fillets, which should be cooked and have a brown smoke coating. Flake the fish, add mayonnaise or yoghurt, tomatoes, olives, onions, cheese, lime juice, mint and salt and pepper. Fold into wraps or tortillas.

Falafel Sandwich with Tahini Sauce
Recipe from Suzanne Husseini’s When Suzanne Cooks published by Motivate.
Makes approx 60 falafels

1 cup peeled, split fava beans, soaked overnight in 3 cups cold water
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight in 3 cups cold water
1 cup fresh coriander
½ cup fresh parsley
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 spring onion
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small potato, boiled
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 ½ baking soda
½ cup sesame seeds
peanut oil for deep-frying
sliced tomatoes to garnish
parsley and mint to garnish

Drain the chickpeas and fava beans. Place in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the baking soda, until fully combined. Don’t over process.

Just before frying add the baking soda to lighten the falafels. Heat the oil to 190?C. Shape the falafel patties and dip one side in sesame seeds. Slowly slide it into the oil. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with tahini sauce, tomatoes, parsley and mint, wrapped in pitta bread.

Tahini and Parsley Sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 2 lemons
½ cup tahini
½ cup yoghurt
½ cup chopped parsley
sea salt

Mix the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, yoghurt and parsley until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. Serve with falafel.

Recipe from Suzanne Husseini’s When Suzanne Cooks published by Motivate
12 or more servings

Lamb Shawarma
1 fresh leg of lamb, de-boned and butterflied, trimmed of excess fat
1 tsp each of cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg
½ tsp mastic ground with 1 tsp of salt
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper

plenty of pitta bread
tahini sauce
1 cup fresh mint and parsley
2 tomatoes, sliced
12 gherkins (optional)

Mix all of the dry and wet ingredients to make a marinade in a large glass bowl. Place the butterflied leg of lamb in the marinade and rub it all over. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

Next day, take out the meat and allow to come to room temperature. Grill on barbecue for approximately 45 minutes, turning halfway.

When cooked to your desire, remove, cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes before slicing thinly. To assemble the shawarma, fill a warm pitta bread with thin slices of meat, add a few leaves of fresh mint and parsley, the gherkins and tomato slices and drizzle with tahini sauce.

Chicken Shawarma
6 chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic, mashed
juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
3 bay leaves, broken into pieces
2 tsp cardamom
½ tsp of cumin and cloves
1/tsp mastic ground with ½ tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a large bowl. Place the chicken breasts in the bowl and rub all over with the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

10 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp water

To make the toum, place all the ingredients escept the oil and the water into a small food processor and purée. While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. The sauce will come together and look like creamy mayonnaise. Lastly add the water. Store in the fridge. Next day, barbecue the chicken on medium heat until well done. Remove and cover with foil to allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices.

To assemble, spread some toum on warm pitta bread. Fill with chicken slices, mint, parsley, tomato and pickles.

The shawarmas are good on their own or served with potato wedges, hummus, moutabel and a selection of pickles.

1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight in cold water or 2 tins
of chickpeas
1/3 cup of chickpea liquid
4 tbsp of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tbsp low-fat yoghurt or 2 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil
paprika or cayenne

If you are using the soaked chickpeas, change the water and cook for approximately one hour until tender. Remove as many skins as possible and save some of the liquid in which the chickpeas were cooked.

Drain the tinned chickpeas if using these and save some of the liquid.

Place all the ingredients, except the chickpea liquid into a food processor and blend to the required texture. Garnish with olive oil, cayenne or paprika and a few reserved chickpeas.

Serve with warm pitta bread and or sliced raw vegetables

4 aubergines
4 tbsp tahini
½ cup of yoghurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
olive oil, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds

Pierce the aubergines with a fork and place in a very hot oven, turning frequently until the skin is char-grilled. You can also do this over a flame. Allow to cool and drain. Slice in half, remove flesh and mash. Add tahini, yoghurt and garlic, salt and mix well. Gradually add lemon juice. Garnish with the pomegranate seed, pine nuts and olive oil.

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