Syrian Food

Yesterday, I made Syrian food for dinner.  I wonder why Syria was on my mind?
 Jasmine rice with toasted orzo.

 Scented lentils:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ cups yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rounds, rinsed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • Cooked Jasmine or basmati rice (for serving)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned around the edges, 5–7 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, just to take the edge off garlic, about 30 seconds. Add ⅓ cup water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates, about 1 minute. Add split peas, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until split peas are very tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 12–14 minutes; season with salt. Cover with a lid and keep dal warm over low heat while you make the toppings.
  • Finely grate zest from lime into a small bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into bowl (you’ll have about 2 Tbsp.). Add red onion, sugar, and a large pinch of salt and toss, squeezing onion with your hands to help it soften quickly.
  • Mix yogurt and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; season with salt.
  • Serve dal over rice drizzled with salty yogurt and topped with onion and pepper.

 Syrian flatbread with nigella seeds and flaked sea salt.

 Kufta lamb patties.  The lentils are so flavorful and the salted yogurt and lime pickled onions send this meal over the top.  Serve the kufta over the rice and lentils.


Linda said…
I wonder why any of us are thinking of Syria? (rhetorical) What is your cooking background? Or life background that you cook so many types of food?
jaz@octoberfarm said…
just self taught! i like to be able to cook anything that interests me.
mxtodis123 said…
Looks delicious, and so healthy. Like you. I am self taught with cooking and love experimenting with different ethnic foods. Must try these lentils.
Never heard of nigella seeds before . . . must check wikipedia to see what they are.
Anonymous said…
Can't say I've ever eaten Syrian food, the closest I come is Lebanese and that I like a lot so I guess I'll like Syrian as well.

I can't say I've seen a lot of recipes with nigella seeds here in Sweden, I've only had a relative to it in my garden :-)

Have a great day!

my kind of comfort food. yummy.
Alicia Foodycat said…
Looks lovely! There is a Syrian cookbook out in the UK raising money for UNICEF's Syrian Childrens Fund, which I am feeling compelled to buy today.