Palestinians know how to create magic in the kitchen. This skill, combined with their hospitality and never ending generosity make my face smile, my stomach filled up, and my soul energized.
Here is a recipe from the mother of the olive farmer Iman from Wad Ahmed who I worked for last week. I was invited to eat as much stuffed zucchini, kussa, (cucumber look’alike vegetable) and eggplant, batinjaan, in a yogurt sauce along with the side dish, tomato stew with minced meat and chick peas, as I wanted. And let me make this point clear – «Ana biddi akol, akol EKTIR» (Arabi: I wanna eat, eat ALOT)
Stuffed eggplant and zucchini
Make a mixture out of boiled rice, 1 cup, and lentils, or beef meat, 1 pound. Add fried onion, chili and garlic, together with some olive oil and water.
Wash 20 eggplants and zucchinis. Roll and press them with the palm of your hand against the kitchen counter to soften the vegetable and make coring easier. Remove the inside of the vegetables and rinse the inside to remove any remaining seeds. Stuff the vegetable with the mixture, and leave it in the fridge for a day. The next day you boil the stuffed vegetable in a sauce of yogurt, tomato and water for two to three hours. Add spices to the sauce – garlic, salt and pepper.
Fri the minced meat together with onion. Make a sauce by adding crushed tomatoes, three cups water and spices (?), pepper and salt. Leave it to boil. Add the chick peas.
Saha! – Bon a petit!