Chickpeas with spinach:
- 500 g coarse-leaved spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion in rings
- can chickpeas (drained weight 265 g)
- 1 roma tomato
Sesame sauce with parsley:
- 2 tbsp tahina (sesame paste)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 150 g all purpose/plain flour
- 3 eggs (L)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 aubergine (approx. 350 g)
- peanut oil
Suma and Fatma’s house is located across the Nile in Luxor, near the Valley of the Kings. We wait for breakfast in the high reception room with couches. It takes a while, because it is a hot meal and Suma and Fatma are working on the ground with oil sets. And how! When they come in with their bowls full of steaming golden brown aubergine patties and beautiful chunks of farmer’s bread, I think timidly about my own kitchen equipment: how much simpler can it be! At least for betingan maqli (fried eggplant), with sesame sauce and parsley (tahiniya bi‘l bakdunis), a royal Egyptian breakfast that can also be enjoyed as a main meal. Especially with the (Syrian) side dish I propose here: chickpeas with spinach (hummus bi sabaneh). On the picture: Suma at her oil burner.
- Shrink the washed spinach on high temperature in the adhering water. Drain, chop coarsely. Heat the oil in a skillet. Sauté the onion rings with the chickpeas. Then plant plugs of spinach between the peas. Garnish with tomato wedges. Serve hot or cold.
- Mix tahina with the crushed garlic, a little lemon juice, chopped parsley and enough water to make a thick sauce. Season with salt.
- Shake the flour in a bowl. Beat in eggs and salt. Add so much water that it creates a thick type of pancake batter. Season with the crushed garlic and parsley.
- Peel the aubergine and cut into 1 cm slices.
- Heat a thick layer of oil in a frying pan until very hot. Dip the aubergine slices into the batter and brown them in the oil, turn over and brown the other side. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve hot with the tahina sauce and chickpeas.
- Appetizer: white cheese with cucumber (gebna beida bi khiar).Mash 100 g feta and mix with 2 tablespoons chopped spring onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, black pepper to taste and 4 tablespoons peeled cucumber (without seeds), cubed. Decorate with fresh mint leaf.
- Dessert: melon balls with dates (battich we tamar). Especially tasty with galia melon. Cool for an hour. A very old trick: cookery writer al-Baghdadi (13th century) already tells you how to make dried out dates look fresh again. A hole in a watermelon was cut at the stem attachment, and was hollowed out with a spoon, so that the juice remained in it. Dried pitted dates were then put in to be taken out after 24 hours. Delicious!