Soul Food Recipes

Presented by Helena Lee

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Soul Food Recipes

5 to 6 chicken thighs (approx. 1 per person) wash, pat dry and cube
• Ghee for cooking chicken
• 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
• 50g pine nuts
• 5 small long eggplants (or one large round) salted and drain for as long as possible
• 2medium onions, sliced (optional)
• Heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
• 2 teaspoons mixed spice
• 1 tspn salt and ¼ tspn black pepper
• 1 Cup Basmati Rice, washed and drained
• Zucchini is a good option
• Can also be made with minced pork, beef or lamb so then the cooked mince forms another layer in the assembling process.
Try it. It’s delicious and adds a unique flavor to the finished product.

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In a heavy-based pan, dry-fry pine nuts until lightly browned; set aside.
Re-heat pan with about ½ tablespoon of ghee until hot. In small batches, brown –up chicken and set aside.
Re-heat pan with tablespoon of ghee and lightly sauté eggplant.
Set aside.
Re-heat pan; add cumin seeds and a teaspoon ghee and fry till seeds are dark, then add onions and garlic.

To assemble dish using a large, heavy-based saucepan: first add pine nuts, then chicken (and/or mince), eggplant, then onion mixture. You can repeat the layering process two or three times if you wish. Carefully add rice, 1 ½ cups cold water and ½ tspn salt. Sprinkle with more mixed spice. Cover, bring to the boil, and then simmer very slowly for about 20 minutes with lid on.
Do not remove lid nor stir during the steaming process. When rice is cooked allow the saucepan to stand for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving dish. Do the turning –out process carefully. If you have used a non-stick saucepan then the food will remain intact and in the shape of a dome.
Good luck. Remember practice makes perfect.


Soul Food Recipes

Use chicken thighs, or your favorite cuts of beef, lamb or pork. Cut into cubes.
1 Cup fresh basil
1 Cup fresh coriander
6 cloves fresh garlic
1 onion
Juice from ½ lime
Salt to taste
½ fresh chilli (2 inches) (optional)
Tbspn olive oil
Put all the above in a blender and make a paste. Add meat to marinade, mix well and let stand for a while. When skewering the meat use pieces of fresh onion and/or capsicum and add to skewer at random. Cook on a hot barbeques or use a griller.

To make vegetarian skewers you can use Red capsicum, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomato, pineapple, fresh sweet corn – basically anything you like. You can use the same marinade as for chicken skewers or keep it simple and sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with your favorite sauces.


Soul Food Recipes

• 1Tabspn ghee
• 1 onion (sliced or diced)
• 2 bundles of snake beans cut in 1 inch bits
• 1 cup zucchini, cubed
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped or smashed in mortar and pestle with pinch salt)
• 3 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
• 6 spring onions, cut in 1 inch bits
• 2 large sprigs fresh basil, chopped roughly
• 1 tbspn mixed spice
• 1 tspn salt (or to taste)
Fry onion in ghee till golden brown, and then add fresh tomatoes. Cook for a minute then add garlic, mixed spice, salt and veggies. Throw in basil.
Cook on high heat for a couple of minutes first, then reduce to low heat, covered for 15 minutes or till cooked to your preference.


Soul Food Recipes

• 1 Lebanese cucumber finely diced or grated
• 1 clove garlic, crushed.
• 1 tspn salt
• 1 tabspn dried mint
• 500g Natural yoghurt (cow, sheep or goat)
Smash the garlic with the salt, add dried mint and diced cucumber. Stir well and then mix with the yoghurt. Mix well.
Serve chilled. Yummy with Kafta or any grilled meat but not with fish as it does not digest well with any seafood.


Soul Food Recipes

• Large bunch parsley chopped finely
• 1 cucumber sliced
• 2 tomatoes diced
• ½ red onion sliced thinly
• Fresh oregano
• Few sprigs of mint
• 2 spring onion chopped small
• 2 celery stalks diced
• ½ red capsicum sliced
• Cos lettuce leaves or iceberg lettuce leaves
• Black pepper
• ( add cooked chicken or sliced cooked meat and change the salad into a warm summer salad delight)

Green Salad Dressing

• Juice of 1 lime or lemon or balsamic vinegar
• Clove Garlic, crushed
• tspn salt
• 3 tabspns Olive oil
• Pinch of sugar (optional)
• 1 teaspoon seeded mustard
Put all the above ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Use to flavor the salad mix.


Lightly bash fresh olives. Soak them in cold water for 3 days (changing water every day). Drain. Steep olives in sea salt for 3 days, turning every day. (Best to use a box with holes in the bottom, so bitter dross can drain out).

Drain, wash well. IF the olives still taste too salty, then soak in fresh water for another day. Taste an olive to see if it is as you prefer. Then drain well and fill into jars with lemon wedges and /or garlic pieces. Use best quality olive oil. Be sure to cover olives completely with oil. Let them stand for about 4 weeks before using.

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Soul Food Recipes

• 1kg. lamb mince
• 2 large onions diced finely
• Salt to taste (approx. ½ Tbspn)
• ½ Tbspn mixed spice
• 1 tabspn ghee, or 2 Tabspn olive oil
VARIATION: When the lamb and diced onion is cooked, you can add fresh diced tomatoes or tomato paste,, chilli powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, sweet or hot paprika for Moroccan style topping) Don’t forget salt to taste.

Cook lamb mince and diced onion together in the ghee. Add salt and mixed spice. When ready and cooled a little, add the extra following ingredients.

3 Tabspns pomegranate molasses (“Parap Fine Foods” in Darwin sell it)
• 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 2 cups fresh mint finely chopped
• 2 Tabspns tahini (also from Parap Fine Foods)
• salt to taste
One packet frozen puff pastry sheets, - thawed just before using and cut into quarters.

Add the Extras to cooked meat and onion mixture. Mix, taste and adjust.
Spread meat mix onto pastry squares, curl/pinch up corners to make open pies, or you can fold in corners of sheets to make closed pastries. Try rolling them too.
Place on baking paper, on trays. Bake around 200 to 220oC (medium-hot oven) until cooked, approx. 15 to 20 mins.
When cooked, drizzle with tahini sauce and add fresh mint and enjoy this delicious pastry.


Soul Food Recipes

Fresh cauliflower cut into florets
Fresh olive Oil
Put cauliflower florets in saucepan, cover with cold water and add salt (1/2 tabspn approx.) Roll-boil for 30 seconds only, then drain – run under cold water to halt cooking process.
Heat fresh oil and when HOT, fry cauliflower, turning until golden brown. Drain cooked cauliflower on kitchen paper.
Make tahini sauce and drizzle over cauliflower. Delicious wrapped in fresh Lebanese bread.


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Use one cup tahini paste and mix with lemon juice from about 2 – 3 lemons until it is smooth and creamy. Finely chop fresh parsley, rub with salt and add to tahini. Also add smashed garlic. Taste and adjust flavor. If too thick add more water or lemon juice according to your preference.
It is delicious drizzled over savory rice dishes, salads, on its own as a dip or on your favorite sandwich.


Soul Food Recipes

• ½ cabbage or any kind you like (finely sliced)
• 1 large clove garlic smashed in mortar with pestle
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Drizzle of olive oil
• ½ teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients to sliced cabbage mix well and enjoy. It is especially good with red meat shaslicks or garlic chicken.


Soul Food Recipes

1kg meat mince (500g beef, 500g lamb or use one kind of mince)
2 Large Onions diced finely
• One heaped tspn “mixed spice”
• ½ Tabspn salt
• (can add garlic, chilli, spices, tomatoes)
Variations: use the above for meatballs, with or without pasta, make Spanish beans by adding 4 bean mix, tomato paste and paprika to taste, make a saucy meatball casserole with vegetables and rice as a side dish, use as hamburger patty by adding diced tomato, parmesan and parsley salt and pepper to raw minced meat. The list of variations is long. Make some of your own.)

Back to making Kafta.
Knead mince with mixed spice and salt.
Put onions and parsley in food processor, chopping well.
Add to raw mince and knead well to blend ingredients.
You can make patties, long fingers of meat, or put on skewers.
Grill on hot barbeque or use a griller.
Delicious when eaten with yogurt and/or green salad.


Soul Food Recipes

• Pork, beef, lamb bones, or chicken carcass
• 6 peppercorns
• 6-8 bay leaves fresh or 2 -3 dried
• 1 ½ Tabspns salt
• Unpeeled Vegetables (can also add tomatoes, swede, parsley and stalks, turnip and parsnip)
2 carrots
2 Onions
3 stalks celery with its leaves
Young outer cabbage leaves.
Put meat bones in stockpot and cover with cold water with ½ tbspn salt; bring to the boil and roll-boil for 30 seconds only, then toss out water.
Wash/rub meat with hands under cold water to wash away the dross. Add cleaned meat to pot and cover again with cold water. Wash vegetables, chunk them and add to pot as well as all other ingredients.
Bring to the boil and low-boil/high simmer for 2 – 3 hours (medium heat)
Strain off juice and meat for stock. Donate veggies and bones to the dogs.


Soul Food Recipes

2 x large eggplants, salted, drained, pat-dried
• 2 x roughly chopped brown onions
• 1 x medium white sweet potato (cubed)
• ½ Large Green Capsicum (cubed)
• 1 cup frozen green peas
• 6 – 8 cloves garlic (smashed in mortar and pestle with touch of salt)
• 2 Tbspn Vegetable Oil
• 1 Tbspn Cumin seeds
• 1 tspn Salt
• 1 large chilli (chopped)
• 2 Star Anise
• 1 Cup Milk (or one can coconut milk or coconut cream)
• Juice from ½ lime and 1 teaspoon sugar
• 4 lime leaves or fresh curry leaves
• 2 Tabspn curry paste of your choice (used Hogan’s
Malaysian Fish curry paste)
You can make this a dry curry, or a wet one!
Heat oil in pan, fry cumin seeds till dark brown, add diced onion and fry a bit. Then add curry paste and cook it for a bit too. Then add chilli, garlic, eggplant, sweet potato and cook for a minute only. Then add the milk or coconut milk.
Cook for around 45 minutes. Towards end of cooking time add capsicum, peas, salt, lime juice, coconut cream, Star Anise.
Stir well. Adjust flavor.
Serve with Traditional noodle rice.


Soul Food Recipes

1 Cup hand-crushed vermicelli or egg noodles
• 2 cups white rice, washed and drained well
• 3 cups of cold water or stock
• ½ tabspn ghee
• Salt
• 4 x cardamom pods(optional)
Heat Ghee in saucepan, lightly brown-up vermicelli. Add drained washed rice; cook briefly, before adding water. Then add cold water, salt and cardamom pods. (Check level with your little finger as shown in class).
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Do not open lid for 20 minutes. Rice will be cooked perfectly. Fluff up rice with a fort not a spoon.


Soul Food Recipes

1 clove garlic (smashed with pinch salt)
• ½ to 1 Cup Tahini
• Juice of approx 2 ½ lemons or limes (pips removed)
• ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Mix garlic and tahini with lemon juice until mix goes creamy and smooth. Beat until desired consistency reached. Add a touch of water if mixture is too thick or too lemony. If not lemony enough add more to please yourself. Rub chopped parsley with a sprinkle of salt and add to tahini.
This sauce is delicious drizzled over rice, as a dip, drizzled over fried cauliflower, with salad and roasted vegetables. Also enjoy with meat and falafel.
Especially good with Laham –Bi- Ajeen.

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You can use whole Fish (Jew fish, Rock Cod, snapper, bream etc.) OR fillets
For whole fish, clean, fillet, or cut into steaks, reserving off-cuts for fish stock.

Soul Food Recipes

• Cleaned fish head and off-cuts
• One cup vegetable oil
• Flour and salt (spices optional)
• 3 Spring Onions (cut in 2cm sticks)
• ½ Leek
• 2 Carrots
• 2 x Celery Stalks and leafs
• 2 sticks Lemongrass cut into 2 inch bits
• 1 x tail of fennel (add after water)
• Salt and Black Pepper
Dust fish head and off-cuts with flour and salt. Using a heavy-based saucepan add vegetable oil. Heat oil till hot and fry head and off-cuts until well-browned. Add sprinkle of salt while frying.
Once browned, add spring onions and roughly chopped vegetables to the pan. Fry for a few minutes.
Cover with cold water, add extra salt, pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45minutes to one hour. Strain off veggies and use the broth for soup or rice or simply enjoy the goodies in the soup without straining it.


• 1 can straw mushrooms
• 1 Leek and one onion sliced finely
• 1 can bamboo shoots (small)
• 2 cups beef stock from day 1 (optional)
• 2 – 3 litres fresh fish stock
• Fresh coriander 3 garlic cloves chopped
• 3 shakes fish sauce
• Add fresh green prawns at end of cooking process.
Sauté leek and onion in veggie oil. Add all other ingredients. Adjust flavor and enjoy.


Soul Food Recipes

• 3 cups Fish Stock
• Fish steaks or fillets
• 2 inches of Ginger, thickly sliced
• 10 x spring onions, sliced
• 1 cup fresh chopped coriander
• Drizzle of Thai fish sauce and lemon juice
Add fish stock to a wok and bring to boil. Then add fish steaks, ginger, and a sprinkle of salt, coriander, fish sauce and lemon juice. Cook gently with a lid for a few minutes. Sprinkle with finely sliced spring onions when cooked. Serve with rice and/or salad.

Soul Food Recipes Rice with Nuts

• 2 x fish fillets, floured, cooked lightly in oil and set aside.
• 3 medium onions sliced, cooked till very dark but not burned. Add 4 cups water and boil for about 15 minutes, strain and set aside for the rice.
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 cups basmati rice washed and drained
• 3 ½ cups onion water (see above)
• 1 cup slivered almonds sautéed
• 100g pine nuts sautéed
• One tabspn ghee
Fry Fish in hot vegetable oil with skin-down, until well-browned. Remove fish and when cool break into pieces and set aside.
Heat ghee and lightly fry almonds and pine nuts. Set aside. Add rice and onion water to a saucepan suitable for cooking rice. (ie. A heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid.) Add teaspoon salt. Cover with lid. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Before 20 minutes are up for rice cooking time, add a quarter of the fish pieces and nuts. Cover again and finish cooking time. Stir into the rice the nuts and fish pieces. Serve rice and cover the top with the rest of the fish pieces and nuts. Soul Food Recipes Voila!
This rice is delicious drizzled with tahini sauce.


• 1 Bunch Kale, shredded (use young stalks only)
• 3 cloves garlic diced finely
• 2 inches ginger diced finely
• Squeeze of lime
• 1 x red chilli and 1 x green chilli
• 3-4 shakes oyster sauce
• 2 Tabspns vegetable oil
Heat oil and fry garlic, ginger, chilli. Add kale and oyster sauce. Simmer with lid on for 10 minutes. Delicious with savory rice or just on its own.


• 1 bulb of fennel sliced
• ½ red capsicum sliced
• ½ cabbage shredded
• ½ red onion finely sliced
• ½ cup fresh oregano chopped roughly.
Dressing: salt to taste, smashed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice. Mix altogether. Soul Food Recipes Yummy.

Soul Food Recipes Dipping Sauce

Soul Food Recipes

• ½ cup red wine vinegar
• 2 lumps palm sugar
• Dash fish sauce
• Dash lime
Boil vinegar and sugar for 10 minutes. Cool. Add fish sauce and dash lime juice. Adjust flavor.
Serve with natural oysters or drizzle on rice. Use as a dipping sauce for spring rolls too.

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Thank you all for attending this course with me and I hope you all will experiment and come up with your own unique versions. What was presented was traditional fare from Tripoli, North Lebanon cooked by the excellent chefs from my mother’s family traditional kitchen. Go well. I hope you enjoyed the course as much as I did.

Much love and peace,

Master Chef in Soul Food Recipes
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