Every week, we’re featuring two home cooks with a love for creating, experimenting and whipping up delicious meals! Today, meet Sumaya Rahman who has discovered a new confidence in the kitchen and Islem Mechani with a classic regional recipe from her parent’s homeland – Tunisia.
Our cooking series features Qatar’s diverse and talented home chefs with a passion for food. If you’d like to be featured in our series please share your food photo on Instagram and tag @ilqlive @mama_baba_ganoush plus the hashtag #qatarhomecooks
How long have you lived in Qatar? My mother moved to Qatar with me when I was 4 months old
Occupation: Former Genetic Laboratory Technologist
Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Yes. Now I have the courage to create my own recipes and to be frank, it was born out of necessity. I have to stretch my groceries across three weeks. This means I can only work with the ingredients that I have on hand. While everyone on social media was baking bread at the beginning of the pandemic, I could not try out those recipes because I had no yeast at home. Trying out recipes used to be a hobby of sorts and pre-Covid19 I would try out a whole bunch of recipes every week. Even though I miss that, I am also enjoying my evolution in the kitchen. If my family or I crave something, I try to recreate the taste and texture with whatever ingredients I have available. Often, I end up using plenty of substitutes. Rather than looking up recipes, I spend more time researching the function of different ingredients.
What is your dish? Lotus Mehalabiya - a Middle Eastern milk pudding with my added twist of Lotus Biscoff butter.
Why have you chosen this dish? The first time I tried something similar was from Tea Time and I wanted to recreate it at home. I am pretty certain most of us have been missing our Karak and Karak sides from tea shops.
Sumaya's Lotus Mehalabiya
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Setting time: 6+ hours
5 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
6 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup Lotus Biscoff butter
10 Lotus Biscoff biscuits - crushed
A pinch of salt
For the topping:
1/2 cup Lotus Biscoff butter
How long have you lived in Qatar? Since 2016 with my husband and two-year-old son
Occupation: Former Dietitian. Stay at home mum currently studying personal training
Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Because of Covid19, I’m stuck in The Netherlands. I came here in February for a family visit. I cook a lot with my mum especially this recipe. It’s such a nice and flavourful dish. My mum makes it really well.
What is your dish? Tunisian couscous with fish (known as Marka Sfaxia). My parents are from Tunisia and this dish originated in their hometown located in the city of Sfax.
Islem's Tunisian Couscous with fish
Preparation time: 45 min
Cooking time: 90 minutes
1 large, whole fish of Dorade or Hammour (head removed – to be used for the stock).
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
3 cloves of garlic - minced
3 tbsp of virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
1 chopped onion
8 green peppers
2 chopped tomatoes
100 gms of tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic - minced
½ tbsp cumin
½ tbsp salt
Black pepper (to taste)
2-3 litres water
700 gms of couscous
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Splash of water
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