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| by Jasmine Kamal

Ramadan Iftar Menu: Stuffed Pigeon, Yogurt Cucumber Salad and Chocolate Baklava

Why not end Ramadan with a bang? Everyone will for sure love this very classic Egyptian Iftar menu. Pigeon is a must for a lot of people, so we paired it with some other popular favorites like vine leaves and of course baklava!

Main Dish:

Stuffed Pigeon Recipe

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Ingredients:

- 2 pigeons (or depending on the number of people joining you)

- 1/2 kilo rice

- 1 Tbsp of butter

- 2 Tbsp olive oil

- 3 big onions

- Salt & Pepper

- 2 bay leaves

Steps:

1. Wash the pigeons with water and then scrub them well inside and out using a diced onion covered in salt. 

2. Dice another onion and cook it with the olive oil until it's golden.

3. After washing the rice, add it to the onions and stir them together for a few minutes then add 2 cups of boiling water with a few dashes of salt and pepper.

4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat until the rice absorbs the water.

5. Stuff each pigeon with the rice then bind the legs together with a toothpick or a thread to prevent the rice from leaking out while cooking.

6. In a pot add 6 cups of water and leave it to boil. Get a onion and split it in half and add it to the water. Also add a few dashes of salt and pepper, the kidney and liver remains from the pigeon and bay leaves.

7. Place the pigeons in this pot and cover it. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat and leave it for 1/2 an hour. 

8. To ensure the pigeons cooked through, you can break the wing. If it breaks easily then it's ready and you can take it off the heat.

9. Now melt the butter with olive oil in a medium sized pan and fry the pigeons so they can get a nice color on all sides. 

You can take the remaining rice and serve it on the side with your meal, it's delicious.  

Side Dish:

Vine Leaves Recipe




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Ingredients:

- 1/2 kg Vine Leaves

- 2 large cups of rice

- 1 1/2 Onions

- 2 cloves of Garlic

- 1/4 tspof Pepper

- 2-3 Tbsp Tomato Paste

- 1/2 tsp Cumin

- 1/2 tsp dried crushed Mint

- 1/2 Lemon

- Parsley 

- Dill

- Ghee

- Salt

Steps:

1. Make sure you wash the rice beforehand.

2. Chop the 2 cloves of garlic into small bits in addition to chopping half of an onion. You'll also need to chop a hand full of dill and parsley and chop them into smaller bits.

3. Take 2-3 table spoons of tomato paste and mix them with half a cup of water and stir.

4. Add one spoon of ghee into the pot and turn on medium heat, then add the garlic and onions you just chopped. Once it turns yellowish, make sure to add the tomato paste with water mixture you previously prepared.

5. Following that, you'll need to add 1/4 tea spoon of pepper, 1 full tea spoon of salt and 1 tea spoon of cumin. 

6. Add on top of that mix the rice and make sure you stir properly for 30 seconds.

7. Add the chopped parsley, dill and 1/2 a tea spoon of dried and crushed mint, then stir again.

8. You'll need to leave the rice on a relatively medium flame for only 2-3 minutes maximum, until you feel that the rice is turning into reddish because of the mixture.

Rolling the vine leaves:

1. You know how the vine leaves has two corners, the upper and bottom ones? Well, you'll need to do the following, have the corner with the bigger width pointing to you, which is usually the bottom of the vine leave.

2. Start by adding a small amount of the rice mixture in the middle of the vine leave, but more towards the bigger corner. I recommend you add a very small amount for the first one just to give it a try.

3. After adding the rice, fold the left side and then the right side of the vine leave, before you start rolling it.

4. Next you'll start rolling the vine leave from the bottom (the wider corner on your side) and towards the thinner corner on your other side. It might not be easy from the first time, but once you get a hold of it, it's a piece of cake.

5. Try to roll the vine leave without leaving any space so they hold up better together.

Almost there:

1. Once you're done with all the rolling, there's not much left I promise. Chop off one onion into rings and add it into a big pot. You can also add some of the parsley and dill in that pot.

2. Start by adding the vine leaves you rolled to the pot.

3. You'll need to prepare a nice light soup with some extra salt to it (it's okay if it's saltier than usual) and squeeze 1/2 a lemon on it. Leave it to get warm for a couple of minutes.

4. Once done with that, turn on medium heat and add on top of the vine leaves the soup you just prepared. It'll need to reach a bit below the surface of the vine leaves. Put the cover of the pot and wait for a few minutes.

5. Keep checking until you notice that the soup has almost been absorbed, then lower the flame below the pan, add a metal separator and leave it to cook for approximately 20-25 minutes. You'll need to taste one of the vine leaves afterwards to check if it was fully cooked.


The Salad:

Yogurt Cucumber Salad Recipe




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Ingredients:

- 3 cucumbers

- 4 Tbsp yogurt

- 1 Tbsp finely chopped dill

- 1 tsp vinegar

- 1/2 tsp sugar

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1/4 tsp black pepper

- 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Steps:

1. Peel the cucumbers and chop them finely.

2. In a medium bowl, add the yogurt, salt, vinegar, sugar, pepper, garlic powder, dill and mix them well.

3. Add the cucumbers and mix them well.

4. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper according to your preference.


Soup:

Potato Soup with Vegetables Recipe 




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Ingredients:

- 2 diced potatoes into medium cubes.

- 2 minced garlic cloves

- 2 minced onions

- Chopped celery

-  Sprinkle of thyme

- 4 cups chicken stock

- Salt & pepper to preference

Steps:

1. In a medium cooking bowl cook the onion, salt, and pepper for 5 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, garlic, with little salt and pepper and stir for 2 minutes.

3. Add the celery, thyme, and stir for two minutes.

4. Pour the chicken stock, potato cubes and leave the veggie mix to boil.

5. Turn down the heat and leave the veggies to cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. Serve and decorate with some parsley.


Dessert:

Pistachio & Dark ChocoBaklava Recipe




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We're so excited Mariam Hamdy is making us baklava today. Her Instagram pictures had us hungry all Ramadan and we can't wait to follow along to her recipe on our Instagram stories. Watch now! 



Main Image Credits: Instagram @mariamhamdy

Find out how to make the most delicious recipes from our Kitchen section here.






Tags: Kitchen  Arab kitchen  Egyptian recipes  Egypt  Vine leaves  Soup  Soup recipes  Soups  Potatoes  Salad recipes  Salads  Yogurt  Dessert recipes  Ramadan  Ramadan iftar recipes  Ramadan recipes