Wednesday, May 16, 2007

MAQAALI - Deep Fried Vegetables

The Arabs, particularly the Lebanese, prefer fried rather than boiled vegetables. The frying is done in the local sweet olive oil.

Many kinds of vegetables are fried, including some which are not usually prepared in this way, like tomatoes.

Eggplant is a favorite. The big round eggplant are peeled and cut into one-inch slices, sprinkled with salt and allowed to stand a half-hour before frying. The fried eggplant is eaten either hot or cold, often in combination with lentil dishes such as mjaddara, or with lahm mashwi or with kibbeh.

Marrow squash is not peeled before frying but is simply sliced about a half inch thick. Cauliflowers usually are boiled until half-tender before frying although they may be placed raw in the hot fat. Tarator bi taheeni (sesame sauce) is the favorite accompaniment for Arnabeet mekleh - fried-cauliflower.

Fried potatoes are common. Tomatoes are sliced thickly before frying. Small white onions are deep fried, too. They are peeled, but left with the tops on.

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