Tag: Food blog

What is your favourite street food? Part 6

Bakdash ice cream, street food Syria

Street food LEBANON

Food in Lebanon is the essence of each gathering. Most of the Lebanese food is done with olive oil, garlic, onions, mint. Lebanese dishes are known to be very healthy and don’t contain many fatty ingredients. Nowadays, it is very popular in Lebanon to do the Food markets. This is how important food is in the country.

I’ve heard many times as well many Lebanese friends nagging about how they hardly they find food places opened when they are in a foreign country. In Lebanon, there are 24/7 opened restos, and mainly they are close to the pubs and nightclubs. And most of these places are Lebanese food and not the junk and fast food type.

The most popular street food is as follows, the majority is done with Lebanese bread:

  • Shawarma sandwich chicken and meat.
shawarma sandwich, street food Lebanon
shawarma sandwich-Taste of Beirut
  • Mankoushe or Sajj (a thinner type of mankoushe) with Thyme, Cheese, Labneh, Meat, etc… with vegetables are the most wanted breakfast street food.

Labneh with vegetables.


Lahm Baajine can be eaten with pepper and lemon and with laban aside.

Zaatar, with vegetables

Saj mankoushe

  • Falafel can be eaten with or without bread. It is made from crushed chickpeas that are deep fried and served in Lebanese bread with vegetables and tahini sauce.
falafel middle eastern food chickpeas health food, street food Lebanon
falafel middle eastern food chickpeas health food
  • Knefeh mostly eaten in the morning but before it used to be only in the early mornings or after midnight, but nowadays can be found in a few places all day long. We can serve it as a dessert as well.
Knafah, Knafeh | by watashiwani, street food Lebanon
Knafah, Knafeh | by watashiwani
  • Shish taouk & Kafta.
chicken shish taouk, beef kabobs and Kafta, street food Lebanon
chicken shish taouk, beef kebabs and Kafta
Image credit- Pinterest
  • Ice cream, the standard flavours or the Ashta ice-cream.
The Lebanese Bakery: Daily baked "kaak", street food Lebanon
The Lebanese Bakery: Daily baked “kaak”
Image credit- TripAdvisor
  • Kaak, filled with Picon, Cheese, Thyme.

And many other delicious creations. Lebanese are known for mixing food together to get something extremely delicious at the end.

You may also like to read [button link=”https://bestplacesofinterest.com/street-food-italy/” newwindow=”yes”] What is your favourite street food? Part 5[/button]

Street food Syria

There is not much to say about falafel, it has its own fame. Chickpeas dough, fried in hot oil, it can be eaten alone or in a sandwich with tomatoes, pickles and tartar sauce. It is cheap and tasty, can be found everywhere in Syrian cities.

Shawarma is a very, very popular meal in the middle east. It’s usually chicken meat, but you can find also beef or lamb meat. It is Very delicious, an average price for an amazing meal.

Aljetaily Meat Fatayer | by Samiha.Aljetaily, street food Syria
Meat Fatayer | by Samiha.Aljetaily

Manakish/Fatayer. A dough cooked on round pan and topped with thyme(Zaatar), halloumi cheese or red pepper sauce. Originally from Damascus, it spread all around Syria and Lebanon. Perfect for a park promenade!

Pinterest Mshabak with honey, street food Syria
Mshabak with honey.

Last but not least for the dessert, we have Mshabak/Loqmat al-Qadi. They are pretty much the same but the shape is different. A fried wheat dough, dipped fast while hot in sugar syrup, with a pinch of cinnamon and it’s ready to be served! This sweet is perfect for the cold days of winter.

Arabic Ice cream/Bekdash Ice cream.

Bakdash ice cream, street food Syria
The famous ice cream of Bakdash, one of Damascus’ eternal attractions
Image credit-LookLex

This is a very special kind of sweet, it’s originally from Al Hamidiah Souk, Damascus. It’s made from cold sweet cream, rolled in a plenty of pistachios. Many tourists visit Al Hamidiah to eat this delicious ice cream

Saha w Hanaa, Bon appétit!

So, what is your favourite [tweetshareinline tweet=”#streetfood” username=”wizmagic1″]?


Six London Cheap Eats For Under £10

Six London Cheap Eats

Cosmopolitan cities like London offer the best food choices from all over the world. From outdoor markets to small shops, you can find gourmet world cuisine for less than  £10. Even better, these places are scattered throughout the city so you don’t have to venture far if you rent a house in London.

Here are six of our favourites for undeniably good (and affordable) eats in London.

Roti King- London cheap eats
Image source: http://www.theveryhungrylondoner.com/roti-king/

Roti King

No one complains about the queue at Roti King because the food is worth it. This authentic Malaysian wonder has people lining up for amazing roti. Roti is a buttery Southeast Asian flatbread, in this case, filled or topped with curry, minced meats, or fish.

Dessert gets its spot, too, in roti with caramelized bananas, coconut jam, or a heap of vanilla ice cream.

Under £5.

Location: 40 Doric Way, Euston.


Pies from Pieminister London cheap eats
Image Source: http://www.pieminister.co.uk/

When it comes to what to eat in London, there really is never such a thing as too much pie. Pieminister offers up British classics, like beef, kidney, and venison. They have new spins, too, like chorizo, curry, and feta.

Around £4.50 for pies; meals still around £10.

Locations: Farringdon, 91 Leather Lane; Gabriel’s Wharf, Southwark, 56 Upper Ground.


BAO serves its unique, steamed, soft bun filled with an array of tantalizing flavours and textures. Try the Taiwanese street food classic, with slow-braised pork dusted with peanut powder. Or maybe try the veggie daikon, confit pork, fried chicken varieties, and more.

Don’t forget dessert at BAO, either: fried Horlicks Ice Cream.

Around  £4 each.

Two locations: Netil Market, Hackney and 53 Lexington Street

 Herman ze German
Herman ze German London cheap eats
Image source: http://www.cool-cities.com/herman-ze-german-22854/

With sausages made in the Black Forest back in the old country, Herman ze German knows its wurst. Options include chilli, smoky pork, veal, and even a seitan version for vegetarians. There’s something here for everyone to love when looking for the best food in London. Ask about the guest wurst for something special.

Around  £5.

Three locations: Charing Cross,19 Villiers Street; Soho, 33 Old Compton Street; and Fitzrovia, 43 Charlotte Street.

cheap foods in London
Mike and Ollie

Flatbreads and wraps are done up here with seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. Mike and Ollie keep it easy-going and comfortable with prices to match. For something different, check out their manti, which are handmade Turkish-style dumplings crammed with flavour.

About £7.

Locations: Brockley Market, Lewisham; Manti Street Food Stand, Flat Iron Square Food Court, 68 Union Street.


Dishoom London cheap eats
Image source: http://www.dishoom.com/food-drink/

This London restaurant is essentially Iran by way of India. Dishoom recreates the Bombay cafe-style of Iranians in exile right in London.

For breakfast order the Kejriwal–fried eggs on chilli toast. Or savour Murgh Malai any time, with its chicken in garlic, ginger, coriander stems, and a dash of the creamy marinade. There are also lots of veggie options.

Most dishes around £7, with plenty for less.

Four locations: Covent Garden, 12 Upper Street; Carnaby, 22 Kingly Street; Shoreditch, 7 Boundary; King’s Cross, 5 Stable Street.

We’ve just scratched the surface of the vast options for cheap eats in London. Explore those little shops off the beaten path, but don’t miss the dozens of food stalls at the public markets. You really can do London on a budget and find amazing dishes!

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Recipes with Curry leaves

recipes with curry leaves

In my earlier post, I covered curry leaves and its benefits. The following are 2 delicious recipes to try out.

Curry leaf chicken


1 piece cinnamon

2 cloves

3 cardamoms

1 tsp each fennel and cumin seeds

1 tbsp. peppercorns

1 cup loosely packed curry leaves + 20 more curry leaves

3 tbsp. oil

3 garlic cloves chopped

 1 tsp ginger paste

3 green chillies halved

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup sliced shallots or small onions

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander powder

250 gms boneless chicken


Method: Dry roast the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, cumin and fennel seeds and peppercorns, until aromatic (for about 2 minutes) Add the cup of curry leaves and continue sautéing for two more minutes. Cool, and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, fry the garlic and ginger paste for two minutes, stirring continuously. Add the green chillies and sauté for a minute. Add the turmeric powder and stir.

Add the onions or shallots and salt and fry until the shallots soften. Add the extra curry leaves as well as the ground masala and fry until well incorporated. Lastly, add the coriander powder and the chicken and stir fry and continue cooking until the chicken is soft and tender and cooked through.

curry leaf chicken recipe
curry leaf chicken


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Chicken 65


750 gms boneless chicken

Marinate for 30 minutes with ½ tsp tandoori colour,

2 tbsp. brown vinegar,

4 tbsp. red chilli sauce,

1 tsp garam masala, salt, chilli powder and sauf powder,

2 tbsp. fried browned onions,

2 tbsp. tomato ketchup,

4 tbsp. plain yoghurt,

2 tbsp. corn flour,

1 cup oil,

40 curry leaves chopped,

 6 whole red chillies,

1 tbsp. each chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste,

 1 tsp each, jeera (cumin seeds) and kalonji (Nigella) seeds.


Heat the oil, fry the curry leaves, chillies, ginger and garlic paste until browned. Add the chilli powder, jeera, and kalonji seeds and when sizzling and golden add the chicken and cook until cooked and has a glossy sheen. Add more oil while cooking if needed.

curry leaf recipe-Chicken 65- By Amiyashrivastava [GFDLhttp://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
curry leaf recipe-Chicken 65

recipes with curry leaves

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How best to use curry leaves in your cooking?

curry leaves how to use them

Curry leaves or kadi patta, as it is also known, is a staple in Indian dishes. The curry leaf is humble when compared to fancier aromatic herbs like cilantro, coriander, thyme, rosemary etc., but curry leaves add that pizzazz and a powerful punch and flavour to any dish they are added to.

Curry leaves are a common and extremely easily available seasoning that has not received its proper status in the international culinary world as it is a lesser known seasoning in the Western world. It always plays the part of a supporting hero in a dish rather than the star of the dish.

Curry leaves
Curry leaves

Curry leaves have a spicy, lemon like and bitter flavour that cannot be replicated with any other ingredient. Curry leaves are best in flavour when used fresh. Dried curry leaves have virtually no fragrance and taste and a common misconception is to substitute curry powder. The truth is that curry powder has no curry leaves, it is, in fact, a melange of different spices.

Occasionally, I have experimented using curry leaves with my roast meats instead of traditional herbs like rosemary or thyme and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It tasted great with roast chicken! Also, a light tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves with plain grilled fish is also delicious. But then I am quite a fan of the curry leaf. It also pairs well with roast potatoes and sour cream.

Curry leaf plant
Curry leaf plant

The curry leaf tree starts small but grows quite tall with a trunk, often reaching a height of about 13-30 feet. The leaves grow with about 11 or 21 leaflets to a branch. The plant also produces small white flowers, which can self-pollinate to produce small shiny black berries or fruits containing a large viable seed. Though the berry pulp is edible- it has a sweet but medicinal flavour- in general, neither the pulp nor the seed is used for culinary purposes.

Try including curry leaves in your day-to-day daily cooking and please don’t discard the leaves whilst eating but eat them for a healthier life. Also, encourage your children to eat curry leaves for all their health benefits so by the time they are old enough they will have been habituated to eating curry leaves daily.

Properties and benefits

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Because of its aromatic properties, curry leaves have vast uses in soap making, body lotions, potpourri, room fresheners, body fragrances, perfumes, bath and massage oils, aromatherapy, spas, incenses’ and hair treatments. The essential oil found in curry leaves are believed to slow down the greying of hair.

The plant has been extensively used in traditional medicines in eastern India. The essential oil extracts from the leaves and seeds have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The root and bark are also used for medicines as they are a stimulant.

The health benefits are innumerable as curry leaves are packed with carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E. Curry leaves help your heart function better and fight infection and enliven your hair and skin with vitality.

As curry leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid, which is mainly responsible for carrying and helping the body absorb iron as curry leaves are a rich source of both the compounds, it is one stop natural remedy to beat anaemia.

Not only do curry leaves help in lowering the blood sugar levels, but also help to keep them in check for a few days after the administration of curry leaves. Curry leaves help your blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity of the body and reduces one’s blood sugar levels.

The type and amount of fibre contained within the leaves plays a significant role in digestion and altering the way your body absorbs fat, thereby helping you control your weight. Since weight gain is one of the leading causes of diabetes, curry leaves treat the problem of the root.

Curry leaf juice is supposed to be good for digestion as well as aiding in controlling acidity. A decoction of curry leaf root and ginger is beneficial for stomach aches. Curry leaf paste mixed with buttermilk is very effective for a stomach upset.

Curry leaf juice with cardamom powder is said to be a home remedy for urinary problems.

Curry leaf powder with lemon juice and a little jaggery is a natural remedy for controlling morning sickness. Dried curry leaves consumed with hot water or milk help to cure chronic anaemia.

Stay tuned in for recipes with curry leaves.

curry leaves how to use them

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How to prepare Caesar Salad?

How to prepare Caesar Salad

The Ultimate Caesar Salad

If you have read my earlier post on Caesar Salad, then here is the ultimate Caesar Salad recipe…

[tweetshare tweet=”How to prepare the Ultimate #CaesarSalad? #food #foodie” username=”wizmagic1″]

Ingredients: 4 chicken thighs, with bone and skin

1 lemon, cut into 2 halves

4 unpeeled garlic cloves

100 gms- day old white crusty bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces

150 gms, kale leaves, stems discarded and torn into bite size pieces.

8 rashers smoky streaky bacon/chicken bacon

1 large head romaine lettuce

Parmesan shavings for serving.

Dressing: ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce,

2 anchovy fillets,

1 egg yolk,

 75 ml light olive oil,

2 tbsp. finely grated parmesan,

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6. Put the chicken, lemon halves and garlic cloves in a small roasting dish so that everything fits snugly. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove the pan and lift the chicken, lemon, and garlic from the dish and throw in the bread cubes, turning them over so they soak in the pan juices. Continue roasting the bread for 12-15 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and put them in a food processor with the juice of the lemon halves, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies and egg yolk. (The egg yolk could be half boiled or coddled in boiling water for a minute or two if you have concerns about consuming raw eggs).

Whiz ingredients together, and then with the food processor still running, slowly trickle in the oil until you have emulsified the sauce. Stir in the parmesan and black pepper. The alternative is to pound by hand using a mortar and pestle, which is the traditional way. Put the kale leaves in a large salad bowl and roll them rather than toss them in about two tablespoons of the dressing (this helps soften the kale leaves) and set aside.

Turn the grill to high and grill the bacon for 3-5 minutes on each side, until crisp; set aside. Remove the skin from the chicken and grill for 2-3 minutes on either side, until golden. Shred the chicken from the bones. Now build the salad. Tear the lettuce leaves into bone sized pieces and place on individual serving plates with shards of bacon, kale, chicken, and croutons. Sprinkle parmesan shavings and drizzle the remaining dressing before serving.

Caesar Salad

How to prepare Caesar Salad

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Gotta Have It Simple & Easy To Make 37 Heavenly Caesar Salad Recipes!

How to Toss the Perfect Caesar Salad

How to toss the perfect Caesar Salad

A Caesar Salad is a salad of romaine lettuce leaves and croutons, dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic and black pepper and is often prepared tableside. Variations could include other varieties of lettuce, grilled chicken or shellfish, capers, Romano cheese and crisp bacon.

Caesar Salad

Who invented it?

There are many claims as to who invented the Caesar Salad. The common myth is that Caesar Salad was named after the Roman Emperor but that is supposedly just a myth.

So, who invented the Caesar Salad? This is fun but at the same time a very controversial story. It is about two brothers from Italy that stumbled upon something that would become the emperor of salads. Caesar Cardini was born near Lago Maggiore, Italy, in 1986.

He and his brother, Alex, emigrated to the US after World War I. The Cardinis lived in San Diego but operated a restaurant in Tijuana to circumvent prohibition. Caesar’s daughter Rosa (1928) recounted that her father invented the salad when a Fourth of July, 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies.

Caesar Cardini made do without what he had, as he didn’t want to disappoint the customers and created or rather concocted the salad by preparing it at the table to add drama and flair. The salad soon became a hit and people came to the restaurant just to have the salad.

Others claim that the original name was Aviators Salad as Alex Cardini was a pilot for the Italian Air Force during World War I before he moved to the US and joined his brother Caesar in Tijuana.

The way this story weaves itself is, it was prohibition and the Hollywood set went to Tijuana to party at Caesar’s Place as it was extremely popular. After a long night of partying and drinking and missing curfew, a group of Rockwell Field Air Force pilots woke up at Caesar’s and Alex made a salad for breakfast that morning and this is what we know today as Caesar Salad.

That morning Alex called it Aviator Salad in homer of his flying buddies, but as the salad gained popularity with visitors from Southern California it evolved into Caesar Salad.

Julia Child’s Memoir

It is also worth mentioning as the salad’s history would not be complete without this input from Julia Child.

Julia Child dined there as a child, and remembers little titbits, but is certain that did have Caesar Salad made by Caesar himself. According to her, she remembers that her parents did order Caesar Salad and Caesar himself rolled out the big cart up to the table and tossed the romaine in a great big wooden bowl. The romaine was not chopped but left in whole leaves.

Caesar felt that the natural shape of the leaves was a perfect scoop with a handle so thus it could be eaten with fingers. So, the leaves were arranged on the plate with the tips to the center and the stem outward for easy eating.

Royal twist to the tale

In the book In Search of Caesar, The Ultimate Caesar Salad Book by Terry D. Greenfield, it is stated: “In Europe, Caesar’ Salad was also beginning to make an appearance. The legend attributes the salad’s debut across the ocean to Walls Warfield Simpson (mistress and ultimately wife of Prince Edward VIII of Wales, former King of England). Simpson often visited and partied in the San Diego and Tijuana areas in the 1920s. It is said that Simpson met the Prince of Wales there, at the Hotel Del Coronado.

During this time, Simpson visited Hotel Caesar’s Place and became fond of Caesar Salad and was sometimes an overbearing guest demanding that Caesar himself toss the salad at her table-side, creating quite a fuss.

It is also that because of Simpson’s extensive world travels, Caesar Salad was introduced to many of the great European restaurants by her instructing international chefs as they struggled to recreate the dressing to satisfy the soon-to-Be-Duchess of Windsor’s discerning palate.

Another contender

Supposedly, there is also another chef who claims he is responsible for Caesar Salad! Giacomo Julia, an Italian cook in Chicago, Illinois, claims the salad was invented by him in 1903.

Giacomo Junia was the cook in a small restaurant called the New York Café. He catered to American tastes and created the salad and called it Caesar Salad after Julius Caesar the greatest Italian of all time.

Junia never thought that the salad would be so popular and was more surprised than anyone when patrons started to ask for it.

Now, it is up to you to decide which story is true, but until then let’s enjoy Caesar Salad without having to worry about who was responsible for creating the most popular salad the world has ever known!

How to toss the perfect Caesar Salad

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To be continued…


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