Invite your friends to break the fast: Green your holy month of Ramadan with this delicious, simple vegan couscous and Egyptian roqaq pasty recipe.
It’s Ramadan time again. This year the 30-days of fasting falls in the uber heat of August and that means any chef can throw in the summer dishes that are usually not found in the traditional Ramadan menu. We have already brought you several summer time recipes, as well as new takes on watermelon, but here is another vegan or vegetarian option with a fun, exciting and intriguing Middle Eastern-styled Iftar.
Salad: Couscous with greens and olives
This fulfilling and nutritional summer salad can act as a main dish on its own. A traditional Moroccan styled dish that just livens up the summer months with its neat texture.
1 cup Couscous,
1 cup Kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup Parsley finely chopped,
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (available at all supermarkets)
2 tomatoes without skin (soak in hot water for 5 minutes and then remove skin)
2 cups (steamed or lightly boiled) Broccoli
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs cinnamon
Chili to your liking
Start by adding the spices to the Couscous and cover; set to side and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, mix it with the parsley. Add the mixture to the Couscous. Next, add in the olives and top with the broccoli and sprinkle some olive oil on top. Serve cold.
Main dish – Egyptian Roqaq with vegetables
Note: Roqaq is thin-layered wheat strips. You buy them hard and soften via water and they are used similarly to lasagna.
This traditional Egyptian lasagna-style dish is commonplace in restaurants, cafes and in the home. Usually served with ground beef and loads of cheese, we have taken them out to make it inviting and tasty for the non-meat eaters around. It’s still just as good, if not better.
5 layers of Roqaq pastry
1 1/2 cup Vegetable stock
2 cups olives, finely chopped
1 large onion or two medium ones, sliced
2 garlic gloves, minced
3 cups bell peppers, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
(you can add soft cheese if you are not vegan and nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan if you are)
Begin by preparing the filling. Fry the onion lightly until it becomes transparent; add the garlic and stir. Next, add the peppers until they become soft. Remove from skillet, add the olives and set to the side.
Tip the Roqaq layers one by one quickly in the room temperature vegetable stock until they become semi-soft. Do not prolong this process or they can get mushy. Add some olive oil to the round and semi-deep tray. Add the first two layers then add in the filing, then add the remaining layers of the roqaq.
Bake in the oven over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes.
Take out and serve with leafy green vegetables.
Serves: 2-3 people