Israeli Dinner night: Sharing a taste of home

by Karen, Yael & Roni

Yael, RoniTraveling to other countries provides a wonderful opportunity to experience new cultures and cuisines. But sometimes we all miss a taste of home. Yael & Roni, two community members from Israel, decided to cook some dishes for us from their home country, resulting in a beautiful, memorable and delicious evening!

At New Life, we are fortunate to be able to support our meals with products that are generated on our grounds. In preparation for the dinner herbs and vegetables were gathered from our garden, our ducks provided eggs,and milk from our cows was made into yoghurt. A team was assembled to help in the kitchen. Community members were able to interact and work toward a common goal while having fun and supporting each other in the way that cooking together can provide. The local Thai owners of the popular Mama’s cafe next door joined us for dinner and added a traditional papaya salad dish to the menu.

The wonderful experience of the meal nicely reflects a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh “We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood..” Thank you Yael & Roni!

Falafel, Israeli Dinner

Falafel balls – for 30 balls:

  • 500g chickpeas

  • A small bunch of coriander

  • A small bunch of parsley

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • half an onion

  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 200g bread crumbs

  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight for 12 hours in the fridge. Place drained chickpeas in a food processor, add garlic and onions, process until blended but not pureed. Add remaining ingredients and blend together. Place the mixture in the fridge for one hour. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. Heat oil in a saucepan or a wok. Fry one ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little bit more flour to the mixture. Then fry a few balls at a time until golden-brown. Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Enjoy!!

Shakshuka, Israeli Dinner

Shakshuka – for 6 people:

  • 10 ripe tomatoes

  • 10-12 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • hot chili (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Put the tomatoes in hot water until you are able to peel off the skin.
Cut the tomatoes into cubes.
Finely chop the garlic and the chili.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add garlic, chili and paprika stirring quickly so the mixture doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes and lower the flame. Stir. 
Cook for 20 minutes, add 1/3 cup of water if necessary, stir occasionally.
Then, add the tomato paste and all the spices. 
Taste and if sour, add a little sugar.
Break the eggs over the surface of the tomatoes one by one. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes to complete cooking.
Garnish with parsley before serving.

Enjoy!!

Couscous Salad, Israeli Dinner

Couscous Salad – for 4-6 people

  • 1 package of couscous prepared according to instructions

  • 200g chopped coriander

  • 200g chopped parsley

  • 100g chopped mint

  • 5 teaspoons of olive oil

  • 100g of squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 pomegranates (only the seeds)

Mix all the ingredients. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Salad, Israeli Dinner

Vegetable salad – for 4-6 people:

  • 4 cucumbers

  • 8 tomatoes

  • 1 onion

  • 100g parsley

  • juice of 1 lemon

Finely chop the vegetables and mix well. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower, Israeli Dinner

Roast Cauliflower 

Roast one head of cauliflower large enough for 4 – 6 people

Serve it with Tahini drizzled over the top

Labane (yoghurt dip)
1 liter yoghurt
1 tablespoons olive oil
Dash of paprika powder
Drain water from yoghurt by placing it in a tea towel and hanging it in the fridge for 4 hours
Add olive oil
Garnish it with paprika powder.

Chocolate Balls, Israeli Dinner

  • 250g butter biscuits

  • 100g butter (melt in microwave)

  • 7 tablespoons of sugar

  • 6 level tablespoons of cocoa powder

  • 8 teaspoons of milk

  • grated coconut

Crush the biscuits into small pieces.
In a small bowl add the butter, milk, cocoa powder and sugar, stir then whisk. Add the mixture to the biscuits. Stir well using your hands. With wet hands, start rolling into small balls. Roll the balls on a plate covered with the grated coconut. Put in the fridge for 3 hours or more before eating.

Enjoy

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