Mom and I cooked for a Palestinian brunch for a second time and we served another bunch of happy customers. There’s nothing more pleasing than people with happy faces after sharing a wonderful meal that is filling, healthy (sort of) and flavorful.
I love how active I become when I am at the restaurant. The lazy regular me on Saturdays is surprisingly transformed into a spring jumping from the restaurant to the the kitchen two floors up across the narrow Mar Mkhayel streets, and back down with a fresh batch that mom had prepared to replace the one that was happily feasted over by friends and strangers alike. One customer in particular made our day with her genuine reaction. She got into the restaurant prior to the shift’s end with a weary face and was served the menu. As she was eating, her expression was changing to a happier one. She declared that Palestinian food is her favorite. What she had was a filling meal with round flavors and light feeling. She felt satisfied. We were satisfied. One cannot ask for a better feedback.
With my mind occupied with loads of things, my mind was clear while serving. I was aiming to get full satisfaction from customers. We aced that.
The ingredients are all common in our culture, it’s just the way they’re put together is what makes it special. We’ve got no special ingredients and nothing you have to sell a kidney for. A trip to the grocery store and the spice shop is all you’d need.
There’s a vegan dessert that we served, a traditional Palestinian one we make at home during Lent, called Malateet. In simple English, it is olive oil cookies with ground anise shaped on a rough surface to create surface texture. Anise cookies. At the brunch, people fell in love with it. They had it on its own, or dipped in apricot jam or my fresh peanut butter. They came up with the combination of their own. That seemed bizarre for us.
Shaping these cookies is a fun activity. The dough is consistent and firm, children or people with little kitchen experience can get the hang of it and messing it up won’t be a hassle. Try it and ask someone to help, it’ll be fun.
Malateet (Palestinian Vegan Anise Cookies)
Yields 2kg of
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup olive oil (or half olive oil and half vegetable oil)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ground anise
- 1 tbsp sesame
- 1 tsp ground mahlab
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup water (according to need)
- Mix all the ingredients , except water, in a large bowl
- Add water according to need and mix by hand, adding as much water as needed until the dough comes together
- Take pingpong-sized balls of dough, roll them in your hands into a rough long oval shape
- Push the dough onto the largest side of a box grater, pushing it gently with 3 finger and sliding down until it curls and gets textured
- Arrange in baking sheets, close but not touching and bake in 200ºC preheated oven for around 12 minutes, or until they’re golden, bottom and top
- Store in an airtight container and they can last for a couple of months
We are pleased to inform you that Cookin5m2 will be starting to sell these cookies.
Contact us on cookin5m2[@]gmail.com for orders and questions.