In the Old Town of Sharjah one occasionally feels as though one is in Paris – that perhaps has something to do with the street-lamps that have been chosen to illuminate the painstakingly and luxuriously restored mud-constructed settlements.
Spicy crushed wheat with vegetables
Jareesh is among the few culinary dishes typical mainly for Arabian countries. «Jareesh» can mean the whole dish or just the crushed wheat that plays the primary role in the preparation of the dish. Essentially, it is broken wheat that is cooked in a spicy sauce. There are innumerable and starkly varying recipes for its preparation. Some are cooked with lamb or chicken, others with chicken stock, milk or buttermilk – and a few even have a pat of yoghurt added to them at the end. The main difference is the amount and type of spice added to the dish: cinnamon and cloves go into most recipes, but some also include bay leaves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, garlic etc. Some cook Jareesh to a sticky porridge-like consistency, while others like it with more of a bite.
We have opted for a vegetarian variant here, close to the one that Hektor Maille relished one evening in the restaurant «Al Maskoof» in Sharjah. The vegetable used can vary with the season: potatoes, turnip, white carrots, zucchini, peppers, peas etc. Whosoever likes it sour can add a pinch of lemon juice at the end – which though results in making the spices somewhat less strong in presence. However, if the Jareesh is being served with lemony Foul (as in this case), one should stay away from the lemon (otherwise, it would mean having two lemon-dominated dishes together on the table). Jareesh is a perfect accompaniment to grilled lamb.
In Europe crushed wheat for some reason is not so easy to be found. You can replace it e.g. with crushed spelt. Some recipes propose Bulgur, which seems us less suitable - as the latter is precooked.
200 g crushed wheat
1 heaped tablespoon tomato mash (concentrated)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 big onion, finely chopped
1 stalk cinnamon, broken
1 piece ginger, the size of a walnut, finely chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 sweet potatoe, peeled and chopped
100 g green beans, in pieces of 2 inch
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
Some more salt
poss. 4 tablespoon lemon juice
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
First Publication: 31-12-2009
Modifications: 25-1-2011, 19-6-2011, 14-11-2011, 14-12-2011