Pita Bread

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Pao Arabe

Pita Bread is so easy to make, the perfect pair for Hummus! The warm and rich flavor of the Arab cuisine that reached Portugal and Brazil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tea-spoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 table-spoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tea-spoon dry yeast

Directions:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Dissolve yeast in water and add olive oil.
  3. Make a hole in center of flour and add yeast mixture, then slowly knead mixture to make a soft dough.
  4. Turn dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  5. Place it back in the bowl, brush top with a little extra olive oil, cover with a plastic wrap and set aside, in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
  6. Punch dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and divide it in 6 balls.
  7. Roll each ball in to a circle or oval shape about 1/3 inch thick. Brush each one with a little more olive oil, cover them back and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, pre heat oven to 400F. Place 3 pita circles on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. You will need to pans or bake in batches.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes or until they puff up and are golden brown.

So Yummy!

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Hummus

 

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Garbanzo Bean Dip

Hummus comes from the Arabic word meaning “chickpeas”

Believe it or not but Brazil is home of one of the best hummus you can find. The History of Brazil and Syrian/Lebanese immigration go as far as the Ottoman Empire when  Arabs conquered Portugal and became new Christians “Moors”. During the colonization of Brazil many of the colonists were the new christians and they brought with them to Brazil, their culture. The influence of the Moorish in Brazilian food is rich.  Moorish cuisine has been fully integrated as Brazilian food. Today there are approximately 7 million Brazilians of Syrian/Lebanese descent. You will find Arab Restaurants everywhere and Middle Eastern food as part of the main Brazilian menu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked Garbanzo beans or 2 cans drained
  • juice of half a Lemmon or lime
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground cummin
  • salt to taste
  • 2 table spoons Tahini (optional)*
  • mint leaves to garnish

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except for mint leaves and process until creamy and smooth.*
  • Place hummus in a serving dish, drizzle some extra olive oil and garnish with chopped mint leaves. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

*If you remove the skins off the garbanzo beans you will have a silkier puree.

* It can be difficult to find Tahini, when Tahini is added then you have a Hummus bi Tahini, but it is not necessary for just making garbanzo bean dip.

Serve with Pita bread, following is a recipe for homemade pita bread

 

 

 

 

 

Marta’s Vegan Orange Cake

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The original recipe for this cake was given to me by a dear Brazilian friend, Marta Caputo. This cake is super moist and light . It will please everyone. It is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.. enjoy!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 and 1/2 cup of Brown sugar.
  2. 3/4 cup of sunflower oil or coconut oil.
  3.  1 cup of  orange juice divided in two parts.
  4.  Zest of one orange.
  5. 1 cup of cake flour .
  6. 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  7. 1 tbsp of baking powder.
  8. 3/4 cup of applesauce. ( the applesauce substitutes the eggs ).
  9. 1/4 cup raw sugar.
  10. 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a blender , food processor or cake beaters, mix apple sauce, sugar, oil, half a cup of orange juice and orange zest.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and flour and baking powder.
  4. Place dough in a floured Bundt cake mold.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fork comes clean from the center. Let it cool for 10 minutes and transfer cake to a serving platter.
  6. Mix the other half or orange juice with the raw sugar. Prick the cake all over with a fork and drizzle the orange sugar all over perforated parts. Dust with powdered and sugar!