Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Authentic, inspiring, home-cooked Israeli dinner for Sabbath

Today is Israel's Independence Day and an opportune time for me to share these pictures with you. Eli, my classmate from the culinary school, invited us over for an Israeli dinner and educated us on some of the Jewish Sabbath practices. See my last post on Eli when he gave us a basic introduction to Middle Eastern cuisine. The last time, I also shared Eli's chocolate cake recipe. I really do like that recipe - it's my go-to recipe for choc cakes now.

I arrived early to help Eli with some prep work and to take pictures before the dinner proper began so I wouldn't appear rude to the other guests as well. I have to be discreet about being a culinary paparazzi at the dinner table!

We were greeted by the aroma of these beautiful Callah bread, traditionally baked every Friday in time for Sabbath. Under Jewish practices, milk is not a permitted ingredient if you are baking Callah for Sabbath. It's unethical to serve lamb and milk at the same table, according to Eli's grandfather.

Look at Eli's overloaded fridge, the mark of a real home cook. This is only half of his fridge.

Beautifully roasted assorted peppers. Sweet on their own when caramelized and added so much colour to the table.

Aubergines roasted and burnt directly over open stove fire....

...resulting in this smoky, oaky, flavourful eggplant dip.

Humuus, a traditional Middle Eastern dip, with good quality EVOO, toasted pine nuts and torn parsley.

Of course, there's freshly baked pita bread at every Sabbath.

Eli and his baking stone lugged from Tel Aviv.

Green and brown olives from Damascus.

Cucumber yoghurt dip.

Beets, another powerful anti-oxidant.

Hyssop, or Za'ata, one of my past Word of the Week.

Pickled cucumber from Tel Aviv.

Ah, the Israeli sambal, I forget the actual name. So cute that he would use a Chinese bowl. So Eli.

Spread on pita dough before baking.

It was such a lovely evening getting to know and experience another cuisine, another culture, and to experience Sabbath over some good wine with new buddies from Israel, Morocco, France and Vladivostok.


  1. Oh how lovely is that! I just started to learn some Middle East cuisines. Love especially their bread. Bet you guys had a great time & good food.

  2. Hi Kristy! Thanks for popping over. I'm following your blog too. The Callah bread was absolutely divine. Any specific Middle Eastern dishes you are experimenting with at the moment?

  3. Interesting to see Israelites eating sambal too!

  4. Hmm...I have to find out the name now! I think they're more like sun-dried tomatoes.

  5. I love your blog! I'm a new follower. I'd love a follow back at sugarplumsandlollipops.blogspot.com

  6. Hi Sugar Plums and Lollipops, glad to hear you like my blog. I tried to go into yours but it's not accessible. It says, it's not registered.


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