Fogaiyya (Stew from Gaza City)

How sad am I about Gaza. Tragic for both sides of this argument. Both sides mostly just want a nice place to live. Just horrible.

I have been watching the streams and looking for information about the conflict and I happened upon this recipe from Gaza City. So, in honor of the souls that live in Gaza, I thought I’d share this. I am going to make this vegan.

The recipe post reads: “A popular stew traditionally made in large batches on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr in Gaza’s interior to be shared with family, neighbors and friends. Made with small chunks of beef or lamb, chard, rice and chickpeas and generously doused with lemon juice and fried garlic. Recipe from Saudi Aramco World Magazine, November/December 2011.”

Make it vegan -* Now you can use Juicy Marbles Whole-Cut Loin, but to me that may be an insult to the very strapped people of Gaza. So maybe if we are going with the beef version use one of the cheaper suggestions in the Hungarian Goulash Recipe I posted a few weeks back. Or if you want to go with the lamb version, we may be on the verge of vegan lamb. Read this hopeful article about Black Sheep Foods introducing vegan lamb on VegNews.

Anyways, pick your fake meat and let’s eat like the people of Gaza. Here’s the link to the original non-vegan recipe >>

——- Recipe ——-

Ingredients (Units: US)
* (only thing that makes it non-vegan, use fake meat instead) 450 g lean stewing beef (1lb) or 450 g lamb, trimmed of fat cut into small chunks (1lb)
1⁄2 cup chopped yellow onion
5 allspice berries
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 pebbles mastic
1 small piece of cracked whole nutmeg (or to taste, it has intoxicant properties so it is not halal)
8 cups cold water
1⁄2 cup medium grain rice, rinsed
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas (or 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked 8-12 hours or overnight)
1 bunch chard leaves, thick stems removed (approx. 8-1/2 c.)
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Wash chard well, chop finely and set aside.

*Place meat and water in a stockpot and bring to a boil, skimming any froth.

Lower heat to medium.

*Tie spices in a piece of gauze or disposable tea filter and add with onions. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender. *- You can reduce the cook time for vegan meat, read the package and follow the fake meat’s cooking directions. This time is also meant to get the seasonings into the soup, so length of cook time to taste. (maybe put the onions and spices in first to cook, and the chickpeas especially if not canned)

Stir in rice, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt and canned chickpeas. (If using dried chickpeas, add them to the meat halfway through cooking.) Cook until rice is soft, approximately 10 minutes.

Add chard by handfuls, stirring after each addition. Decrease heat to low.

Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Fry the garlic in olive oil until lightly browned.

Add to stew and mix well.

Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.

Pour into bowls, garnish with thinly sliced lemon wedges, and serve with flatbread.

I haven’t tried this yet, but I will. Good luck to the people of Gaza. Worried about you…

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