RISHTA – HOMEMADE SOUP NOODLES
Rishta are homemade thin noodles that are very popular in Libyan cuisine. These noodles are steamed over a pot of boiling water, just like couscous. Originally, they were prepared and cut by hand, but nowadays, they are made using a pasta machine. This dish is best served with pomegranate seeds, citrus blossom water and cinnamon.
Makes five servings. Dough:
500 g. flour, sifted ¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil 1¾ cups water
1-1 ½ cups water 3 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. citrus blossom water 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Add the flour, salt and oil to a bowl and then gradually add the water. Knead well. Split the dough into 8-10 equal-sized pieces and roll them into balls. Flour each ball well and then insert them one by one into the pasta machine. At the beginning, use numbers 6 or 7 to make thick strips. Dust them with flour and put them through the machine again another two times on the same thickness. Now, change to thickness to 4 or 5, and put pasta strips through machine another two times (sprinkling with flour each time). Next, change setting to a thickness of 1, 2 or 3 and put dough through two more times. Cut strips to desired length.
It’s very important to sprinkle the dough with flour each time you put it through the machine so it doesn’t stick. Each time you put the pasta through on the same number, it gets a little thinner. You can prepare them until they reach the desired thickness. Hang them to dry for 30 minutes.
To prepare the water for steaming, fill the pot until it’s ¾ full and then place the couscous pot with holes in it on top of the steaming water. Heat the covered pot over a medium flame and bring to a boil. Place the dried dough strips in the couscous pot above, making a little space between each noodle. Cover and steam for 20 minutes.
Transfer noodles to a bowl. Carefully pour half of the boiling water on top of the noodles and carefully separate noodles as they absorb water and oil.
Then, return the noodles to the couscous pot and continue steaming them for another 20 minutes. Transfer noodles to the bowl again and pour remaining water on top of them. Separate noodles gently and then pour off water. Sprinkle with oil, citrus blossom water and cinnamon.