RISHTA – HOME­MADE SOUP NOO­DLES

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - FOOD -

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

For steam­ing:

1-1 ½ cups wa­ter 3 Tbsp. oil

Sea­son­ing:

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.

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