Nutty,  crunchy, slightly floral and not overly sweet. An irresistible combination that makes stopping at just one of these Babouches or blighate nearly impossible!

For the July Muslim food bloggers challenge, we were asked to make a recipe in which honey is one of the key players in terms of flavor. I have already missed the past 2 MFB challenges and was determined not to miss this one!
At first I was going to make a kale salad with a honey mustard dressing (my go to lunch lately in our 44 C summer) but the bag of sesame seeds that my mum sent me a few months ago to make karakeesh was never put to good use and we’re leaving for a vacation in three weeks, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use it up.

Babouches a honey and sesame dessert from morocco.jpg

With the daring kitchen and the secret recipe club coming to an end and me no longer taking part in Darna magazine , I found my self looking for a new challenge, something to push me outside of my comfort zone into trying new recipes, meeting new people and learning more about all the hidden gems different cuisines have to offer.

Today’s post is my first challenge with the MENA cooking club, if you don’t know about it, here is a little background from their “about ” page:

Mena Cooking club was started for foodies worldwide who have a love of trying new things. You do not have to be Middle Eastern or North African or have a connection to them you just have to have an appetite to learn more about beautiful food cultures. We will go through the countries in alphabetical order with a host, choosing a savory and a sweet dish, then each member prepares the recipe of their choosing . Together we will share our creations and what we have learned. We hope to make new friends, learn more about food and just have fun.

Parda plau the ultimate Iraqi rice and pastry dish.jpg

I am really excited for this new adventure and I look forward to taking you along with me every month on a new culinary journey in the Middle East and North Africa.With fewer commitments on my plate , I also am really looking forward to blogging more frequently, working on my videos and youtube channel (please subscribe if you haven’t already) but most importantly reconnecting with many of my blogging friends who I have missed dearly.

This Turkish dip happens to be one of my all time favorite mezza, right after homemade hummus! It is smoky , packs a real flavor punch with layers of  herbs, nutty walnuts, sweetness from the sundried tomatoes and smokiness from the pepper. I love this on pita bread or with pita chips, as a dip with baby carrots or cucumbers, it is heavenly with lavash crackers, you can also use it as a topping for pizza or manakeesh.

turkish-spread-with-roasted-peppers-and-walnuts

This spread plays on the same flavor notes as Muhammara but the flavors here are more intense because there is no bread crumbs to dilute them . I also love the refreshing herb and spice notes in this Turkish spread that are missing or less pronounced in Muhammara