Saudi Arabia Creamy Tomato and Chickpea Soup {Recipe}

I was sent the cookbook The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Middle Eastern Cooking by Habeeb Salloum from Tuttle Publishing.


It focuses primary on recipes in the Arab Gulf region and has to be one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen in a long time.


I was pressed for time this week to look for dinner options for our Mawlid al Nabi celebration tonight and took the cookbook with me on the bus to work. {Mawlid al Nabi commemorates the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), in Saudi Arabia. This annual Islamic holiday is celebrated by many Muslims around the world.}


On the bus, I caught my seat mate leaning in, reading over my shoulder and by the time we reached our destination, she had already asked where she can buy it.   The photos were so eye catching that she couldn’t resist.


The book is broken up into the traditional chapters (salad, soup, chicken, seafood, drinks, desserts, etc) and includes an opening chapter on popular condiments and pickles.  The intro is a well written explanation of the diversity of modern Arab Gulf cooking, followed up with useful tools and essential ingredients. Reading the chapter on the spices, nuts and vegetables unique to the region made me long for the smells I experienced in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.


The recipes include tips and notes on everything from how to stuff a lamb to which meals are best served family style. The stunning chapter introductions explain the dishes and their influences from surrounding regions. Finally, the resource guide includes Arab stores country wide where tools and ingredients can be found.


I’d like to share the recipe for the Creamy Tomato and Chickpea Soup. But you don’t have to wait for the annual Mawlid al Nabi to enjoy this yummy delicious meal, you can make this anytime.


(Readers of the blog will note the similarities of this dish to the Egyptian Tomato and Chickpea Soup we made a few years ago.  This version includes a few differences, most notably, the addition of fresh cilantro, an herb introduced historically by Western Asia to the area.)



4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 minced onions
4 cloves garlic, crushed to paste
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
6 cups water
2 cups stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch of ground red pepper

Pour the oil into a large saucepan with a lid and place over medium heat. Add the coriander leaves and onion and saute for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool, slightly.

Purée, then return to the saucepan, adding more water if desired. Reheat and serve.

We served our soup with a side of naan bread.

To enjoy more Arab food we have tried, please check out

Egyptian Ful Medames {Recipe}

Hot Algerian Lasagna {Recipe}

Lebanese Lentil Soup {Recipe}

Or stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see out more recipes from the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region.

Be sure to check out the book The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Middle Eastern Cooking by Habeeb Salloum from Tuttle Publishing or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.

Palestine Landscape Notebook {Tutorial}

This Palestine landscape notebook is a craft born out of necessity.  Now that my daughters are back to school, we have a lot of composition notebooks and it has become harder to tell them all apart. Especially at 6am.


This summer, I purchased a bottle of olive oil from Canaan oil and fell in love with the painting by Palestinian artist Ibrahim Salaby. It features a landscape of crosses and moons, symbolizing his country’s ties to Christianity and Islam.

My daughter used the bottle as inspiration to decorate one of her books.   She painted with a silver pen to keep it simple, but you can use any colors you’d like.



Composition notebook
Duct tape (any solid color)

We started by applying strips of duct tape to the notebook. We lined it up with the existing black edge.

We made sure to leave a little overhang when we cut the tape.

Once we had the tape across the front, we opened the inside and folded over the corner.  Once we had our little triangle, it was easier to fold over the sides.

We used the ridges made by the tape, where it overlapped, to make our lines straight on the notebook.

We drew half circles and triangles on top of our rectangles. Then added crescent moons and crosses on the minarets and chapels of our newly created mosques and churches.

To compliment our night sky, we added stars. Some were close but some were far away.

The final step was adding a few windows. Not too many, our inspiration piece was beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Now my daughter had to set this book aside to fully dry for 24 hours. (Tip – Keep this in mind if you need your notebook for school and do this craft on a weekend.)


She quickly started on a new blank composition book. This time, using red, yellow and blue Sharpies and a photo of Morocco we have on the refrigerator. I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.


To learn more about Palestine, visit our T-shirt tutorial

Palestine In My Heart T-shirt {Tutorial}

Check out these other Sharpie crafts

Sharpie Pen Vase {Tutorial}

Arabic Sharpie Dot Monogram {Tutorial}

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more crafts about the Arab world.

Comoros Layered Papercut {Tutorial}

We talked about the country of Comoros this week.

We have been crafting our way through all 22 Arab countries that belong to the Arab League and we are finally on our 22nd country: Comoros!

The Comoros (Arabic: جزر القمر‎‎, Juzur al-Qumur), is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar.

The Union of the Comoros has three official languages – Comorian, Arabic and French. They joined the Arab League on in 1993.

The national flag of the Union of the Comoros (Arabic: الاتّحاد القمريّ‎‎, al-Ittiḥād al-Qamarī) was designed in 2001 and officially adopted on January 7, 2002.

The flag design consists of a white crescent with four white five-pointed stars inside of a green triangle. The flag has four stripes, representing four islands of the nation: yellow is for Mohéli, white is for Mayotte, red is for Anjouan, and blue is for Grande Comore. The four stars on the flag also symbolize the four islands of the Comoros. The star and crescent symbol stands for Islam, which is the nation’s major religion.

My teenage daughter made a paper cut of the islands, using the colors of the flag.


Shadow frame
Card stock
Foam stickers
Embossing tool
Carbon paper
Black and red Sharpie

I printed out the islands from a photo I found online, making sure to flip it backwards. My daughter placed the yellow card stock down first, with the carbon on top and then the islands.  The lines between the islands were to keep them together during cutting.. They also represented different political connections between the largest cities.

The next step is to cut the outlines out with the xacto. Don’t worry about the markings, they will not be seen.

The next step is to flip the cutout over. Now the islands are clean and ready for the outline and dotted lines with the black Sharpie and the addition of the capital’s star with the red Sharpie.

I helped my daughter create this design on the blue paper that looks like waves.  I didn’t really use a pattern, just practiced first on the yellow discarded paper. Make sure the waves cover the background of the entire frame.

Once the waves were done, my daughter added the green card stock and placed both in the  frame.

Before adding the islands, my daughter placed foam squares on the back of them.

I helped her center the islands over the waves. The foam squares really make them seem to “float” above the waves once everything was finished.

To check out more tutorials that teach about the Arab world, check out some of Comoros’s closest Arab League neighbors:

Somalia Flag Pennant {Tutorial}

Sudan Flag Lantern {Tutorial}

Please stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more easy DIY crafts.