Eej is probably one of my first attempts at making Syrian food. It is such an easy recipe that it has become my go to recipe for any potluck.
Some of my most memorable moments are when my coworkers and I had potlucks and got together for lunch. We used to have the BEST meals ever. As a newcomer to Aleppo, Syria, I didn’t know about many Aleppine appetizers. One day, as we were celebrating Muhammad’s birthday, my co-worker, I got introduced to “eej”, my favorite Syrian appetizer. One of my closest friends, Lama, got her mom to make it and we got to enjoy it. Yum!
A lot of dishes have variations throughout the Mediterranean region. having said that, I am yet to find someone from different countries or even Syrian cities that make this same dish. I have heard that the people of Idleb also make eej, but I haven’t heard of any one else.
How do I make it?
Get these ingredients together and I’ll walk you through
- Medium onion diced into medium sized cubes
- 1 cup of coarse burghul – can be bought at any Middle Eastern grocery store
- 1 tbsp of dried mint (or to taste)
- 1 tsp cumin (or to taste)
- 3/4 cup of fresh tomato juice – just toss 2 -3 tomatoes into a blender
- 1/4 cup of squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tea spoon of salt or to taste
- 3 tbsp virgin or extra virgin olive oil
The following ingredients are found at Middle Eastern delis
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper paste – a jar costs just under $5 CAD
- 1 table spoon of pomegranate molasses – a bottle costs under $4 CAD
Once you’ve got the ingredients, it’s smooth sailing from here.
- Sweat onions in olive oil at medium high heat
- Add burghul and stir
- While it cooks, finely chop some greens like lettuce, cabbage or mint leaves and prepare to garnish your plate. Don’t forget to stir your burghul every 5 to 7 minutes
- Eej usually cooks in about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Drizzle pomegranate molasses to give an extra tang.
- Share with 3 people you love
Here’s how we dig in ….
Sahha wa hana (Arabic for bon appétit) 🙂
Give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments.
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