World Series- Vegetarian Qatari Saloona

Sorry that this one was posted a little later than planned, I just wanted to get that book review out first! This time in our World Series we're going to Qatar in The Middle East and I attempted to make one of the most famous dishes from the country; a hearty vegetarian version of the classic Saloona, or to us, Qatari Stew. 
This delicious and versatile stew can be made with fish, beef, lamb, vegetables, or most commonly with chicken, it's one of those classic dishes that works with whatever protein and veg you have to hand, so as long as you've got the spices, it's a great dish to use up some leftovers.
Saloona is believed to have originated with the Arab Bedouin people, who were one of the first settling people to inhabit Arabian soil, nowadays Saloona can commonly be prepared on almost a weekly basis as a usual family meal due to its mostly inexpensive ingredients and simple cooking method. Saloona is also commonly eaten around the Muslim celebration of Ramadan, where it can be made into a large portion to feed larger family groups. 
I made mine to feed two with vegan chicken, a few different vegetables, and some plain rice.  

Serves 2

700ml Boiling Water 
200g Vegan Chicken Breast, sliced 
Salt & Pepper
1/2 tbsp Tumeric 
1 tsp Olive Oil 
1 Onion, halved then diced 
2 Cloves of Garlic 
1 tbsp Ground Ginger 
2 Lime Leaves 
1/2 tbsp Allspice 
1/2 tbsp Cinnamon 
1/2 tbsp Curry Powder 
1/2 tbsp Cloves
2 small Potatoes, peeled and quartered 
1 large Carrot, peeled and sliced 
1/4 head of Cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets 
1/2 tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 Green Chili
2 Vegetable Stock Cubes 
170g Plain Rice 

Pour the boiling water into a large saucepan on medium heat then add the chicken, Tumeric and some salt & pepper to taste, then allow this to cook for 15-20 mins. 

Whilst the chicken cooks heat the oil up in a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add in half the onion, then all the garlic, spices, potato, chili, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, and vegetables. Continually stir to make sure it doesn't burn, but leave this to cook for 15 mins. 

Once cooked pour the frying pan into the saucepan of chicken, add in one stock cube and leave on low heat for 10 mins, stirring regularly. 

Cook the rice in a small saucepan according to its cooking instructions, add the other stock cube into the water as it boils. In a frying pan cook the remaining onions with 1 tsp of oil until crispy and golden then stir through the rice. 

Combine the stew and rice and you're ready to eat! 

I was so pleasantly surprised by how delicious this saloona was! I have to be honest that not only did I only have red chili's, I also used two instead and it was a little too spicy for me, but it was still delicious and I would definitely make it again but maybe without so much heat next time. Although I know there are a lot of ingredients used in this dish, I already had 99% of them from making previous dishes but I understand if it's too much to attempt if you don't have/ aren't able to get all the ingredients, but those aside, the method to cooking the stew is SO simple, just precook your chicken separately, whack everything else in a frying pan to cook down then pour everything together into the chicken saucepan to simmer together, cook a bit of rice and onion and you're ready to go! I think if you're able to do the chicken, frying pan ingredients, and rice on the go at the same time, this dish will probably take less than 30 mins from start to finish which I think is a great amount of time for a weeknight meal or cooking after work. 
I will definitely be making this again at some point and I'm so happy this World Series segment has led me to yet another dish that I love which I never would have known about otherwise, and that's the beauty of this blog, so I'm really happy I get to share that with you! 

I hope I've inspired you to give this wonderful Saloona a try, the only reason I didn't say this dish was vegan is that the stock cubes I use have milk in, but other than that the entire dish is so easily made that's another vegan recipe you can add to the repertoire! 

In my next post, we'll be making another vegan cheese from the exciting vegan cheese-making kit! 
Look out for the video! 

H x