What is Oozie?

While I lived in family student housing I was a resident assistant.  For a program that I organized, I had residents demonstrate their authentic cultural food for other people.  One of my good friends, Sondos, showed us how to make a traditional Syrian food: oozie.

It is light, has simple ingredients, and you really just eat it for the awesome yogurt sauce.  You can't fail with this one.  I made it the other night and already want to make it again.

from Sondos

1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
0.5 - 0.75 lean ground beef
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 cup frozen peas
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets
Salt to taste

2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 hothouse cucumber, peeled and chopped finely
2 cloves pressed garlic
Palmful of dried or fresh mint leaves (fresh is so much better!)
Salt to taste
Juice of one lemon

Thaw puff pastry at room temperature 30-40 minutes prior to assembling the pockets.  See packaging for more details.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot, saute ground beef with the cinnamon and all spice until browned; drain fat.  Pour in water and rice and bring to a boil.  Add peas, cover pot, and decrease heat to lowest setting.  Let that cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated.

Roll out and cut the puff pastry sheets.  (I used the fold lines and also cut three lines across - making 9 squares total).  Stretching each pastry sheets slightly, spoon some of the rice and beef mixture into the center of the square.  Fold up the points together and then squeeze the touching sides together to seal the package.  Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (aluminum foil with some pam works too).  Repeat with all the squares until none are left.

Put the puff pastry packages into the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another 10 minutes until golden in color.

While the packages are baking, make the yogurt sauce.  Combine the yogurt, chopped cucumber, garlic, mint, and lemon juice.  Then salt to taste.

*Oozie is typically eaten with the yogurt sauce spooned on top of the packages or on the side.

**I had to stop myself from eating the sauce all by itself!  So good.

P.S. I asked Sondos for anther good recipe to try, so I'll let you know when that happens.  She did give me her friend's Middle Eastern Cooking blog Bhibik ya NehNeh that I'm excited to try a few new things from.  

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh! I am SOOO going to make this!
    I have loved trying out your simple recipes on Jared. His tummy thanks you. :) Miss you guys. I think of you when I'm in the garden, or changing sign boards. Alas. sigh. You are not here.


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