Noodles with pulses, meat and yoghurt

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson

Aush dough


Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour, plus extra as needed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
80g fresh spinach, finely chopped

Pulse mixture

Quantity Ingredient
110g yellow split peas
250g tinned red kidney beans, with liquid
2 teaspoons salt

Keema (meat sauce)

Quantity Ingredient
125ml vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
750g minced lamb or beef
125ml tomato passata
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Chakah (yoghurt sauce)

Quantity Ingredient
375g drained yoghurt, (see note)
3 teaspoons dried mint, rubbed
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot chilli powder, to taste
3 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
salt, to taste


  1. To make the dough, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add 165 ml cold water. Mix to a firm dough, adding more flour if necessary. Divide into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest for 30 minutes.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll out each ball of dough very thinly. Cut into 5 mm noodles, either while the dough is flat, or after rolling up each sheet of dough.
  3. Place the noodles on a floured cloth, dust with flour and leave to dry for about 30 minutes.
  4. To prepare the pulse mixture, wash the split peas well and place in a saucepan with 375 ml cold water. Bring to the boil, then boil gently for 30 minutes, or until tender. Add the kidney beans and their liquid and keep warm.
  5. In a large saucepan, bring 2 litres water to the boil. Add the salt and oil. Put the noodles in gradually, stirring after each addition. Return to the boil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain, then return to the pan.
  6. Add the split pea mixture to the noodles. Toss lightly and keep hot, over low heat.
  7. To make the keema, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the meat and stir over high heat until the juices evaporate and the meat browns lightly. Stir in the passata and 125 ml water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let the moisture evaporate. The sauce should be oily.
  8. Combine the chakah ingredients, add to the noodle mixture and toss well; the mixture should be moist.
  9. Place the noodle mixture in a deep dish and top with the keema. Stir at the table and serve in deep plates.


  • To make strained yoghurt, blend 75 g full-cream or skim milk powder and 1.5 litres whole milk, preferably homogenised. Pour into a clean 1.5 litre jar, cover with a lid and stand in a saucepan of water. Heat the water until the milk temperature is 80°C. Remove the jar from the hot water bath and cool to 45°C. Remove 60 ml of the warm milk and blend it with 60 g fresh, commercially made yoghurt. Stir the mixture into the milk in the large jar, then pour into smaller jars. Seal the jars with their lids and stand them in the preserving pan. Add water to the pan to come up to the necks of the jars. Heat until the water temperature reaches 50°C, then remove from the heat. Cover the pan with a lid, then wrap in thick towels or a blanket. Leave undisturbed for 3 hours. Remove the jars, screw the lids on tightly and store in the refrigerator.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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