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Raymond Khoury
Raymond Khoury

Screenwriter and novelist, best known as the author of the 2006 New York Times Bestseller "The Last Templar."

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July 25th, 2014

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The Arabs invented and developed algebra and made great strides in trigonometry. Al-Khwarizmi (750-850) is credited with the founding of algebra.


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Makbous Samak - Fish with Lentils and Rice

A common dish in the Arabian Gulf countries, this tasty dish makes a hit at any dinner invitation. Serves about 8.

Melt butter in a saucepan, then add rice and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add lentils with their water, pepper, cumin, ginger, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to boil and cover. Cook over medium/low heat for 25 minutes. Turn heat off then stir and re-cover and allow to cook in own steam for further 30 minutes.

In the meantime, sprinkle fish fillet with the remaining salt and the garlic powder, then set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan, then sauté onions over medium heat until they turn golden brown, stirring a number of times and adding more oil if necessary. Set aside, but keep warm.

Heat remaining oil in a frying pan then roll fish pieces in flour and fry over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they turn light brown, turning over once and adding more oil if necessary - do not overcook. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place rice and lentils on a platter, then spread onions evenly over top. Arrange fish fillet over onions then serve.

HABEEB SALLOUM, author of our "Recipe of the Day" series, is a Canadian freelance writer and author specializing in food, history and travel. Besides 6 books and 18 chapters in various publications, he has written hundreds of articles about culture, food, travel, history and homesteading in western Canada. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Western Producer, Vegetarian Journal and Saveur.