Middle Eastern Couscous Recipe
Rose & Pistachio Couscous I absolutely love flamboyance with minimal effort during a busy time of the year. I think about food all the time. I am constantly thinking of ways to create something spectacular, visually appetizing that gets my guests and loved ones starting a conversation at a gathering. After all that's what food is all about.... right?! What is even more satisfying for me is the background sounds of ooohh, ahhhh and yummmm by the guests at the table. The passing of platters, the talking of flavours... the simple joys of life! This recipe I am about to share with you has been a crowd winner at all my gatherings and parties. Enjoy creating, sharing and indulging! Ingredients 250g couscous - cook according to packet instruction 2 tablespoon of Persian ghee ADD TO CART 2 tablespoon of rose water 4 tbsp of Barberries - rinsed ADD TO CART 3 tablespoon of Persian Slivered Pistachio ADD TO CART Handful of Persian Rose Petals ADD TO CART 1 tsp finely chopped Preserved Lemons ADD TO CART Pinch of salt and pepper 1 tablespoon of butter Method Prepare the couscous as per packet instruction. Fluff the cooked couscous with persian Ghee to evenly coat the couscous Heat butter in a small saucepan. Add rinsed barberries. Saute for 1 minute until plump. Remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients and cooked barberries to the couscous. Mix well. Serve in a white platter. Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)
Pomegranate Tabbouleh Pomegranate Tabbouleh is an essential side dish of Middle Eastern Cuisines. Mainly originating from Palestine, Lebanon & Syria. In this recipe I will show you how to use different layers of fresh garden herbs nd spice mixes to create a satisfying and suitable for any occasion side dish. Ingredients 1/2 cup of course cracked Bulgar soaked in warm water 1 tablespoon of Baharat spice mix ADD TO CART 1 heaped tablespoon of freshly ground all spice ADD TO CART 1 tsp of freshly ground cumin ADD TO CART 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper ADD TO CART 80ml of good quality olive oil (peppery and fruity flavour) 1 clove of garlic crushed (optional) salt and pepper 3 tbsp lemon juice 1 large bunch of parsley - discard the rough stalks -- roughly chopped 1 bunch of fresh mint - pick the leaves - roughly chopped 3-4 stem of fresh dill - roughly chopped 2-3 stem of fresh coriander - roughly chopped 3 ripe Roma Tomato - deseeded and roughly chopped 1 large Lebanese cucumber - roughly chopped 1 red onion - finely sliced 1 pomegranate - deseeded Method Prepare the ingredients above. Fluff the Bulgar with some of the olive oil once the water is completely absorbed. Mix the dry spices, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a separate bowl. Add the freshly chopped herbs, Bulgar, cucumber, onion, tomato & pomegranate seeds to a large serving bowl. Drizzle the olive oil mixture and gently toss the ingredients to combine well. Handy Tips Don't bruise the leaves during chopping and mixing. Mix well the olive oil with lemon juice and spices Delicious served with warm Turkish or flat bread. Serve on top of kebab or grilled meat. Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)
Israeli Recipe - cooking with Moghrabieh
Israeli Moghrabieh I absolutely love grains and pulses anytime of the year in particular during the cooler months. Israeli Moghrabieh or giant couscous as you may know it, is a much loved traditional dish of Middle- East exhibiting in many cuisines such as Israeli, Lebanese and Palestinian. Moghrabieh in Arabic translates to a dish from Maghreb. Making couscous is like an art... thinking of different ways of making this blank canvas (or should I say bland canvas) into a master piece. Adding a bit of sour yellow from Preserved Lemons with a hint of red from the tangy crushed Sumac berry. Then mixing it through with the green and vibrant colour of dried dill and fresh mint. That's why I'd like to think of Moghrabieh or couscous in general as a feasting dish to be shared in huge platters with family and friends. Not only it's easy to cook-up but more importantly is visually appetizing. This dish served along side my favorite lamb tagine (recipe here) is a crowd winner at all my gatherings and parties. Enjoy creating, sharing and indulging! Ingredients 2 cups of Moghrabieh ADD TO CART 4 cups of water 2 tablespoon of Persian ghee ADD TO CART 2 tablespoon of rose water ADD TO CART 2 tbsp of finely diced preserved lemons ADD TO CART 1 tablespoon of dried dill ADD TO CART 1 tablespoon of Persian Sumac ADD TO CART 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint 1 tbsp of salt 1 clove of garlic - bruised Pinch of salt and pepper 1 tablespoon of olive oil Method In a heavy based pot on high heat, add moghrabieh, water, salt and garlic. Bring to boil for 10-15 minutes. Then simmer for further 15 minutes until moghrabieh is cooked. Drain excess liquid and discard the garlic. In a serving platter, combine all other ingredients. Add cooked moghrabieh and toss through well. Serve with lamb tagine or your favourite middle Eastern stew. *** Cooking Tip *** the heat from moghrabieh will melt the persian ghee, so make sure to stir through thoroughly. Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)
Flour Tortillas - principle food of the Aztecs is a delightful and simple recipe enjoyed by everyone across the globe. Tortillas can be made from stone ground white corns (Masa Lista) or Yellow Corn (Masa harina) or from plain flour. The following recipe uses the plain flour or bread flour. Ingredients - 230g Plain flour. Extra flour for dusting - 60g butter or margerine -goo pinch of salt (1/2 tsp) -100ml of water Method Combine the flour, salt and butter. Then add water slowly while mixing until the dough starts to come together. then lightly dust the bench with extra flour and start kneading the dough until smooth smooth. then divide the dough into 10-12 equal size balls. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Dust a work surface with flour. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hands. Then using a rolling pin roll out to a round tortilla about 10-15cm rounds. Use an old heavy base frying pan and heat on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot enough, place the rolled out tortilla and cook for one minute each side. You will see the tortilla puffs up with small brown spots appearing. this is a good sign. Place in a clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve with Beef Chilli Con Carne. Fresh Cream. Salads. Avocado.
Essential Curry Spices
Asian Indian Pantry Spices The key to making wholesome and comforting curries starts with your ingredients. Spices are quintessential to cooking any Asian or Indian curry dishes. Okay - you may ask what brings this up?! well it all started last Sunday. Whenever I am overwhelmed with a task in hand, such as painting our house which is not the funnest job to do, I find myself doing the oddest clean-up ever! Last Sunday I decided to go through my huge pantry spices, re-jar, re-label and re-arrange. Whilst lovingly going through my collections, I remembered that once a customer asked me "what are the spices you could never do without?!" At that instant, all I could say was "Oh My God, I couldn't imaging not having ALL my spices... " With this memory flash whilst having a giggle or two to myself, it dawned on me that this question is quiet serious! Too serious in fact! Which one of these spices do I choose? How excruciating! After much deliberation I narrowed the collection to 50, 30 and finally 15 MUST-HAVE-SPICES. I tried really hard to narrow it down even further.. but I had to stop myself with all of this non-sense and finish off pantry clean-up and get back to what I really needed to do - painting our laundry which is three weeks going now! No discredit to all the other amazing spices out there - but here is my pick of the range. With this note; how is your pantry spice collection? How many could you forgo? Asian and Indian Pantry Spices Turmeric Powder Cumin Seeds Whole Coriander Seeds Whole Cloves Whole Green Cardamom Whole Black Peppercorns Fennel Seeds Fenugreek Seeds Black Mustard seeds Garam Masala Curry Powder - single roasted and mild Saffron 1g Nutmeg Whole Nigella Seeds Ceylon Cinnamon 35g ADD TO CART Collection of these 15 spices packed in 50g quantity for only $44.95 Fresh Spices and bits and bobs you may need Onion Garlic Ginger Red and Green Chilli Ghee ADD TO CART Yoghurt Coconut flour ADD TO CART Besan flour ADD TO CART Curry Leaves ADD TO CART Spicy Cooking Tips Roasting your wholes spices is an important first part of curry making. You will be amazed how this simple and quick process would make a difference to the overall flavours of the dish. Dry roasting is to wake up the spices by activating the essential oil. Heat a heavy based pan on medium heat Add your wholes spices - continuously stir to avoid burning the spices as it will make your curry bitter Remove from heat and remove from the pan to stop the roasting process
Mexican Mole Chicken recipe
Chicken Mole Recipe Chicken mole is a delicious Mexican recipe using the most exotic and flavorsome combination of Mexican chilies in conjunction with dark chocolate and spices. Mole chicken is a festive dish of Mexico served at any special occasions, be it birthday, weeding or family get-together. It is fair to say that I am obsessed with Mexican cooking. Believe me, I am no expert at it, but just love experimenting. Last weekend, after visiting a modern contemporary Mexican bistro and sampling so many tasty finger-food style dishes accompanied with just one too many Mojito - I decided to make this recipe the next day! Serve this dish alongside freshly made guacamole, rice, bean, tortilla and tomato salsa. Happy Cooking! P.S this recipe feed 5-6 amigos. So adjust the ingredients to your requirement or freeze the extra. Ingredients - Chicken 2 kg chicken cut into serving pieces 1 onion - chopped 1 garlic - chopped Salt - seasoning Oil or lard Toasted white sesame seeds & fresh coriander to garnish Ingredients - Mole Sauce 6 Ancho chillies ADD TO CART 4 Pasilla chilliesADD TO CART 4 Mulato chillies ADD TO CART 1 drained can of chipotle in adobo sauce - seeded and chopped ADD TO CART 2 onions -roughly chopped 2 garlic - roughly chopped 450g of tomato - peeled and cut into quarter 1 stale tortilla (or 1/2 piece of stale bread) - torn into pieces 50g sultanas 115g ground almond 50g white sesame seeds ADD TO CART 1/2tsp coriander powder ADD TO CART 1 tbsp of Ceylon cinnamon powder ADD TO CART 1 tsp of anise - ground ADD TO CART 1/2 tsp of black peppercorns whole ADD TO CART 4 tbsp of oil/lard 40g unsweetened bitter dark chocolate 25g soft brown sugar - you may need some extra 1 tsp of salt - extra salt of seasoning Method Put chicken pieces into a saucepan large enough to hold them in one layer. Add onion, garlic and salt. Cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Remove the stalk and seed from all chilies. Tear the chili pods into pieces and soak in a small bowl of boiling water for 20 minutes until soft. The chilies should be covered with water. In a food processor, add the soaked chilies and 1/4 liquid along with all other ingredients. Process to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan with cover. Remove the chicken pieces from stock liquid and add to the pan. (remember the oil will be splattering, so have the lid nearby to cover immediately) Once the chicken pieces are lightly browned, remove from saucepan and set aside. To the same saucepan, add the homogenized mole paste with the remaining oil. Saute, whilst stirring, for 15 minutes until fragrant. Now add 475ml of chicken stock to the mixture. (make it up with water if necessary). Add chocolate, salt and pepper. Cook on low heat until the chocolate is completely melted. Then stir in sugar and cook for further 5minutes. Add the chicken to the mole sauce ensuring it is immersed in the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for another 30-45 minutes until all the flavors have come together and chicken is cooked. At the final stage, adjust the sugar and seasoning. Garnish with the fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds. Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)
Persian Pilaf infused with Persian Saffron & Cardamom
Cooking Persian rice is an Art. Rice is an integral part of the Persian cuisine, in fact being the national dish. There are many variations of how to cook the rice; Parboiled, Chelow, Polow (Pilaf) and biryani style. In this recipe, I will share with you the secret of mastering the art of cooking Persian pilaf in the time-honored tradition. This pilaf recipe celebrates the subtle flavours of spices and saffron and is served with your desired stew or curry. So remember mastering this art requires patience, care and practice. Ingredients - 1.5 cup Long Grain Sella Basmati rice +1.5 cup water - 2-3 tbsp Persian Ghee - 3 Green Cardamom (bruised) - 2 Black cardamom pods - 1 ceylon cinnamon stick - Good Pinch of Persian Sargol Saffron - Good Pinch of Persian Dried Mint Method 1. Combine all of the above in a heavy non-stick pot and cover. 2. Bring to rapid boil on high heat for 10mins. stir occasionally. 3. Turn heat to Medium until 90% of water is absorbed. then cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the rice is well cooked and fluffy. This simple pilaf recipe can be enjoyed with many seasonal vegetables and produce. Don't forget to serve it with generous dollop of natural yoghurt.
Persian Jeweled Pilaf
Persian Sweet Rice. Persian sweet recipe comes with some very sweet childhood memories for me. A day like today - cool and rainy autumn day reminds of the times my mother was preparing this dish in her Persian kitchen. Persian Sweet rice celebrates the seasonal vegetables; Carrot & Cabbage, along with other Persian delicacies such as Saffron, Green Raisin, Orange Peel and Pistachios. Ingredients - 500g white cabbage (shredded) - 500g carrots (grated) - 150g natural sultanas - 1tsp turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder - 1/4 tsp allspice powder - 1tsp black pepper - freshly ground - 2 flat tbsp of Advieh - 2 cassia stick - pinch of saffron (brewed) - 12 slivered orange peels (soaked in 3tbsp warm water and 1tbsp sugar) - 1 tbsp garlic & ginger - crushed - 350g Rice -250g Lamb/beef mince - 50g Slivered Almonds - 50g Persian Slivered Pistachios - 100g Persian green raisin - 60g butter Method 1. In a pot rinse & drain rice until the water runs clear. Then soak in 4 cups of warm water with 1 tbsp of cooking salt. 2. Brew Saffron and make Candied orange peel. (See instruction on each product page) 3. Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Fry the onion until slightly golden. For golden onion, see the notes on Tafting method. Add garlic and ginger and saute until soft and coloured. 4. Now add lamb mince and once browned add all the ground spices, Advieh and cassia. Saute until fragrant. Then add the shredded cabbage & grated carrots. Combine all the ingredients well with 2 tbsp of warm water. Cover the saucepan to wilt the vegetables. Stir every a few minutes. Once the vegetables are soft and reduced in volume - remove the lid and saute for further 10 minutes. 5. Add the natural sultana to the above mixture. Then remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside. 6. Meanwhile, boil the rice briskly for 10-15mins stirring occasionally. Bite a few grains; if the rice feels slightly soft, it is ready to be drained into a colander. Then rinse with cool water. Return half of the rice to the pot along with half of the brewed saffron (as well as its residues) and half of the candied orange peel. Mix Well. Then add the meat & vegetable mixture in small batches to the rice and combine well. Repeat this step with the remaining rice. Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, then cook on low heat for 1 hour. 7. When the rice is ready - heat the butter in a saucepan. Add slivered almonds and saute for 2-3 minutes followed by the slivered pistachio and green raisin. Set this mixture aside. 8. Serve the rice on a serving platter and then decorate the nut & fruit mixture on top of the rice. Serve with fresh herbs and natural yoghurt.
Argentinian Beef Stew cooked in Mud oven
Argentinian Stew slow cooked in mud oven. This recipe, Argentinian Stew, is inspired by my visit to the Casa de Camp vineyard whilst in Mendoza. One of the friendly Argentinian local recommended this place for a traditional yet hearty Argentinian food that is not solely focused on Asado (BBQ meat). After all the commentary about how good this place was... I was eager to try. " So how do we get there? " I asked...thinking that it would be about an hour or so on the bus. Mind you riding on an Argentinian local bus is like being on an adventure world thrill ride. So in a short note; it requires a brave and determined person to get on the bus. And I was determined to try this amazing food and it surely didn't disappoint. Ingredients -500g Stewing beef -6 cloves Garlic finely chopped - 2 large onions finely diced - 1 carrot chopped - 1 red chilli finely chopped - 1 large potato- quartered - 1/3 cup olive oil - 4 tbsp sunflower oil - 3 tbsp Dulce pimenton powder ( Sweet paprika) - 2 tbsp freshly ground cumin - 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper - 3 tbsp dried oregano ( highly recommend the Mexican Oregano) - 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley - 2 tbsp lemon juice - 1/2 cup red wine - 2 cups of beef stock or water. - Sea salt/ pink salt Method 1. Heat 1/2 of each oil in a pot (clay pot if you can get your hands on it) and brown meat on all sides for a few minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside. 2. Saute onion, garlic & chilli for a few minutes without browning. Add pinch of salt and pepper. 3. Add carrot and potato. Saute for a few minutes followed by the herbs and spices. Saute until fragrant, then add meat, lemon juice, red wine and stock. Adjust seasoning. 4. Bring to boil. Cover & cook for 4-5 hours in a mud oven or on stove ( low heat).
Parsi and Indian Curry Recipe
Dhansak Parsi Curry Dhansak Parsi curry translates to Lamb with legume curry. This curry is a classic festive dish served every Sunday in many Parsi homes. The ingredients used and flavours of this dish is a marriage between the Persian and Indian cuisine. Dhansak Parsi Curry consists of several cooking steps involving preparation of Blended Masala, meat, vegetable pure and combing the different elements to complete cooking this dish. Don't be disheartened by the lengthy recipes - The reward is truly a satisfying curry dish that you would want to cook on special occasions. The picture shows this dish served in our traditional Indian copper serving bowl with crafted handles. Ingredients 1.5kg Lamb Shoulder boned and diced into 5cmm pieces 220g yellow split peas 115g red lentils 100g dried chickpeas 1 eggplant - chopped 2 large onions - chopped 1 cup of peeled and chopped butternut pumpkin 1 large potato - peeled and chopped 2 ripe roma tomatos - peeled and chopped 1/2 bunch of spinach leaves - chopped 3 -5 tbsp of Persian Ghee ADD TO CART 6 dried red chillies - deseeded ADD TO CART 6 fresh green chillies - deseeded 2 tbsp of garam masala ADD TO CART 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger 1 tsp of ground cumin ADD TO CART 1tsp of ground cardamom ADD TO CART 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds - bruised ADD TO CART 8 cloves of garlic -peeled 10g fresh mint leaves 20g fresh coriander leaves and stem Method Rinse the legumes (split peas, chickpeas, red lentils) and soak covered with warm water overnight. Drain Well. In a large pot add the legumes and meat and salt. Cover with water. Bring to boil and then simmer to cook for further 30 minutes. Add the eggplant, pumpkin, potato, tomato and spinach. Mix through and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes until the meat is almost cooked. Remove the meat from the above mixture to a plate. Set aside. Add the liquid and vegetable mixture to the food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Remove and Set aside. To make the blended masala, in the same food processor add red and green chillies, ginger, garlic, garam masala and spice, mint and coriander along with 60ml of hot water. Process to a fine paste. Set aside. In a separate saucepan, heat ghee. Add onion and fry until golden. Stir constantly. Add the blended masala and cook until fragrant (10-15 minutes), whilst stirring continually. Add vegetable pure and meat to the fragrant masala. Then reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for further 20-30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and garnish with fresh herbs and raddish. Serve with warm indian bread or Cumin Rice. Nush-e-Jan! (Enjoy!)