I’m usually requested the “favorite youngster” query. Not about my precise youngsters, you perceive, however my favorite cookbook, or recipe inside a specific cookbook. I’m clearly duty-bound to say that I like all of my books and recipes (and youngsters) equally, however I’ve determined that it is OK to like some books and recipes and kinds of meals extra at sure instances of the 12 months. For me, September – the brand new faculty time period, the change in season – is at all times marked by me reaching for Jerusalem, the celebration of the meals of the Center East I wrote with Sami Tamimi, printed 13 years in the past this month – a teen! It’s the meals that bookends every thing for me, wherever it sits on the bookshelf all year long.
Tahdig with golden raisins and orange blossom (pictured prime)
Tahdig is a Persian rice dish, and the phrase interprets actually to “backside of the pan”, referring to the crisp backside that varieties in the course of the cooking course of. There is a component of shock to creating it, since you received’t know you might have mastered the golden backside till the completed article is turned out. A pan with even warmth distribution (and, ideally, an induction hob) can be your pal right here. Failing that, line the bottom of the pan with greaseproof paper to make sure the tahdig doesn’t stick. It’s a neat trick that pays off each time.
Soak 2 hr
Prep 10 min
Cook dinner 1 hr 15 min
Serves 6 as a aspect
For the spiced rice
500g basmati rice, washed and soaked in loads of chilly water for 1 hour
130g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
10 cardamom pods, bashed open, pods discarded, and seeds crushed, to get ½ tsp
¼ tsp saffron threads, flippantly crushed and soaked in 50ml sizzling water for 10 minutes
70g unsalted butter, lower into roughly 1½cm cubes
High quality sea salt
For the topping
25g pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
80g golden or common raisins
40g sugar (any)
35ml apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp saffron threads, flippantly crushed and soaked in 1 tbsp sizzling water for 10 minutes
1 tbsp orange blossom water (optionally available)
Fill a big saucepan three-quarters full with well-salted water (10g salt per litre ) and convey to a boil. Drain the rice and rinse a number of instances with chilly water till the water runs clear. Parboil the drained rice for 5 minutes, then drain once more and rinse underneath chilly water.
Put the yoghurt, a tablespoon of the olive oil, the cumin and the cardamom in a big bowl, then add three-quarters of the saffron and its liquid. Gently stir in 250g of the parboiled rice, till nicely coated.
Subsequent, put one other tablespoon of olive oil in a big, 22cm nonstick saute pan, swirl it round to coat, then press the saffron rice combination evenly over the bottom of the pan. Utilizing a big kitchen spoon, pile the remaining parboiled rice on prime, to create a pyramid form, then scatter over the cubed butter and the remaining saffron and its soaking liquid. With the deal with of a picket spoon, pierce 5 holes into the combination, proper via to the bottom of the rice: this can let the steam escape whereas it’s cooking.
Wrap the lid for the pot with a clear tea towel (this can catch any steam), then cowl the pan, ensuring its sealed tightly. Activate the warmth to medium-high and depart to prepare dinner for 5 to seven minutes. If you hear a light-weight scorching sound from the bottom of the pan, flip down the warmth to medium-low and prepare dinner for one more half-hour – resist the urge to elevate the lid, as a result of that can let the steam (and the shock!) out. Take the pan off the warmth and depart to relaxation, nonetheless lined, for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make the topping. Put the pine nuts and oil in a small saucepan and prepare dinner on a medium warmth for 5 minutes, simply till the nuts are toasted and golden. Utilizing a slotted spoon, elevate the nuts right into a small bowl. Add all of the remaining topping elements to the new oil within the pan, flip up the warmth to medium-high and convey to a boil. Flip down the warmth to a simmer and prepare dinner for 5 minutes, till the combination is syrupy and golden, then stir into the pine nut bowl.
Put a big, spherical serving plate on prime of the rice pan. Holding each the pan and the plate (and your breath!) tightly, rapidly and punctiliously flip the entire thing over to launch the tahdig. Ta-da! Pour the topping excessive of the crisp rice and serve.
Rice and lamb kubbes with lemon yoghurt
Kubbes are available in many sizes and shapes, with each area making its personal model with various casings and fillings. This one makes use of rice because the casing and curry leaves as a twist; in the event you can’t get your palms on recent curry leaves, swap them for any comfortable herbs it’s a must to hand, corresponding to dill or parsley. To get forward, make the filling a day earlier than, however don’t prepare dinner the rice till simply earlier than you type the kubbes, as a result of it’s a lot simpler to tease heat rice to type a casing.
Prep 25 min
Soak 1 hr
Cook dinner 45 min
For the rice casing
200g basmati rice, soaked in loads of chilly water for at the very least an hour
30 recent curry leaves, finely chopped, or 10g every recent parsley and dill
500ml sunflower (or vegetable) oil, for frying
For the lamb filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (180g), peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
300g minced lamb
15g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1¾ tsp ras el hanout
High quality sea salt and black pepper
10g picked dill, finely chopped
10g picked parsley, finely chopped
3-4 dried apricots (30g), finely chopped
For the lemon yoghurt
300g Greek yoghurt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest and 1¼ tsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
First, make the filling. Put a medium saute pan on a medium-high warmth and, as soon as sizzling, add the oil, onion and garlic. Cook dinner for 5 to seven minutes, till softened, then add the lamb, walnuts, chilli flakes, ras el hanout, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and an excellent grind of black pepper. Break up the mince and prepare dinner, stirring usually, for 10-12 minutes, till flippantly browned.
Off the warmth, stir within the dill, parsley and apricots, then put aside to chill. As soon as the combination is totally cool, use your palms to divide it into eight equal 40g parts, type each right into a 40g ball balls and placed on a tray. For those who’re making them forward, cowl and refrigerate.
Subsequent, prepare dinner the rice. Put 700ml water and a teaspoon and a half of salt in a big saucepan and convey to a boil. Add the rice, flip down the warmth to medium and prepare dinner for eight to 10 minutes, till barely overcooked, then drain nicely. Whereas the rice continues to be sizzling, spoon it right into a ricer (or use a fork) and mash it right into a bowl. Stir within the curry leaves (or comfortable herbs).
Now arrange your kubbe-making station. Put a small bowl of chilly water subsequent to the rice bowl. Weigh out eight 60-70g balls of the rice combine; preserve any extra for patching up the kubbes. With barely moist palms, press a ball of the rice flat on to the palm of 1 hand. Put one of many mince balls on prime and fold the rice excessive to encase it utterly – you might must push the rice alongside a bit to do that; if want be, use among the leftover rice to patch issues up. Ensuring your palms are nonetheless moist, press the kubbe into an rectangular and placed on a tray. Repeat with the remaining rice and filling.
To fry the kubbes, put the oil in a medium saute pan on a medium -high warmth. As soon as sizzling, fry the kubbes in batches of two or three for 5 to 6 minutes, turning as required, till flippantly golden and crisp throughout. With a slotted spoon, switch to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to empty, and repeat with the remaining kubbes. If want be, preserve the cooked kubbes heat in a low oven.
Put all of the elements for the lemon yoghurt in a bowl, add a half-teaspoon of salt and freshly floor black pepper to style, and blend nicely.
When all of the kubbes are cooked, organize them on a platter and serve with the yoghurt alongside for dipping.
Feta and kaymak katmer with pistachios and lemon syrup
Katmer is a dessert from Gaziantep in Turkey that’s historically made with kaymak, the native clotted cream. You will discover it in most Center Japanese retailers, however in the event you can’t pay money for any, use Cornish clotted cream as an alternative. As a twist, we’ve added feta and a lemony cardamom syrup to our katmer. Serve with seasonal berries and/or orange segments, in the event you like.
Prep 15 min`
Cook dinner 20 min
For the katmer
4 sheets filo pastry
50g unsalted butter, melted
60g shelled pistachios, toasted and really finely chopped
160g kaymak, or clotted cream
For the lemon syrup
100g caster sugar
10 cardamom pods, bashed open, pods discarded, seeds crushed in a mortar to get ½ tsp
1 lemon, peeled, to get 6 strips of zest, and juiced, to get 2 tsp
Flaked sea salt, to serve
First make the syrup. Put the sugar, cardamom, lemon peel and 200ml water in a small saucepan on a medium-high warmth, and simmer for 10 minutes, till the combination is thick and syrupy and the lemon zest has candied.
In the meantime, assemble the katmer. Working rapidly, put one sheet of filo on a piece floor, brush it generously with butter, lay a second sheet on prime and brush with extra butter. Leaving a 3cm border across the edge, scatter over 20g of the chopped pistachios, dot over half the cream and crumble over half the feta. Fold one quick finish of the filo into the center, then fold over the other quick finish to cowl the cheese combine utterly. Brush the ends with extra butter to seal, then fold over 2cm of the uncovered ends to shut up the pastry solely. Repeat with the remaining two sheets of filo, cream, cheese and 20g pistachios to make a second katmer.
Put a big frying pan on a medium warmth. Brush the seam aspect of 1 katmer with butter, then lay it seam aspect down within the sizzling pan and depart to prepare dinner for seven minutes, till deeply golden and crisp. Brush the raw aspect with extra butter, flip over and prepare dinner for one more three to 4 minutes, till the opposite aspect can be deeply golden and crisp. Switch to a plate and repeat with the second katmer.
Stir the lemon juice into the syrup, then spoon half of it over every katmer, together with half the candied zest. Serve with the remaining 20g pistachios and a pinch of flaked sea salt scattered on prime.