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Posts Tagged ‘Tahini’

Lamb Siniya

This is a bit like a Middle-Eastern shepherd’s pie but lighter and spicier. It’s also very quick and easy to make. Serve with pickled chillies, a tomato salad and some flatbreads if you like (we had pickled chillies alone and it was perfect). We can’t recommend the books by Honey & Co highly enough, everything works.

Wine Suggestion: Another lockdown cellar raid unearthed our last bottle of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005 from the famed La Crau vineyard. At a very good point in its develeopment with beautiful, pure red fruits and layers of subtle spicing. Lots of power still but with so much elegance and refinement.

If you don’t have this wine to hand we most successfully match middle eastern dishes containing warm spices with southern Rhône and other Grenache dominant Mediterranean reds.

Lamb siniya – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets

FOR THE LAMB:

  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp baharat spice mix
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • 200g tahini paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Put the cauliflower into a large saucepan, add about a litre of water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until soft. Drain and spread over the base of a shallow casserole dish (about 22cm).

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions with half a teaspoon of salt until starting to turn golden. Add the lamb mince, turn the heat up to hight and break it up with a wooden spoon. When the lamb starts to brown, sprinkle over the ground fennel and baharat spice and continue to cook for another few minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for another few minutes, then spread over the cauliflower. You can do up to this stage a day in advance if you like.

Mix all the ingredients together for the topping, except the pine nuts. If the mixture is very thick you can add a tablespoon or two of water to loosen it slightly – it should be like thick yoghurt. Spread the topping over the cauliflower and lamb, then sprinkle the pine nuts over the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until set and slightly golden. Sprinkle with the parsley to serve.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

 

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Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina)

There is a recipe for fish in tahini sauce in almost every Middle Eastern cookbook, and for good reason. The caramelised onions really complement the slightly sour tahini sauce. Serve with rice and salad.

Wine Suggestion: Not having had tahini with fish before we weren’t sure what to open, so went with our classic standby for seafood – Muscadet. The Domaine de la Chauviniere worked a treat and we would highly recommend this as a match.

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina) – serves 2

For the fish:

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets of white fish

For the sauce:

  • 80ml tahini
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • 80ml water

For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • a handful of coriander, chopped
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts

Mix the spices and oil and rub over the fish, then leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Caramelise the onions by frying them over a very low heat until soft and browned – about half an hour.

Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and water in a pan. Don’t worry if it curdles just keep stirring vigorously until it becomes smooth. Warm the sauce over a very low heat.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry the marinated fish for a few minutes on each side, then remove from the heat and place in a warm dish.

Fry the garlic and coriander in a pan with a little oil for a minute.

Pour the warm tahini sauce over the fish, then sprinkle over the onions, followed by the coriander, garlic and pine nuts. Serve with bulgar wheat or rice and a salad or vegetables if you like.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

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Vege breakfast

This is a variation on a brunch dish from Jamie Oliver’s Veg book. Honeyed halloumi, chopped salad, yoghurt, tahini and soft-boiled eggs & dukkah. Jamie also suggests figs and black olives but we couldn’t find figs anywhere this weekend so we made do with some grapes instead and a plate of toasted sourdough. It definitely improved our morning and we’ve made honeyed halloumi for breakfast and dukkah on everything since.

To make your own dukkah mix 50g blanched hazelnuts, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp coriander seeds and 2tbsp sesame seeds in a bowl. Spread over a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes at 180C/160 fan or until toasted. Pulse the mixture a few times in a food processor just to chop the nuts.

Veggie Breakfast – serves 4

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves mint
  • 1 ripe beef tomato
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • 225g halloumi cheese
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp runny honey
  • 4 ripe figs, quartered –  or other fruit
  • 8 black olives, destoned
  • 1 tbsp dukkah (see above)
  • flatbread or toasted sourdough

Bring a pan of water to the boil, then put the eggs in and cook for 6½ minutes, then drain and peel under cool running water.

Chop the lettuce, mint, tomato and cucumber together on a board. Drizzle over the yoghurt and tahini and squeeze over the lemon juice, then continue to chop and mix until fine. Season with salt and black pepper.

Slice the halloumi lengthways into 4, then fry in 1 tbsp of oil over a medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds and turn the cheese until coated all over. Remove to a plate and drizzle with the honey.

Halve the eggs and sprinkle with the dukkah. Arrange the fruit and olives together on a plate.

Serve warm with some toasted sourdough or flatbreads.

(Original recipe from Veg by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2019.)

 

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Roasted Beetroot Salad with Burnt Chestnuts

We can’t help but associate chestnuts with December when everyone’s in holiday mood. This side dish would complement any banquet and would even work well on the big day as an alternative to carrots and sprouts (not that there’s anything wrong with them). Another great idea from Sabrina Ghayour.

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Burnt Chestnuts, Tahini Yoghurt & Herb Oil – serves 4

  • 1.5kg beetroot, roasted and peeled, quartered (roast beetroots wrapped in foil for between 45 to 90 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife)
  • 200g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts

FOR THE YOGHURT SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 100g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp warm water

FOR THE HERB OIL

  • 15g dill
  • 15g coriander
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

TO GARNISH

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted nigella seeds

Arrange the beetroot quarters over a large platter.

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, then dry fry the chestnuts for a couple of minutes on each side or until slightly blackened. Arrange the chestnuts on the platter with the beetroot.

Make the herb oil by pouring boiling water into a bowl and immersing the dill and coriander in it. Leave to blanch for 1 minutes before draining and then cool the herbs by running under cold water.

Blitz the herbs in a blender with the squeeze of lemon juice, the lemon zest, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth mixture, adding more oil to loosen if needed. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce together and add enough warm water to make a smooth sauce. Drizzle the yoghurt sauce over the beetroot. Spoon over the herb oil and sprinkle with the toasted seeds to garnish.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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