This was a portmanteau of a recipe. I had several recipes that looked very similar, so I took ideas from each one. This tastes really good and it is filling. We served it with kale braised in butter and pepper.
2 cans of chickpeas
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp sweet pepper puree
1 tbsp baharat spice mix
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp date syrup or pomegranate molasses
OPTIONAL – 2 green peppers, chopped, or 450g spinach, chopped and cooked
Salt and pepper
Chopped mint and parsley, to garnish
Chop the onions finely, crush the garlic, and cook slowly in the olive oil for at least 10 minutes
Add the Baharat spice mix. If you are using green peppers, slice them thinly and add them to the onions, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, pepper puree, and bring to a simmer.
Add the chickpeas, and simmer until they are hot and tender.
Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice and date syrup or pomegranate molasses. Adjust the quantities to taste. If you are using spinach, stir this in now.
Garnish with chopped herbs before serving. This can be served hot or cold.
A visitor to my house made this, and then referred me to the Kitchenist website. The stew was delicious. I’m not going to type it out, because the Kitchenist has already done that and you can just click on the link. Instead, here are my top tips for making this.
First of all, I made Barbari Naan to go with it, but haven’t perfected the techniques for that yet, so you’ll need to wait for the recipe. Nan or pitta bread should be good. I also served this with home-made labneh, which was delicious. Recipe for that coming soon. A Greek salad with lots of feta cheese in is also good.
I also found that the recipe needs a bit of salt and pepper, just my own taste, I suspect.
There’s a bit in the recipe that calls for garlic, ginger and lemongrass to be mashed together. I have a small coffee/spice grinder attachment for my bamix blender that I use just for this sort of thing, small and quick. There are a few similar products on the market, really worth while for this sort of cooking.
I’ve bought a few new cookbooks this year, the theme seems to be about the middle east. This book of Persian recipes is called ‘Nightingales and Roses’ by Maryam Sinaiee. Hopelessly romantic title, but then again, I have a photograph of two Tehrani police officers outside our gate in northern Tehran, posing for my mother with bunches of roses and honeysuckle.
I never had this soup, though, until today. It is easy and delicious. The recipe makes a large quantity, it says it serves four but only if you have two helpings each. It takes about an hour and a half to make.
4 tbsp olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped finely
1 tbsp turmeric
1.5 litres boiling water
50g arborio rice
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 pack of coriander leaf, chopped (around 40g)
1 pack of flat leaf parsley, chopped (around 40g)
1 tbsp dried summer savory (or substitute a mixture of thyme and mint)
300g spinach, chopped
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
250ml greek yoghurt or sour cream or creme fraiche
Black pepper to garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid. When it is hot, add the chopped onions, and fry for 10-15 minutes until the onions are brown. Stir in the turmeric and mix. Set aside a tablespoonful of fried onions for a garnish at the end.
Add the water and rice to the rest of the fried onions, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, herbs and spinach, bring to the boil and then simmer for 40 minutes.
Add the salt and pepper to taste, then beat in the yoghurt. Don’t boil once the yoghurt is added, because it will curdle.
Garnish with extra yoghurt, the fried onions, and a grating of black pepper.
For a vegan version, leave out the yoghurt, or use coconut yoghurt. For a meaty version, use beef stock instead of water and add small meatballs.
This is the first recipe I have tried from the ‘Cook for Syria’ recipe book. The book is a collection of recipes from Syria, and so much more. It tells about the culture of food and sharing in Syria, builds links with people using the #CookForSyria @CookForSyria tags, and raising money for Unicef to help children affected by fighting in their beautiful country.
I served it to a visitor, and we shared a lot of stories about the ethics and politics of food. I had to make a few adaptions to fit my ingredients.
6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp za’atar (I used the mystery mixed Italian herbs, but za’atar is available from Seasoned Pioneers. )