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Plov

Ingredients

500 gms mutton, goat, or lamb neck – cut into chunks or chops
3 to 4 large onions, roughly chopped
couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 to 4 medium carrots, sliced thickly (about 5mm slices)
Rice
1 head garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
Salt and black pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup of barberries
Washed basmati rice and water (use quanitity of 1:2.5 i.e. 1 cup of washed basmati rice to 2.5 cups of water)

Method

Heat oil very hot and fry meat until it starts to brown. Add onion and chopped garlic and fry until soft, add sliced carrot and fry a few minutes longer.

Add all other ingredients, stir well, cover, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes (no more). Take off the stove and wrap the whole sealed saucepan in a couple of towels to keep the heat in and leave it to sit for at least two hours.

Serve with green salad.

N.b. If you can’t get barberries then you could try red currants or black currants, but do try to get the dried barberries, they are awesome.

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Pickled Onions

Ingredients

Pickling onions
Enough brown malt vinegar to cover onions
2 tablespoons of honey
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed
black peppercorns
2 cloves
pinch of tarragon
2 tablespoons of salt

Method

Heat enough water to cover the onions, mix in the salt and add the onions while hot. Soak the onions for one to two days.

Put the remaining spices, vinegar, and honey in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the onions and put in sterilised jars, cover with the vinegar and spice mixture to about 1cm from top of jar. Seal when cold and leave for three weeks before eating.

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Meat Balls with Vermicelli Rice

Ingredients

Olive oil for frying
500 grams of minced lamb or beef
1/4 cup plain flour
salt and black pepper to taste
1 pint of stock (pork stock works really well but chicken will do)
juice of 1 lemon
a small bundle vermicelli (very thin spaghetti)
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder (optional)

Method

Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together on a dinner plate. Then taking about a desertspoon of mince each time, make a ball of the meat by rolling it in your hands, finish by rolling in the flour to completely coat each ball and put to one side.

When you have made all the mince into meat balls and coated them all with flour, fry them in the oil to throughly brown them. When browned put in a saucepan with enough stock to cover. Fry the remaining flour/salt/pepper mixture in the frypan until it too is browned, add the fried flour to the stock and stir carefully so that you don’t break up the meatballs. Simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through and the gravy is thickened. Add the cumin powder to the gravy during cooking.

While the meatballs are cooking, in a clean frypan put some more olive oil and gently fry the vermicelli unti it is dark brown (try not to burn it)! Add the fried vermicelli to the rice and steam or boil them together until the rice is cooked.

Serve the meatballs on the vermicelli and rice with fresh natural yoghurt to accompany.

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Meat and Homus Stew

Ingredients

1 cup of dry chick peas (homus)
1 tablespoon of margarine or oil
2 large onions roughly chopped
1 kilo of mutton or goat neck chops
3 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cummin Salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Method

Soak the chick peas overnight in a pint of water, this important they should soak for at least twelve hours.

In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic lightly, just sautéed is OK, dont brown. Add the black pepper and fry a couple mopre minutes to release the flavour. Add the meat and fry a further five minutes. Add the chick peas, the water they soaked in, the cumin, and salt. Simmer, covered, on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours until meat is falling from bones.

Remove enough liquid from the stew to steam rice. Typically, because there will be chick peas in the water you might need a ratio of about 1:1.25 or 1:1.5 rice to liquid, add the lemon juice to the remaining stew.

Steam the rice with the liquid and serve the stew on the rice accompanied by fresh natural yoghurt which can be added on top.

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Meat and Homus Stew

Ingredients

1 cup of dry chick peas (homus)
1 tablespoon of margarine or oil
2 large onions roughly chopped
1 kilo of mutton or goat neck chops
3 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cummin Salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Method

Soak the chick peas overnight in a pint of water, this important they should soak for at least twelve hours.

In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic lightly, just sautéed is OK, dont brown. Add the black pepper and fry a couple mopre minutes to release the flavour. Add the meat and fry a further five minutes. Add the chick peas, the water they soaked in, the cumin, and salt. Simmer, covered, on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours until meat is falling from bones.

Remove enough liquid from the stew to steam rice. Typically, because there will be chick peas in the water you might need a ratio of about 1:1.25 or 1:1.5 rice to liquid, add the lemon juice to the remaining stew.

Steam the rice with the liquid and serve the stew on the rice accompanied by fresh natural yoghurt which can be added on top.

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Lamb, Mutton or Goat Stew

Ingredients

1 kilo lamb, mutton or goat (neck is best – any of these meat types is going to taste just great) in chunks – about 3 cm cubes
1 dozen shallots peeled but whole
Olive oil for frying (just the pomace or second or third squeezing, not extra virgin)
About 500ml of lamb or vegetable stock
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of capers
3 small bunches of basil leaves
1 cup (200 ml) of white wine
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oil until starting to smoke and fry the lamb until it starts to brown. If liquid comes out of the meat then evaporate all this and then let the meet fry.

Add the shallots and garlic cloves to the meat and fry until they start to brown on the outside. You will need to stir constantly.

Pour in the wine and it should lift the sticky caramalised meat and onion from the bottom of the pan and then, in a few minutes reduce to a very thick sauce.

Add salt and black pepper and the stock, cover and simmer until the meat is very tender (up to 1 1/2 hours). Uncover, add the capers and let it simmer uncovered for about another 1/2 hour, this should thicken the gravy slightly more. take the stew off the heat, tear up the basil and stir into the stew.

Serve on plain boiled rice with some steamed veg if you want (leeks are awesome).

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Green Corriander Chicken

Ingredients

Paste

120gms fresh corriander leaves and stalks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
7 or 8 large cloves garlic
about 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon corriander seeds
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
1 tbsp white or black poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 stick cinamon
6 green cardamon pods

Main

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 kg chicken pieces without skin
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
juice of 1 lemon
small amount of corrainder leaves for garnish

Method

Blend all paste ingredients except dry spices. Grind the dry paste spices (except cardamon which should be bruised with the back of a spoon and put in whole at the end). Add spices to paste and mix well.

Heat the oil and fry the onion until it starts to brown. Add the paste and fry for a further 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken, water, salt and butter. Reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is cooked (about 30 minutes).

Add lemon (you should always do this at the end as cooking destroys vitamin C) and sprinkle with the remaining corriander granish. Serve with rice.

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