Category: Chickpeas

Rocking The Casbah – The Food Of Morocco

The selection for March and April over  at The Cookbook Guru was The Food Of Morocco by Paula Wolfert which really fits in with my explorations into Middle Eastern Food via Persiana and MENA.

 First, the book is ENORMOUS!!!! If you dropped this on your foot, you would be in serious danger of breaking a toe.  Or two. It was really quite difficult to choose the recipes to try, there were so many and so many that sounded delicious.

Second, it is beautiful – not just the recipes, the photography, the writing, everything about it is lovely. I would love to have this in my own collection as it is so well curated and contains so much of interest but sadly, it is quite expensive so, at the moment is just on the wishlist!

I have been sick for nearly a week now so I have left my run here a little late.  Thankfully the anti-biotics have started to kick in and hopefully I can get this post out whilst it is still April somewhere in the world.

I have made four things from this book and whilst I would have loved to have a post for each, for the sake of brevity, I’m putting them all together so I can get something out before Christmas!!!  I have also not included any recipes as that would have taken even more time but, if you like the look of anything let me know and I can send ’em through!

THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // BRIK WITH TUNA, CAPERS AND EGGS

I was not familiar with the brik, (pronounced breek) which is a Moroccan snack consisting of a very thin pastry called warqa wrapped around various fillings, one of which is this delicious but to me, uncommon, combination of tuna and egg. 

Not surprisingly there was no warqa pastry at the local supermarket and because I was running so late on this, I could not shop for it so I used the much more readily available filo pastry for my briks.  You can apparently also use spring roll wrappers, or if really brave, make your own warqa pastry.

So first up you saute up some onions, then add your tuna, capers, parsley and some parmesan cheese.  And yup, this mix just on it’s own tastes AMAZING. I’m surprised there was any left to make the briks. Personally, I blame the hosts of reality tv cooking shows for constantly telling people to taste their food during cooking!

Then you make place the tuna mix on the pastry but make a little hole to hold the eggs.  I don’t think it matters if it spills over a little like mine did.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

Then you quickly seal this up and drop it into some hot oil to fry up – the idea being you want your pastry crispy and your egg still a little bit runny.

So, did I cook the perfect runny egg brik?

Sadly, no.  My egg was cooked through. 🙁

This was not all bad though, it certainly made it easier to take the remainder for lunch the next day.  And OMG, so tasty.  I’ll definitely be trying this again and trying to nail that runny egg.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO //POTATO TAGINE WITH OLIVES AND HARISSA

This tasted as good as it looks.  And one for my vegan friends!!!  The colours are so beautiful and the flavours blend together beautifully!

Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa
Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // THE BIRD THAT FLEW AWAY

This a lovely chickpea dish with a delightful name.  Paula Wolfert explains that is it a “plat de pauvre” (a dish for the poor) that is made when you can’t afford to buy a chicken.  It’s so good I think I would eat it regardless of whether I had a chicken or not!

The Bird That Flew Away2
The Bird That Flew Away2

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO INSPIRED // ARTICHOKE SALAD WITH ORANGE, LEAFY GREENS AND DATES.

A Spanish restaurant I am very fond of does a salad with oranges, artichokes and dates which is To. Die. For.  In order to recreate it’s flavour, I used Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad and added artichokes and some lemon and olive oil in the dressing.  I think it worked really well and I loved the hint of orange flower water.  It was not exactly my restaurant salad but it was pretty close. And look at how pretty it is! 

Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad
Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad

 This was an amazing book and I am so glad that The Cookbook Guru drew it to my attention.  The next few months we will be cooking from a book by a true legend of Australian Cooking, Margaret Fulton.  I can’t wait.  And I promise to be a bit more timely!

Have a great week!

 

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Lets Get Chatty…Chatti Pathiri that is (Daring Kitchen)

Here is something you don’t know about me.  

Chatti Pathiri
Chatti Pathiri

You know how some people step up and excel under pressure?  I’m not one of them.  I warp.  I buckle.  I crumple and fold.  When the going gets tough you can usually find me sobbing in a corner.  And one of the things that really fazes me is cooking for other people – not so much for dinners but a bake sale?  Guaranteed disaster.  Last time?  Yes, that was me running into the 7-11 well after midnight, (after the first four attempts at cupcakes had failed) wild eyed, smeared with flour and frosting and slightly twitchy.  “Where’s your cake mix?  I need a box of cake mix.  And I need it now!!!!”  I was like a demented Betty Crocker junkie desperate for my fix…..

Chatting Pathiri

Sigh.

The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanne from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish! 

Challenge was right, I felt the first stirrings of panic rising even as I read the recipe….

Chatting Pathiri 2

So, let’s take a step back before I start hyperventilating (again) and look at this dish called Chatti Pathiri.  For those of you, who, like me had never heard of Chatti Pathiri, the best way to explain is that it’s kinda, sorta like an Indian Lasagne where crepes step in for the pasta sheet and, in my case a spicy chicken and chickpea curry acts as the filling.

Chatti Pathiri 3

Yeah, you heard it….yummy, yummy crepes and delicious chicken and chickpea curry.  And after you layer these two bits of deliciosuness, you slather them in coconut milk and bake it all together. And mark my words….It’s all good. 

So why the fear?  Why the cold hand of dread on my spine I hear you ask?  Not because of the recipe, that was awesome!!!  But because I kind of know Joanne.  She reads this.  She comments.  She’s a lovely, friendly delightful person.  And she has entrusted me (and yes,  ok thousands of other people on the Daring Kitchen) with a recipe that is obviously very special to her.  

And what if I took her delicious recipe and totally screwed it up? 

Arrrgggghhhhhh!!! 

The pressure….

(I know.  Such a Drama Queen.  Feel free to roll your eyes.  I would be.)

Luckily for me, Joanne’s recipe proved to be idiot proof!!!  And super delicious!!!! You can find it here.

I added a little bit more chilli and a can of chickpeas into the chicken mix but apart from that I used Joanne’s recipe as is.  

Chatti Pathiri
Chatti Pathiri

I served my version of Chatti Pathiri with a coconut and coriander sambol and some cherry tomatoes drizzled with a little bit of pomegranate molasses.

Coriander and Coconut Sambol
Serves 4
A spicy and refreshing side dish, perfect for eating with your Chatti Pathiri or any other indian dish
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp coriander leaves
  2. 75g coconut (freshly grated is best, I used dessicated)
  3. 3 green chillies, deseeded
  4. 1 clove of garlic
  5. 2.5 cm piece of ginger
  6. 2 tsp mint leaves
  7. 1 tsp sugar
  8. Salt and freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients, except lime and salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add salt and lime juice to taste.
  3. Serve as an accompaniment to curries
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 The sambol will last in the fridge for about a week if you seal it up.  Which is perfect because the Chatti Pathiri is also pretty good reheated on the second day!!!

Joanne, if you’re reading this,  thank you very much for the recipe.  I loved making it and I loved eating it even more.  I hope I have done your recipe and you proud!!!

If this has piqued your interest in Pathiri and /or you would like to see how other Daring Kitchen members interpreted the challenge, you can see some of the completed dishes on Joanne’s blog here.

Or just head over and have a read, you won’t be disappointed!

And speaking of reading, I joined the Goodreads Food and Fiction book.  And here’s another thing you may not know about me – my first venture into blogging was trying to match food to the books I was reading.  It’s an idea I return to every now and again and I may start adding in one or two of those in the not too distant.  In the meantime, if, like me you love food and you love fiction…the Goodreads group may be something for you! You can find a link over on the right.

Have a great week!!!!

And if you want to get chatty, leave a comment!!!!

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Daring Kitchen Challenge – Indian Dosas

One of the reasons I began this blog was to challenge myself to make new and different things – and so not only improve my skills but also my repertoire of dishes.  Whilst this has been somewhat successful,  the format I’ve chosen generally allows me to pick items that:

a) I am confident I can cook well,

b) Will look good in photos, and

c) I want to eat (mostly…I still shudder at the thought of that awful asparagus mousse)

Indian Dosas
Indian Dosas

So, what happens if you want to challenge yourself but take these safety nets away?  Well, in my instance, you join the Daring Kitchen.  Generally, each month members of this website are challenged to cook and blog about a recipe chosen by one of the members.

The only thing in my first month, which was October, in a “celebration” of past Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers challenges, Lisa challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we’d like! The REAL challenge was picking which delicious recipe(s) to try!

And it was a real dilemma.  For most people the choice may have been Cooks or Bakers, sweet or savoury.  Not me, I’m way too shallow for that.  My big quandary was:

Do I cook something I’m pretty sure I can pull off?  Something that will look good in the pictures, and by default make me look awesome?

Or, do I stick to the spirit of the challenge and choose something that is going to test my skills and maybe fall flat on my face but learn something in the process?

The choice was therefore narrowed down to Gyozas or Croissants.  I’ve made dumplings before, home much harder can gyoza be right?  Croissants?  Une toute autre histoire!!!

I was heading right down Gyzoa alley (shallow remember?) when I mentioned the challenge to a friend at work and we started looking through the past challenges.  She chose the recipe for the Indian Dosas from September 2009.  These are both gluten-free and vegan which is great because honestly, my range in both of those areas is limited.   So, thanks Nadya, good choice!

First step was to make the pancakes:

Dosas
Dosas

These were not the super thin crispy dosas I have eaten in restaurants, mine turned out more the texture of crepes but they were still pretty tasty.  And the difference in texture was probably more me that an inherent flaw in the recipe!

Then the chickpea filling…look at the amazing colours of the ingredients.. they are like a little rainbow of health and deliciousness!!!

Chickpea Filling Ingredients
Chickpea Filling Ingredients
Chickpea Filling
Chickpea Filling

This was also really tasty! So, so good…

Finally, there was a coconut curry sauce and some condiments to go with it.

Dosas with Coconut Sauce and Condiments 2
Dosas with Coconut Sauce and Condiments

This was a great first challenge for me as this was probably something I would never had made otherwise. If you want the recipe…and you know you do….click below:

Daring Kitchen Indian Dosas

I really liked the filling, and if I was too lazy to make the actual dosas or the sauce again (which I probably am), the filling would be super in some warm pita bread with some of the condiments and some yoghurt dip over the top.  Hmm..that probably ruins both the vegan and gluten-free aspect of the dish but hey, I’m neither a vegan or a coeliac.  It would stay vegetarian..and pretty damn delicious!

OMG, now I want that so much…I have some of the left over mixture in my freezer…shame I’m already in my pyjamas, or I would be down at the supermarket right now snapping up flatbread and tzatziki like a mad woman…

I ‘m really looking forward to the next month’s challenge which is…it’s a secret…you’ll have to wait about a month to find out!

In the meantime, enjoy this great vintage Indian print…which I think has the Goddess of Food and the Kitchen, Annapurna,in the background…

Signature 1

The Italian Cuisine I Love – Cavolo Nero with Chickpeas and Bacon

The original recipe for this used escarole.  I’ll admit I wasn’t entirely sure what that is.  Cook’s Thesaurus said that spinach or rocket could be substituted, so of course I used something completely different.  Cavolo Nero, or Tuscan Black Cabbage is an ingredient I love.  It is at the peak of its season at the moment so I substituted it for the green in this.  As the leaves are a lot tougher than spinach or rocket (or possibly escarole)  I adjusted the cooking times accordingly.

The other change I made to the original recipe, with full apologies to Jules J, was that it originally was a soup.  I wanted it as a side dish so I decreased the amount of stock I  added back in my version.  If you want it as a soup, you will need to add 2-4 cups of stock where I have placed the asterisk in the recipe below.

This was, awesome.  I have a very fussy easter for  a husband, and it is not often he asks for second helpings of sides, particularly ones that are vegetable heavy.  Maybe it was the bacon in this but he not only had seconds, he took the last little bit into work for his lunch the next day!

500 grams eacarole / cavolo nero / greens of your choice

2 cups chicken stock

1 medium onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 spring onions, chopped

1/3 cup lean bacon, diced

1  can chickpeas

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp basil

2 tbsp grated parmesan

Trim cavolo nero.  Discard tough ends.  Chop into slices about 1 cm thick.

Put chicken stock in a saucepan.  Heat  to boiling.  Add cavolo nero.   If there is not enough stock, top up with water until leaves are just covered.

Cover and cook until crisp/tender.

Drain and reserve cooking liquid.

Saute bacon in a heavy saucepan, add onion, garlic, spring onions, and saute until soft but not browned.  Add the chickpeas and cavolo nero and a few spoonfuls* of the cooking liquid.

Warm through.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve.

Delicious!


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