1⁄4 kg courgette (grate to remove the skin)
3 tablespoons sesame paste
1⁄4 teaspoon lemon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 spicy sausages (soujouk)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
6 tomatoes peeled and cut in dice
1 tablespoon pepper paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
12 small aubergines
8 small courgettes
8 red Aleppo peppers
500g vine leaves
3 or 4 carrots
1 1⁄2 cups of water
1 tablespoon red pepper paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
20 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dried mint
1⁄2 cup olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup long grain rice
1⁄2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1⁄4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pinenuts
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3⁄4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon four spices
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper powder
1 ripe tomato, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper, finely chopped
1 chicken Coarse salt and lemon to clean the chicken
1⁄2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice 12 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 lemons, juiced
2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 tablespoon pepper paste
8 cups flour
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 1⁄2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon mahlab
1 pinch salt
Glaze and garnish:
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon black cumin
Boil 2 litres. water in a large pan. When the water boils add the grated courgette and boil for half hour. Drain well, rinse with some cold water and let them cool down.
When the courgette is cold, combine it with the sesame paste, the lemon salt and the salt in the blender and pour it in small plates. Place in the fridge for half an hour for the mixture to thicken.
Garnish with a bit of cumin and red pepper powder, some leaves of mint and a bit of olive oil and serve as an appetizer with grilled bread.
Often this dip is prepared with the inside of the courgettes, left overs from the stuffed courgettes. Lemon salt or citric acid can be replaced by lemon juice, but the mixture might be too liquid.
45 min preparation time but count some extra time in between for the courgette to cool down and for the mixture to thicken.
As a mezze for 4 persons
Put the sausages for a minute in water to peel them easily. Make a cut in the skin lengthwise and remove the skin. Cut in slices of 1⁄2 cm. Fry the slices in sunflower oil for 2 to 3 minutes until they change colour. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry until they change colour. Blend in the pepper paste and the lemon juice. Serve warm
15 min. preparation time
4 portions as mezze
Remove the stems from the aubergines and core with a small, serrated knife or corer. Remove the tops of the courgettes, peel, and core with a thin knife. Keep the pulp to prepare courgette cakes or courgette and sesame dip. Core and seed the Aleppo peppers and prepare the vine leaves by washing them well. Place them in a large plate, pour salted boiling water over them and let them cool. Drain and dry.
To make the stuffing: Soak the rice in boiled water for 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain. Remove the skins of the tender chickpeas and half them. Heat the oil in a wide pan and fry the onions until translucent. Stir in the rice and add salt. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and taste to adjust the seasoning.
Fill the vegetables with the stuffing, remembering to leave space for the rice to swell. To stuff the vine leaves, lay them on a flat surface with the stem pointing towards you. Put a teaspoon of stuffing in the centre of the leaf, near the stem. Fold the sides and the end nearest to you over the stuffing and roll the leaf away from you to form a cylinder.
Cover the bottom of a heavy pan with slices of carrots, to avoid burning the stuffed vegetables. Place the stuffed vegetables on top, openings up, and fit the vine leaves down the side.
Combine all the ingredients for the broth except the oil, and pour the mixture into the pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and place a small dish, inverted, on top. Cover the pot and boil on low heat for 45 minutes or until the rice is soft. Set aside for 10 minutes.
As the vegetables cool, they will absorb more of the cooking liquid. Arrange them on a large dish and serve with yoghurt (p 249).
2 hours 45 minutes preparation time
Cut the chicken in pieces, leaving the bones and skin on. Clean the chicken pieces with coarse salt and lemon juice, rinse and dry well. Cover with spices and salt and place in an oven dish.
Mix the oil, garlic, and red pepper paste and blend it with the lemon juice. Stir well and pour over the chicken. Rinse the saucepan with 1⁄2 cup of water and add this too. Leave to rest a while (preferably for an hour), turning the pieces to ensure they absorb the sauce equally.
Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place it in the oven (preheated to 190°C) for 1 hour. Turn the pieces of chicken, remove the aluminium and continue to bake for 30 more minutes.
Serve with rice (p 244) or smashed potatoes with garlic (p 246), and a vegetable platter (p 251).
1 hour 45 minutes preparation time
Warm the milk and dissolve the sugar in it. Whisk the eggs. Sieve the flour into a big bowl and combine with salt, mahlab and yeast. Add the melted butter and knead it together. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the eggs. Knead the dough with your fingers, ensuring that you don't press it down: if you do, it won't rise.
Bit by bit, add the sugary milk. It will turn into a soft, moist paste. Form it into a ball and cover with baking paper. Then cover the bowl with a plastic bag and wrap it in a woollen blanket. Place this in a covered, warm space for overnight.
The next morning form the dough into brioche. Take a handful of dough, make a thin roll and cut off a third of it. Place this part in at the centre of the longer roll, forming a T, then braid the three strings together and close the ends. To make a different shape, take a handful of dough and roll it into a thicker string. Twist into a spiral or hold it in the middle and twist the two strings together.
Put the brioches on a tray covered with baking paper and let them rest for 1 hour. Brush them with a mixture of egg yolk and milk, and decorate with black cumin seeds. Bake in the oven at 180°C until golden.
It is also delicious if you add small dried yellow raisins before forming the brioche.
50 minutes preparation time, allow time for the dough to rest overnight and another hour before baking it
Makes 4 big or 12 small brioches
For other destinations please mail us.