Ras Al-Hanout

The fragrant and beautiful middle eastern spice gives the lamb a special flavour.

Servings

4

Ready In:

2 hours 10 min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

Ras Al-Hanout is a beautiful spice that originates in Morocco but is used all over The Middle East in cooking. The spice is made up of anywhere between 20 and 100 other spices including dried peppers, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, rose buds and lavender which makes it not only pleasant to look out, but also delightful to smell. For this recipe we marinated the chunks of lamb steak in the Ras Al-Hanout and lemon juice then grilled the meat and served it as part of the mezze course

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Ras Al-Hanout
  • 300g lamb chunks
  • 1 lemon

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Toss together the lemon juice, Ras Al-Hanout and the lamb chunks in a dish and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours (or as long as possible).

Step 2

Place a griddle pan on a high heat and cook the lamb in the juices until it has browned and the fat has started to crispen. Serve warm as part of the mezze

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Quick Hummus

Quick Hummus

Quick Hummus

Super quick hummus recipe.

Servings

2

Ready In:

10min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Jill Dupleix, BBC

Quick Hummus really is a quick recipe to make.

Drain some chickpeas, put them in a food processor with all of the other ingredients and whizz to whatever consistency you like. Serve with warm flat bread of your choice. Go on try making your own and see if it is better than the shop bought stuff.

(A little secret – I was terrified of showing the kids that Hummus was made of chickpeas after all it took me until I was 30 to try the stuff….fortunately they were not fazed!)

Ingredients

  • 200g canned chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Reserve a few whole chickpeas for serving (you’ll notice we didn’t – didn’t want to scare the kids!)

Step 2

Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and water in a food processor and blend to a creamy puree.

Step 4

Sprinkle with the paprika, we used sumac over ours to give a nice contrast.

Step 4

Spoon into the lined tray and use the back of the spoon to smooth the mixture evenly out. Bake for about 25 minutes – the slice should be golden brown.

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Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Servings

16

Ready In:

25min

Good For:

Snacks

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About this Recipe

By Anne Shooter, The Times 

Tabbouleh is very popular in Bahrain and in this house too. It is my son’s favourite dish but my daughter point blank refuses to eat it. I thought it was about time we branched out and tried another recipe with bulgar wheat in it and maybe we could tempt her into the fold?

This year I have been very lucky to keep stumbling across some fantastic recipes, I found this one, Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts, in the newspaper this Saturday and knew I had to make it. Anne Shooter had written an article about six simple dishes to bake in the oven and which parent doesn’t need a quick tray bake recipe? Not only did it look so colourful and delicious on the page that I wanted to eat it there and then, but it was also a super easy meal to make – brilliant!

I prepared everything, popped it in the oven, put the kids to bed and dinner was ready. The grown-ups loved the meal (although I would suggest halving the walnuts), the little ones were not so keen. My daughter refused to eat any of the bulgar wheat (sigh) but loved the chicken and my son was so upset that I had not made tabbouleh. You can’t win everything.

We will make this meal again but I think the pomegranate seeds, walnuts and parsley which give it such a contrast in textures and make this dish look so desirable were just a bit too weird for my little ones.

Ingredients

  • onion
  • 1 aubergine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • for seasoning salt and pepper
  • 200g bulgar wheat
  • orange, zest only
  • large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 150g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • to garnish pomegranate seeds

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

Step 2

Put the onion and aubergine in a bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bulgar wheat, orange zest and half of the chopped parsley. Tip into a roasting dish, just big enough to hold the chicken in a single layer.

Step 3

Pour over the hot stock, then lay the chicken pieces over the top, skin-side up. Scatter the walnut pieces and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top.

Step 4

Cover the dish with foil and cook for 30 min, then take the foil off and cook for a further 30 min. By this time the chicken should be cooked through and browned, and the bulgar tender. Serve garnished with the remaining parsley and the pomegranate seeds.

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Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

Watermelon Feta And Black Olive Salad

Refreshing watermelon salad.

Servings

4

Ready In:

10min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Time Out, Bahrain 

Thanks to Time Out Bahrain we have discovered this amazing watermelon and feta salad recipe. Unfortunately they did not supply the recipe but there are plenty out there to choose from.

We found this one from Nigella and it is delicious. At first you think Watermelon and Feta, really? But it works really well and it is a great alternative to Greek salad.

If you are want to do something with the leftover watermelon rind try making Garpiz Murebbesi from the Azerbaijan selection.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg watermelon
  • 1 red onion
  • lime
  • 250g feta
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • crushed black pepper

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes’ worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.

Step 2

Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm / 1½ inch triangular chunks, if that makes sense (maths is not my strong point). Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.

Step 3

Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.

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Mango Mahalabia with a touch of Sumac

Mango Mahalabia with a touch of Sumac

Mango Mahalabia with a touch of Sumac

Mango twist on the traditional Mahalabia recipe

Servings

6

Ready In:

15min

Good For:

Dessert

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About this Recipe

By Lins Food

When I was searching for desserts for Abu Dhabi, I came across traditional Mahalabia and then the kids spotted the Mango version. Given how much they adore Mango there was no going back after that. The recipe is fairly simple and probably quick if you have made custard before – I hadn’t and was terrified of the milk catching so heated it so slowly that it took an hour and a half to make instead of 10 minutes! Tip there is to be a bit more aggressive with the heat in the beginning.

The kids were the first to try the pudding and rather disappointingly the eldest one didn’t like it. He announced, ‘It’s not for me.’ I almost fell over, it is the most polite I have ever heard him. Normally he shreks, ‘It’s disgusting, yuck!’ and then the younger one refuses to try it. He won massive brownie points for this and I am hoping to hear only ‘It’s not for me.’ in the future.

The good news is my daughter adored it and is delighted her brother left his as she can have it tomorrow for pudding. Everyone is a winner.

The colours are beautiful in this dish. Thank you Lins Food for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 mango
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sumac

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Peel and chop the mangoes up roughly and place them in a blender along with half of the fresh milk. Blend to a smooth paste.

Step 2

Make a paste with the cornflour and about 3 tbsp of the fresh milk.

Step 3

Combine this cornflour paste, the mango puree, both types of milk and the sugar in a heavy based saucepan or milk pan and stir to mix.

Step 4

Bring to the boil on a medium heat, stirring it occasionally.

Step 5

After about 5 minutes, you’ll notice the milk mixture begin to thicken slowly

Step 6

Lower the heat down slightly to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes until the mahalabia resembles thick custard. Now you need to be careful here as the milk can catch if your heat is not low enough, or if the pan doesn’t have a thick enough base. You don’t want burnt milk or bits in your mahalabia! Just in case, do not scrape the bottom of the pan as you are stirring.

Step 7

When the mahalabia is as thick as custard, take it off the heat and add the rose/orange water (whatever you’re using) and crushed cardamom seeds and stir.

Step 8

Pour into serving dishes/cups and place in the fridge to cool for at least 3 hours. It will thicken when cold. If you are going to chill it overnight, cover the cups/dishes with cling film or saucers to prevent the Mahalabia from absorbing any smells but also to stop the surface from becoming dry.

Step 9

To serve, drizzle the rose syrup over it (if using) and sprinkle with nuts.

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Kharoof Mahshi

Kharoof Mahshi

Kharoof Mahshi

Delicious roast lamb stuffed with nuts and rice

Servings

4

Ready In:

1 hour 30min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Margarita’s International Recipes

Kharoof Mahshi is one of the best roast lamb dishes I have ever made. It is supposed to be a whole lamb or kid stuffed with rice and nuts, but that would obviously be too much food and it would not fit in our oven, so instead we bought a butterfly of lamb and stuffed that. The stuffing and the rub are quick to make then you simply bung it in the oven and let the aromas fill the house.

The kids said it smelt delicious although only one of them ate the stuffing. I’ll admit it doesn’t look particularly pretty, it is hard to make it look apetitizing in a photo, but once you taste it I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a keeper, we have put it on the list.

Thank you Margarita’s international recipes

Ingredients

  • boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
  • 2/3 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2  tsp coriander
  • 1  tsp candied ginger
  • 1  tsp salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked rice
  • 2/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat the oven to 375F

Step 2

Wash and pat dry the leg of lamb. Mix 1/4 cup of onions with the coriander, the ginger and the salt and pepper. Rub it all over the leg of lamb.

Step 4

Put it in a roasting pan. Pour the melted butter over it and place it in the oven. Cook it until done, about 20-25 minutes per pound.

Step 4

Spoon into the lined tray and use the back of the spoon to smooth the mixture evenly out. Bake for about 25 minutes – the slice should be golden brown.

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Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon

Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon

Stuffed Dates Wrapped In Bacon

These little pockets of loveliness disappear in a flash

Servings

8

Ready In:

15min

Good For:

Starter or Dessert

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About this Recipe

These dates wrapped in bacon are such a yummy starter, and although more of a mediterranean dish we couldn’t resist making them for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

So quick, get the Medjool dates, remove the stone, pop in an almond and wrap in bacon. Et voila! When they are all ready, put them under the grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how you like your bacon.

The kids love dates, so whoosh they were gone in a flash. There are many recipes available on the internet for this one, so too many people to thank

Ingredients

  • Medjool Dates
  • almonds
  • 8 slices bacon

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Remove the stone from the date and replace it with an almond. Wrap the date with bacon and secure with a cocktail stick.

Step 2

When they are all ready, place them under the grill on a high heat for 5-10 minutes depending on how you like your bacon

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Leg of Lamb Shawarma

Leg of Lamb Shawarma

Leg of Lamb Shawarma

The aromas from cooking the lamb are amazing, worth every minute of your time.

Servings

16

Ready In:

2 hours 45min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Silvena Rowe, Food & Wine

This leg of lamb recipe is a great one. Its’ aromas infuse around the home transporting you to a different country. It is also remarkably quick to cook, just 15 minutes each side and another 15 minutes to rest. The only drawback is you need to remember to marinade it the night before, but it really is that simple.

The leg of lamb can be served whole or sliced up as we have done in grilled flatbreads with dilled yoghurt and cucumbers. Thank you to Food and Wine for this recipe from Silvena Rowe.

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 lb butterflied Leg of Lamb
  • grilled Flat Bread
  • for serving yoghurt
  • handfull dill
  • sliced cucumber

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the top quarter off of the garlic head and put it on a double piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until very soft.

Step 2

Squeeze the garlic cloves into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Step 3

Lay the lamb on a work surface and make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over the meat. Transfer the lamb to a rimmed baking sheet and spread the spice paste all over, rubbing it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4

Light a grill. Bring the lamb to room temperature and season with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb fat side down over moderately high heat until charred, about 20 minutes. Turn the lamb and grill for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 130C for medium meat. Transfer the lamb to a work surface to rest for about 15 minutes.

Step 5

Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve it with grilled flatbread, dilled yogurt and sliced cucumbers.

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Potato Cupcakes

Potato Cupcakes

Potato Cupcakes

Little spicy clouds of potato – yum.

Servings

8

Ready In:

2 hours 40min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Food Channel 

We have been enjoying these potato cupcakes as little snacks – they are like spicy potato clouds, so light and fluffy, they almost melt in your mouth. A great addition to a mezze platter.

A little bit of planning is required as you need to cook and cool the potatoes before making the cupcake recipe. We cooked the potatoes in the morning and made the cupcakes in the afternoon.

Thank you to The Food Channel for this latest inspiration. (The recipe was a little vague so I have shown the quantities I used for the herbs.)

Ingredients

  • 2. 1/4 lb potatoes
  • 4 large
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Boil the potatoes for about an hour (I did it for about 30 minutes as I felt mine were soft enough).

Step 2

Peel and cool them completely, then grate them.

Step 3

Mix the grated potato with the egg yolks, tarragon, turmeric, oil and salt and pepper.

Step 4

Whisk the eggs whites until they form soft peaks. Fold into the potato mixture.

Step 5

Grease a cupcake pan and half fill them with the mixture.

Step 6

Bake in the oven at 200C for 40 minutes to an hour.

Step 7

Top with caramelized onion, serve with yoghurt, chutney and bread.

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Pistachio-Stuffed Dates

Pistachio-Stuffed Dates

Pistachio-Stuffed Dates

They look so good you could eat them with your eyes

Servings

26

Ready In:

10min

Good For:

Dessert

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About this Recipe

By Simple Provisions 

These pistachio-stuffed dates were not only magnificent to look at, they were absolutely delicious. (I am a big fan of dates and pistachios so maybe I’m a little biased).  A big thank you to Amelia at Simple Provisions for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios nuts, shelled,
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 26 dates
  • for decoration unsweetened coconut

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Whizz the pistachios in a food blender until they form a crumble-like mixture. Stir the honey and tahini in, adding a little extra of each if the mixture needs more to stick together nicely.

Step 2

Slice each date lengthways and remove the stone.

Step 3

Stuff the pistachio mixture into each date and sprinkle with a little coconut.

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Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

A refreshing staple of any mezze platter

Servings

4

Ready In:

20min (plus 4.5 hours)

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Fallling Cloudberries

My son refers to Abu Dhabi as the ‘Tabbouleh Grand Prix’. Unusually for a five year old, Tabbouleh is his ultimate dish which we generally have once a week. For those not in the know Tabbouleh is a ‘salad’ made of bulgur wheat, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes and herbs which originates from Lebanon but is served all over the Middle East. It is generally served as part of the mezze course although we often have ours with our mains. I also adore tabbouleh (and I don’t like tomatoes!).

Tabbouleh is one of those dishes that everyone has their own version of, mine comes from a cookbook that my sister gave me years ago called Falling Cloudberries but we have adapted it slightly to suit our tastes

Ingredients

  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 250ml water
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • lemons
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 red onion

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Soak the bulgur wheat in the water for 4 hours or longer in the fridge.

Step 2

At the same time, dice a red onion and place in a sieve. Sprinkle a small amount of salt over it and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse to remove the salt.

Step 3

When the bulgur wheat has absorbed all of the water remove it from the fridge. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley.

Step 4

De-seed and dice the flesh of the tomatoes. Add this to the bulgur wheat mixture.

Step 5

Add the rinsed and drained red onion and stir in to mix it thoroughly.

Step 6

Set aside to let the flavours absorb and prepare the rest of the mezze.

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