Zoe is one of my dearest friends and I made her this meal as a collection of what I know are some of her favourite things to eat – especially tomato sauce and aubergine. I did most of the shopping for this meal at Nour Cash and Carry in Brixton Market which has just about everything you’d want and more. The meat came from Flock and Herd in Peckham. We were too hungry and excited to hang out to take pictures but recipes are below.
Pale green Turkish peppers*
Crispy lamb with burnt aubergine, pine nuts, pomegranate and mint**
Cinnamon scented basmati rice***
Sweet-sour tomato sauce with saffron and pomegranate molasses****
Sliced mango with desiccated coconut, creme fraîche and soft brown sugar
Illaj by Jamsheed, 2015
*Peppers blistered and softened in a hot dry pan, with salt
**Cooked to a Morito book recipe, but made with lamb shoulder, recipe shared by publisher here. This is one to make when you have a whole day or are working from home. You leave the lamb to gently simmer in the spiced water for up to an hour (until it’s really soft), wait for it to go cold and then shred it before frying in butter to make crispy. It’s actually very easy to make, just takes some time.
***Soak the rice in warm water for 1 hour with a pinch of salt, rinse until the water runs clear, place rice in a pan with water filled one finger segment’s length above it – I always use my hand to measure the rice water – add a knob of unsalted butter, a cinnamon stick and a good pinch of salt, lid on tight, turn heat on high, boil furiously for 5 mins then turn the heat down. When the water has disappeared and there are little holes on the top of the rice turn heat off, remove lid and cover with tea towel. Let the rice sit for 15 minutes before eating.
****Slice one garlic clove and add to 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan or sauce pan. When it starts sizzling add a scant pinch of saffron. Sizzle for a few seconds until the garlic is pale gold in colour. Add 1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes in their juices, rinse out the tin with water and add to the pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1/2 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses, 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of Turkish chilli flakes (or other chilli flakes). Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar. Salt to taste.
We had everything except the dessert on the table at once and picked our way through it. The tomato sauce was in a bowl with a spoon so we could keep adding more to our plates.