Sunday, July 1, 2012

Home-made natural yoghurt

1 pint whole milk
One tablespoon 'culture' (old yoghurt or even any natural yoghurt)

Bring to boil the pint of milk in a small milk pan. 

Once there is a small amount of froth, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Add the yoghurt culture/starter to the cooled milk.

Now transfer to a container of bowl that you want to keep the yoghurt in, cover with a lid, and wrap with a tea towel, leave in a dry warm place. ( I usually put it into the oven, switched off of course!!)

Store there no less than 6 hours, but no more than 10 hours

The less time you leave it the sweeter it will be.

I usually do it before I go to bed, so I have fresh home-made yoghurt for breakfast!

Voila! Home-made natural yoghurt!

Serve with hot sweet tea and home-made bread. 

*Home-made bread - Kurdish style 'kulera' will be posted soon!

Pink Walnut Bomb Cake

2 cups plain flour
1 stick butter
1 cup Sugar
One tablespoon instant coffee
Food Colouring - Red
1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 stick butter
Small handful of walnuts
Icing Sugar

In a small bowl, sieve out 2 cups of plain flour. Add baking powder and set aside.
Dissolve the coffee and red food colouring and also set aside.
I intend on making a pink cake so i did not use too much. However, you can add any colour you want!

Measure out the butter and sugar and cream together.
Add the eggs one at a time

Add the food colouring and coffee to the butter and sugar mixture.

While slowly mixing, alternately add the flour and milk (you can replace this with buttermilk or even creamed yoghurt!)

Add vanilla extract.

Grease and flour the cake pan

Place into a pre-heated oven at 175 for 20-25mins.

Once cooled add vanilla butter-cream between the layers.
Then crush walnuts (or hazelnuts) and add to butter-cream icing.

Cover the cake with the mixture and add one single walnut to decorate.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Lamb Kibbeh

There are many variations of Kibbeh from Iraq, Egypt, Palestine to Iran. But the most common feature is a type of rice or wheat processed into a dough, with a mince meat, usually lamb or beef for the filling. It can be eaten as a starter, main, or a snack in the middle of the night!

Two Cups Bulgar Wheat
Four Cups Water (Give or Take)
Handful of Sultanas
Handful of Parsley
One Onion
Cumin Tumeric
Kibbeh Spice
300g Lamb Mince Meat

 Firstly, measure out two cups of Bulgar wheat and add four cups of warm water, add the Kibba Spice (or replace with mixed spice or seven spices)
 Cover with cling film and leave for 30mins. Place into a food processor until has formed into a maluable dough like texture.
For the filling add the lamb to a medium sized pan, cook until brown, add the chopped onions, sultanas and add the parsley at the very last moment.
Add the Cumin, Tumeric and Ki bbeh Spice. 
The Kibbeh Spice is not a necessity, you can replace it with 'mixed spice/7 spices'.

Now you are ready to make the Kibbeh!
Have some warm water to dampen your hands with on the side.

Starting with a small egg sized ball of the wheat and flatten between your hands as shown below.

Add a small amount of the filling into the centre and roll into a oblong, or a ball shape.
Heat up a deep pan of oil, roughly coming up to half of the size of the Kibbe!
Fry until golden brown.
Keep a plate with Kitchen Roll to drain off the oil.

Serve with Salad and mint and cucumber yoghurt

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Klecha - Sweet Walnut Pastry Bites

A traditionally middle-eastern sweet. Usually served with tea after dinner. There are many variations to this sweet from morocco through to Iraq.
Here I have made it Iraqi style with sugared walnuts.

Two and a half cups plain flour
Three teaspoons Fast Action Dried Yeast
One teaspoon salt
Half Cup Oil
Natural Yoghurt 
Half Cup Warm water
One egg white

For The Filling:

To start with, measure out two and a half cups plain flour, add the salt and yeast and sieve into a mixing bowl.

Separate the egg whites from the yolk. Set the yolk aside for later and stir the egg whites into the flour mix. 

Then add half a cup of oil (I have used sunflower, but again vegetable or olive oil are fine!)
Mix half a cup of water with a small amount of natural yoghurt and stir in, this helps the pastry tenderize.

Continue to mix until all ingredients are blended together.

Once the pastry is easily malleable cover with cling film, then a tea towel and keep in a warm place for 1-3 hours depending on how much time you have. 

While you wait prepare the filling.
Walnuts and Sugar.
Next add the Cardomom. You can make life easy for yourself and use ground Cardomom, the hard work already done for you, but I find by grinding it myself with a pestle and mortar I get a much better flavour, taste and smell!!

Remove the outer shell and with the walnuts and sugar, use the pestle and mortar again to grind the mixture.
You are now ready to make the pastries!

Here I have used the tools specifically for making Klecha, but there is no wrong in using your hands. To be honest, it actually comes out better when you do so anyway. You are able to make and mould it yourself. 

Place the walnut mixture into the centre of the pastry and wrap up into any shape desire. You can even 
have some plain empty ones!!

Now using the egg yolk from earlier, glaze the tops of all the Klecha.

Place into a pre-heated oven at 180 for 8-10mins keeping a close eye on them!
Leave on a rack to cool, make yourself a tea, and enjoy!

Zucchini and Cheese Muffins

Two Cups of Plain Flour
Baking Powder
One Large Zucchini
One Egg
150ml Milk
50ml Sunflower Oil
Salt and Pepper
10ml warm water

Firstly Prepare the Zucchini and Cheese.
Grate the Zucchini and cheese into a bowl and set aside.

Sieve out the flour, add a pinch of salt, pepper and baking powder.

Mix in the cheese and zucchini with the flour.

Mix some cumin with 10ml of warm water and add to 150ml of milk, 50ml of sunflower oil (vegetable and olive oil is fine)
Stir and mix in with the flour.

Fill in the muffin tin (cupcake tin as I have used for smaller bites!)

Place into a pre-heated oven at 180 for 20mins.

Add a sprinkle of cheese half way through baking, for a grilled cheesy top!

Maybe a spot of gardening while you wait!

Then enjoy with a cup of tea as a light snack.
Equally works well with a side salad and potato salad.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Apricot UpSideDown Ring Cake

One and a half cups of plain flour
 Pinch of baking powder
 One cup sugar
 One cup butter
 Dash of vanilla
 Two tablespoons of dissolved instant coffee 
2 eggs
 Handful of apricots (halved) 
Honey or golden syrup

To start, Mix the Sugar and Butter until nice and fluffy.
Add the 2 eggs and continue to whisk!

 Mix some instant coffee with two tablespoons of water, or however strong you want the coffee flavour to be.
I used the amount in the picture below, enough to give it flavour, but not so much that the coffee overtakes!

Then add the vanilla, coffee, flour and baking powder and slowly mix together.

Put aside.
Using greaseproof paper, cut out the shape of the bottom of the tin that you are using, here I am using a ring shaped cake tin. Place at the bottom and generously put honey or golden syrup over the bottom.

Then line the halved apricots along the tin
Spread over the cake mix

Place into a pre-heated oven for 30-35mins at 175.

Have some tea while you wait,

Leave to cool, decorate with fresh apricots and icing sugar