Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
For the chicken
- 3tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs
- 2 large onions, cut into eighths
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 green chilies, finely choppedSea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp cumin
- 1tsp paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 1½ pt chicken stock
- 2 turnips, peeled and quartered
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
- 2 large courgettes, halved lengthways and each half cut into 3
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
For the couscous
- 300g couscous
- 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of a small lemon
- Bunch mint, chopped
- Bunch coriander, chopped
- Harissa, to serve
- 4-6 grilled Merguez sausages, to serve
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the chicken pieces and fry until brown all over. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Throw the onions into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until they soften. Add the garlic and chilli for the last minute of cooking. Stir in 1tsp salt, ½tsp pepper, the cayenne, cumin, paprika, bay leaves and thyme, and cook for a further minute. Pour the chicken stock over the mixture, then return the chicken pieces to the pan, along with the turnips, carrots and courgettes. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the chicken is melting off the bones. Add the chickpeas to the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, tip the couscous and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl, then pour in enough boiling water to cover the couscous by 8mm. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to absorb for 10 minutes. Remove the film, and fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice to taste, then mix in the chopped mint and coriander.
Serve the chicken stew with the couscous and a good dollop of harissa and Merguez sausages on the side.
Nutritional information: 587 calories 30g fat
Makes: 10 balls
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 125g bulgur wheat
- 450g minced lamb
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- 1tsp allspice
- ¼tsp cumin
- Vegetable oil, for frying
To make the outer shells for the kibbeh, soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, then place on thick paper towel to absorb the excess liquid.
In a medium bowl, combine half the lamb, half the onion and plenty of salt and pepper. Put this meat mixture and 50g of the bulgur wheat into a food processor and blend. You’ll have a pasty dough mixture, which you then tip into the remaining bulgur wheat.
To make the filling for the kibbeh, heat the olive oil in a frying pan then sauté the rest of the onion. Add the pine nuts and remaining lamb, frying rapidly. Add the allspice and cumin, then season. Once the meat is brown, remove from the heat and cool.
Take an egg-sized amount of shell mixture and form into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole in the ball, add some meat filling, and pinch the top to seal. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan to 180°C. and cook the balls for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Halloumi with pomegranate (top left)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 packet halloumi, cut into 8 slices
- A little fresh lemon juice
- 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 1tbsp toasted pine nuts
- A few mint leaves
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then place on a warm plate. To serve, drizzle with lemon juice and molasses, then top with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and mint.
Nutritional information: 184 calories 14g fat
Baba ganoush(bottom right)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 1 bulb garlic, stalk removed
- Olive oil
- 1 large aubergine
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1tbsp tahini
- 100ml Greek yoghurt
- 1tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas mark 6.
Place the garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Roast the garlic in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and leave to cool until it feels comfortable for you to touch. Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves, and chop finely until they become a purée.
Heat a griddle pan until it’s very hot. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, season with salt, then griddle the halves for 4 minutes, turning ccasionally, until charred and soft – the skin will remain firm, but the flesh will soften. Set aside to cool.
Scoop out the aubergine flesh and chop until it becomes a thick pulp. Tip it into a bowl along with the garlic and mash with a fork. Stir in the lemon juice, tahini, Greek yoghurt and mint, then season. Top with olive oil, and serve with toasted pitta bread.
Nutritional information: 55 calories 4g fat