Yemeni Pancakes

Searching for jobs at the moment and noticed an old company that I worked for offering an Accountant role. I wonder if they’re still paying 10p an hour (ok slight exaggeration) but certainly being reminded of your old company gives you a happiness boost. Thinking about how the grass is greener now was mentioned as one of the strategies of being happy on the course ‘The Science of Wellbeing’ from Yale which is free on the Coursera website. If you have some free time, I really recommend it. Speaking of things that make me happy, these Yemeni pancakes were a revelation. Excluding the recipes containing ants and larvae in my complete Thai cookbook, it’s rare to come across a unique recipe to all my cookbooks (from Jamie Oliver ‘Veg’). A yeasted dough is made then fried as a pancake, eggs are cracked over the top, then the pancake is folded over. I’m not sure how authentic the eggs part is – Jamie has named the recipe ‘Yemeni-style’ pancakes but this could just be after the chorizo in paella debacle (which I’m completely on his side about). On the side is served aubergine dip and a salsa.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 7g fast active yeast
  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 4 sprigs coriander
  • 30g parsley
  • 2 green chillis
  • oil
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 8 eggs ( I doubled the eggs as I was hungry after the gym)

Method

1.) Measure out 500ml of tepid water i.e. doesn’t feel hot or cold and add the yeast. Leave to sit for 10 minutes

2.) Add the flour, whisk and set aside for another 20 minutes

3.) While this is going, heat the aubergines in turn directly over a flame, blackening the skin all over, leave to be cool enough to handle

4.) Peel and finely chop the garlic, chop the lemons in half and remove the seeds, dice up the chillis, finely chop the parsley and coriander.

5.) Chop up the tomatoes and place in a bowl, add in a tbsp olive oil, squeeze in the juice of 1 of the lemons. Season with salt and pepper.

6.) Peel the skin from the aubergine, place onto a plate, squeeze over some lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and coriander. Spoon over the yoghurt and tahini.

7.) Now, time to make the pancakes. heat some oil in a frying pan and add a ladle of batter, tilt the pan so it’s covered. Once the edges start to come away from the pan, crack two eggs into the centre then break up with a fork to spread over the surface of the pancake. Sprinkle with some parsley. Fold over the pancake. Flip over until each side is golden. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

8.) Serve with the salsa and aubergine dip.

Moutabal

I think most non-meat eaters love eating aubergine. It’s such a versatile vegetable. This moutabal is a blend of aubergine, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon. All the good stuff. It doesn’t look great but as Lumiere says in Beauty and the Beast – ‘try the grey stuff – it’s delicious’. The recipe was in Nigel Slater’s book ‘Tender’. Nigel Slater was a chef at Claridges who now is a food writer. His book has a chapter on each kind of vegetable that he’s grown in his own garden. I had the moutabal with a feta salad and some pitta bread but it would work great as a paste on a sandwich or dip for crudités or pitta chips.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and line a baking tray

2.) Place the aubergines on the tray and make a few slits in the skin

3.) Bake for forty minutes – the skin should be blackened which will help give the dip the smoky flavour

4.) Peel the garlic cloves and chop finely (or use 1/4 tsp garlic paste)

5.) Let the aubergines cool for 10 minutes so they are not too hot to handle.

6.) Peel the skin from the aubergines and transfer them to a bowl

7.) Mash them up to a pulp with a fork

8.) Add the tahini, garlic and olive oil and stir until combined.

Middle-eastern Chickpea Salad

A tasty salad recipe from the Vegan duo behind the Bosh cookbooks and series. You may have noticed there’s no chickpeas in this recipe – the supermarket was completely out believe it or not! I assumed a tin of mixed beans would do the job and they did except for a bit of splitting while baked – didn’t change the taste though. This is a nice quick one to make and I even put the beans in the oven before the football started and finished off the salad at half time without missing any of the match.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive pil
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 120g leaf salad
  • 10g mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp oil

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray

2.) Drain the beans and pat them dry with kitchen roll

3,) Add the beans to a mixing bowl and add the tsp oil, paprika, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt

4.) Stir to coat the beans in the spice and spread out on the baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes.

5.) Prep the rest of the salad. Chop up the cucumber (I got rid of the middle bit as it’s very watery), slice the tomatoes in half, chop up the avocado flesh and finely chop the mint,. Add these and the salad leaves back to the mixing bowl. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add the tsp olive oil and stir.

6.) Now make the dressing – beat the tahini with the syrup, 1 tsp oil, salt and 1 tsp water.

7.) When the beans are ready, add to the salad mixture then pour over the dressing and gently toss.