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  • Here is an easy recipe for Za'atar flatbreads

    In a large bowl put 400g bread flour (type 55 in France) 1tsp salt and 1 tbsp za'atar. 
    In a small bowl mix 1tsp fast action yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 200ml warm water. Leave it for 5 minutes.
    Once yeast has dissolved pour the wet ingredients into the flour along with 2tbsp olive oil.
    Mix together adding a little more water until it all comes together. Tip the dough onto a board and knead for 10 minutes. It should feel smooth and elastic. Put a tsp olive oil in the bowl, turn the dough in it gently to coat then cover with cling film. 
    Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
    Knock back the dough and divide into 6. Roll out and cook on the BBQ, plancha or frying pan (No oil) for 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle more za'atar over the breads. Serve warm

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    A thoran is a dry dish, quick to cook and features Kerala's essential ingredients - black mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut. 
    It makes a nice side dish, giving a little crunch to your meal.
    Feel free to use any vegetable- just make sure to chop small. For ease I am using dessicated coconut but if you can grate some fresh you will taste the difference. 
    250g green beans, cut into small pieces
    3tbsp dessicated coconut, soaked in 2tbsp boiling water
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    4 shallots, diced
    1 or 2 green chillies, sliced if you like it hot or simply left whole and pierced to add a subtle flavour (remember to take them out before serving)
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    Small handful curry leaves 
    Heat some veg or coconut oil in a pan. When hot pop the mustard seeds, then add the shallots, cook until soft. 
    Add the chillies, garlic, cumin seeds and curry leaves and saute for a few minutes. 
    Next add the green beans and coconut, cover and cook on low heat until the veg is how you like it. Add salt to taste.


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    Spiced butternut squash, sweet potato and chickpea soup

    spicy butternut squash, sweet potato and chickpea soupIngredients - 1 onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 8g fresh ginger, grated.
    400g butternut squash, diced, 200g sweet potato diced. half a jar or 1 can chickpeas, drained
    1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder
    1 tsp honey, 1 litre vegetable stock, coriander to garnish 

    Method - toast and grind the cumin and coriander seeds. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until soft but not browned. Add the spices, ginger and honey. Stir, then add the squash, sweet potato and stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas and cook 10 minutes more until all veggies are soft. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lashings of hot sauce (or not!) and coriander

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    Indian aubergine recipe

    Think you do not like aubergines? So did I until we made this. So easy - simply slice an aubergine into half moons, put them in a bowl of water while you make a batter. Mix some gram flour with nigella seeds, chilli powder and salt, add enough water to make a batter (yoghurt like consistency) Dip the aubergine slices in the batter and shallow fry for a minute or two each side. Serve with Mango chutney

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    pickled cucumbersEither thinly slice a whole cucumber or cut some mini cucumbers in half. Put them in a sieve and mix in 2 tbsp salt. Leave for 3 hours so that the liquid can come out. Rinse well then dry on kitchen paper. Put the cucumbers into sterilized jars

    In a sauce pan mix 250ml vinegar (white or cider) 125g sugar, 200ml water, 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp pink peppercorns and a pinch of turmeric. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then pour over the cucumbers, filling the jars right to the top. Put the lids on, leave to cool then store in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

    pickled mini cucumbers

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