Cauliflower fritters

Cauliflower fritters, with salad and black tahini sauce

I bought some spices online, and an interesting looking recipe by Susie Morrison (Gourmet Glow) was included in the box. I did not have any better ideas for dinner, so I thought: why not try this?

What a success! We’ve made several times already, and I predict there will be more repeats (if only because we’ve bought more za’atar—all these repeats depleted our stock!)

That said, the original instructions confused me a bit, and they also suggested using some ingredients I did not have at hand, so this is my own interpretation, adjusted to my own way of cooking.

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Pimientos rellenos / bajoques farcides (stuffed peppers)

Stuffing the pepper with the rice mix

I absolutely adore stuffed peppers—if Proust had madeleines, I have stuffed peppers.

It’s smelling them and instantly thinking of sunny Sundays and visiting grandparents; chasing the faint scent of the roasted skins all the way from the ground floor through three flights of stairs, across the long corridor leading to the kitchen, and then finally (finally!) digging into the strongly flavoured rice while sitting on a pile of cushions on a chair that was way too low for me… Yummmm!

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Ras el hanout

A pot with home-made ras el hanout spice mix, and a label on the lid that says "ras el hanout"

I was deep into preparing the aubergine shawarma; all the aubergines were cut, salted and resting while they released their liquids; the onions were just in the pan… and then I realised we did not have any of that mysterious “ras el hanout” spice mix. I did not even know how it looked like!

Not being one to panic (as we have a decently stocked spice selection in the kitchen), but also not being one with her hands on a device connected to the internet, I requested help from Devvers, who was in front of a computer:

Can you tell me which spices go into ras el hanout?

After a brief search, of course the bbc food website emerged to the top with this seemingly never-ending list of ingredients:

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Aubergine shawarma

Aubergine shawarma on pitta bread with black tahini dressing, with a salad of cucumber, tomato, mint and olives

This is my version of a recipe from Honey & Co published in the FT magazine.

It is a bit tedious to make the first couple of times, because there are things you have to do in a sequence and others can be done in parallel (to save time), so it’s a bit hard to visualise it all in your head initially, but once you internalise the instructions (which I’ve also “streamlined” to my liking) it should be fairly fast to get it going.

This is how I see it in my head:

Apart from the flavour itself, what I also really like is that you can cook a big portion of this and keep them in the fridge for easy consumption later. I put them on a box and re-heat a portion on the microwave before serving.

A plate with aubergine shawarma, served with a cucumber and tomato salad and black tahini dressing
A plate with aubergine shawarma, served with a cucumber and tomato salad and black tahini dressing
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