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Miguel de Cervantes

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Entries in bulgar wheat (3)

Saturday
Nov122016

#CookforSyria: Bashar's Mugadara

One of the most striking things about Bashar is how warm, generous and overwhelmingly positive he is. Without probing – and you do have to probe – you would never know the trauma that he has been through.

Perhaps it is not remarkable; all of the Syrian refugees I met when I visited Calais were equally warm and welcoming. It was their generosity that really struck me though; these people who had so little were so keen to show us hospitality. It was their way of thanking us for the bags of food we brought and the odd jobs my friends did around their makeshift homes.

Khairun Dhala, who runs the Marhabtayn Syrian Supper Club, tells me that “Syrians are very hospitable people”. One of the aims of their supper club is to show people that and “counter the image of refugees being scroungers or just wanting to take benefits.” It’s a friendly space where people can feel welcome, enjoy a good meal and learn a bit about Syrian food and culture.

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Saturday
Feb212015

Ezogelin çorbası

Red lentil and bulgur soup with dried mint and Aleppo pepper

This soup was the first course in the five course meal my sister and I helped cook at Cooking Alaturka in Istanbul. It sounds plain, but it is hearty, wholesome and delicious. The people at Cooking Alaturka say:

This heartwarming soup, named after the bride Ezo, is so delicious and simple to make that you will want to make it all the time! You can use a chicken stock, but we prefer it with plain water, so that the other flavors come through more clearly. Don’t forget to squeeze a little lemon juice into it at the table. 

They also advise that there are pros and cons to serving it straight away versus leaving it overnight. If you serve it on the day it has a nice granular texture from the bulgar. However, the flavour is better the next day.

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Tuesday
Apr122011

Middle Eastern mezze no.4: Tabbouli

I read the Saturday Guardian magazine religiously, my favourite sections naturally being those on food and drink, although Tim Dowling’s column comes a close second. So I was very pleased one Saturday morning a few years back to find that Yotam Ottolenghi had dedicated his column to this favourite salad of mine. The subheader had its desired affect, drawing me in with the following statement:

There's a right way and a wrong way to make this brilliant Middle Eastern salad, says Yotam Ottolenghi. Here's the right way...

Had I been making it the right way all these years? A perfectionist through and through, I was very pleased to find that I had. 

The most common issue is the proportions – far too many cooks do not realise that parsley is the star of the show here, not the bulgar … Another biggie is the way the herbs are chopped, and in this instance I'm afraid I must side with the purists and shun the food processor. Chopping the leaves with a razor-sharp, heavy knife, although a lot of work, prevents bruising and gives the parsley its light and dry texture.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” my Australian readership is probably thinking, “talk about stating the obvious."

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