Oct 22 2018

Spicy Quinoa Tabbouleh with Crunchy Chickpeas

The traditional  tabbouleh, a largely known Arabic recipe, is a sort of salad based on bulgur and parsley, enriched by other vegetables in varying proportions. It originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria and was an essential part of people’s diet in the Middle Ages. In the Libanese version the quantity of parsley is much more than the quantity of bulgur, or the same. In this case I substituted bulgur with quinoa and I did not use the same proportion between quinoa and parsley because I find it a little overwhelming on other more delicate flavours.  The result is an unusual formula which hopefully won’t disappoint you!

Serves 4

  • 150 gr red quinoa, cooked according to the instructions on the box
  • 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 spooons duqqah (see below)
  • 8 spoons good extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 140 gr pink radish sprouts  (or broccoli or whatever sprouts you can find, except bean sprouts)
  • 20 gr parsley, chopped
  • 10 gr fresh coriander, washed and drained
  • juice of 1 lemon

for the duqqah:

  • 50 gr raw hazelnuts, skin on
  • 25 gr white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder

Separately toast the hazelnuts and sesame, let them cool and then reduce to a powder with a food processor. Incorporate the cumin and coriander, stir well and place in a little jar. .

Sprinkle the chickpeas with the dukkah and add 2 spoons extravirgin olive oil, mix well in order to completely coat the chickpeas, place in a baking tray and bake in the oven, still, at 180°C for 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crunchy.

Let the chickpeas cool to room temperature, then in a bowl place the sprouts, parsley, shallots, chickpeas and quinoa. Season with the oil and lemon juice, add salt to taste and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves.


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Posted in Starters, International, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Mar 28 2018

Burmese king prawns in spiced tomato paste

This flavory and wondrous recipe is of Burmese origins, specifically by William Myatwunna, an excellent chef in Yangon, whom I had the honor of cooking with. My version is just a little lighter in onions, garlic and oil, only to better adapt it to the European taste.

Serves 4

  • 16 king prawns
  • 12 tbsp peanut oil
  • 5 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 6 medium onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 thumbs ginger, peeled and pounded
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 medium yellow or green pepper cut into fine rings
  • 4 sprigs of mint leaves
  • 8 tinned tomatoes

Shell the prawns, leave the tail but remove the black spinal vein. Wash under running water and pat dry. Season with half the turmeric, salt, pepper and fish sauce and marinate for 5 minutes.

Blend the tomatoes to a paste and finely cut the peppers into rings. Peel the ginger, garlic and onions and pound (or chop) separately.

Heat the oil in a large pan with the other half of the turmeric powder, add pounded ginger and garlic until fragrant, add the pounded onions and sautée until golden brown.

Now add the red chilli  powder and tomato paste and cook, while stirring continously, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the prawns and a little bit of water and cook for 3 minutes, turning the prawns gently once. Add salt to taste. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.

When the oil almost sizzles add the peppers, then transfer all to a dish, garnishing with mint leaves.

Serve with plain boiled green beans or rice.

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Posted in International, Recipes, Main dishes, Vegetarian
Feb 6 2018

Ezme Salad

Ezme is a Turkish word which can be translated as “mashed”, so this is a kind of a mashed salad, very delicious and easy to prepare. Serve with a plain pita or whole crackers.

Serves 4

  • 4 tomatos
  • 1 large pepper (red or yellow)
  • 1 bunch of parseley
  • 1 small onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 spoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 spoon pomegranate molasses (if you don’t have it, a simple honey can easily work)


Dice the vegetables into very small cubes (concassé) and place in a bowl.

In another little bowl prepare the seasoning: emulsify the oil with the molasses and lemon juice, add salt to your taste and season the vegetables. Stir well and serve.

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Posted in Starters, Sides, International, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Jan 13 2016

Carrot, coconut and ginger salad from Myanmar


How could I better share my love for the people and cuisine of Myanmar, where I recently travelled,  if not by giving you some of their most incredible recipes? This salad is a perfect equilibrium of vegetables and spices. It is sweet, tangy, crunchy and flavourful, and I assure you it will be a great success, unless you don’t love the taste of onions and garlic.

Serves 4

  • 6 carrots
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 fresh chilli, crushed
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • peanut oil (if possible, cold pressed)
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 coconut
  • 1 bag pickled ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes

Heat 1 peanut cup oil in a medium pan and deep fry until golden and fragrant. Place the fried the onion on kitchen towels to absorb excess oil, replacing with new paper towels if they’re still too oily. Do the exact same procedure with the garlic.

If using a cold pressed oil, keep it and use it to season the salad after frying. In case you can’t find cold pressed peanut oil, season the salad with fresh peanut oil.

Wash, peel and reduce the carrot to a thin julienne (I used a food processor), then open the coconut, remove the flesh and prepare it in the same way you did the carrots (again, I used and recommend using a food processor).

Mix the carrot with the coconut, quartered cherry tomatoes and sliced pickled ginger. Season with the oil (either the frying oil or fresh peanut oil), salt, chilli flakes and lime juice. On top, add the fried onion and garlic, and toasted peanuts.

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Posted in Sides, International, Recipes, Glutenfree, Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian
Dec 11 2015

Kataifi walnut rolls

IMG_7060 (1024x764)

Kataifi is a traditional sweet delight which is very popular among Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern nations. This is a very easy receipe to follow to produce Kataifi recipe for you to recreate this traditional sweet delight from scratch.

For around 20 rolls

  • 250 gr kataifi dough
  • 100 gr walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch ground clove
  • 150- 200 gr butter

For the syrup

  • 180-200 gr caster sugar (depending on how sweet you like the rolls)
  • 175 ml water
  • peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 30 gr raw pistachios, finely ground

Place the water, sugar, peel of lemon and cinnamon stick into a small pot and bring to a boil on low heat: the syrup is ready as soon as the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool completely and put in the fridge. The more cool the syrup, the more crispy the rolls.
Now make the filling: mix the ground clove and cinnamon to the chopped walnuts. Melt the butter and with a cooking brush butter the bottom and sides of a baking pan.

Unroll the Kataifi dough work the dough with your hands, gently tearing apart the shreds and spreading the strands out in order to make the Kataifi as fluffy as possible. Keep the dough covered with a slightly damp towel while rolling the sweets.
Spread one piece of the dough on a cutting board, drizzle with melted butter and place 1 teaspoon of the filling at one end. Roll it up tightly, folding inwards the sides, to form a small cylinder. Place the roll on your hand and brush with melted butter, trying to give it a better shape.

kataifi-001Repeat with the rest of the Kataifi dough and filling. Place th rolls  one next to the other, leaving no gaps between, and drizzle with the rest of the butter.

Bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 40 minutes until golden and crispy, covering with an aluminum sheet if the rolls get coloured too early.
As soon as you turn the rolls out of the oven, ladle slowly the 3/4 of the cold syrup, enabling each ladle to be absorbed. Cover the baking dish with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Ladle the rest of the syrup and wait until completely absorbed (it is possible that you won’t need to pour the rest of the syrup: each dough reacts differentely! So, if you see that not all the syrup has been completly absorbed, do not add the rest) . Scatter with the raw pistachios and serve.





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Posted in International, Desserts, Recipes, Vegetarian
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