Albanian-style liver (Arnavut Ciğeri)

I like liver but I don’t cook it that often, mainly because my partner doesn’t like offal at all. Generally, I just cook liver in the classic way, thinly-sliced, lightly-floured and sautéed in butter until just pink inside, Continue reading

Lamb shawarma

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern way of cooking various meats with lots of spices on a spit. Now, few of us have a spit in the kitchen, so Continue reading

Merguez-spiced meatballs with couscous

These meatballs were made from leftover sausagement from the Yotam Ottolenghi sausage rolls I made previously.

I fried them in olive oil while I made a simple spicy vegetable stew with aubergines, courgettes, celery, peppers, white cabbage and onions, all cut into roughly the same-sized pieces and cooked in olive oil and flavoured with a spice mix of ground ginger, ground cumin, paprika, saffron and pimenton piccante, which was simmered with some water with the meatballs on top until the vegetables were cooked.

This was served with couscous and some chilli sauce to make a tasty evening meal.

Lamb curry and rice

I can’t remember where I got this way of doing curries from, but I have been making them this way for years.

You make a purée or paste in a blender from an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, one or two fresh chillies, ginger and a splash of water.

Set this aside while you fry a sliced onion in some oil with a bay leaf or two.

Then add in dry spices; I use toasted and finely ground cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, turmeric and Kashmiri chilli powder and fry these in with the onions.

Then add the paste to the pan and cook until everything is mixed in and add a few tablespoonfuls of yoghurt, one at a time, stirring well so that each spoonful is amalgamated before adding in the next.

Then add cubed meat, I used lamb tonight and cook the meat in the paste for a while before seasoning with salt and pepper and adding some chopped tomatoes and water and covering and simmering the curry until the meat is soft.

Add in a spoonful of garam masala, stir and then serve it with rice, chopped fresh coriander and whatever side dishes you like. I like a cucumber and mint raita and some chutneys but a dhal or something with spinach works well too.

You can also add a drained tin of chickpeas towards the end or some lentils early during the cooking to add some bulk to the dish.

It is one of those basic recipes that is pretty much as flexible as you want it to be. If you add some frozen spinach during the cooking you get something close to a saag gosht type of thing.