palestine yoghurt

Lessons in lateral cooking

Haifa brings out a lump of what looks like hard, white cheese. It’s kishik. Dried salted yoghurt. She slices it thinly and it crumbles into salty shavings. It’s very salty actually, with a flavour and texture that makes me think of Parmesan. “This is baladi yoghurt”, she says. What she means is, it comes from

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grandmother cake recipe

The myths we live by

Whenever we’d make the annual trip to Cambrai to see my northern French grandparents, Mamie would have a cake in the oven. A cake she made so often, actually, that it eventually acquired her namesake. Her Gateau Paulette was spongy, light and moist. The colour of farmhouse butter and perfectly risen. A cake I’d always

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Fish head soup is always a good idea

When we think about food waste, we might think about the leftovers on our restaurant plate or the bread we throw out at home. But what about the waste that happens far before it gets to our shopping bags? The chicken carcasses and fish heads; the carrot tops and ‘wonky’ vegetables that, in the name

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stuffed vine leaves

Stuffing vine leaves in Palestine

“Some recipes are poems. A few scene stealers are novellas. But stuffed grape leaves are short stories; tiny fables of transformation, not of people… but of food.” – Anna Ciezadlo, Day of Honey You could watch the entire length of The Titanic – and then watch half of it again – in the time it

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jam omelette

Reduce waste? Look to your grandmother

“Today, people may think of eating “waste” as a novelty exercise or a passing culinary trend, but really it’s the basis of cuisine – codifying a way of farming, cooking, and eating that responds to the demands of a landscape. How do we make these traditions accessible for everyday eaters? The first step is simple:

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How to make… mayo

My mum is a stickler for mayo. The homemade kind. Had I not watched her make it so often I’d have dismissed it as a cheffy thing nobody really does. We tend to overthink it. We hear the word emulsify and turn immediately for the Hellman’s, but this is a mistake. The ease and time it

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Crumpety pancakes, Yemenite lachuch in Tel Aviv

The first time I met Irit, she was running around her tiny hole-in-the-wall caff, blistering aubergines and squeezing oranges, chopping salad and plonking plates onto tables. All the while screeching Hebrew greetings and orders to her customers (most of whom she knew). Her long grey hair was scraped into a messy bun and she wore a

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Wild greens Bedouin stew

For someone who cooks, eats, reads and writes about food everyday (and travels halfway around the world to learn about it), I am so often humbled by how much I have still to grasp. Especially so, when the answers are growing quietly wild in my back garden. This particular lesson came courtesy of forager/great cook/country

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A few dusty onions

“If you ever find yourself longing to cook a good vegetable but there is none in sight, get a deep pot and dig eight to ten plain, big, dusty onions from your pantry, or the cold, dark onion bin at your nearest store. Then caramelise them.” …how Tamar Adler starts the chapter, How to Find

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How to make… tahini

Tahini. That nutty sesame seed paste, and backbone to many a good hummus, can be made at home with minimal effort. It requires sesame seeds, a flavourless oil, and about 10 minutes of your time. And it goes something like this… Place at least 100g of sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Any less will make it

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