QAMARUDEEN APRICOT DRINK
Prep & cook time: 1 hour
200g dried apricots (or apricot leather)
700ml hot water
2-3 tsp orange blossom or rose water
1. Soak the apricots in the hot water for about an hour until they’re a little soft.
2. Using a blender, blend the apricot and hot water until smooth, then add the orange blossom or rose water and serve.
LAMB & OLIVE TAGINE
Prep & cook time: ~3 ½ hours
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cloves, ground in a pestle and mortar
2 tbsp ras el hanout (if unavailable, replace with coriander and paprika)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp cumin
½ tsp saffron
4 garlic cloves, minced or pounded into a paste
¼ cup olive oil
4 lamb shanks, bone in, fat removed
1 onion, chopped (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 dried or black lime, if unavailable use regular lime
100g green olives, pitted and halved
30g chopped or flaked almonds, toasted
Steamed couscous, potatoes or rice, to serve
1. In a bowl, combine the ground spices, saffron and crushed garlic with two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of white pepper. Loosen with a dash of water.
2. Set a large lidded saucepan or tagine with the oil over a medium-high heat. In batches, fry the lamb shanks for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the onions to the pan, if using, and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Return the lamb and any meat juices, then add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, limes and half the olives. Stir to combine.
4. Mix in the spice paste, then pour in 1.35 litres of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid. Simmer for 2½ hours, skimming fat from the surface and adding up to 450ml more water if needed, until the meat is very tender.
5. Remove the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and limes. Season, add the remaining olives and cook for a further 15 minutes.
6. Transfer the lamb tagine onto a large platter and sprinkle with the almonds. Serve with steamed couscous, potatoes or rice.
WHITE CHOCOLATE UMM ALI
Prep & cook time: 1 hour
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten, plus another for brushing the pastry
3 cups milk (720ml)
1 can condensed milk
3 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp shredded coconut
200g white chocolate, chopped
½ tsp almond essence
¼ cup pistachios
Pomegranates to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Grease the baking dish or individual baking dishes and set aside.
2. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, and bake on a tray lined with parchment paper for 15 minutes or more, until puffy and golden.
3. Combine the milk, condensed milk, almond meal, coconut, egg and almond essence.
4. When the puff pastry is cool enough to handle, break it up and place half in the baking dish. Top with chocolate and pistachios then the remaining pastry and then pour the milk mixture over it.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden. Sprinkle with pomegranates and serve warm.