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Spiritual Food

Home-made Hummus
300g chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 bay leaf
1 white onion sliced
2 vegetable stock cube
1 litre water
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 lemon, juice and zest
50ml  soy sauce
pinch black pepper, freshly cracked
120g tahini
20g chopped fresh parsley.

  • Wash the chickpeas. Place them into a saucepan with the bay leaf and sliced onion.
  • Add vegetable stock cube and water to cover the chickpeas by two-three centimeters.  Cover the saucepan and bring to a simmer and cook till chick peas soften for 90 minutes.
  • Drain the chickpeas but save the liquid. Place the cooked chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, black pepper, and tahini and process the mixture until it is smooth.
  • If thick, add some of the cooking liquid to thin. Mix it in the chopped parsley; serve on a plate with fresh kuboos bread.

Kunafa (Cheese Pastry with Syrup)
150g water
200g caster sugar
30g rose water
1 package kataifi (shredded filo dough)
90g unsalted butter melted
450g ricotta cheese
200g shredded mozzarella cheese
125ml milk
60g semolina
Ground pistachios for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, place the water, sugar and rose water and bring to the boil. Remove and cool until required.
  • In a large bowl, crumble the kataifi pastry with your hands. Melt the butter and mix with the pastry. Put half of the pastry mixture in the bottom of a non-stick cake pan and spread out as a crust.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, add the semolina and cook for 30 seconds. Add this mixture to the cheese and stir to combine. Pour the mixture in the pan on top of the kataifi crust and spread evenly with a spoon.
  • Place the rest of the kataifi mixture evenly on top of the cheese mixture to form another crust on top. Place pan into preheated oven and cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove and stand for 30 minutes and then invert onto a plate. Brush to glaze with a little of the sugar syrup and sprinkle with crushed pistachio for garnish. 
  •  Serve additional syrup as a sauce.

Stuffed Vine Leaves
40-50 pieces of vine leaves
90g olive oil
100g white onion, finely chopped
300g lamb meat finely minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
pinch black pepper, freshly cracked
1 vegetable stock cube
150g Basmati rice
20g fresh dill, finely chopped
20g fresh parsley, finely chopped
60g pine seeds, roasted
125ml water
Additional two vegetable stock cubes

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the chopped onion until soft and clear. Add the minced lamb, garlic, black pepper and cook until all the meat has coloured.
  • Add the vegetable stock cube, rice, dill, parsley, mint, pine seeds and water. Stir for two-three minutes until rice absorbs the water. Place aside to cool.
  • To stuff a grape leaf, place it in front of yourself on a work surface with the dull side and the stem facing up. Place a tablespoon of the stuffing on the lower part of the leaf, fold the outside edges of the leaf towards the centre and roll tightly into the shape of a finger.
  • Line the bottom of a large saucepan with a double layer of plain vine leaves; then place the rolled stuffed leaves above them alternating the direction of each layer.
  • Add the additional vegetable stock cubes dissolved in water, adding enough stock to just below top level of rolls. Press down with plate and bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook for 40-45 minutes until the leaves are tender and the rice is cooked.
  • Serve warm, garnished with lemon slices and their own sauce.

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