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Whole Fava Beans
Whole fava beans are nutty-flavoured, dried broad beans. They were first eaten in Egypt 5,000 years ago, but quickly spread throughout Middle Eastern cuisines.
In Syria, the fava beans are slow cooked into ful medames which is eaten for breakfast. In Egypt they are cooked with cumin into a thick soup called fool nabed. They even spread as far as Spain where they are used in the Asturian bean stew, fabada. Also try incorporating cooked beans into salads, side dishes and mix with herbs and spices for stuffing vegetables.
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|Content||Whole fava beans are nutty-flavoured, dried broad beans. They were first eaten in Egypt 5,000 years ago, but quickly spread throughout Middle Eastern cuisines. In Syria, the fava beans are slow cooked into ful medames which is eaten for breakfast. In Egypt they are cooked with cumin into a thick soup called fool nabed. They even spread as far as Spain where they are used in the Asturian bean stew, fabada. Also try incorporating cooked beans into salads, side dishes and mix with herbs and spices for stuffing vegetables.||Za’atar or zaatar is a traditional Middle Eastern seasoning made from a combination of aromatic thyme and other spices - including sumac, sesame and salt. Just a pinch of this green thyme blend can transform meat rubs, roast vegetables and feta salads. Za’atar features in many recipes from Sabrina Ghayour, Ottolenghi and more. What is za’atar? Za'atar is the Arabic word for the thyme-like herb used in the spice blend. The transliteration is also spelled zatar and zaatar. As well as being the name of the spice blend, za'atar is also a generic name for a number of related Middle Eastern herbs, including oregano, basil thyme, thyme and savory. Although this thyme is different to the one we're more familiar with in the UK, the best translation is 'green thyme'. Most za’atar blends include sesame seeds, sumac and salt, but ingredients such as fennel, coriander, aniseed, wheat, and olive or sunflower oil may also be used. How do I cook with za’atar? Za’atar is a versatile spice blend – try rubbing into chicken thighs with fresh lemon juice before roasting or stir into cooked beans and chickpeas. You can also infuse extra virgin olive oil with the za’atar – use the resulting herby oil to drizzle over spicy soups or Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh or fattoush. Mix the infused oil with more za’atar to make a thick paste and brush over flat breads before baking – this makes a traditional snack called manakish zaatari. The herby, salty and slightly nutty spice blend also makes a great seasoning for popcorn – shake some za’atar over freshly popped corn while it’s still warm and toss to ensure an even coating. Great for parties or when you fancy a snack that’s a little out of the ordinary! Ingredients: Thyme, wheat, sesame, salt, sumac, fennel, coriander, sunflower oil, aniseed. Contains wheat gluten and sesame. May contain traces of mustard, tree nuts, celery, egg, fish, milk. Brand may vary depending on availability.||Pomegranate molasses – or pomegranate syrup – has a fruity sweetness that's countered by a lovely, sharp tart flavour. Most often found in Middle Eastern recipes, and often referred to as dibs rumman, pomegranate molasses is a favourite ingredient in Ottolenghi’s cookbooks – and is included in our Cookbook Set: Jerusalem.
What is pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is a treacly-rich fruit syrup made from boiled, reduced pomegranate juice. It is used in savoury and sweet dishes alike. It has the sweet-sourness of tamarind, rather than the pure fruit-richness of sultanas and prunes. Pomegranate molasses is called dibs rumman in Arabic.
How do I cook with pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is delicious in everything from salad dressings and the roasted aubergine dip baba ganoush, to fesenjan stew, a braised Iranian chicken and walnut dish. The sharpness beautifully complements the oil in salad dressings, and is a good substitute for vinegar or lemon juice - try using alongside hazelnut oil for a rich and rounded dressing. Even try drizzling a little on top of hummus, or - in sweet dishes - over ice cream and meringues. Read more about pomegranate molasses with cooking ideas here.
How do I choose which pomegranate molasses to buy?
This pomegranate molasses is the Lebanese Cortas brand, which is a great value all-rounder, and perhaps the most commonly seen in the Middle Eastern pantry or supermarket. Two other brands are also available:
||Gum mastic or mastiha is a popular ingredient in North African and Mediterranean cuisine. The yellow gum mastic crystals are a natural resin from the Chia tree, grown only on the Aegean Island of Chios in Greece. The Island became Internationally famous for its gum mastic trees in the early 13th Century. Gum mastic crystals have delicate pine-resin and balsamic aromas, and are used in both sweet and savoury cooking. The crystals are also famous for their health benefits, thought to freshen breath, and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. A recipe for chicken roasted in gum mastic or mastiha and pomegranate molasses is a favourite of Stevie Parle, from the Dock Kitchen. He also uses gum mastic to bring Eastern flavours to a milk ice cream recipe. And in Sam & Sam Clark's Moro cookbook, the rosewater and cardamom ice cream recipe includes a few crystals of gum mastic crushed together with caster sugar, and stirred into when the cream/milk mixture is cool, just before churning. Pack contains 30-50 medium crystals||Sabrina Ghayour and Yotam Ottolenghi have introduced you to the flavour of pomegranate molasses, and now it’s time to try it in a whole new way – freeze-dried powder! The caramel-coloured powder has a lustrous sheen, and dissolves on the tongue with an intense hit of sweet-sour pomegranate flavour. Use the freeze-dried pomegranate molasses powder to reinvent the salad dressing – sprinkle over salads and starters instead of using the liquid molasses. The coarse powder or ‘grit’ has a slight crunch, which also adds a new textural element. You could even use the powder on sweet dishes – try sprinkling over a rich, dark chocolate torte for a surprising twist. Ingredients: pomegranate molasses, maltodextrin. Once opened, keep tightly sealed in a dry place.||Aleppo pepper, or pul biber, is a coarsely ground Turkish and Syrian paprika. It’s popular as a condiment at the table in Turkish homes and restaurants - and most famously sprinkled over doner kebabs. Aleppo pepper is named after Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, and notably the end of the Silk Road spice route. The dried chilli peppers are intensely coloured, fruity, aromatic, but not particularly hot. Mix aleppo pepper flakes with finely diced preserved lemons and olive oil to make a paste. This is a great coating for chicken or white fish before roasting or grilling. This 1kg bag is ideal for catering purposes. A smaller 100g pot of Aleppo pepper is also available. Ingredients: Aleppo pepper, sunflower oil, salt.|
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