Serves 6-8 Prep 45 mins /cook­ing 30 mins Makes 12 Prep 60 mins /cook­ing 20 mins

Taste & Flavors - - LEBANESE CUISINE -


• 150g fine whole­wheat bul­gar wheat • 3 onions • 2kg pota­toes, cut into chunks • 75g but­ter or ghee • 75ml vegetable oil • 200g lamb mince • 100g pine nuts, toasted • 2 tsp cumin • 2 tsp cin­na­mon • 2 tsp Le­banese seven-spice mix • 2 tbsp salt • 1 tsp white pep­per • 100g bread­crumbs To serve • Tahina, to driz­zle • Small hand­ful of chopped flat-leaf pars­ley • Hand­ful of toasted pine nuts • Cin­na­mon, for sprin­kling


Cut one onion in half and grate the half, squeez­ing out any ex­cess juice. Set the other half aside. Put the pota­toes in a large saucepan, cover with wa­ter and a lid, and bring to the boil. Sim­mer for 15 min­utes un­til soft. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. While the pota­toes are cook­ing, chop the re­main­ing onions, melt 50g of the but­ter in a fry­ing pan with 50ml of the oil then cook the onions over a medium heat for about 10 min­utes. Add the lamb and con­tinue to cook for 5 min­utes. Add the pine nuts, 1 tea­spoon each of the cumin, cin­na­mon, Le­banese seven-spice mix and 1 ta­ble­spoon of the salt. Mix well. Drain the pota­toes then tip them back into the pan to dry. Mash, then add the bul­gar wheat, the grated onion and the re­main­ing spices and salt and pep­per. Mash ev­ery­thing to­gether so it’s re­ally smooth. Spread most of the re­main­ing but­ter and oil over a large oven­proof dish. Tip half the bread­crumbs over the base and spread them out. Tip away any that don’t stick. Take half the mash and spread it over the base, then wet your hands and flat­ten the potato. Drain the meat mix­ture of any fat or juices, then spoon over the top. Spread the re­main­ing potato on top and again flat­ten it with your hands. Make a di­a­mond pat­tern with a fork on top, press­ing down gen­tly on the mash. Spread with the re­main­ing oil and but­ter. Cover with the re­main­ing bread­crumbs, and again tip away any ex­cess crumbs. Bake in the oven for about 30 min­utes un­til the top is golden. Driz­zle over the tahina, scat­ter with pars­ley and a gen­er­ous hand­ful of toasted pine nuts, and sprin­kle with cin­na­mon to serve.


For the pas­tries • 600ml dou­ble cream • 75g corn­flour • 100ml wa­ter • 5g gum mas­tic • 220g filo pas­try sheets • 250g but­ter, melted For the syrup • 250g gran­u­lated su­gar • 500ml wa­ter • 50ml rose wa­ter • Pared rind of 1 lemon To serve • 25g finely chopped pis­ta­chio nuts • Rose petals


Put the cream into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Mix the corn­flour with the wa­ter and pour into the pan with the gum mas­tic. The mix­ture should thicken im­me­di­ately; take the pan off the heat and use a bal­loon whisk to mix un­til very smooth. Al­low to cool. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Un­roll the filo pas­try and split it into two piles of six sheets each. Put one pile to one side and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Take the other pile of sheets and put them on a board with the long edges near­est to you. Cut them through the mid­dle to make two long rec­tan­gles, then cut each length into six squares. You can trim the edges to make them per­fect, if you want to. Work­ing quickly, take one square of six sheets and brush melted but­ter be­tween the pieces of filo. Take one of these squares and spoon three ta­ble­spoons of the cream mix­ture into the mid­dle and spread it out slightly. Fold in the points of the four cor­ners to make a par­cel. Do the same with the other five squares to make six parcels. Then make an­other six parcels with the cov­ered, un­cut pile of sheets, cut­ting and fill­ing them in the same way. Lift the parcels onto a bak­ing sheet and brush with melted but­ter. Bake for about 20 min­utes un­til golden. Mean­while, put all the syrup in­gre­di­ents into a pan and bring to the boil. Sim­mer for 10 min­utes un­til thick­ened slightly, then cool. Once cool, spoon most of the syrup over the pas­try parcels. To serve, put a par­cel on each plate, spoon over a lit­tle more syrup, then sprin­kle with pis­ta­chios and rose petals.

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