Fig and rose jam

A scented garden touching all our senses.

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For one kilogram of fresh figs
1- Wash and cut the figs in half (or quarters if they are large). Make sure you cut off the stems.
2- Place in a large pot with 750 gr of sugar and let it rest for one hour covered.
3- Place on medium fire and mix. As bubbles start forming, add the seeds of seven cardamon pods (you can omit them if you prefer) and one tablespoon of dried rose petals. Mix again gently.

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4- Cook for 25 minutes on a low to medium fire, mixing every other minutes.
5- Place in a sterilised jar then in the fridge. It is ready 24 hours later.

Enjoy with toast or croissant, or better yet crêpes as we did this morning!

Mughal style ground beef

A recipe straight from the kitchen of the Mughal Court. The raisins add a wonderful touch!

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For 500gr of lean high quality ground beef:
1- In a pan, place just a little bit of olive oil and add: about 3 cm of fresh ginger root crushed, some crushed garlic, a teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of cumin, a small piece of a cinnamon stick, and salt and pepper to taste.
2- Once the spices give out their aroma, add half a kilo of very small tomatoes (slit them with a knife without cutting them so they may release their juices while cooking), a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, a handful of raisins and the ground beef. Mix well.

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3- Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is done. Mix from time to time.

Remember to take out the piece of cinnamon just before serving. I served it with white Basmati rice cooked with raisins and Raita (yoghurt mixed with cumin and cucumber).

Petits pains au lait au chocolat

Wonderful petits pains made with milk and stuffed with chocolate! And they taste better when an eight year old helps in the process!

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For about 16 petits pains

1- Use the recipe for petits pains au lait (link here).

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2- At the stage where you make the petits pains (after two hours of letting the dough rise), insert a few high quality dark chocolate squares and fold gently. You can make them any shape you want: long, square, half circles, etc.

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3- Let them rise for another hour. Brush with egg yolk and bake as with the plain petits pains for 15 minutes in a 180º c. oven.

Let them cool a little before serving as the chocolate inside will be very hot. They are delicious the next day for breakfast! 

 

 

Petits pains au lait

Little breads made with milk. They taste like a child’s dream…

My aunt used to make them in the summer in Morocco, and they were our goûter (snack) after a day at the beach, with melted salted butter and jam. They can also be made with raisins or chocolate. In the latter case, simply slip a few squares of chocolate inside the dough.

As with all the breads I make, I used my hands to mix and knead the dough. It is a wonderful meditation exercise.

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For about 16 petits pains (half the proportion if you want eight to ten)
1- Start by mixing an envelope of dried baker’s yeast with 25 cl of whole milk. Mix well until the yeast has dissolved. You can heat up the milk slightly in bain-marie if the kitchen is cold as during winter.
2- In a large bowl, mix with your fingers 500 gr of flour (you can use whole or white or a mixture of both), 50 gr of brown sugar (you can replace it with a generous tablespoon of honey), a tablespoon of olive oil (10 cl) and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well running the flour through your fingers to make sure the salt is properly mixed in.
3- Slowly add the milk and yeast mixture and keep kneading until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. Keep kneading for another 10 to 15 minutes.
4- Shape the dough into a large ball and leave in the big bowl covered with a humid towel. Place in a warm place in the kitchen. I simply leave it under a lamp.
5- Let the dough rise for at least one hour.
6- Take the dough out the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Punch it so that the air comes out and shape it into petits pains. You can make them either long shaped or like little balls. At this point mix in additional ingredients such raisins or chocolate.

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7- Place in a baking pan and cover. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes. (I like to leave it another full hour).
8- Heat up the oven to 180º c and place a container with water inside so that some humidity builds up. Make sure the oven has reached that temperature before placing the petits pains.
9- Brush the petits pains with egg yolk and place the baking pan in the oven. Take out the water container and sprinkle the bottom of the oven with water so as to create some steam.
10- Bake for 15 minutes. Ten minutes into the process open the oven and sprinkle the bottom part of the oven with water to create more steam.

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Take out and enjoy!