Fresh tuna with mango and avocado

A really nice way to prepare fresh Tuna and I love the colour combination. Make sure all the ingredients are fresh.

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1- Sprinkling the fresh tuna filet with black pepper and let it stand for about 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
2- For the topping, mix in a bowl: mango (I like to use the non fibrous kind), cucumber, avocado, red onions (sliced), grated fresh ginger root, fresh mint (and/or cilantro), lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
3- In a pan, place a little bit of olive oil and cook the tuna turning it over just once. I like to take it out of the pan mid-way and cut it in slices than return the slices to the pan. Make sure the inside remains almost raw so that the fish stays juicy and tender.

To serve: simply top the fish with the mango and avocado mix and place a little more on the side. I served it with plain Jasmine rice. Enjoy! 

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In the kitchen – spices

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Black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds and cinnamon. 
Photo by Fig & Lemon.

Potatoes Persian style with prunes and dried apricots

Oh this is delicious! And the aroma while it cooks is simply divine! And frankly, it changes from the usual potatoes in the oven. You can make it as a side dish or as a main one, serving it with yoghurt and cucumber.

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For 500 gr of baby potatoes
1- Wash the potatoes. Place them in a large pan in cold water and cook until you can insert a fork into them.
2- In an oven dish, place one teaspoon of coriander seeds, one teaspoon of cumin, one teaspoon of turmeric, one teaspoon of coarsely grounded black pepper, half a stick of cinnamon and some salt. Add a tablespoon of Saffron liquid, two tablespoons of olive oil and two chopped garlic cloves. Mix it all well.
3- Once the potatoes are done, let them cool down. Then cut them in four pieces (half then half) and place them in the oven pan. Mix it all until all the pieces of potatoes are covered with the spice mixture.
4- Add dried apricots and prunes cut in pieces. The quantity is really up to you! Mix well again to make sure the potatoes and the dried fruits are well coated with the spice mixture.
5- Place in a 200º c oven for 20 minutes covered.
6- Serve topped with fresh mint.

Enjoy! I like it as a main meal with a side of yoghurt with cucumber and mint

Ground beef Persian style with potatoes and raisins

This is a delicious dish filled with flavours and textures. The raisins and the use of Adviyeh spices give a wonderful sweet and tangy feel, balanced by the small potatoes. It is also easy to make.

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For 500 gr of ground beef
1- Boil 500 gr of small potatoes. Just wash, leave the skin on and place them in cold water then on the stove. Cook until a fork can penetrate them.
2- In the meantime in a large pan, place some olive oil, four garlic cloves smashed, a bit of fresh ginger root also smashed and three teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Adviyeh. Mix well.
3- Once the garlic and the spices start giving out their aroma, add about four tomatoes cut roughly and mix again. Then add the ground beef, a generous handful of raisins and a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped.
4- Mix and cover. Let it cook on low fire for about 20 minutes. Mix from time to time.
5- When the potatoes are ready, let them cool a little. Then cut them in four parts (half then half) and mix with the ground beef.
6- Let it cook another 10 minutes or so covered.

Serve with a side of plain yoghurt and a fresh salad such as cucumber with tomatoes, or tomatoes with fresh mint

Markets

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Oh Afghan bread in Delhi! And to be more precise in the Lajpat Nagar neighborhood. I lived there for a few months when I first arrived in Delhi in 2008, then moved a few blocks away to Defence Colony. I lived in India for two years. I still went to Lajpat Nagar for bread and kabobs and other Afghan street food delights. Wonderful, simply wonderful!

Photo from this article on Afghan bread makers in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi – via the Goya Journal, India.

Art

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“A blue glass dish filled with fruit”, ink and color on silk from the Ming Dynasty (China, 14-17th c.).
Via the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington DC.

Topkapi Imperial Kitchens

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Amazing kitchens of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. They have just been renovated and now the displays are really well done. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. Here is the link for a description of the project and more photos: TEGET.