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).

Sardines with peaches and a saffron, ginger and lime sauce

I eat Sardines regularly. They say it’s good for the brain… That is one reason, the other is its wonderful taste. Here is a lovely recipe with a delightful sauce.

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For one can of plain sardines
1- Open the can of sardines and let the oil out.
2- Place the sardines in a bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of lime juice. Let them soak for about 20 minutes.
3- Take the sardines out of the bowl and in the remaining liquid add some fresh ginger root grated, freshly crushed pepper and a tablespoon of saffron liquid (recipe here).

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To serve, place some fresh baby arugula on a plate, top with the sardines and some fresh peaches cut in cubes. Pour the sauce on top of it all and sprinkle with fresh min leaves. I served it accompanied with a good “pain de campagne.”

Asperges au safran et au chutney de mangue – Saffron asparagus with mango chutney

A delicious side dish with asparagus cooked in saffron scented water topped with mango chutney. I served it with warm boiled eggs on a bed of baby arugula. Perfect for a warm summer’s lunch.

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1- Wash and cut the asparagus at about a third of its length.
2- Boil water and add a generous amount of saffron liquid (recipe here ). Place the asparagus gently and let it cook until it is al dente.

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3- Take the asparagus out of the boiling water and place them in a sieve to get rid of the excess water.

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To serve simply place it on a plate and top with mango chutney (recipe here). It can accompany any dish that does not have many spices since the chutney provides a lot of taste, such as eggs as here or broiled fish. Enjoy! 

Gâteau de pommes de terre

Between a tart and a quiche, this is a delight as a light lunch or dinner, with a salad. To get it just right, half cook the potatoes ahead of time. The taste of roasted garlic added a wonderful touch!

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1- Wash about 800 gr of medium potatoes. Place in cold water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil, and let the potatoes cook until they half done, that is until a fork can go half through with some difficulties.
2- Set them on the side until they are cool enough to handle. Then peel and cut in very thin slices.
3- In the meantime, roast or fry three large cloves of garlic cut in thin slices. Set aside.
4- Grate 120 gr of Gruyère. Leave some on the side for the topping.
5- In a large bowl, mix 120 gr of flour, 150 ml of cold whole milk, three organic eggs, some freshly crushed black pepper and salt to taste. Mix until it has an even consistency.
6- One by one, mix in the garlic, then the grated Gruyère in batches, then the potatoes. Mix very gently so the slices of potatoes stay whole.
7- Pour the mixture in a prepared baking dish (buttered and floured). Top with the remaining Gruyère and a few dots of butter.
8- Cook for 45 minutes in a 190º oven.

Serve immediately with a salad or baked vegetables on the side.

Dates with eggs and a touch of saffron

We often have dates with eggs for diner. It is a traditional dish for breakfast or a light meal in the Middle East and North Africa. Here, inspired by a recipe in this book (“The Saffron Tales”), I prepared it with ginger, cinnamon and touch of saffron.

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For four eggs
1- Cut about three to four dates per egg in small pieces.
2- In a pan, place the dates along with two tablespoons of water, a dash of freshly grated cinnamon and about three centimetres of fresh ginger root grated. Bring it to a boil, lower the fire and let it cook until the dates are soft and almost all liquid has evaporated.
3- In the meantime, mix in a bowl the four eggs, four tablespoons of milk and a dash of saffron liquid.
4- Add a small piece of butter to the dates in the pan and mix. Pour the egg liquid and cover with a lid. Let it cook on low fire until the egg mixture is almost all hard.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve immediately with fresh bread.