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!

Cooling cucumber salad with mint

A refreshing salad, lovely in colour and in taste. The touch of cumin gives it a nice twist, as well as helps with digestion. This salad is recommended as an accompaniment to spicy food, such as curry, since all its ingredients are soothing to the stomach.

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To prepare, simply sprinkle cucumbers with lime juice, olive oil, fresh mint, a dash of salt and another one of cumin.

Enjoy!

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. 

Peach jam with rosewater and cardamon

Lovely in colour and in taste.

Peaches have a very light flavour that tends to wane as they cook. So to make a flavourful jam, some ingredients should be added. I sometimes mix strawberries or mangos with the peaches. Here I turned them into a Persian delight by adding rosewater from Iran and cardamon from Afghanistan.

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1- Wash and cut one kilogram of organic peaches in half, taking out the seed. I used very small peaches. If you use large ones, cut them in quarters. Do not cut them too small as the pieces might dissolve while cooking.
2- Place the peach pieces in a large pot with 800 gr. of sugar and the seeds of seven cardamon pods. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, then lower the fire. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
3- Add a tablespoon of pure rosewater and mix. Place the jam in a sterilised jar. When the jar has cooled, place it in the fridge. The jam is ready 24 hours later.

Peanuts with turmeric

A wonderful Persian snack found in all dry goods markets in Iran. It is really delicious and very healthy. Sometimes I mix in some raisins just before serving it, as I like the sweet and salty taste combination.

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1- Either roast the peanuts -spread them on an oven tray and roast them at high temperature for a few minutes-; or buy them.
2- For 250 gr of roasted peanuts add three teaspoons of coarse sea salt (unless the ones you bought are already salty) and two teaspoons of turmeric. Mix well. Given that peanuts are oily, they will start absorbing the turmeric. Keep mixing until all the peanuts have a yellow colour.

Keep them in a glass container and eat with pleasure!