I just purchased a cookbook I’ve been eyeing up for some time now – that has some pretty good reviews. It’s called Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
I have been flipping through the book and stocking up on spices (since the book calls for quite a few) – I have to say in Bonnyville it’s difficult to find some of the required whole spices for some of the recipes…so I improvise. I will include the recipe for Baharat at the bottom, although I improvised making mine, due to the lack of whole spices on hand – I hear you can buy this spice mix as well – so if you can find it where you live, by all means use that. Baharat means “Spices” in Arabic and is used to flavour many dishes – you can store in a jar up to 8 weeks to season meats, fish, stews, etc.
I decided to give their recipe for Tabbouleh a shot first. Realizing from the get-go that I did not have quite enough parsley or mint and could not find whole spices to make the required spice mix called Baharat and also realizing it didn’t have cucumbers in it (which I personally love in my Tabbouleh) – I improvised, tasted and switched it up to my own rendition..so here is my recipe – not quite authentic – but it was still delicious!
1/4 cup Bulgur wheat (Soak in Hot Water for 10 minutes then strain through fine mesh seive and rinse with cold water
2 large tomatoes chopped fine
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp (plus more) Lemon Juice (I used Meyer Lemons)
3 large bunches of flat leaf (italian) parsley, Leaves chopped finely
1 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baharat spice mix (see recipe at bottom)
1/3 cup (plus a little swig more) top quality olive oil
Seeds of 1/2 a large pomegranate
1/2 english cucumber seeded and chopped
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Mix Bulgur wheat, tomatoes, shallot, parsley, mint, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, cucumber, pomegranate seeds all in a large bowl. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more olive oil and lemon juice to taste if required.
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 small cinnamon stick, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cardamom pods
1/2 whole nutmeg grated
Place all spices in spice grinder or motar and grind until fine powder is formed
Traditionally this is served in Romaine Lettuce Leaves – or enjoy as a salad on it’s own.
I have to say I have never put pomegranate seeds in my tabouleh before – but I now think it’s GENIUS! Really adds a nice flavour, color and texture to this dish!