Written by Sophie
I absolutely love middle-eastern food; falafels, hummus, baba ganoush and anything meaty, flavoured with the delicious spice mixes you get over there.
I don’t like making anything too complicated, especially as it’s sometimes challenging finding all the ingredients you need in one place in Singapore, so I have put together a few simple and tasty recipes for simple yet tasty middle-eastern mezze dinner:
- Moroccan Meatballs
- Baba Ganoush
- Tomato and cucumber salad with lemon dressing
- Roast Courgette and Red Onion
- Hummus (see recipe: https://squirrelsisters.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/simple-hummus/)
It’s all really easy to prepare in advance, and the best thing is that you can mix and match all dishes so if you have left overs you can have them as snacks or lunches for work the following week.
- 300g lean mince (I used beef)
- 1 x small onion
- 1 x garlic clove
- Moroccan spice mix (*see below)
- 1 x egg
To make spice mix use the following spices:
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp paprika (I used smoked)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper (or ‘pinch’ unless you like a bit more of a kick!)
Mix together in a little bowl, then blend all the meatball ingredients together and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 mins (or longer if you prepare in advance).
Once you are ready to cook, divide into 10-12 small balls/patties and fry them in 1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil…
This takes about 10-15 minutes, turning them over every few minutes to ensure they are cooked evenly.
- 1 large aubergine or 2 small aubergines
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp tahini
- handful of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
Half the aubergines and face them down flat on a baking tray or dish… (You can spray with a little oil if you like)
You will know they’re ready when you can push down on them and they feel squishy to touch.
Once they have cooled slightly, peel the flesh away from the skin and place in a bowl with the garlic and basil..
Blend until smooth (I used a handheld blender, but you can use a food processor or other type of blender if you have this instead).
Once it’s smooth, stir in the tahini and add salt and pepper to taste.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- 400-500g cherry tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber (or I used 2 small Japanese cucumbers, just because these are easier to get hold of in Singa supermarkets)
- 5-6 spring onions
- Handful of Basil (shredded or chopped)
- 1/2 lemon (you’ll need juice and zest)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions and place in a bowl with the basil.
Grate the lemon zest over the salad, then juice the lemon and pour this over with the olive oil. Add a very small amount of salt to bring out the flavours and some pepper and then mix together well.
Roast Courgette and Red Onion
This one is so simple!
- 2 courgettes
- 3-4 small red onions or 2 large
- 2-3 garlic cloves (whole and crushed)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Chop the courgettes into disks (about 0.5cm thick) and red onions into chunks…making sure the garlic is in there too.
Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper before putting into the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees until soft. Remove the garlic at this point if you’re not too keen on eating whole garlic cloves