We've carefully selected seven hard-to-find Middle Eastern pantry staples, so you can start cooking from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi the moment you receive it. Book included.
- Pomegranate Molasses - This sweet-sour, fruit syrup is made from the juice of pomegranates. Try stirring a spoonful into baba ganoush, or use in meat marinades, moussaka, with roast duck, or even drizzled over meringues.
- Date Syrup - Date syrup is made from 100% natural date juice. The syrup often forms the base of the popular drink 'jallab' when mixed with a little rosewater and sparkling water. Great drizzled over roasted vegetables or goats cheese.
- Za'atar - Za’atar is a traditional Middle Eastern seasoning made from a combination of cumin, coriander, fennel, sumac, anise, thyme, nuts, salt, sesame and sunflower seeds. Just a pinch of this aromatic blend can transform meat rubs, roast vegetables and feta salads.
- Tahini - Tahini a thick sesame paste, made from lightly toasted and ground sesame seeds. This tahini comes from Lebanon, and is especially dense and flavoursome, so a little goes a long way.
- Sumac - Sumac comes from dried and coarsely-ground berries which have a sour, citrus-flavour. The burgundy-coloured berries grow in clusters, and are widely used throughout Middle Eastern cuisine. Sprinkle the deep red powder over hummus, or use to garnish Persian rice. Also try combining sumac with fresh lemon juice and olive oil as a salad dressing, or use the lemony-flavours to season lahmacun flat breads and grilled fish.
- Freekeh - Freekeh is a nutritious wholegrain wheat which has been roasted when still green and young, giving it smoky notes. The ‘superfood’ also has a distinctive nuttiness, making it both delicious and healthy.
- Barberries - Dried barberries are small dried round fruits, which grown in similar areas to saffron - a frequent culinary pairing. They are most frequently used in Persian or Iraninan cooking - to stuff quail, or stir through rice for the dish zeresk polow. The berries are also very high in pectin so are often used in jams or jellies.
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