The Mediterranean will always have a special place on the culinary globe in the heart. To get you started, I am sharing the recipes for the all-time favorites Shawarma, Pita Bread, Falafel and Salata Horiatiki. Most of the ingredients are easy to source even if not from your local grocery store then from any supermarket. Also, start cooking irrespective of the time of the year and initiate a love so strong with one of the most passionate and appetizing cuisines in the world.
- Marinate chicken with yoghurt, paprika, powder, salt, tomato, garlic, onion, lemon juice and thyme. Keep aside for an hour.
- Skewer the marinated chicken on a shawarma rod and cook in the shawarma oven
- Shred chicken
- Spread hummus on pita bread.
- Stuff with shredded chicken and roll like a kathi kebab roll.
- Serve hot with picked vegetable, garlic mayonnaise, tzatziki sauce and picked chillies.
Note: Shawarma oven is a griller where flatthened means are skewered on a vertical skewer which rotates on its own allowing even cooking on all sides. The meat is shredded as it gets cooked slowly.
Tzatziki sauce is a dipping sauce drived from 200 gm (8 oz) hung yoghurt, ¼ teaspoon each chopped glarlik and chopped fresh dill, 70 gm (2.8 oz) chopped cucumber (excess water removed), ½ teaspoon each olive oil and lemon juice.
Perparation time: 30 Minutes
- 140 gm (6 oz) tomatoes, skinned and sliced
- 1 cucumber
- A few lettuce leaves
- 1 teaspoon spring onions, chopped
- 30 gm (1.2 oz) feta cheese
- 4 kalamata olives
- 4 green capsicum juliennes
- 1 tablespoon oregano dressing
For the Oregano dressing
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- Slice the cucumber and skinned tomatoes into 8 quarters.
- On a bed of lettuce, arrange tomatoes in an outer circle and cucumber on top.
- Place feta cheese in the centre and chotted spring onion on tomatoes and cucumber.
- Place 4 kalamata olives on feta cheese and capsicum juliennes.
- Sprinkle with oreganao dressing and serve.
Note: Kalamata olives are Greek purplish-black olives cured in vinegar.
Makes 10 Pieces
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
- 1 kg (2.4 lb) chickpeas
- 250 gm (10 oz) parsley
- 100 gm (4 oz) fresh coriander
- 150 gm (6 oz) spring onions
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 100 gm (4 oz) green pepper
- 50 gm (2 oz) cumin
- ½ teaspoon cooking soda
- Salt to taste
For the accompaniments
- 1 pita bread loaf, halved
- Soak chickpeas overnight, grind to a coarse paste.
- Blend in the remainder of the ingredients to the chickpea paste thoroughly.
- Add soda and salt, mix well.
- Make into small patties of 50 gm each, and deep fry on medium flame till cooked.
- Serve hot with hummus and pita bread.
Note: Hummus is a puree of cooked chickpeas mixed with garlic paste and lemon juice, dressed with olive oil and garnished with chopped parsley.
Makes 15 Medium Sized Loaves
Preparation Time: 1 Hour
Proving Time: 1 Hour
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 60 ml (2 fl oz) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk powder
- 400 ml (13 fl oz) water