“We are shameless! We want to seduce you,to stimulate your imagination, invigorate your senses, and tempt you to try the wonderful flavours of Moorish food!”

Greg and Lucy Malouf… from the book, Moorish 
Moorish: Flavours from Mecca to Marrakechby Greg and Lucy Malouf is every bit moorish as the title suggests. Yes, indeed another yummy cookbook is mine! I am the happy recipient of this delicious cookbook. Nanette from Gourmet Warrior in Melbourne recently mailed it to me when I won a raffle for a Blogger Aid event for Haiti. The book which Naneete sponsored for the  H2Ope for Haiti event came with mouthwatering recommendations and is now sharing prime position  on my bookshelf with my two other favourites, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Indulge, 100 Perfect Desserts. Was I surprised when Nanette also tweeted that Moorish and Ottolenghi were her 2 fave cookbooks of the year! My thoughts exactly!! By the way, Ottolenghi’s new book Plenty is due out by the end of April ’10, and you can find an exclusive sneak peek here on Guardian.
MOORISH also makes for a great bed time read if you are a foodie like me. The pictures offer rustic beauty, and I love the fact that there are plenty of them. I am partial to cookbooks with loads of pictures, and pretty ones at that. This was my first ever window on recipes inspired by the flavours of North Africa, Spain, the Middle Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East region – regions united by a common thread that winds it’s way back to Arabia. The title coins the essence in one word … Moorish!!
The book is inspirational and begins with spice blends, dressings, relishes, pickles, preserves. Za’atar, Taklia, Tabil, Dukah, Charmoula, Tahini, Toum, Hariss, Hilbeh … each very unusual and with a character of its own. The commentary throughout the book is engaging and tempts the home cook to get adventurous! The son’s been over the book several times and would like me to make the Quail with Lime and Ras al Hanout and Duck Shish Kebabs! I’ve been won over by the first recipe I tried, and need to get a little more adventurous as there are exciting looking sea food recipes in the book, but I am the ever under-confident ‘fishy‘ cook! The daughter predictably headed straight for desserts … Cherry Vanilla Parfait with Rosewater Syrup, Honey Curd Blinzes, and a stunning Chocolate Pistachio Cake are on request!
I chose a recipe because I had the basic ingredients on hand. The introduction to the recipe was comforting. I had chicken escalopes in the freezer, a bottle of preserved limes and tangerines that I had made a few months ago from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook … and fresh sweet home made butter. I was soon singing my way to the kitchen, and halfway through the process my mouth was watering. This is gonna be good! I just knew it. THANK YOU NANETTE, I LOVE THE BOOK!
Well, it was better than good. It was exotic good!! My first use of the Ottolenghi Preserved Limes in the cumin butter lent tingling deep and robust flavours to the escalopes. ( the original recipe uses boneless chicken breasts which are made thinner by evenly bashing with a rolling pin). The flavours married so beautifully in the end, and exploded into a myriad of refreshing flavours on the palette. Who would think that cumin would blend into butter in such a flavourful manner, with the zing of citrus. The recipe does use a 100gms of butter, but then it rare that I use butter in cooking. I didn’t use the whole amount of butter, yet it was super!
I served it with fresh home grown rocket leaves drizzled with balsamic, a cold potato salad in a Ranch buttermilk dressing, and a Roasted Garlic, Ricotta and Pistachio French Fougasse on the side (I sneaked a small portion of buckwheat flour into the fougasse, and it was lovely and rustic). We enjoyed EVERY single morsel of the meal, and the flavours lingered on for long. I like the new flavours I’ve discovered.

Chicken Paillard Fried in Cumin Butter
Adapted minimally from Moorish, pg 100
12 skinless chicken escalopes, made from 6 chicken breasts
80gms plain flour
1 tsp sweet paprika
A generous pinch of chili powder
3 tbsps oilve oil
Cumin Butter
1 1/2 tbsps cumin seeds, roasted and ground roughly in pestle
75gms unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 preserved lime, finely diced (or zest on 1 lemon)
Juice of 1 lime (or 1/2 lemon)


Tip the softened butter into a mixing bowl and blend in the ground roasted cumin seeds, nutmeg, preserved lime or zest, and the lime juice. (For a smoother butter, you can sift the ground cumin if you like. I didn’t.)
Sift the flour, paprika, and chili powder to make a pretty pink dust.
Put quarter the butter with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and heat until it just starts to foam.Quickly dip 3 paillards in the flour and pop them into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, and then turn and cook for a further minute. remove to a warm dish lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the paillards, reserving 1 tbsp of cumin butter for the end.
Carefully wipe out the frying pan with a piece of kitchen paper, then lower the heat and drop in the remaining 1 tbsp of cumin butter. melt it over gentle heat, and drizzle over the paillards.
Serve with a potato salad, fresh salad greens and a artisan bread if you like.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
Don’t forget to leave a comment HEREon the Cuisineart Ice Cream Maker or Delonghi Grill GIVEAWAY for a chance to win!

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  • Rosa's Yummy Yums
    7 years ago

    I have one Gregv Malouf book and I love it! This one sounds interesting…

    What a delightful Moorish dish! I am a sucker for that type of food.



  • Happy Cook
    7 years ago

    Chicken looks so so good. I would love to have this book too, but i am not falling for temptation, just got last week the Otteloghi book and yesterday made pistcha biscotti from the book.

  • Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover)
    7 years ago

    This chicken looks so good!

  • sulagna ™
    7 years ago

    Deeba you know i love the way you write..its so simple, as though it unfolds before you "pink dust" 🙂

    will definitely try this at home, and after spending 2 hours on your blog yesterday, you will be followed..may i add,religiously:)

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    7 years ago

    That chicken looks wonderful, I've not seen this book before but I will definitely be looking out for it. I really enjoyed your photos today. xx

  • Mark @ Cafe Campana
    7 years ago

    Looks nice and tasty. I love the idea of cummin butter. I wonder what else it could be used for

  • penny aka jeroxie
    7 years ago

    How lucky of you. Chicken looks great. and love the idea of cumin butter

  • sulagna ™
    7 years ago

    oh my god 🙂 *does a happy dance* you took time and read and commented on my have no idea how awesome i feel now,like perfectly well shaped ice-cubes floating on a drink 🙂 you are like inspiration Deeba,having kids, managing a house and cooking such beautiful food..i say beautiful cus thats the word i got in my mind when i first saw the blog..look you 've won a life-long follower 🙂

  • Murasaki Shikibu
    7 years ago

    Sounds absolutely delicious…and easy to make too!

  • Peter M
    7 years ago

    Oh my…I like the idea of cumin butter. This spice is warm & comforting when it hits the heat.

    I'm also relieved with this post…I was concerned you only ate cake!

  • Bellini Valli
    7 years ago

    You know that I am always looking for new ways to enjoy chicken. All of these cookbooks sound amazing Deeba and I am so happy you are putting them to good use and sharing them with us:D

  • browniegirl
    7 years ago

    Ohhhh this looks totally divine. I am wild about the flavors and taste of Middle Eastern Med, North African spices…this is a book that I desire greatly. A friend has it and she made the chocolate pistachio cake which she says is fab. I am definitely going to try this recipe soon. Tx so much for sharing 🙂 xx
    PS I wish I lived in the US somewhere so I could enter that competition for the ice cream maker hehe…also one of my heart desires but maybe just as well I don't have one 🙂

  • Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog
    7 years ago

    Irresistible Moorish dish Deeba! I know, really I know that this dish can make sensation between my family!



  • Heavenly Housewife
    7 years ago

    Wow, this is a book I'd love to get my greedy hands on (as if i dont have enough cook books). This looks absolutely mouth watering. I love this kind of food.
    *kisses* HH

  • Grumpy and HoneyB
    7 years ago

    This looks awesome and will fit great into my current low carb diet! Yum!

  • Barbara Bakes
    7 years ago

    Sounds like I should buy some new cookbooks. The chicken looks delicious – such a gorgeous color.

  • Nanette
    7 years ago

    I too love a good cookbook with lush images! Hence, I have all of Greg's cookbooks as they are beautifully written and the photography is inspiring!

    One of my dear friends is celebrating her birthday next week at Greg's restaurant in Melbourne – called Momo.

    I'll be thinking of you as as we feast like Queens xx

  • Asha @ FSK
    7 years ago

    me also wants to win cookbooks, so I can try out cool recipes like this one!!! YUMM!

  • Tangled Noodle
    7 years ago

    Cumin butter sounds divine and these chicken paillards look perfectly golden and delicious! You switch from sweet to savory with such ease. 😎

  • Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella
    7 years ago

    OK Deeba I'm now convinced that you're super woman! This looks delicious on its own but you served it with homemade fougasse too? Too brilliant! 😀

  • Hanaâ
    7 years ago

    I love North African cuisine. My dad's recipe for Charmoula is the best. I still use it. I love pickled lemons with chicken!!

  • MeetaK
    7 years ago

    totally awesome. i am really salivating here and wish i was a firend who lived in your vicinity – i'd be over in a heartbeat for this meal!

  • Amy @ cookbookmaniac
    7 years ago

    I am such a sucker for cookbook.s I have so many the floor is bending from the weight of it all!

    I'm going to have to order these cookbooks. You make them sound so great!

  • lisaiscooking
    7 years ago

    Looks like a delicious meal! The cumin butter with preserved lime sounds fantastic, and your fougasse looks lovely as always!

  • Barbara
    7 years ago

    I really need to add a Moorish cookbook to my list… and I agree, one thing that makes a good cookbook are good photos of the food. It's important! And I have ordered Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Can't wait!
    This chicken paillard with cumin butter looks divine. I really don't do this kind of cooking very often but my family enjoys it when I do.

  • theUngourmet
    7 years ago

    It looks fantastic! I love the cumin butter!

  • megan
    7 years ago

    Sounds like a great book. You got my mouth watering!

  • sweetlife
    7 years ago

    i love the cumin butter–great shots..


  • Jamie
    7 years ago

    This book just made it to my must-buy list! Just hearing you describe it and I'm drooling! This chicken is fabulous, but the meal is jaw-dropping! Lucky, lucky family!

  • FoodMan
    7 years ago

    This book is on my list to pick up now. The food looks absolutely amazing. I can't wait to pick this book up and then cook some food up with some of my seasonings that I throw on everything I eat. Now I'm hungry…

  • Gloria @ Gold Chocolate Coins
    5 years ago

    I am intrigued just by looking at these images on just how exactly moorish food taste, and i am think of buying the book try making one for myself. I am sort of a cook you know. 🙂

  • I’m not really good at cooking but i love foods =). i like the setup and the preparation on your picture. It looks really yummy.

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