Baking | Lamb & Purslane Pide … Turkish cuisine with British flavour

” You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them,
go to wonderful places while you still can…”
Nora Ephron

Lamb & Purslane PideChomp, chomp, chomp.Ooooh, this is good“, declared Mr PAB between bites. Then gesturing wildly he said, “This MUST go on the blog. It’s GOOD!” So with recommendation, hot off the press oven, here are Lamb and Purslane Pides, or simply put Turkish Flatbread Pizza!Lamb & Purslane Pides What is purslane? It is an annual succulent, found in North India in the hot summer months, is funnily considered a weed in America {LOL}, and cooked extensively through much of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Mexico! It is known as kulfa saag here, and was the only green other than spinach that I could find to replace the chard! It worked a charm …  and went undetected by the ‘green hating‘ terrible teens!Lamb & Purslane Pides It’s been ages since I cooked lamb mince. By healthy choice I’ve switched over th chicken mince but the lamb murmur has been growing stronger of late. My SIL is a great lamb lover and mentioned that she prefers lamb to chicken any day. I was listening. Then the other day, a meeting with someone from BBC GF and she mentioned her undying love for lamb too. Now I was all ears!Lamb & Purslane Pides “Next kebabs will be have to be lamb“, I thought as I got mince from the butcher. However, this morning I lost my inclination to make kebabs. I wanted something on dough, something baked, something quick! I recollected the Turkish pides with sumac I had made long ago and googling got me to a Lamb & Chard Pide recipe on BBC GF!

Pides, local pita bread, are delicious flatbread pizzas topped with different ingredients from Turkeys rich cuisine. You have specialty Turkish pide restaurants across Turkey which sell different avatars of this flatbread. It is popular street food there as well. Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region which include chicken, beef, cheese, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients.

Lamb & Purslane Pides It came together fairly quickly. I did a quick rise dough, and by the time the dough was rising, the lamb was ready. Baked quick, crisp and nice, the lamb pides were wolfed down faster than the time I took to make them… not a crumb remained!Lamb & Purslane PidesThe recipe suggestion was to drizzle pom molasses over it. I didn’t have any but I did have a fresh plum prune sauce I developed for Del Monte. To that, I added some red harissa that I had made last week. It was H O T! 10 red chilies, more fresh red chilies = fiery HOT! That said, it’s almost gone and I am ready to make my next jar! Lamb & Purslane Pides Red Harissa The lamb offered subtle, gentle flavours, lilted further by the cottage cheese and bell pepper. The pickled peppers added some zest, and a drizzle of plum chili sauce brought out a delicious complexity of flavours … all pairing beautifully together!Lamb & Purslane Pides I loved how quickly and beautifully the meal came together. Of course we had the much dreaded power cut halfway through, so I baked a couple on a heavy griddle pan covered with a lid over low heat …. and there was no reason to complain {pictured above}. So there you, if it’s too hot to turn on the oven OR you suffer power cuts like we have all summer, these cook up crisp beautiful on the stove top too!Lamb & Purslane Pides

Lamb & Purslane PidesI had some dough left over, so made some chicken, red harissa and plum sauce pides the next afternoon for the kids. Gone in minutes! They are filling yet light enough for a summer meal. Pair with a green salad, maybechilled summer cooler … and you have a meal!Summer CoolerBon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

And as I leave I wish to thank Lifezing for interviewing me. It was an honour and I loved doing it.
Catch it, with a whole lot of colour here

In conversation with Deeba Rajpal From Passionate About Baking

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

STIRRING UP SOME TURKISH DELIGHT!

‘Eat sweet and speak sweet’
Turkish proverb

Another PINK for October, and this time it’s candy! When Ilva said she was making Turkish Delight last month, I jumped right in too. Another opportunity to use Indulge – 100 Perfect Desserts by Claire Clark which I reviewed for BloggerAid recently. This would mean 3 down , 97 to go, as I had done an Apple & Black Grape Bande Aux Fruit & a basic chocolate sponge from the book recently. Getting to a 100 desserts, page by page! Claire Clark is counted among one of the world’s best pastry chefs, and has been a celebrated chef at The French Laundry. She has an easy style of writing, & a personal touch which offers a little culinary connection with each recipe. Turkish Delight is part of the Petits Fours section of the book, and at first glance I thought, ‘Cool, will sail right through’. It was another thing that I was eating my words pretty soon. Delightful as this Turkish delicacy might be, it comes with it’s baggage of work. Ilva tried once, not quite right, and then went on to her second try, which she did beautifully. Turkish Delight ((Rahat) Loukoum) or Cyprus Delight (Loukoumi) is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater, mastic or lemon; rosewater gives it a characteristic pale pink color. It has a soft, jelly-like and sometimes sticky consistency, and is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar or copra to prevent clinging. Some types contain small nut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts.
Well I managed something, something tasty, but not exactly how it should have been. Was a little sticky & gooey, and got labelled TD Slugs by none other than my good friend Jamie. Am waiting for her to have a go, but knowing her French expertise, she’ll have perfect ones, so I shall hold my breath! I hope I will get it looking better next time. It tasted very nice,; a tad too sweet for me though.
I used some rose extract to flavour them that Man Friday got for me from his nephew who works in a rose factory. Excellent stuff. It lent a mild flavour to the TD, and I also added some blanched & peeled pistachios and almonds. The Turkish Delight did taste good! By the way, I always thought rose extract was pink in colour? Well, discovered that it’s not!! it’s actually a very light creamish white, almost like whey!Offered candy to the kids when they came home, & both jumped on them. ‘Oooooh they’re like the ones in Narnia’, hollered the son & wolfed down a whole slug, almost choking. Then the daughter descended into the chaos. ‘PRETTY!‘, Madame declared, ‘very pretty!’ I was like ‘bow scrape’. She took one, savoured it, licked her chops, took another. ‘These are good you know. Mmmmmm, very addictive too!’ By piece number 5, I had grabbed the box & done away with it. Too late, I was already peeling sugar high kids off the ceiling by the evening!
TURKISH DELIGHT or LOUKOUM
from Indulge by Claire Clark
Makes about 40 pieces
450 g/ 1 lb caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
145 g/ 5 oz corn starch/cornflour/Maizena
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rose water
To finish:
250 g/ 9 oz icing
50 g/ 1,75 oz corn starch/cornflour/Maizena
- Line a 15 cm/6 in square baking tin with cling film, then oil the film lightly. Make sure the sides of the pan are lined as well as the base.
- Place the caster sugar, lemon juice and 250 ml/9 fl oz water in a large, heavy-based pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, the turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Put a sugar thermometer in the pan, reduce the heat and simmer without stirring until the sugar reaches soft-ball stage (118 C/ 245 F). Remove from the heat straight away.
- While the sugar is boiling, combine the corn starch and cream of tartar, then mix to a smooth liquid with 250 ml/9 fl oz water. Place in a heavy-based sauce pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking continuously (start to heat the corn starch mixture as soon as the sugar has reached the 118 C/ 245 F and is resting; this allows the sugar to sit just long enough to cool but not so long that it gets to thick to pour). Pour the hot sugar syrup into the corn starch mixture and continue to simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent it sticking. It will change to a very light golden colour. As it reaches the last 15 minutes of cooking time, you will need to stir it continuously to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. (This was the tough part for me to figure out. Should have given it more time)
- Stir the rosewater and add a few drops of red food colouring, if desired. (I added some blanched chopped pistachios & almonds). Pour into the lined tray and spread evenly. Leave to cool in the tin, uncovered, overnight.
- The next day, sift the icing sugar and corn starch for finishing on to a sheet of baking parchment on a tray. Cut the Turkish Delight into cubes and roll them in the mixture on the tray.
Claire’s Notes:
I like to leave my Turkish Delight for a day once it has been coated in the icing sugar, so it firm up on the outside a little. Leave in a cupboard, uncovered, on a tray.
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