Thursday, 21 April 2011

matlou or leavened Algerian bread

This bread is heavily consumed during the month of Ramadan in Algeria as it teams up beautifully with the famous soup Chorba Frik. It required more work than other bread, required longer kneaning and a proper warmer place to prove (to raise). In cold Scotland, I never make it whitout something cooking on the stove at the same time. Tha't the only way to have enough heat and steam for it to rise properly.

I made it once for my bosnian friend when she visited with her older sister, They loved it so much, and they though the texture and taste is similar to the italian bread Ciabatta in a better homely version.
They did something very funny, they helped themselves with a butter tub and my black pepper grinder and they munched on pieces of bread on which they spread butter and added some fresly ground pepper. They said this is a tradition in their family (or may be Bosnia) when girls want to discuss or share their worries. I tried this combination and it was delicious.

Moroccan Carrots and orange Salad

This simple salad is refreshing, and the orange blossom water adds an unusual touch.

I prepared this dish for the second time for a barbecue that we enjoyed with few families in a place called Haddow house (30 min from Aberdeen). I have been thinking about trying this recipe with others for it's unusal combination of fruits and vegetable. It went really well with barbecued meat (especially chicken). Feel free to play with the quantities to suit your own taste.

I also made a middle eastern salad. The coulours say it all. Health on a plate. Who said healthy food is boring...

500g carrots
3 oranges
4 tsp orange flower blossom water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp caster sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Ground cinnamon


1. Peel the carrots and grate finely 

2. Peel the oranges and cut the flesh into small pieces, catching the juices.

3. Mix the oranges, carrots, olive oil, orange flower water and sugar together in a serving bowl, adding plenty of salt.

4. Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the surface and chill well before serving.

Serves 6 as part of a salad selection.