Palestine - A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea

Following on from her bestselling Palestine on a Plate, Joudie Kalla introduces readers to even more of the Middle East's best kept secret - Palestinian cuisine.

'Baladi' means 'my home, land and country' in Farsi and Joudie once again pays homage to her homeland of Palestine by showcasing the wide-ranging, vibrant and truly delicious dishes of this country.

Baladi features recipes that are broadly categorized according to the part of the country that they primarily hail from, such as the land, the sea and the forest. Experience the wonderful flavours of Palestine through daoud basha (lamb meatballs cooked in a tamarind and tomato sauce served with caramelised onions and vermicelli rice), fatayer sabanekh (spinach, sumac and onion patties), samak Makli (fried fish selection with courgette mint and yogurt dip), halawet il smeed (buttery semolina and orange blossom dessert), and many more sensational recipes.

Dishes are designed to go together and Joudie explains how to approach matching recipes together for a meal, although at the end of the day she takes an entirely flexible approach – choose what you fancy and create your own tasty combinations!

Joudie Kalla is the author of the best selling Palestine on a Plate and has been working as a chef in London for over 17 years. Of Palestinian descent, she trained at the prestigious Leiths School of Food and Wine and has worked at restaurants such as Pengelleys, Daphnes and Papillon. She has been running her own private catering company for over eight years and ran a hugely popular deli, Baity Kitchen, for three years.

Murdoch Books Australia
Author: Joudie Kalla
Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith
ISBN: 9781911127864
RRP: $49.99

Lamia's Fattet Makdous - Aubergine and Minced Lamb Bake with Tamarind and Tomato Sauce

Fatteh is one of those dishes that is eaten across all of the Middle East. It is made in so many different ways and with so many different ingredients, which is what makes it such a fabulous dish. Fatteh is basically any dish that has fried or toasted bread at the base, which then absorbs the liquid of the dish. There is fattet hummus and fattet djaj (both of which are in my first book), and many more options. I love all of them, but I think this one just beats them, as I love tamarind, which plays an important role in this dish, making it tangy and smooth at the same time.

Serves 6–8

2 thick Khubez (page 89), cut into 2cm diamond shapes
sunflower oil
3 aubergines, cut into thick 3cm chunks, with strips of skin removed to resemble zebra stripes
olive oil
300g lamb mince
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish

For the yogurt mix:
800g thick Greek yogurt 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green chilli, minced
1 tsp salt

For the tomato tamarind sauce:
2 onions, cut into half-moon slices
2 x 500g cartons of tomato passata
4–5 tbsp tamarind liquid 1 tsp salt

Begin by making the bread. Preheat the oven to 190ºC Fan (210ºC/425ºF/Gas 6–7). Place the bread pieces on a tray, drizzle some sunflower oil over the top and cook until golden and crunchy, about 10–12 minutes.
While they are cooking, make the yogurt mix. Place the yogurt, garlic and chilli in a bowl, add the salt and place in the fridge.
Next, make the tomato tamarind sauce. Sauté the onions in a little sunflower oil for about 15 minutes until golden, then add the passata, tamarind and salt and let it stew for about 30 minutes.
Place enough sunflower oil in a heavy pot to fry the aubergines. You want to cook them until they are golden or a little more than that. Once they are all cooked, set them aside. Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a high heat and sauté the mince, salt, pepper and cinnamon for about 10 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Now for the layering part: place the bread at the bottom of a deep dish, add the yogurt mixture over the top, followed by the tomato mixture all over the yogurt to cover it. You don't want to mix it together – it doesn't matter if it gets a little swirled in, but try to layer it.
Then add the fried aubergines, then the meat over the top, and scatter with fresh parsley. And serve. It is literally heaven, and you won't be able to stop eating it, especially the toasted bread at the bottom which has soaked up all the flavours.

Chocolate and Labneh Cake with Slivered Pistachios

This cake came about by accident and I just had to include it here. I was running a cooking class and forgot to buy soured cream, so decided instead to use the labneh in my fridge as a substitute. I was panicking and worrying about it going wrong, but it actually worked perfectly – even better than I thought it would – and I have never stopped making it this way. Sometimes the best things come to you when everything is upside down, and this was one of those occasions. If you don't have labneh, you can use extra thick Greek yogurt.

Serves 8

4 eggs, beaten
110g soft butter
110g golden caster sugar 110g soft light brown sugar 5 tbsp labneh
1 tsp vanilla extract
170g plain flour
55g cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp baking powder handful of slivered pistachios (about 70g)

For the icing:
170g unsalted softened
200g icing sugar
170g labneh
70g cocoa powder, sifted 2 tsp vanilla paste

Preheat the oven to 180ºC Fan (200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6). Line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, butter, sugars and labneh, then add the vanilla extract. Beat for a couple of minutes.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Add this to the egg and sugar mixture and mix for about 30–60 seconds.
Place in the tin and cook for about 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl and mix well. Add the labneh, sifted cocoa powder and vanilla paste and mix for about 2 minutes until the icing is smooth and creamy. Place in the fridge to firm up slightly.
When the icing is ready and the cake is cooled, spread the icing over the cake, scattering the chopped pistachios on top.

Murdoch Books Australia
Author: Joudie Kalla
Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith
ISBN: 9781911127864
RRP: $49.99