Labaneh Balls

You may have already dried our Labaneh dip with chili and walnuts. its delicious. its not hard to make labaneh, you just hang up some yoghurt in a muslin and go to sleep. Despite it being very easy, its even easier to just get some out of your fridge in the morning. So if you make a lot you can preserve some and they will last you months.

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Ba’dounsia

I remember when I first started traveling back and forth to Palestine a few times a year with work, my team and I used to stay in a lovely little hotel a short walk form the city centre. the lovely thing about being where we were is that we found all the little simple places that people who really know Ramallah would go to. one of my favourite of those places was a tiny shawarma shop where you had point through the glass counter – as it was pointless trying to speak more loudly than the Arabic dance music playing-at everything you wanted to add to your shawarma wrap while the big man in his vest, cigarette perched between his lips, would overfill your sandwich for you all while shouting into the phone nestled between his shoulder and cheek with a large fan pointed directly at him trying to cool his perspiring body. He was always especially generous with the Ba’dounsia which suited me just fine. I loved his Shawarma. And making this sauce- which is essential for Kofta, kebab, cauliflower fritters, courgette fritters and falafel- takes me right back.

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Dill Yoghurt

When I make this yoghurt I am instantly transported back to markets in Palestine where the heady mix of pungent tomatoes, squashed cucumbers underfoot and earthy smells of veg about to reach past its best is spiked with perfectly fresh a breezy smells of mint and dill.  I know you may not think that the smell of rotting tomato and fresh dill is a very pleasant one, but when it reminds you of your childhood, of sunshine and of an existence before you knew about the Nakba, the occupation and the injustice it is perfect. 

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Chili Ful with Tahini Yoghurt

This dish always reminds me of going to Gaza. We used to stop for lunch near the beach at Khan Younis in between visiting communities and projects. I always let my friend Azzam order for me as he is a real foodie and its great to eat to someone else’s taste every so often. He always used to order a minty, yoghurty, hummusy dish which was served warm and had an unreal amount of spice on it- a lot of Gazan food is very spicy.

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Summer Muttabal

Look, I actually think that regular muttabal is perfect in the summer. I just want to make that clear. However, this version is utterly perfect in the summer with a BBQ and treated like a salad more than a dip. Spoon heaps of it onto your plate to eat with your BBQ kofta, grilled fish and garlicky BBQ vegetables and it is perfect. while still smoky, its somehow brighter and fresher than our usual- and incredibly popular- muttabal.

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Shatta Sauce

Can you have fish without chips? or mash without gravy? or anything without Shatta Sauce? NO. I make a fresh batch of this every 2-3 days because its so delicious and goes on everything. It lives on a low shelf in my fridge so that mama can get to it before we wake to douse her breakfast in and its served either on all of our food- rice, salads, meats, hummus, labaneh- or in a small bowl for us to dip everything and anything in. I strongly recommend that you make it and make it again.

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Shatta Starter

Shatta is so simple and so essential to the Palestinian eating experience, I feel a bit silly calling this a recipe. Its essentially preserved chillies that you can use to dress dips, salads and meats. You can make red or green I personally hardly ever use it neat, but instead use it as a sort of shatta starter in the fridge that I add to kofta mix, to make sauces, marinades and dips.

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Meaty, Nutty Hummus

It’s actually hard to know how to improve upon Hummus.  However, like with everything in Palestine, if you add spiced meat and nuts something ordinary becomes sublime.  If hummus is for every day, then this recipe is for special occasions- a holiday brunch with the family, or festive nibbles with friends.

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