Try out these Mediterranean dishes showered with a range of interesting flavours

The Mediterranean cuisine is increasingly finding takers in India, resulting in not just food festivals at our hotels but restaurants specialising in it too. It is no more a task hunting for say, a bottle of tahini paste, or slices of pita breads, or even baklavas in the market. So one should say, it was good timing for celebrity chef from Israel, Arahoni, to visit New Delhi recently. He brought with him a host of recipes from his country where he runs two very popular restaurants. We bring to you here two of Arahoni's recipes which you can try out at home this weekend.

Hummus Masabacha

(Hummus served with warm chickpeas and Tahini)

Ingredients

Hummus

1 kg chickpeas (soaked overnight)

1 tsp baking powder

500 gram Tahini paste

4-5 chopped garlic cloves

Lemon juice

Salt pepper

Method

Remove the chickpeas from water and rinse them. Cover with cold water and add baking powder. Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 hours until tender. Strain the cooked chickpeas and dry them on kitchen towel. Remove skins as much possible. Reserve some whole chickpeas for serving.

Process the rest into a paste with some cooking liquids, Tahini paste, garlic, salt pepper and lemon.

How to make Tahini spread

1 kg Tahini paste

1/2 glass lemon juice

3 chopped garlic cloves

Ice water

Salt pepper

Method

Mix well all the ingredients until the desired texture is achieved.

To serve

Scoop the hummus on plates. Cook the Tahini paste with chickpeas for 2-3 minutes. Pour the Tahini mixture in the centre of the plate.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley, olive oil, garlic and water.

Malabi with Pomegranate Syrup and Pistachio

Ingredients

3 cups of milk

One cup heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

60 gm cornstarch

A bit of saffron soaked in hot water

For topping

Homemade pomegranates concentrate

Seeds of one pomegranate

6 tbsp coarsely chopped pistachios

Method

Pour milk, cream, sugar and saffron in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add cornstarch, thinned with a bit of cold milk and cook until the mixture thickens. Strain and pour into dessert glasses.

Cover with tinfoil and refrigerate until it thickens.

Cover with pomegranate syrup, scatter with pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios.

Home to make homemade pomegranate concentrate

Cook three litres of freshly strained pomegranate juice on low flame until it becomes a dark honey-like syrup.

Aharoni is a well-known chef, journalist, cookbook author and television show developer and host from Israel. Aharoni, who visited The Imperial in New Delhi recently, studied cooking in Taiwan and apprenticed at some of the finest restaurants in France. Over the years he has owned and operated several restaurants in Israel, including the French Restaurant Golden Apple which received a prestigious 17 points in the Gault-Millot guide. He was also the Guide’s chef of the year for Israel in 1998. Today, he is the owner of two Chinese restaurants in the Tel Aviv area.

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