The summer looks promising and it is always fun to get the barbecue going and eat outside. Whenever I make this Morrocan-spiced carrot dip I am always asked for the recipe! So here it is - do try it. The kebabs are easy to make and worth gathering together the fragrant spices that give them their distinctive Middle Eastern flavour. Enjoy the sunshine! E.L.
LAMB KOFTA KEBABS (Makes 12 kebabs)
1 kg / approx. 2 lbs minced lamb
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, very finely chopped or grated
2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp each, ground cumin, coriander and paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ - 1 tsp sea salt
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well (I find hands are best for this). Divide into 12 egg-shaped patties and skewer each - lengthways - with a bamboo kebab stick (previously soaked in cold water) or metal skewer. Squeeze well so that they are securely moulded into a sausage shape around the skewer.
When ready to cook, barbecue over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, cook under a preheated grill for the same amount of time, turning the kebabs frequently.
Good served with couscous, yoghurt flavoured with garlic and mint and a green salad. You can find a recipe for couscous on the Winter 2006 page of the South Leigh website.
Try making Moroccan-style bread. Make up a packet of white bread mix according to the packet instructions. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces and roll each piece out into mini pizzas. Place on an oiled baking tray and top with thin slices of halloumi cheese, chopped thyme, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes then bake in a very hot oven (220°C / Gas 7) for 10 minutes, or until the dough looks crisp and golden.
MOROCCAN SPICED CARROT DIP
500g carrots, peeled
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon each, ground cumin, paprika, ginger and cinnamon
one small dried chilli, crumbled or fresh chopped chilli (to taste)
1½ tblsps honey
juice and zest of one small lemon or one lime
3 tblsps olive oil
2 tblsps green olives, sliced
2 tblsps coriander, chopped
Chop the carrots into large chunks and steam with the garlic cloves for about 20 minutes or until quite soft. Remove from the steam and leave them to cool and dry off a little. Whiz the carrots in a food processor, then add the spices, salt, honey and lemon or lime juice and zest. Whiz again. With the motor still running drizzle in the olive oil.
Add the sliced olives and coriander, if using, and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with a little extra oil and a dusting of paprika. Serve with warmed pitta breads, crudités etc.
To make this more of a spread than a dip - do not add the lemon or lime zest, the olives or coriander. Transfer the dip to a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Allow to cool before adding the zest, olives and coriander.