Turmeric paste

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So I had a bag of fresh turmeric but I knew I wasn’t going to cook enough dishes to use it all, on time. Then I didn’t see any point in drying it out if I can go to my local Middle eastern food store and buy it by the bagful.

Then I figured, why not make a paste, using fresh, aromatic ingredients and all the turmeric.

It contains about 200g of fresh turmeric, four chillis, a big clove of garlic, a chunk of fresh ginger, a handful of fresh coriander, juice of one lemon and half a cup of lemon vinegar.

Then I was barbecuing, so I gutted and filleted a mackerel I’d just bought at my local fishmongers. After seasoning the skin side with salt and black pepper, I brushed the meat side with the turmeric paste, let the skin side cook until the skin popped, then I turned it over to give the flesh side a heat glaze – it was cooked already.

I served it with fresh green beans and boiled Irish potatoes, new season and floury, it was delicious.

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Turkey and rice stuffed Courgette with coriander yoghurt dressing

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The sun is shining, spring is in the air and there’s nothing better than a healthy, fresh tasting dish like this, courgettes stuffed with a spiced rice and turkey mixture and topped with a dressing made of natural yoghurt, coriander, lemon juice and lime zest.

Ingredients

  • 1 cupful of minced turkey or chicken
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • courgettes – as many as you need
  • 1 cupful of basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 pt of chicken stock
  • juice of one lemon
  • fresh lime zest
  • coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • half a cup of pine nuts

Cut the courgettes, length ways, in half. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper, then place them in an oven, pre-heated to 200∘, until soft. Remove, set aside and allow to cool.

Put the stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then add the rice.

Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Add the minced turkey (or chicken) and cook until it begins to brown. Now add the garlic, cinnamon, Lebanese 7 spice* and tahini and cook at medium heat, for another two minutes.

Take the courgette halves and remove the seeds. Fill the boats with the turkey and rice mixture, drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven, for five minutes, until warm through.

Dressing

Add the chopped coriander, lemon juice and lime zest to the natural yoghurt and mix well.

Dry roast the pine nuts in a pan until slightly coloured.

Remove the stuffed courgettes and plate. pour the dressing over the top and then sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts.

*Lebanese 7 Spice is slightly different to the 7 Spice mixtures used in other North African cuisines. It can be bought, ground and mixed, at most Middle Eastern food stores but if you take the time and the trouble to do it yourself, the results are better. The ingredients are Allspice, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fenugreek and ginger.

 

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