Sharon Salloum’s book brings the food of Syria with an Australian twist, served at her Sydney restaurant, to all. Middle Eastern food is undergoing a great growth in interest at the moment, unsurprising given the focus on the use of fresh vegetables, interesting spicing and frequent use of family and entertaining friendly shared platters. This book contains over 100 classic and contemporary recipes.
Like many books of Middle Eastern and Levant foods, the basics – baba ghanouj, hummus, labne, falafel, and fatoush are covered; but she’s not just sticking with the basics; we particularly like the look of the chargrilled pepper, walnut and pomegranate dip, manoosh (za’atar pizzas), pomegranate quail, scallops maghrabieh (giant couscous), betinjen mehshi (stuffed small aubergines), and finally chicken in tahini. Illustrated throughout with atmospheric photography.
I am delighted to feature this (egg free) Turmeric cake from the book.
- 440 g fine semolina 2 cups
- 160 g plain flour 1 cup, all-purpose
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 250 g butter 2 sticks, melted and cooled for 10–15 minutes
- 385 g sugar 1¾ cups
- 375 ml milk 1½ cups
- 1½ tablespoons tahini
- 70 g flaked almonds ½ cup, slivered
Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan)/400°F/gas mark 6.
Place the semolina, flour, turmeric and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the butter, sugar, milk and 60 ml (¼ cup) water. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir to make a batter.
Grease a deep 23 cm (9 in) round cake pan by rubbing the tahini all over the base and side with the tips of your fingers.
Pour the cake batter into the tin and sprinkle with the flaked (slivered) almonds. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with tea or coffee. Store in an airtight container for a week.
Recipe has been extracted from Almond Bar: 100 Delicious Syrian Recipes by Sharon Salloum, published by Jacqui Small.
Fuss Free Flavours received a review copy of the book. All opinions are our own. We were not obliged to write a positive review.