A time for sacrifice but more importantly, a time for sharing, arrives once again for us as we celebrate Eid-ul-Azha. While we run around organising family meals amidst the craziness that this day entails, allow me to offer you some help with recipes that could add a slightly different look to your already full Eid table. Have a wonderful Eid and may you not waste any food! Eid Mubarak from the Fearless Olive.
While we were watching the Football World Cup and rooting for the underdogs, the world got to know of the spirit of the Croatians and what better chance to explore their cuisine! The peka actually means “under the bell” and is a dish which is cooked in a special earthen pot or Peka and the Croatians ideally cook it over glowing embers or coals. We will however, domesticate it somewhat to suit our convenience but if you have access to earthen pots and coals, please do try it that way!
I am presenting the dish in 2 different variations, one is the traditional recipe and the other is a Fearless Olive twist…!
2-3 lamb shoulder, chopped into bite sized pieces
150ml white vinegar, ½ kg potatoes
2 onions into thick slices
4-5 carrots, sliced into large bite sizedchunks
2 zucchini, sliced ,
2-3 large capsicums, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup of garlic
Some fresh or dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
Less than 1/2 kg tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste, Olive oil to taste
THE FEARLESS OLIVE ALTERNATE RECIPE
1 kg beef, cut into cubes
½ kg potatoes cut into wedges
250g jamrul or love apples, cut into quarters
1 small green papaya, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2-3 large onions cut into thick round slices
200g tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped garlic
½ cup amra or hog-plum, grated and mixed with ¼ cup sugar
1 clove star anise, broken
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp roughly ground coriander seeds
Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
Preheat the oven to 180-200°C for about 10 minutes. While this is happening, crush half the garlic roughly into chunks then take a large casserole dish and add the lamb and garlic with some rosemary and olive oil and brown the meat slightly. This helps get rid of any excessive meaty flavours of the fresh meat and also to start the cooking process, which takes long for meat in any case. Now add the rest of the vegetables, rosemary and bay leaves, add the salt and pepper to your preference, then pour the rest of the olive oil and vinegar. Cover the pot and bring all this to a boil. Once this happens transfer it to the oven and cook on this heat for about 15-10 minutes and keep checking. After this, lower the heat and let the meat cook thoroughly, which can take up to 2 hours as we want the meat to be super soft.
Preheat oven as above and brown the beef similarly in a large casserole dish with half the onions, some garlic and the star anise and peanuts. Then add the vegetables, coriander seeds, bay leaves etc and stick it into the oven and follow methods as above. After about 20 minutes lower the heat and add amramix and mix it properly so it is absorbed better.
Serve it with some bread or even some rotis made of rice flour. Make a salad of julienned or thinly sliced carrots and cabbage mixed with mint and coriander and some lemon juice.
THREE BEAN SALAD WITH BEEF
The next recipe is a Fearless Olive personal favourite as it serves meat with a medley of salads and the best part is that you can add anything to this, to contribute to the sweetness, heat, depth or simply to make it look more vibrant! The whole concept of this dish is to offer your guests with an alternative way of eating meat, devoid of the masalas we so love and enjoy!
½ kg boiled beef (boiled with some garlic, 1 tbsp celery, rosemary, salt and 1 sliced onion)
1 cup boiled chickpeas or garbanzo, kidney beans or white beans (You can use beans of your choice. Boil them all with a bit of vinegar, pinch of salt, pepper and garlic)
1 cabbage, sliced or chopped in 1 cm thick squares
1 lettuce, chopped
1 cup feta cheese or Dhaka poneer, chopped
2-3 carrots grated, 1-2 spring onions, diced
1 onion, diced (optional)
3-4 tomatoes diced
1 cup chopped parsley/coriander and mint leaves
A pinch of oregano, A pinch of paprika
Salt and pepper to taste, Olive Oil
¼ cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Cool the beef after boiling it. Mix all the ingredients and ensure that the lemon juice/apple cider vinegar, paired with cabbage, carrots and lettuce are striking the right sweet-sour balance of flavours.
Serve it cold and with a sweet chilli sauce.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Food and styling: RBR