These might be handy to enliven the menu when camping or on a long trip…..
Tomato and Onion Salad
2tbsp white vinegar
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 sliced tomatoes
½ cucumber, sliced
1 green chili, deseeded and chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
Coriander & parsley leaves to taste
This is a common and refreshing salad across Africa and the Middle East. Pour boiling water over the onion and leave it for ten minutes. Arrange the rest of the veg on a plate and then scatter the onions onto this once they are drained and cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over as a dressing. Serve chilled. Some serve with a bowl of salsa and a slice of lime.
750g dried fava beans
4 crushed cloves of garlic
Salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper to taste
A staple dish of Bedouin everywhere, and especially popular in Egypt, Fuul (pronounced ‘fool’!) has dozens of variations and versions, depending on where in the Middle East you are. Soak the beans in water for eight hours and then simmer until they are tender but not mushy. This can take up to another four hours depending on how dry they were! Slow cookers and thermal cookers are great for this. When tender, drain and add the crushed garlic. Serve with the parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil.
Dave’s Safari Salad Dressing
50ml white vinegar
20ml olive oil
Tabasco to taste
1tsp nigella seeds
1 small lime
3 small green chilis, de-seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
Mix all the ingredients together and then leave the pot in your Land Rover fridge and let the flavours blend together. It’s great for brightening up salads or adding to sandwiches and you will find you can top it up as you use it, and perhaps add different ingredients (eg dill). The friend who passed this onto me is currently in Malawi and heading south!
1 can chickpeas (and the water)
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped fine
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Very easy to make. Squish the chickpeas together into a coarse paste, and then add all the rest! You can get tahini (sesame) paste in jars or squeezy tubes. Store in the fridge unless everyone guzzles it first. Serve on flatbreads or in baked spuds.
This Lebanese dip is a real winner – tasty, different and dead easy to make. With the addition of 2 green chilis, a handful of basil and double the garlic it becomes the spicier dip Moutabel.
2 aubergines / eggplants
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic (to taste)
½ tsp salt
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup tahini
Cumin, chili, pomegranate seeds, diced onion or tomato
Halve the aubergines and grill/bake them under a flame, or next to a fire. This is important as it gives the dip its smoky flavour. Skin them and mash the pulp, then mix with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with flatbread.
Tortilla de Patatas
This sort-of-omelette-thing is available across Spain in vac-packed shrink-wrapped form, and, in mass-produced form, if thrown hard enough it will take out an attack helicopter. It’s far nicer (and healthier) to make your own version of this hearty breakfast staple.
1 cup olive oil
Salt and herbs to taste
Cheese, tomato, olives, tuna, peppers.
Peel and thinly slice potatoes and onion, and fry in hot oil for around 15 minutes – until the potatoes are soft. Drain excess oil. Break eggs into a bowl, beat with a pinch of salt, and mix into the potatoes and onion. Mould the whole thing into a thick pancake and fry, for around 4 minutes on each side. If you put a bit of salt into the hot oil before you fry it, the mixture won’t stick.
Greens in peanut sauce
This is a good African side-dish standby and can be found across the continent from the Congo to South Africa. Peanuts are often referred to as groundnuts in Africa.
1kg greens (spinach for example)
1 cup of peanuts (or peanut butter)
1 chopped tomato
1 sliced onion
Salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, curry powder to taste
If you are using whole peanuts, roast them in a frying pan, pound them into a powder and then slowly boil in a little water so they make a paste. Boil or steam the greens for ten minutes then decant and save most of the liquid, add the tomato and onion to the greens and simmer or steam gently for another ten minutes. Mix the peanut paste or butter with some of the water you saved from the greens, and stir into a smooth paste. Mix everything together and simmer until the greens are tender. Season to taste.