Majeda started up the Syrian Sunflower that provides catering and cooking lessons. She's kindly shared one of her recipes with us :)
Ingredients (serves 2)
100g block of tamarind (or tamarind paste or powder).
150g green lentils, washed (or brown lentils)
100ml pomegranate molasses
200g macaroni (or any pasta)
100ml olive oil
½ large garlic clove, crushed
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp flour or (breadcrumbs)
½ onion, finely sliced
1 flat bread, torn into 1cm pieces (tortilla, flat bread, pitta bread)
300ml vegetable oil for deep frying
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 saucepans and 1 frying pan.
For the lentils/macaroni
1. Heat up 1 L water in a saucepan. Break the tamarind into the pan and boil vigorously for 20 minutes. The water should turn a deep brown and the tamarind should turn to a soft pulp.
2. Remove from the heat and strain the tamarind keeping the liquid and discarding the seeds.
3. Place the lentils in a large pot with plenty of water. Bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the tamarind liquid and the pomegranate molasses.
5. Add the macaroni with salt and pepper to taste and stir continuously for 10 minutes.6. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the garlic with the coriander and add to the lentils.
For the garnish
1. Combine the sliced onions with the flour and shake to coat evenly. Place the floured onions in a sieve and gently shake to remove any excess flour.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan.
3. Fry the onions and bread pieces in batches until brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper
For the assembly
Take a large shallow bowl or serving dish. Start with the lentils/macaroni. Top with a decorative pattern of the fried bread, fried onions, the chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds