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Anything but cheesecake!
17 May @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tuesday 17 May, 7:30 pm UK time. The festival of Shavu’ot begins on 4 June this year. It is customary for Jews to prepare dairy foods, and the festival is predominantly associated with the eating of cheesecake. But Sephardi and Mizrahi communities have their own distinct traditions. We will be joined by expert cooks Linda Dangoor from Iraq, Viviane Bowell of Egypt and Soly Anidjar from Morocco who will each prepare their favourite Shavuot dish and talk about how the festival is celebrated in their community. (The photo shows cheese sambousek, a popular dish among Iraqi Jews). Recording here.
Soly’s festive Lamb and Raisin Tagine
1 1/2 kg lamb shoulder
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup oil
½ tsp salt/pepper
2 tbs raisins
6 pitted prunes
3 tbs honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup hot water
2 litres water
almonds for garnish
Method: sprinkle dried fruit with honey, add one cup boiling water. leave to marinate for an hour. Brown gently. Roughly chop lamb to reduce cooking time. Add spices and oil, lamb pieces and sauté. Mix well. Add two litres water.
Simmer for 2 -2 1/2 hours until all water has evaporated. Check on dish every 15 minutes. Serve warm. Add salt to taste and sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.
Soly Anidjar has a Facebook recipe page. To join the group click here.
Kahee is an Iraqi pastry of very thin sheets of dough, buttered, folded like a small handkerchief. This is then drizzled with sugar, date syrup or honey, and accompanied with Qeimar (clotted cream).
What is typically Jewish, though, is our tradition of eating Kahee once a year only, on the occasion of Shavuot. In this recipe, I am using shop-bought filo pastry, instead of preparing the dough myself.
Filo sheets, thawed in fridge overnight if frozen
Unsalted butter, melted
Icing sugar or date syrup for sprinkling before serving
A pot of Qeimar or clotted cream
Method: Preheat oven to 190C.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lay a filo sheet on top, brush the whole sheet with melted butter, and fold in half. Brush again with the melted butter, and fold once more. Brush the top and bottom with the melted butter. You can fold a third time, if you wish, to obtain a smaller-sized Kahee. Repeat this with the rest of the filo sheets. Bake for 20-30 mins, until the pastries are puffed up and golden . (You can also fry the pastries instead, which is the tradition in Iraq)
Serve hot or warm, topped with a sprinkling of sugar or a drizzle of date syrup, and accompanied by generous lashings of clotted cream or Qeimar.
Linda Dangoor is the author of Flavours of Babylon.