Tag Archives: sumac

Warm Rice Salad

As we roll through summer here in Western Australia salad becomes my go to veg option and now with the boys being teenagers, I need to bulk out the salads more to fill them up!

Serves 6-8.


200g basmati rice

375mls water

120g iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

100g cucumber, finely sliced lengthwise, I use a potato peeler

4 large spring onions, sliced at an angle

80g fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped

6 dried figs, chopped into 4-6 pieces each

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

80g shelled pistachios

25mls lime juice

25mls olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sumac

Salt and pepper


Wash the rice, pour it into a pan with a tight fitting lid, add the water and cover. Bring the rice up to the boil and then simmer, covered for 12minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 10minutes. Do not take the lid off during the cooking and sitting period!

Allow the rice to cool a little.

Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat and add the pistachios.

Dry roast for 3 minutes and then tip the nuts onto a chopping board.

Once the nuts are cool enough to handle, roughly chop.

Combine the lime juice, oil, sumac, salt and pepper, check the seasoning.

Fork through the rice and tip into a large bowl, add the vegetables, fruit and nuts, stir well, finally pour in the dressing and stir again before serving.

I sometimes keep a few pistachios back to throw on top at the end.


Minced Beef With Spices And Fresh Herbs


Ok, now this recipe needs to be on your radar if, like me, some days are a little on the mad side and time is short! Think of this as a middle eastern inspired stir fry, odd I know but it works and as the boys eat it with their hands, a huge hit in our house!

The fresh herbs really make this zing but feel free to mix them up and just use what you have to hand, fresh coriander and fresh oregano work well too.

The photo shows our gluten free option but the rest of the family use  Lebanese bread or pitta bread. If you want to do this dairy free, omit the yogurt and maybe add a wee dollop of hummus?

Serves 6-8.


30mls oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons sumac

4 teaspoons zatar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

700g minced/ground beef

600g cooked and cut to 2cm dice potatoes, skin still on

200mls stock or water

500g frozen peas

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped


Heat the oil in a very large frying pan, mine is a 32cm diameter and this just fits!

Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour the spices into the pan and stir until fragrant, only 30 seconds or so.

Add the beef to the pan and over a high heat brown the meat.

Add the potatoes and stock or water, turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, it doesn’t take long in such a big pan.

Now add the peas and keep stirring to cook them through and lightly fry the meat and potatoes. Season well.

Stir through the fresh herbs at the end and serve with flat bread and yogurt.

Barbecued Lamb And Haloumi Salad


In a family of males, meat features regularly on the menu but this is a favourite, known as cave man salad by the boys and with the added bonus of bribing them to eat the salad as it has the meaty juices all over it!

Serves 6.


1.4kgs well trimmed lamb cutlets

4 garlic cloves, crushed

8 teaspoon zatar

2 teaspoons sumac

2 teaspoons ground cumin

zest and juice of 1 lime

50 mls oil

200g haloumi

200g mixed lettuce leaves

1 carrot, grated

1 capsicum, thinly sliced

6 tomatoes, quartered

1 pomegranate, seeds only


Combine the lamb, garlic, zatar, sumac, cumin, lime zest and juice, salt, pepper and oil, allow to marinade for thirty minutes.

Heat the barbecue flat plate over a high flame.

Mix all the salad ingredients and plate up.

Cook the haloumi on both sides and then place it on the salad.

Now pop the meat into the BBQ and cook, turning once, to your liking.

Place the cooked meat on the salad, sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and serve.

Tempeh With Sumac And Zatar


Having lived in Indonesia I love tempeh and it works really well with the Middle Eastern flavours of sumac and zatar. I needs to be fried a little with the spices before popping it in the oven for a final roasting.

You could use a firm tofu here but just stir fry it in the pan without the baking in the oven.

Serves 2.


200g tempeh

50ml oil

1 small red onion, sliced finely

1 garlic clove, sliced finely

2 teaspoons sumac

3 teaspoons zatar

1 small capsicum, sliced into strips

a few thin slices of lime

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

In an oven proof pan, heat the oil gently.

Add the onion and cook slowly until the onion is soft, add the garlic, sumac and two teaspoons of zatar and cook for one minute until fragrant.

Turn the heat up to high and add the tempeh, cook for one minute stirring well.

Add the capsicum and stir through.

Top with the lime slices.

Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the capsicum is beginning to colour.

Sumac and Lemon Slow Roast Lamb


I love lamb cooked this way, falling off the bone with loads of flavour.

As a little cheat, I like to throw some potatoes and carrots into the pan for the last 3 hours. These gives me a gluten free option, while everyone else has flat breads I have potatoes and salad and the leftover potatoes and all of the carrots and onions are used the following day to make Cornish Pasties with the leftover meat and pan juices.

Serves 8 plus leftovers.


3kg leg of lamb

2 tablespoons sumac

1 tablespoon zatar

1 teaspoon chilli powder

6 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper

2 onions, peeled and cut into 1cm rings


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade.

In a mortar crush the garlic with salt and then add sumac, zatar, chilli, pepper,lemon juice and oil.

Take the lamb leg and slash deep cuts all over it, 2-4cm deep.

Spread the marinade all over the lamb, pushing it into the slashes and covering the ends.

Spread the onion over a roasting tin, top with the lamb.

Scrunch a piece of baking parchment in water, spread over the top of the meat.

Top the parchment with tin foil and seal well.

Pop in the oven and roast slowly for 8 hours.

Turkish Lamb Pides Meet Cornish Pasties


Traditional pides use a yeast dough but that takes a bit longer to make so I use a Cornish pasty flaky pastry crust. If you don’t have time or the inclination to make pastry just use frozen puff pastry.

These are fantastic in lunch boxes for the boys and I usually make double batches and freeze half individually wrapped in foil for an easy lunch or snack another day.

Makes 8 pides.


15-30mls olive oil

500g minced lamb

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon Za’atar

2 teaspoons sumac

pinch of chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

4 tomatoes, deseeded and diced finely

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

1 egg, beaten

300g plain flour

150g butter, finely diced

120mls water


Start by making the pastry.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and butter, add the water and mix gently until it comes together.

Flour your work surface, lay the pastry out and roll into a rectangle, around 10-15cm by 30cm.

Fold the bottom third up on itself and repeat with the top third, turn the pastry one quarter and repeat, rolling into a large rectangle and folding back down, repeat this another 6 times.

Wrap on cling film and set aside in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180degrees Centigrade.

Heat the oil in a large pan, over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly until softened.

Turn the heat to high and add the meat, Za’atar, sumac and chilli, cook until the meat is totally browned and the liquid has evaporated.

Remove from the heat and add the diced fresh tomatoes and parsley.

Take the pastry and cut into eight pieces.

Roll one piece out into a rough circle, spoon one eighth of the meat onto the lower half of the circle.

Paint around the edges with the beaten egg, fold over and using a pinching method seal the pastry, folding it upwards back upon itself.

Repeat with the remaining pides.

Brush with beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 mins until golden.

Lamb and Feta Sausage Rolls


Sausage rolls are so handy to have in the freezer, ready for quick dinners or school lunch boxes.

The puff pastry sheets here come with a thin layer of plastic between each sheet, once I have made the rolls I leave them whole and then re wrap them in this plastic before freezing so I can pull out just one roll if necessary when frozen. Once defrosted, brush with egg and sprinkle a little Za’atar over the top and cut to size before baking.

Makes 16 large sausage rolls and 36 mini rolls.


1kg minced lamb

120g fresh breadcrumbs

400g feta

2 teaspoons sumac

2 tablespoons Za’atar, plus extra

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg, beaten


Combine the lamb, breadcrumbs, feta, sumac,  Za’atar, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Lay out the pastry sheets.

Divide the meat into eight portions, form each portion into a long sausage, the length of your pastry sheet.

Lay one sausage at the top of the sheet and the other at the bottom, repeat with the remaining sausages.

Take a sharp knife and cut the pastry sheet in half. Brush the pastry with egg and roll the pastry to encase the sausage. Repeat with the remaining pastry.

Place the roll, sealed edge down, on a chopping board, brush with egg and sprinkle a little Za’atar over the top, cut into whatever size you like.

Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30mins until golden and cooked through.