Eat the World – Part 16

Week 19 – Jordan

etw 05 jordan

Maqluba translates to “upside down”, which is exactly how to make this dish – a popular meal in Jordan. My dish varies a little from the traditional recipe, opting to roast the vegetables instead of fry them with the aim of pulling out more flavour. I also make the most of the stock used when first cooking the chicken, reserving it to cook the rice later on.


Ingredients (Serves 6)

Spice mix 1
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 3 peppercorns
Spice mix 2
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ ground cinnamon


  • ½ cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 eggplant, halves and sliced at 1 cm thickness
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 500 gr chicken thigh fillets
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, sliced lengthways and remaining attached on ends
  • 2 cups medium grain rice
  • Crushed almonds, to serve
  • Parsley, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Coat cauliflower and eggplant in olive oil and roast on a tray for 25-30 minutes. Set aside.
  1. In a heavy based saucepan, heat a third of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Add spice mix 1 and cook for 1 minute, then cover chicken with 4 cups water and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside chicken and reserve liquid.
  1. Heat another third of the canola oil in the same saucepan until hot. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Place chicken on top of onions, turn off heat and cover for 15 minutes.
  1. Combine rice with spice mix 2.
  1. Return saucepan to heat, top chicken with cauliflower and eggplant and seasoned rice on top. Pour enough of the reserved liquid into the saucepan to just cover the rice (you may need to add a little water). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the remaining canola oil. Cover again and continue to cook for 25 minutes, or until rice is cooked through (adding a little more water along the way, if needed).


  1. Rest the dish off the heat from 15 minutes. Placing a serving dish on top of the saucepan, carefully flip the dish over and lift the saucepan away. Scatter with crushed almonds and parsley and slice to serve.


Week 20 – Egypt

etw 06 egypt

This is a really cool and easy dessert that you can whip together in no time, yet easily impress with. It’s packed with Middle Eastern influence, which makes it a very flavourful and interesting take on the staple bread pudding you might be more familiar with. What’s more, there’re textures galore with mushy pastry, crunchy nuts and popping pomegranate. This is a winner.

Egyptian bread pudding

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 sheets filo pastry
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • ½ can (200 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup thickened cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater
  • pomegranate seeds, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 210C. Scrunch each filo sheet into a ball and place in a greased pan (about 20cm x 15cm, or a size that fits all the scrunched filo snugly). Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Reduce oven to 180°C. Scatter filo with nuts, sugar and coconut.
  1. Heat condensed milk, cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until warmed. Stir in rosewater, then pour over filo. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve, scattered with pomegranate seeds.


Week 21 – Morocco

etw 07 morocco

Come winter and you’re looking for a slew of hearty, warming soups to get you through. This recipe hits the spot and offers a nice variant to the classic vege soups you’d think of. It’s nicely spiced, thick with lentils and rich in flavours of tomato and spinach.

Moroccan lentil soup

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cups dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 200 gr baby spinach leaves
  • Coriander, to serve
Garlic yogurt
  • 1/3 cup natural yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. For the garlic yogurt, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high. Add onion, carrot, garlic and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add cumin and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  1. Add lentils and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through spinach.
  1. Transfer to bowls and serve topped with coriander and yogurt.


Week 22 – Sierra Leone

etw 08 sierra leone

When cooking northern African food, there is lot of peanut use in dishes. For Sierra Leone’s contribution to Eat the World, I’ve opted for a African snack recipe that screams sate, hence peanuts! The combo of chilli, tomato paste, lemon and coconut pack the marinade with flavour, and combined with a simple couscous and some sweet potato, this snack becomes a well rounded meal. Also, whoever thought up ginger yogurt is genius – the stuff is perfect!

Peanut butter chicken with ginger yogurt


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 500 gr skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • Coriander sprigs and lemon wedges, to serve
Ginger yoghurt
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, chilli and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add peanut butter, coconut cream and ½ cup water, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and combined. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and season to taste. Remove marinade from heat and set aside to cool completely.
  1. Cut chicken into 3 cm pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour cooled marinade over chicken, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  1. For the ginger yoghurt, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.
  1. Thread marinated chicken onto soaked skewers. Heat remaining oil over a char grill to medium–high heat. Working in batches, season peanut butter chicken skewers, then cook, turning, for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes then drizzle with ginger yoghurt and serve with coriander and lemon wedges.

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