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From North Africa

Indulge in the savoury flavours and aromas of North African cuisine with these simple and scrumptious recipes

Moroccan Chicken
Ingredients 3 whole star anise 5 cardamom pods 2tsp cumin seeds 2tsp broken cinnamon stick 1tsp grated ginger 10ml paprika 100ml olive oil 600g whole chicken cleaned 1 onion, (chopped) 4 garlic cloves Salt and freshly ground black pepper, (to taste) 400g canned chickpeas 400g canned tomatoes 500ml chicken stock A handful of coriander, (chopped) 100g almonds, (chopped) METHOD Mix star anise, cardamom, cumin cinnamon, ginger, paprika and 60ml of the olive oil. Smear over chicken and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Place chicken in the pot and brown on all sides. Add onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Season well with salt and black pepper. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and stock. Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Place in an oven at 160 degrees Centigrade and bake for 90 minutes. Increase the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and roast uncovered for another 30 minutes. Remove pot and sprinkle coriander and almonds over the chicken.

Chicken Tagine
Ingredients 30ml canola oil 1 onion, (finely chopped) 1 garlic clove, (finely chopped) 1tsp each, ground ginger, cumin, and turmeric 1/8tsp ground cinnamon 15ml tomato paste 565ml chicken stock 60ml fresh orange juice 225g pitted mixed dried fruits, (chopped) Salt and freshly ground pepper, (to taste)

700g skinless and boneless chicken breast, (cut into large cubes) 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander METHOD Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion, garlic and ground spices. Cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and stock and bring to a boil, while stirring constantly. Add orange juice, dried fruits and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the fruits have softened and the juices reduce slightly. Add chicken, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tender. Add chopped coriander and serve hot.

Butter Chicken
Ingredients 800g prepared tandoori chicken, (cut into large pieces) For Gravy: 50g butter 1tsp whole spices (a mix of green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and a cinnamon stick) 1tsp ginger-garlic paste 4-5 green chillies, (chopped) 400g tomato puree 1tsp red chilli powder 1/2tsp garam masala powder 1/2tsp powdered dried fenugreek leaves Salt and sugar, to taste 1 cup cream Chopped coriander and tomato slices, (for garnishing) METHOD To prepare the gravy, heat butter in a large saucepan. Add whole spices and saute for a minute. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Cook for two minutes. Add tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and one cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar and dried fenugreek leaves. Add cooked tandoori chicken pieces, simmer for 5 minutes and then add fresh cream. Garnish with chopped coriander and tomato slices. Serve hot with naan or steamed rice

Prawn Pasta
Ingredients 2tbsp each, olive oil and butter 1 onion, (thinly sliced) 1/2 green bell pepper, (julienned) 250g mushrooms, (thinly sliced) 1 garlic clove, (crushed) 200g cherry tomatoes, (halved) Fresh basil and oregano, a handful of each 150ml vegetable stock 50g ricotta cheese

300g baby spinach 500g peeled prawns Salt and black pepper, (to taste) 250g spaghetti, (cooked according to instructions on the package) Grated parmesan cheese, (to taste) METHOD Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, add onion and pepper and sweat until soft; do not brown. Add mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, vegetable stock and ricotta. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and squishy. Add the spinach and prawns; cook until the spinach is wilted and prawns are turn pink. Season to taste. Toss in the spaghetti. Sprinkle Parmesan over and serve immediately.

Potato and Olive Tagine

Ingredients 750g red potatoes, (peeled) 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 onions, (finely chopped) 1/3 cup (finely chopped tomatoes 1/2tsp each, ginger and hot paprika powder 1 pinch ground cumin 1tsp crushed garlic 1 bay leaf 1/2 fresh lemon 2tbsp each, fresh coriander and parsley leaves, (chopped) Salt, to taste A pinch of saffron threads, (crumbled) 24 olives 1/2 preserved lemon Parsley leaves, (for garnishing) METHOD Thickly slice potatoes into a bowl of cold water. Set aside. In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat, cook half the onion until translucent, for almost 3-4 minutes. Add tomato, ginger, paprika, cumin and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, while stirring continuously. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan with the remaining onion, bay leaf and fresh lemon quarter. Stir well and add herbs. Season with salt. Add saffron and 1-1/2 cups hot water to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer until the potatoes are tender, it will take about 40 minutes. Then use a slotted spatula to transfer potatoes to a covered serving dish to keep warm. Discard the lemon. Add olives to the left-over liquid in the pan and boil until the juices are reduced to a thick sauce. Correct the seasoning, pour over the potatoes and garnish with preserved lemon and parsley leaves.

Winter Salad
Ingredients 3tbsp mustard seeds

4-6 medium-size beetroots 4 medium-size carrots 2 oranges, (cut into segments) 2tbsp dill, (freshly chopped) 4tbsp roasted sunflower seeds For Salad Dressing: 1tbsp each, hazelnut and olive oil Grated, peel and juice of 1 orange Salt and black pepper, (to taste) METHOD Place the mustard seeds in a small, dry frying pan and roast over high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Peel the raw beetroot and grate it into a mixing bowl. Grate the carrots into another mixing bowl and add the orange segments. Spoon the beetroot and carrots onto a serving platter and sprinkle the dill and sunflowers over the top. To prepare the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and drizzle it over the salad. Serve.