I am huge fan of Middle Eastern flavours and love to create dishes using spices such as Lebanese five
spice, and sumac. One of my favourite dishes with sumac is a fattoush, which is a salad of very ripe
summer salad ingredients such as small cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce, with pieces of deep fried pitta
bread. The whole salad is then sprinkled with sumac, giving everything a lovely, lemony sharpness. The
salad is great with grilled meat dishes.
Using ingredients like pomegranate molasses is easy as it’s such a versatile ingredient. For an even
easier roast lamb dish just cook a leg of lamb with lots of sliced onions and a good amount of
pomegranate molasses in a low oven until the meat is falling apart. You’ll end up with a delicious dish,
which is sticky, sweet and sour. Serve with pitta breads and a fresh salad.
Persian chicken kebabs are lovely too, made with minced chicken and spiced with turmeric and lime powder.
Or slow cook a joint of lamb in yoghurt and whole spices, for very soft meat with an addictive charred
Finding the right ingredients all depends on where you live, of course. Living in South East London, it’s
easy for me to use local shops, like the fantastic Persepolis in Peckham. The owner of the shop, another
food writer called Sally Butcher, is married to an Iranian man. They import all their own stock from
Iran and I know I can always find pretty much anything in there.
There are many shops which stock spices for this type of cuisines nowadays though, and most major
supermarkets will sell many of them. Failing that, look online.
Use your range cooker to create a succulent meat feast. Whether you prefer
your meat slow-roasted, flash-fried or gently grilled, there’s a Leisure cooker to suit your taste. If
you like cooking with gas take a look at our selection of gas