Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

This weekend I went down to the fish market! Watch my video……

Filmed by the talented Mike McKelvie and edited by the equally talented Xan Blacker with huge thanks and appreciation!!!

The purpose of this trip was to show a little of old Dubai, throughout history Dubai has had strong links with the sea with pearl diving, dhow building and fishing. The fish market remains, to this day, a special place!

The recipe I want to share is a very healthy, light dish which has the flavours of the Middle East and the freshness of a salad.

It is Sumac Coated Fish.

Sumac is a deep red spice often used in this region and parts of Italy and is described as a souring agent. It is delicious with both meat and fish but most people will recognise it as a flavouring on Fattoush, a refreshing Lebanese salad. Check www.apinchof.com for fascinating facts on herbs and spices!

The fish I chose was hammour, a local favourite. It is a white fish with succulent flakes. Hammour is of the Grouper family and is also related to Sea Bass. It can grow up to 1 metre long, luckily I managed to purchase one that was a little smaller!!! As with alot of fish there is evidence of hammour stocks dwindling and in 2004 the Dubai Government introduced fishing guidelines on hammour quantities so please don’t eat this everyday even if it is too delicious!


For the Salad: Green Beans, Asparagus, Spring Onions, Brown Lentils, Flat Leaf Parsely

For the Fish: White Fish, in this case Hammour

For the Dressing: Olive oil, Thyme or Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon, Salt and Pepper

Cook the beans, asparagus and lentils. mix all the salad ingredients together. Lightly fry the sumac coated fish in a little olive oil until cooked through and place on top!

Feel the amour for hammour and enjoy!!!!

Food Styling Fish:

”The texture of most fish flesh is delicate when compared to beef and pork. For this reason, the styling and cooking techniques for fish are different. Because most types of fish have a texture that flakes when cooked, fish cooked for photography must be handled very carefully. ….. Like other proteins, fish flesh will tighten up during the cooking process. The tightening of protein will cause the piece of fish to shrink slightly in the surface area it will take up on the plate and it will become a little thicker or taller in size. When you begin the cooking process for fish photography, there are several advantages to starting the process with well-chilled fish. If the center of the fish is very cold, the outer surfaces can be cooked while keeping the center of the fish flesh still intact…..” by Linda Bellingham, US food stylist extraodinaire!!!

To find out more amazing food styling tips, check out ‘Food Styling for Photographers’ by Linda Bellingham and Jean Ann Bybee.





Read Full Post »

Last week I was in Sri Lanka celebrating a friends amazing wedding. As we whizzed through the market streets and beach roads on our tuk tuk, the thing that caught my eye was the Sri Lankan pineapple! It is wide at the botton and gets narrower at the top with short leaves sprouting. They were stacked up in mounds ready for the morning market.

We were fortunate enough to have booked into a wonderful boutique hotel called the Frangipani Tree, 10 minutes outside of Galle, in the south. The staff here were so kind, attentive and the chefs were extremely good! When a chicken curry was ordered a whole array of exciting dishes would be served to accompany it. These would differ daily depending on what they had bought fresh that morning, such as grated carrot with coconut, green bean curry, spicey dahl curry, popadoms, okra with tomato curry, julienned beetroot curry, potato and cauliflower curry and the list goes on….. I have to say the potato and cauliflower curry was particularly memorable and the chefs in the kitchen were kind enough to let me watch them cook this dish one afternoon.

As we ambled through the narrow streets of the old fort in Galle, popping into boutique interior shops and souvenier shops, I came accross an old Sri Lankan cookery book; Ceylon Cookery by Chandra Dissanayake. It describes local fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs… amazing, along with particular local cooking techniques. Whilst flicking through I found an interesting sounding recipe for curried pineapple!

Pineapple Curried

1lb pineapple (unripe)

2 oz onions

2 green chillies

2 tsp chillie powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cummin powder

1” cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp salt

10 oz 1st&2nd extracts of coconut milk


1. Peel and cut pineapple into 3/4” pieces. Chop the onions and green chillies.

2. Mix all the ingredients together. Bring to boil and simmer till done.   It doesn’t really get more simple than that so here is my effort……

And here is the finished result!!!!  I love spicey food and the mix of the chilli with the sweet pineapple was delicious. I would, however, next time probably use 1 green chilli and only 1 tsp of chilli powder as it was very, very spicey indeed!!!!

Read Full Post »