Friday, 24 December 2010


Bureks are spring rolls, also called samosa/sambosa/sambusek. Thin pastry sheets filled with a tasty filling, most commonly minced meat (when filled with cheese they're called fatayer - it's pretty much the same, though). You can make the paper thin sheets yourself (Tammy of Tammy's Somali Home shows how on her blog) or buy them at any supermarket (spring roll pastry suits perfectly).
Different variants of burek/samosa are eaten all over the world. They seem to have merged somewhat over the years with the spring rolls, summer rolls, egg rolls, börek, et al.

The most used filling in our house is;

Minced meat filling

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion
500 g mince meat
olives cut in rings
salt, pepper and harissa to taste
eggs and chopped parsley
soft cheese

Fry the onions soft in the oil, add the mince and fry until all the redness is gone. Add olives and seasoning and let it cook for awhile. In the end add eggs and parsley, but don't let it cook dry!

Take a spring roll sheet, put about a spoonful of the filling in one corner together with some soft cheese and roll it, tucking in the sides as you go.

Deep fry or cook under the grill with some oil brushed over them. If you put the opening down first, you don't need anything to stick the ends to the rolls with.

According to Wikipedia: Swedes eat 1,2 spring rolls per person per year, the Danish 7 spring rolls per year, and Norway 1,4. lol

Swedish toffee

Knäck is a traditional Swedish toffee. The name translates into "break" and refers to its hard consistency (reminding of Daim or Skor bars). Some prefer their knäck to be soft and chewy, which is easily attainable by simmering the mix for a shorter time.


Heavy cream (any kind of cream that can be cooked will work just fine - such as double or whipping cream)
Golden syrup

Measure up equal parts (e.g. 150 ml) of the cream, syrup and sugar in a heavy based saucepan or pot (preferably a large pan for quicker results).
Melt it while stirring and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, the heat should be high enough to keep the mix boiling without burning to the bottom of the pan.
Keep boiling, while stirring, until the mix becomes a bit gluey. Pour a drop of the mix into a glass of cold water. If you can roll it to a hard or chewy ball, it’s done.
(You can add chopped almonds to the mix at this stage)

Pour into mini paper cups and leave to cool. Delicious!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


A very traditional Ramadan soup in the North-Western areas of Africa (mainly Morocco, but also some parts of Algeria). It's good and filling after a long day of fasting, and of course soups are ideal to restore fluids and hide those greens (if you have picky eaters).
It is eaten every day at iftar, until someone has had enough!

1 lb (450 g) lamb and/or 1/2 lb (225 g) chicken (optional - can be vegetarian as well)
1 big onion, chopped
4 oz (100 g) brown lentils
turmeric, ground cinnamon, paprika (the recipe calls for 1/2 - 1 tsp, I generally use more)
4 pints (2.3 litre) water
1 lb (450 g) ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or mixed (I sometimes omit the fresh tomatoes, or use less)
2 tsp tomato paste
4 oz (100 g) chick peas ( if dried and softened in water over-night, put them in with the water)
a few handfuls of vermicelli
3 tbs fresh, chopped coriander
3 tbs fresh, chopped parsley
1 tbs chopped celery (use the leaves, or if you use the stalks, put them in with the onions)
1 egg
salt & black pepper
Serve with lemon wedges to taste

  1. Soften the onion (and celery) in the oil on a low heat, add meat and brown.
  2. Add water, spices and tomato (if the lentils take long to cook, add them as well - some don't take longer than 30 or 40 minutes though, so it's better to add them later).
  3. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmering and leave to cook for about one and a half hour (30 minutes if you make it vegetarian).
  4. Add vermicelli, stir and cook for another 10 minutes until the vermicelli is cooked.
  5. Whisk an egg and pop it into the soup and stir.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn off the heat. Add the herbs.
Serve with lemon on the side. Moroccans like to have their Hareera with shabbakiyah.

Friday, 27 August 2010

My first jam

My very first jam :) Gooseberry jam. And it was so simple!

gooseberries, topped and tailed
water, just enough to cover -boil up and then leave to simmer for about half an hour
sugar, same amount in weight as berries

Let the sugar dissolve, and then heat it up to boiling point and leave to boil for approximately 15 minutes or until it passes the jam test: take some of the jam and put on a cold plate. Let it cool and push it with your finger, if it wrinkles it's ready.

Mine took a lot longer than 15 minutes to set, no idea why. Perhaps because I left the skins intact (I didn't want a smooth jam), or maybe I should have cooked it for longer before I added the sugar.

Doesn't matter, the end result was delicious! :)