Flatbreads with Spiced Lamb



You only need an hour, start to finish, to make this.  Begin by making your flatbread dough.  I use Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe (The River Cottage Family Cookbook ‘Easy Flatbreads’).  Here it is.

Mix about 250g plain flour with a teaspoon of salt.  Measure 150ml of warmish water and add a tablespoon of oil to the water.  Pour the water and oil gradually into the flour, stirring with your fingers and making sure that you stop pouring before the dough turns sticky.  If it does turn sticky, add a little more flour.  Knead the dough for just five minutes, then pop a plate over the bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Now, make the spiced lamb.  Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, then add half a cinnamon stick, 3 cardamom pods, a bay leaf, 2 cloves and a teaspoon of cumin seeds.  When the seeds start popping, add two finely chopped onions, turn the heat to medium, and allow to fry for 5 minutes.

Then add a sliced green chilli, a tablespoon of grated ginger, two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, hot chilli powder and turmeric.  Stir well.

Pop in 500g minced lamb, turn up the heat, stir it up and break it up until it’s more or less browned.  Add half a tin of tomatoes, put the lid on and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

When it’s done, finish off your flatbreads.  Roll the dough into a fat sausage shape and cut into 8 pieces.  Warm another non-stick frying pan (no oil!), then quickly roll out your first bread.  Pass it from hand to hand to remove excess flour, then put it onto the hot pan.  After 30-60 seconds, turn it over.  You may want to turn it over a few times until it has bubbled a little and has brownish spots over it.

Keep the breads warm by covering with a tea towel while you make the rest.  When you’re ready, serve the spiced lamb mince on the flatbread with a good sprinkle of fresh coriander, a wedge of lemon, some yoghurt and perhaps some watercress.  I suppose this recipe should serve four, but I could have eaten much, much more.

You know those magical family baking moments you see in the films?  This was about as close to one of those that we’ve ever come, with Annie rolling out the dough while I cooked the flatbreads.  Thank you, Hugh!


Spiced Chicken with Prunes


Start this the night before by sprinkling 3 chicken breasts (each one cut into 3 pieces) with a chopped up garlic clove, a scant tablespoon of chopped fresh mint and parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon each of dried ginger, ground coriander and cinnamon, half a teaspoon each of turmeric and chilli flakes and the juice of half a lemon.  Put this in the fridge, covered.

At the same time, steep 200g prunes in 2 teaspoons of honey and enough boiling water to cover.  Leave this at room temperature.

The next day, preheat your oven to 180 degrees, then fry 2 sliced onions with 2 crushed cloves of garlic in some olive oil and a little salt.  Use a hob-friendly, ovenproof pan for this.  When the onion is soft, add the chicken breasts to the pan, and turn the heat up to colour.  Add a little more oil if necessary.  Sprinkle with a some nutmeg and black pepper.  Once both sides of the chicken breasts are golden, add a sliced red pepper and a sliced yellow pepper.  Stir well, then add half a pint of chicken stock (from a stock cube is fine).  Bring to the boil, then put a lid on and pop the casserole into a medium oven (180 degrees) for half an hour.

After 30 minutes, add the zest of a lemon and and the prunes.  Put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.  After that, stir in some fresh mint, parsley and a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach.  Leave it to sit for a couple of minutes, stir again and check for salt and then serve with couscous or rice and a further sprinkling of zest and parsley.