I’m a truly rubbish Muslim. Seriously. I’ve been known to enjoy the odd half of snakebite, am married to a devout atheist; rarely buy halal anything and would never dream of circumcising my baby boy. Despite this, I’m still a Muslim and am therefore incredibly excited about the UK’s first and indeed, the world’s largest halal food festival at the London ExCel from 27-29 September. Let’s face it, it’s about time “haloodies” were represented in a predominantly non-Islamic foodie ocean of white, middle class bacon munchers. As Islamophobia continues to spread its poisonous tentacles and as seemingly every government, power and faction has homicidal designs upon the people of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon; it’s good to see something positive for Muslims for a change, even if that something is as simple as a food festival.
The festival will feature cooking demos from Cyrus Todiwala, Shelina Permaloo and Jean Christophe Novelli. I’m particularly excited about the launch of Indian street food by Cinnamon Kitchen chefs “Joho Soho” and can’t wait to try their Bengali mutton and fenugreek chicken. I’m also looking forward to feasting on Palestinian medjool dates, stuffed with organic fairtrade nuts and topped with rosebuds by The Datelatiers. Meanwhile here’s a recipe for Papeta pur eeda or “simply divine eggs on potato” from Cyrus Todiwala. Mashallah!
Cyrus’ PAPETA PUR EEDA
THIS IS QUITE SIMPLY DIVINE “EGGS ON POTATO”.
POTATO One large, peeled and sliced to approximately 1/8th of aninch thick. If you have a mandolin you’ll get more even slices, otherwise do not fret.
one medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small, finely chopped green chilli
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander
4 eggs, organic if possible
salt, to taste
two to three tablespoons or half oil half butter (Cyrus prefers to add a healthy heap of butter once the cumin is coloured)
Peel, slice the potato, wash and set aside.
Slit the onion into half and slice thinly.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the cumin seeds.
Allow them to sizzle for a minute or two over a medium flame.
Add the green chillies & garlic, saute for a further minute or two before adding the sliced onion. Saute for a minute or two until opaque and add the potato slices.
Saute for at least three to four minutes, sprinkle salt and level out the contents of the pan. Add enough water to just below the level of the contents, cover the pan and on a low flame cook until the potatoes are just tender, but still firm without being mushy.
At this stage Cyrus likes to add a small spring onion thinly sliced and sprinkled, but it is optional. Sprinkle over the coriander, check the seasoning, mix gently and level the contents of the pan again, ensuring the sides of the pan are clean.
Make four, well spaced indentations with an egg where you would like to have each egg. This should roughly be one and a half inches from the sides of the pan.
Break each egg taking care to drop the yolk into each cavity.
Cover the pan and cook over a very low flame.
The eggs will poach in the steam, however if the heat is too high the potatoes will burn.
When done to your liking, cut out into four segments and serve with mango chutney and warm baguettes.