As I mentioned in previous post, my mother in-law is staying for a while, and I’m getting fatter as a consequence. I do love cooking – of course I do! – but having two young kids makes cooking meals feel like a chore sometimes. So it’s lovely to have someone else in my kitchen for a bit who also loves to cook. One day last week the menu included fresh flatbread – khubz – similar to pita but with a bit more paunch, and tebsi betinjan. This labour-intensive dish involves making little kebabs out of beef, herbs and spices, then wrapping them in fried eggplant (betinjan) strips, then baking the rolls in a rich tomato sauce. She served this with yellow rice and yoghurt, and pickled vegetables (torshi) on the side.
The next day she showed me how to adapt the bread dough a bit (adding oil, milk and baking powder) to make little pastries stuffed with cheese and mint, which was what we happened to have to hand. Other traditional fillings include lamb mince with garlic, onion, tomato and herbs or shredded chicken with onion and black pepper. You can make these little parcels any size you like and if you make them in bulk, they freeze pretty well. I’ll post a recipe for the plain dough above.