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Street Food: A new cookery book by Brussels chef Simona El-Harar
Inspired by the cuisine of the Mediterranean and the Levant region, Brussels chef Simona El-Harar presents 75 delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes in her latest book Street Food.
While the owner chef of Kitchen 151 draws on her Israeli origins in these dishes, she believes that street cuisine around the world shares similar characteristics: “The food needs to be packed with flavour and needs to appeal to your senses through smell and colour.”
Her recipes, calling on seasonal and fresh ingredients, are divided into five categories: meat, fish, vegetarian, bread and desserts, condiments and snacks.
Their simplicity translates into how they should be consumed. “One aspect of street food that gives me the greatest pleasure is eating something with my hands,” she iterates.
Many of the dishes are her favourite and least complicated version of classics enjoyed across the food-obsessed region, including Yemen, Turkey, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco.
Discover familiar fare such as falafels, varieties of hummus, shawarma and savoury pastries, alongside lesser-known specialities, like cardamom and cinnamon-infused Musakhan chicken served with Bedouin Laffa bread and creamy pistachio-jewelled dessert Lebanese Nights.
Hot Yemeni relish zhug is a chilli, garlic and herb paste that enlivens any dish, as will suggestions for making your own harissa sauce and ubiquitous Middle Eastern spice mix za’atar.
While each dish lends itself to a casual home dining experience, preparing a selection creates a complementary mezze feast that’s perfect for sharing.
With this Mediterranean region home to so many cultures, the variety of recipes offers a tempting tasting tour for anyone wanting to spice up their culinary repertoire.
Street Food by Simona El-Harar is published by Editions Racine (Lannoo) in French and English
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