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Noor Murad’s Recipes for Ramadan

FEATURE: QUICK READ

Cooking during Ramadan? We’ve got two deliciously nourishing recipes to help you break your fast. Taken from the best-selling cookbooks, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love and Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, co-written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, they’ve been specially selected by Murad to serve at your iftar table. We ask the Bahraini-born chef why these recipes are perfect for sharing with friends and family during this special time – and look forward to two satiating suppers.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love and Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things (published by Ebury) are available in-store at The Harrods Bookshop on the Lower Ground Floor and through Personal Shopping.

Celebration Rice with Lamb, Chicken and Garlic Yogurt

“Large rice platters often make an appearance on Middle Eastern spreads,” says Noor Murad. “Especially throughout the Gulf countries, where rice is the main carb of choice. Celebration rice is a perfect dish to serve at the Ramadan table as it’s warming and comforting, and also invites everyone to dig in and share.”

“This concept of eating from one large platter is not new to Muslim communities but is especially important when breaking fast together,” adds Murad. “This moment of togetherness with your loved ones, family or community truly unifies everyone’s shared purpose during this spiritual month.”

Method

Prep time: 15 minutes 
Cook time: 2 hours 20 minutes 
Soaking time: 1 hour + 

Serves 8 

Ingredients 

CHICKEN 
1 whole chicken (1.4kg) 
2 cinnamon sticks 
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges (150g) 
1 head of garlic, skin on and halved widthways 
1 tsp ground cumin 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
2 tbsp olive oil  
1½ tbsp lemon juice 
5g parsley, roughly chopped salt and black pepper 
 
RICE 
2 tbsp olive oil 
40g unsalted butter 1 onion, finely chopped (150g) 
300g minced lamb 
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped  
1½ tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp ground allspice 
400g basmati rice, washed, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour and then drained 

GARLIC YOGURT 
500g Greek yogurt 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 

GARNISH 
50g unsalted butter 
30g blanched almonds 
30g pine nuts 
¾ tsp Aleppo chilli, or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes 
5g picked parsley leaves 
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds 

Noor Murad

 

“The last time I made the celebration rice was last Christmas. I grew up with Ramadan and Eid thanks to my dad and Bahraini upbringing, but also celebrated Easter and Christmas thanks to my English mum. When I moved to London six years ago, I found that I missed these Middle Eastern sharing platters and rice dishes more and more. Perhaps beyond the food itself, I missed the community surrounding the food, and on festive occasions, will jump on the chance at making these dishes that I know and love, and share them with friends.”

 

One-Pot Chickpeas with Carrots, Dates and Marinated Feta

“I have a lot of time for chickpeas,” says Noor Murad. “They’re satiating, nutritious and readily available, especially when cooked from dry. They can also take on strong flavours, and get along amicably with pretty much any vegetable. You can easily swap carrots out for other root vegetables in this stew, like sweet potatoes or celeriac. Just be sure to use vegetables that won’t lose their integrity when cooked for a long time, and cut them up into large chunks. They don't need to be perfect, in fact, rustic is part of the charm.”

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Prep time: 30 minutes 
Cook time: 2 hours 25 minutes 
Soaking time: 12 to 24 hours 
 
Ingredients: 

300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda  
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped (150g) 
6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 
25g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 
1 large green chilli, roughly chopped, seeds and all (15g) 
15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1½ tsp ground cumin 
1½ tsp ground cinnamon 
2 Medjool dates (45g), skinned, pitted and roughly chopped (40g) 
1 tbsp tomato paste 
4 carrots (500g), peeled and cut at an angle into 2–3 large chunks (450g) 
2 fresh bay leaves 
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
2 tbsp lemon juice 
5g parsley, roughly chopped 
salt and black pepper 
 
MARINATED FETA 
150g Greek feta, roughly crumbled 
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar 
1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest 
5g parsley, roughly chopped 
75ml olive oil 

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