Quick and easy Persian recipes that maximize flavor with minimal effort


This is such a simple recipe that I confess I have been making it for years and never thought to put it in one of my books,” says Sabrina Ghayour.

“It’s so handy and versatile, as it can be sliced ​​and stuffed into pitta bread or wraps and sandwiches for lunchboxes, shredded and added to salads, or used in stir-fries or rice noodle dishes. But it also pairs perfectly with steamed rice or naan in the same way tandoori chicken does. You can also marinate the chicken up to 48 hours in advance, or freeze the marinated raw chicken for use at a later date or for batch cooking.”

Harissa and lemon roasted chicken thighs

servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 heaped tbsp rose harissa

150g Greek yogurt

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional):

flatbreads

Coriander leaves

Thinly sliced ​​spring onions

lemon wedges

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 240C (220C fan), gas mark 9. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Put the chicken thighs into a mixing bowl, add the other ingredients with a generous amount of salt and pepper and turn the chicken to coat well in the mixture, preferably using your hands.

3. Lay the chicken thighs on the lined tray and roast for 40 minutes or until sticky and charred around the edges and cooked through.

4. To serve, slice the chicken and serve in warmed flatbreads with Greek yogurt, coriander leaves, sliced ​​spring onions and alongside lemon wedges for squeezing over.

“I love cinnamon in pastry and desserts. There really is no sweet treat that doesn’t work with a little cinnamon in it, and these swirls have always been a favorite of mine,” says Sabrina Ghayour.

“The tahini really enriches them, giving them a lovely nutty flavor that is something quite different and pleasing. They are great with coffee or served with vanilla ice cream. You can also freeze a whole roll of prepared pastry for later use, then cut and bake from frozen for an extra couple of minutes.”

Pomegranate-glazed aubergine with peanuts and spring onions

A flavour-packed midweek meal that will be ready in no time

(PA)

“I love aubergines, and the easier the cooking method, the better the recipe,” says Sabrina Ghayour.

“So here is a nice and easy way to roast them, with a deliciously sharp yet sweet glaze and a flourish of extras to finish the dish. Life needn’t be complicated and the simple things are often the best.”

servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

2 large aubergines, peeled and cut into round slices 2.5cm thick

3-4tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

3 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup

1 spring onion, thinly sliced ​​diagonally from root to tip

Generous handful of salted peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Maldon sea salt flakes

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan), gas mark 7. Line a large roasting tin with baking paper.

2. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the olive oil, arrange in a single layer in the lined tin and roast for 22-25 minutes until cooked through but not browned.

3. Mix the pomegranate molasses and honey together until evenly combined. Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture evenly over the aubergines on both sides, then sprinkle with a little salt. Roast for another five to six minutes until the glaze is thick and sticky.

4. Scatter with the spring onion and peanuts before serving.

Tahini cinnamon swirls

The perfect afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee

(PA)

Makes: 12

Ingredients:

1 x 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet

4-5tbsp tahini (make sure it’s not too thin, and avoid using excess oil)

3 tbsp golden granulated sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan), gas mark 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. Lay the pastry sheet on your work surface.

3. Mix the tahini with the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread the mixture evenly all over the pastry sheet, leaving a two centimeter clear border along one long edge. Starting from the opposite long edge, roll up the pastry tightly.

4. Cut the roll into four, then cut each section into three equal slices. Lay the slices with the swirl facing up on the lined tray, spaced slightly apart, and flatten each one gently. Bake for 20–22 minutes until nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray before serving.

‘Persiana Everyday’ by Sabrina Ghayour (published by Aster, £26; photography by Kris Kirkham), available now.

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