Every country has its own cuisine, and what I love most about getting to know a new country is getting to know its cultural dishes and ingredients. I’ve never been to Egypt but I definitely want to go at some point, although I must admit the inspiration for this recipe came from the abundance of countries on our televisions at the moment thanks to the World Cup.
Football isn’t really my thing, but I’ll watch the World Cup, there’s something different about it that I can get on board with. That said, while watching Egypt the other week, my mind drifted to their culture and their cuisine rather than their top players.
A quick google late, and my much beloved dukkah was appearing left, right and centre. As well as a few of my favourite herbs and spices (or Baharat as they are known): dried chili pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander and cardamom. I honed my creativity in slightly and chose a few for this Egyptian Spiced Courgette and Butter Beans (my swap for the traditional fava bean): smoked paprika (for chili), ground coriander and lots of black pepper, as well as miso for the umami depth and saltiness. To the accompaniment I’ve added ground cumin and more ground coriander. And I’ve topped this with coriander too, because I’m a coriander lover – are you?
As far as dukkha is concerned, I’ve used one I had previously bought from the supermarket – shame on me as they are so easy to make. So, feel free to use your favourite store-bought variety or make your own using fragrant cumin seeds and hazelnuts. My top tip here is to add turmeric for the real golden factor.
Let’s do it like the Egyptians!
Egyptian Spiced Courgette and Butter Beans with Turmeric Dukkha
½ white onion, sliced
1 tbsp each: smoked paprika, ground coriander
1 courgette, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tsp each: bouillon powder, brown rice miso paste
1 small tin butter beans, drained (drained weight approx. 125g)
100g frozen peas
2 handfuls sultanas
½ tsp each: ground cumin, ground coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dukkha
½ tsp turmeric
Fresh coriander, chopped
Coconut or plain yoghurt
Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Fry for about 10 minutes until starting to turn golden brown and translucent, now add the smoked paprika and ground coriander and fry for 1 minute until smelling fragrant.
Add the courgette slices and garlic and fry for 5 minutes to soften the courgette, before adding the chopped tomatoes, bouillon powder, miso and water. Stir to mix everything well and leave on a fairly high heat to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken. Season with black pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the buckwheat according to packet instructions, adding the sultanas 2 minutes before the end of cooking time and drain. Place into a bowl and stir through the ground cumin and coriander and loosely place a lid over the buckwheat to allow the flavours to infuse.
After 10 minutes of the courgettes cooking, add the butterbeans and stir (add more water if the sauce is too thick or reduce the heat to a gentler simmer) and 5 minutes later add the peas. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
To make the turmeric dukkha, mix your favourite dukkha with the turmeric.
To serve, divide the buckwheat between two bowls, top with the Egyptian Courgettes, some fresh coriander, a tbsp coconut yoghurt and a sprinkling of dukkha. Eat straight away. Leftover Egyptian Courgettes with keep in airtight container for 3 days and will freeze well.
Have you made or tried Egyptian food before? I would love to hear what you think of my Egyptian Spiced Courgette and Butter Beans with Turmeric Dukkha. Please leave a comment below or tag me in your creations – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.