Spiritual Flavours is a collaborative arts project with members of different faith communities in the area of Ealing and Hanwell, who contribute recipes that they relate to their spirituality and religious practices. Through interviews and cooking sessions, the project pays attention to affective relationships with food, as a vehicle to explore ideas about inheritance, tradition and belief. These sessions are the basis of a ‘multi-faith’ cookery photo book and a short film.
A Multi Faith Recipe for Sweet and Savory Vegetarian Cous Cous
The three protagonists of the film Spiritual Flavours, Betty, Aziz and Ossie, met at a one-day workshop where together they developed, cooked and ate a dish inclusive of various different faiths. Here’s the recipe of their Sweet and Savoury Vegetarian Cous Cous. This is a sharing dish and is best served on a big plate in the middle of the table for everyone to dig into! (Serves 10)
400g cooked chickpeas
750g white onion, 1cm sliced
200g sweet potato, peeled and 2cm diced
200g butternut squash, peeled and 2cm diced
200g carrots, peeled and 2cm diced
200g courgettes, 3cm sliced
200g broccoli, cut into florets
100g raisins or sultanas, soaked for 10 minutes in water
50g almond flakes, lightly toasted
4 eggs 10g fresh parsley, finely chopped
50g brown sugar
10g rose water
15g ground cinnamon
15g ground white pepper Olive oil, to cook with
Most of the following steps can be done simultaneously. In a deep frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the butter and a splash of oil, as well as the onions. Cook with a tight lid and stir occasionally for 15 minutes, or until softened. Then add in half the cinnamon, half the white pepper and the rose water and 4-5 tbsp of brown sugar. Stir, then leave for another 10 minutes, or until the onions are caramelised and sweet, then reserve. In another deep frying pan or wok, add 2tbsp of oil and the sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots. Cover with a tight lid and sweat the vegetables for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching and, 2 minutes before cooking has finished, add in half the cinnamon, half the white pepper and season to taste with salt. Remove and reserve once cooked. Fry the courgette slices in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Fry the broccoli for 3-5 minutes in a hot saucepan. Season both the courgette and broccoli with a bit of black or white pepper and salt.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with a tbsp of milk, 1 teaspoon of butter, black pepper, the parsley and salt to taste. Over medium-high heat, fry the eggs as an omelette for 3-4 minutes or until just set, then remove from the pan and roll up once cool. Cut across the roll into bite-sized pieces. Cook the couscous according to packet instructions, making sure to fluff up the grains with a fork afterwards and mix with a dollop of butter, black pepper and salt. Mix the couscous with half of the almonds and place on a big plate in a pyramid shape. On top of the couscous put the onion and almond forming fours lines in a cross shape. Make a different cross shape with the raisins. Place the courgettes and the broccoli around the plate. Scatter the chickpeas all over the couscous. Do the same with the squash and sweet potatoes all over the pyramid shape and decorate with the rolled omelette slices. Add any extra cinnamon you may have and eat!
An Introduction to Spiritual Flavours
The five-minute preview of the film Spiritual Flavours was screened at the UtopiaFair at Somerset House and can be viewed below:
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