Sabih, tahini sauce, zhoug and saladPosted: August 23, 2011
An Israeli chef gives his interpretation of an Iraqi dish, topped with an Yemenite green chilli sauce. And, a pretty damn good it was, just ideal for this sort of weather…. The recipe was brought to the Guardian (here), by the hand of Yotam Ottonleghi. You know the drill: kilometric list of ingredients and several elements to put together at the end. But, it is worthwhile the effort – the combination of flavors and textures is delicate and at the same time exciting. Each one has its place and none is over-powering. It can be cooked in large batches and stored in the fridge to be eaten ad hoc.
Sabih, tahini sauce, zhoug and salad
For the sabih
- 2 large aubergines
- About 300ml sunflower oil
- 4 slices rustic white bread, toasted
- 4 free-range eggs, hard-boiled and cut into 1cm-thick slices
- Salt and black pepper
For the tahini sauce
- 100g tahini paste
- 80ml water
- 20ml lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
For the salad
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice
- 2 mini cucumbers, cut into 1cm dice
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1½ tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
For the zhoug
- For the zhoug
- 35g coriander
- 20g parsley
- 2 green chillies
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ⅛ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off strips of aubergine skin from top to bottom, so they end up like a zebra, with alternating black-and-white stripes. Cut both aubergines widthways into 2.5cm-thick slices.
Heat the sunflower oil in a wide pan. Carefully – the oil spits – fry the aubergine in batches until nice and dark, turning once, for six to eight minutes; add oil if needed as you cook the batches. When done, the aubergine should be completely tender in the centre. Remove from the pan, leave to drain on kitchen paper, then sprinkle with salt.
To make the zhoug, put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. For the tahini sauce, put the tahini paste, water, lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix well, and add a little more water, if needed, so its consistency is slightly runnier than honey. Make the salad by mixing the tomato, cucumber, spring onion, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place a slice of bread on each plate. Spoon a tablespoon of tahini sauce over each, then arrange overlapping slices of aubergine on top. Drizzle over some more tahini, without completely covering the aubergines. Season each egg slice, and lay on top of the aubergine. Drizzle more tahini on top and spoon over as much zhoug as you like – be careful, it’s hot! Serve the salad on the side; spoon a little on top of each sabih, too, if you like. Store any leftover zhoug in a sealed container in the fridge – it will keep for a week at least.