Moorish broth recipe from Cafe Maitreya

This fragrant warming broth is good at all times of the year, it’s relatively simple to make and is a real crowd pleaser. You can use vegetable stock cubes instead of fresh stock. If you don’t make the chorizo, it’s delicious with good pitta slices, pistachios, crème freche and chilli oil.

Serves 6 (the broth)

Ingredients
A little olive oil for cooking
2 red onions diced
2 bulbs fennel diced
1 green pepper diced
2 large carrots diced
4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
1 inch ginger fine chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 medium red chillis (seeded and fine chopped)
2 teaspoons ground fennel
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
Good pinch cinnamon
½ gm saffron
120 ml sherry
1.5 litres good vegetable stock
250 gm red split lentils
Good amount of sea salt and ground pepper to serve

Method
In a good 4 litre stainless steel pan on a medium heat, sauté the diced onion for 2 minutes in a little olive oil, add the garlic, ginger and chilli, sauté for 2 minutes more. Add all the diced vegetables and the ground fennel, fenugreek and cinnamon. Sauté for 4-5 minutes whilst stirring.

Add the sherry and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the lime leaves and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and add the saffron, simmer for 4 minutes then finally add the lentils. Simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils are just cooked and al dente, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cool and keep for up to 3 days.

Pistachio chorizo
This deep flavoured savoury vegetarian treat can be served with a host of dishes or just as a pâté with pitta and olives. It’s delicious in a sandwich with avocado and sorrel leaves.

It is best to make the chorizo in a narrow terrine mould or dish for nice chorizo size slices.

Ingredients
(Serves 12)

Olive oil for cooking
250 gm pistachios
Sea salt for seasoning
2 tea spoons smoked paprika
1 small onion very fine diced
2 cloves garlic fine chopped
2 medium chillis fine chopped
80 ml red wine
½ tin tomatoes puréed / or 200ml tomato juice
1 heaped dessert spoon agar agar flakes
50 gm melted butter
120 gm fine grated extra mature cheddar

Method
Heat oven to 150c, mix the pistachios with a good splash of olive oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and plenty of salt and ground pepper. Roast for 4 minutes on an oiled tray until ‘just taking colour’

In a small stainless steel pan sauté the diced onion and garlic in a little olive oil for 2 minutes then add the fine chopped chilli and the other teaspoon of smoked paprika, sauté for 2 minutes more.

Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes, add the tomato juice, bring to the boil and add the agar agar flakes. Simmer and stir for 6 minutes until the flakes are completely dissolved.

In a food processor ‘blitz’ the pistachios until rough bread crumb consistency, then add to the tomato and thoroughly mix. Add the melted butter and grated cheese. Mix thoroughly until incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Finally line your chosen mould carefully with cling film to ensure easy removal when set. Transfer the mix equally and smoothly with a palette knife. Enclose fully in the cling film and chill for 1 hour until set. The chorizo will keep for 10 days.

N.b. the chorizo can be vegan; simply omit the butter and cheese.

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