I get bored eating the same things over and over, so I always look out for cookbooks or recipes from other cultures. Falling Cloudberries fits the bill perfectly. Recipes reflect Tessa Kiros’ family heritage – Greek, Finnish, Cyprian, South African and Italian. I first saw it in Waterstones, but couldn’t quite persuade myself to buy it at the time. Would I be able to find all the ingredients? Would I actually use it? Well, when it was donated to my local Oxfam bookshop, I had no excuse to resist as it was only £5.
It’s been a good investment so far. A few weeks ago I made pastitsio, which was absolutely delicious! Last week mince was on offer at my local shop, so I had a look for more inspiration. I settled on lachmajou. Kiros describes lachmajou as small pizzas. It’s basically spiced mince (traditionally lamb) baked on thin, light bread. I spent about 40 minutes making it, but if the meat had been prepared in advance it would only have taken about 15. I also added some chopped courgette to the meat to try to make it a little healthier (though I think it is pretty healthy anyway!).
I was in a rush, so I didn’t make the bread and instead used pita bread. However, next time I will try making the bread, too. It’s a very simple recipe and doesn’t look any more complex than making pizza dough (which I’ve done & think is really quite easy). The pita was okay, but I think it made the lachmajou a little dry in spite of using the lemon juice recommended by Kiros. I suspect the texture was also different than intended. I think with a raita or other yogurt-based sauce it would be amazing, so next time I will have some handy.
Overall, lachmajou was a great, quick alternative to pasta, pizza, stir fries and curries, which are our weekday dinner staples.The flavours are unusual to my thoroughly American/English palate, which is also nice! My husband and I both enjoyed it, so I will definitely be cooking this again.