A little later than intended, here is my second post in aid of Refugee Week. Today I’d like to share a recipe that was kindly sent to me by the Scottish Council for Refugees. On the Friday 19th June, 2009 the members of the Maryhill Integration Group are publishing “Heart of the Home” a book of recipes* from refugees living in Scotland. The following Musakhan Roll is Palestinian Lamees Tayyem’s contribution to the book. I’ve never met Lamees but, thanks to the Refugee Council, I know a little about her now:
“Cooking is a great way for Lamees Tayyem to keep memories of her Palestinian homeland alive. Forty-five year old Lamees lives in Sighthill with her husband Iyad, a poet, and their sons: Atif, 20, Mahir, 20 and Faris, six. The family came to Glasgow in the year 2000 after being forced to leave their refugee camp in Syria. The family now have permission to stay on in Scotland indefinitely. A volunteer Arabic teacher, Lamees also assists with the asylum and refugee team at St Rollox as well as being an active member of the International Women’s Group in Sighthill. Since arriving in Glasgow she has gained a reputation for her culinary skills and often cooks for events hosted by the Scottish Friends of Palestine. Lamees said: “We like our lives in Scotland. Life is much safer here. Maybe one day I’d like to take my sons back to Palestine to see where they came from.”
Musakhan Roll is a kind of Palestinian casserole made with chicken, bread, spices and vegetables and it was utterly delicious. I’ve published the recipe below in the exact form that I received it. The only changes I made when cooking the dish myself was to use chicken thighs cut into thirds and ground allspice (couldn’t find whole).
Lamee’s Palestinian Musakhan Roll
One large boneless chicken, cut into pieces
Three Arabic flatbreads or six pita bread (my new love – shall post a recipe very soon)
Six medium onions chopped
Half a cup of olive oil
Six teaspoons of Sumac
One teaspoon of salt
Half a teaspoon of pepper
Two teaspoons of allspice (not ground)
Half a cup of pine nuts (optional)
One cup of water
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Cook the chicken pieces with the cup of water in a pot for 30 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, allspice, onions, and olive oil to thechicken while it’s cooking. Wait until around five minutes
- before the chicken is due to be ready and add all your sumac to the pot.
- Cut each Arabic bread into four pieces (or open up each pita bread).
- Take one spoonful from the pot and place into a piece of bread and then roll it.
- Grease a baking dish with olive oil and place the rolls in the baking dish. Add your pine nuts to the top and bake at 250C for 20 minutes or until bread is golden coloured.
- Serve with a side salad of yoghurt and enjoy.