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Recipes from My Street Food Kitchen

Chermoula, tomato and fish tagine
Nanjing Night Net

Serves  4-6

The aromas of cinnamon and other spices permeate the streets in Morocco, from the market stalls to the footpaths. Tagines are made streetside in individual clay pots that bubble away for hours, making dreamy smells for passers-by. Essaouira, a windy seaside town, is where I encountered this light stew. After eating  a lot of lamb in Marrakesh it made a refreshing change.

800g firm white fish fillets such as tilapia, swordfish, halibut or barramundi cod 150g small new potatoes 1 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, thinly sliced 3-cm piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped ½ small piece preserved lemon, pith discarded, skin rinsed and chopped 1 tbsp tomato paste 10 cherry tomatoes, halved 200ml fish or vegetable stock

Steamed couscous, lemon wedges and chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

Chermoula:

1 large handful of coriander leaves and stalks 2 tsp ground hot paprika 2 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp ground cumin juice of 2 lemons 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves

To make the chermoula, process all the ingredients with a pinch of salt in a blender until smooth.

Cut the fish into large chunks and put it in a non-metallic dish, pour on half the chermoula and stand for 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.

To make the tagine base, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the remaining chermoula, preserved lemon, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fish and cooked potatoes to the saucepan containing the tagine base and cook for five  minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Serve the tagine, sprinkled with extra coriander, steamed couscous and lemon wedges.

Get ahead: Make the chermoula and the base for the tagine earlier in the day, cover and refrigerate. Mango lassi iceblocks

Makes  8

In the stifling heat of India, a lassi is a welcoming refreshment to cool yourself down. I’ve take the winning combination of subtle cardamom spice mixed with yoghurt and mango and fashioned it into a frozen treat. When making frozen iceblocks you normally need to add a simple sugar syrup: agave syrup makes a faster and healthier replacement and there is no need to wait for it to cool down before using it.

4 very ripe mangoes, peeled, flesh roughly chopped: you will need about 400g flesh 50ml agave nectar or simple sugar syrup (see note) 250g Greek-style yoghurt ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Put the chopped mango flesh in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the agave nectar and blend again. Combine the yoghurt and cardamom in a bowl.

Pour two tablespoons of the mango puree into eight 100ml iceblock moulds. Spoon some yoghurt on top and repeat the layers until the moulds are filled. Add a wooden iceblock stick and freeze for at least four hours.

Note: To make a simple sugar syrup, combine equal quantities of sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and stand until cool.

Get ahead:  The iceblocks will keep frozen for up to one month. Peruvian anticuchos

Serves  4-6

These chicks on sticks are found all over the streets of Peru. They’re similar to yakitori, which shows the influence of the Japanese who migrated in the 19th century as labourers. Traditionally, the marinade uses a paste made from chillies called aji panca (red) or aji amarillo (yellow). Although specialist stores sell them, they can be elusive. A spoonful of fruity hot chilli sauce slots in just fine.

500g boneless chicken thighs with skin, halved Creamy aji verde sauce (see below) fruity hot sauce finely chopped red onion coriander sprigs, to serve

Marinade:

1 thumb-size fresh red chilli 1 garlic clove juice of ½ lime 3 tsp soy sauce 3 tsp fruity hot chilli sauce 1½ tbsp  rice wine vinegar 1 tsp ground cumin

To make the marinade, finely chop or puree the chilli, garlic and all of the remaining ingredients in a blender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the chicken with the marinade in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight if time permits. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent them from burning during cooking. Thread the chicken onto the skewers.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to low. Cook the chicken skewers for five minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve with aji verde sauce, finely chopped red onion and coriander sprigs.

Get ahead:  Marinate the chicken the day before and keep refrigerated. The sauce can be made earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Grill just before serving. Creamy aji verde sauce

Makes 250ml

This creamy sauce gets its triple tang from the lime.

¾ cup coriander (cilantro), leaves and stems 1 thumb-size green chilli, stem and seeds removed 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped juice of 1 lime 2 tbsp mayonnaise 2 tbsp sour cream

Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into a serving bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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