If you are keen on really good food, you really should follow Alida Ryder, the Queen of the Pretoria Kitchen. Details are given below. Alida says that over December she “had a serious craving for shwarmas but as we were in a small coastal town on holiday, there was no chance of us just popping to the shops to pick up a few so I decided to make my own. Kind of. Of course the meat wouldn’t be done the same way but I could produce all the same flavours and so I did. Since then, we’ve had shwarmas (or my version of it) at least 4 times. This weekend the craving struck again. I had some leftover shoulder of lamb in the oven that I had roasted the day before and this I just jazzed up a little by frying it off with garlic and spices in a really hot pan. This gave me all the flavours of proper shwarma I wanted without any of the fuss. Chicken works equally well and I imagine so would a bit of brisket, if you were so inclined. The beauty of shwarma, or any wrap/pita really, is that you can do with it what you want. The flavours and combinations are completely up to you. This is why it is such an incredibly way to entertain. I put out bowls of Tzatziki and hummus, a dish of simply fried eggplant, another of simple chopped salad, warm pitas and the shredded meat and everyone just helps themselves. It is absolutely effortless but so memorable and jovial and let’s face it, that’s all we can ask a meal to be.”
Shredded lamb pitas with fried eggplant
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
for the lamb
3-4 cups shredded cooked lamb
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sumac
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
for the fried eggplant
1 large eggplant, sliced into ½cm slices
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
salt, to taste
for the pitas
4 pita breads, warmed
Heat a large frying pan over high heat then add a splash of olive oil.
Add the garlic and spices and fry for 30 seconds then add the lamb and allow to fry until the lamb starts to crisp on the edges.
To cook the eggplant, heat the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the slices of aubergine until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and allow to dry on kitchen paper before seasoning with salt.
To make the pitas, slice the warmed pitas in halve and add the hummus, Tzatziki, shredded lettuce and chopped salad. Top with the fried eggplant and shredded lamb and serve immediately.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Alida Ryder is one of my favourite food people. Excellent cook, recipe developer, great photographer. Her website has a huge following and she is doing things she could only have dreamed of a few years ago. She’s written two books Simple & Delicious and Cook from the heart. Click here to go to her fabulous website. Click here to buy her first e-book.