An Easter feast of epic proportions! Enjoy my Middle-Eastern-inspired take on a classic Easter meal.
Welcome to the Lockdown Chow Down.
Join me (almost) daily as we reconnect with one of life’s most simple pleasures, food!
As lockdown continues to separate us from our families Easter is going to look a little different this year. There won’t be tables groaning with food and surrounded by extended family. Lockdown has really taught me the value of friends and family, so even if it’s just going to be Easter for two this year, make it something special.
Having just finished a contract in the middle east, and being surrounded by a truly multicultural team, I was really excited to bring a few of the heady spices and exotic flavourings found in the region into my menu. Most speciality tea shops and asian supermarkets will sell dried rose petals. These are a fantastic garnish for your meal, but completely optional if you can’t find them.
You can pick your hero main here, choosing either a slow cooked Persian Lamb Shank (perfect for 2 hungry people) or replace this with my Crispy Turkish Börek and make the meal vegetarian. Keep reading to find out how to adapt the whole spread to fully vegan! Our hero mains are served alongside Green Hummus, Iranian Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce, Sticky Marinated Aubergine and Flatbreads. I have covered my three ingredient flatbreads in a previous post. Simply click here for the recipe.
This meal will generously serve 2 very hungry adults, and you probably will have some food leftover. Should you wish to serve 4, you can simply double the mains recipes or cook both the börek and a slightly larger shank.
My Turkish Börek is already naturally vegan and aside from the lamb, only the Iranian Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce and optional Flatbreads contain dairy. Should you be making the börek and the sides below, simply roast your garlic for the green hummus with the börek, until it’s gooey. For the Iranian Tzatziki and flatbreads, simply sub the dairy yogurt for coconut or soy yogurt and you are good to go.
Prep Suggestions: The aubergine side really shines the longer it is left to marinate. If you have time, you can complete this recipe the day before. The Marinated Aubergine will happily keep for 3 days in the fridge. The Flatbreads, if you decide to serve them, can also be made in advance, wrapped tightly in foil and stored in the fridge. To reheat them simply pop them into the oven in tin foil to reheat for 5-10 minutes. If you are making the börek I would also roast the butternut and cook the onions the day before to make things a bit easier.
On the day of serving start by preparing your lamb or börek. When those go into the oven make your aubergine first, if you didn’t manage it the day before, then make your Iranian Yogurt Sauce, and Green Hummus.
If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel and #lockdownchowdown on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I adjust this feast to feed more people?
This feast feeds two people very generously. To feed four people you can purchase two shanks or a small leg of lamb, and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Alternatively you can make both the lamb and Crispy Turkish Borek, and together these will happily feed four. For larger numbers simply double the quantities in the ingredients list.
Is there a meat free alternative to the Persian Lamb?
This feast was designed to accommodate both meat and plant lovers.
For vegetarians: The lamb main can be replaced with the Crispy Turkish Borek. This is served alongside the accompaniments below which are vegetarian. To make the accompaniments vegan simply replace the dairy in the tzatziki and flatbreads for coconut or soy yogurt.