Star chef’s lamb sausage rolls with Middle East spices

It’s typical of Ravinder to come up with a recipe for comfort food that takes you one small step outside your comfort zone

RAVINDER Bhogal isn’t your usual kind of chef.

She’s a former fashion journalist who switched careers because of the love of food she developed growing up with her Punjabi family in Kenya and later in London. Her big break came when she was picked by Gordon Ramsay as the winner of a TV competition.

 

The eclectic menu reflects Ravinder’s mixed cultural heritage and her irreverent sense of adventure (pic: Bloomberg)

Since then, she has gone on to have her own TV show, “Ravinder’s Kitchen”, in India and, in 2016, opened her own London restaurant, Jikoni. The eclectic menu reflects Ravinder’s mixed cultural heritage and her irreverent sense of adventure. A meal might start with prawn toast Scotch egg; progress through kuku paka coconut and chicken curry; and end with banana cake.

Regulars at Jikoni include the author Salman Rushdie, who describes Ravinder as a “brilliantly inventive cook”. He penned that praise for her new cookbook, “Jikoni, Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen” published by Bloomsbury.

For Bloomberg, she has picked a recipe for lamb and baharat sausage rolls. (Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mix.) It’s typical of Ravinder to come up with a recipe for comfort food that takes you one small step outside your comfort zone. I tried cooking it, and it is fairly simple, apart from grating a nutmeg, which stumped me. — Bloomberg


Lamb and Baharat Sausage Rolls

Ingredient

  • 1 × 375g sheet of all-butter puff pastry 1 egg, beaten
  • Nigella seeds, for sprinkling

For the baharat:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Good grating of nutmeg

For the filling:

  • 500g fatty lamb mince
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 35g hot Turkish pepper paste (biber salcasi); harissa works as a substitute
  • 30g currants, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • Handful of finely chopped mint
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Preparation:

First make the baharat by mixing all the spices together.

For the filling, combine the lamb, onion, pine nuts, pepper paste, drained currants, parsley, mint and baharat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet until you have a 45cm (18 inch) x 30cm rectangle.

Cut in half lengthways and work with one piece at a time, keeping the other one chilled in the fridge. Spoon the lamb mix along one of the long sides of the pastry, then roll the pastry over to enclose it and seal. Trim and repeat with the remaining piece of pastry. Brush with the beaten egg and scatter with nigella seeds, then refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Cut the sausage rolls into 5cm lengths and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown, then serve hot.