Algeria

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Unusual fact: 90% of Algeria is the Sahara Desert.

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WOW Algeria, this food was great. The cryovac lamb was tender and the marinade was amazing, as it went perfectly with the yoghurt sauce. The only thing that put me off was that the couscous salad was a bit gluggy. In future I would add more water while cooking it and fluff it up a lot before adding sultanas and mint. The tea flavoursome except I would add less green tea to the mix of water and herbs because it was a bit over powering. Overall this meal was delicious. You can make minted yoghurt sauce by mixing as much plain yoghurt as you want with some mint leaves. This is then blended with a stick mixer. The mixture will go thin and you can then spoon it over the top of meat.

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Etzai (Mint Tea)

Ingredients

  • 1½ Tablespoons green tea
  • Boiling water
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves

Procedure

  1. Put the tea in a teapot.
  2. Pour in a cupful of boiling water, then immediately pour it out again. This is to wash the leaves.
  3. Add the sugar to taste, then the mint leaves.
  4. Pour in boiling water 12 inches away from the top (this oxygenates the tea) and stir well. Be extremely careful not to splash the boiling water.
  5. Serve the tea very hot, again pouring it from a height of about 12 inches.

Saffron and Raisin Couscous with Fresh Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups couscous
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Procedure

  1. In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add the saffron.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, return to a boil, and mix in the olive oil, salt, couscous, and raisins.
  4. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with the fresh mint.

BBQ Back Strap

Ingredients

1kg lamb backstrap, cut into 2 cm thick strips

Marinade
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
Salt
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp continental parsley, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Good drizzle of olive oil

Preparation

Put lamb into a bowl and add all the marinade ingredients. Use your hands to combine. Cover and leave for 1 hour in the fridge before grilling medium/rare on the barbecue.

Serve with minted yoghurt

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