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#INSPIREDBY NOOR MURAD

29/08/20

Noor Murad is a recipe developer and core part of the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen. "Bahrain made, New York trained" as she puts it, and her Instagram feed brings us constant food envy, inspiration and joy! It's an encyclopedia of what you can do with flavour and texture, from all over the world https://www.instagram.com/noorishbynoor/


What was one of the very first dishes you remember eating?

Samboosa with my dad- more commonly known as samosa but in Bahrain we call them samboosa! It's basically fried dough stuffed with spicy potatoes or mung beans and you get them from these hole-in-the-wall places- they come hot and in oil-stained brown paper bags. We would scoff them down greedily in the car, and burn our tongues in the process.


Who is your food hero?

Um Ahmed, the most humble Bahraini lady who taught me how to make our local classics. She would toast her spices in the scorching hot sun to make her own baharat spice mixes, and then proceed to use them liberally: spoonfuls of spicy gold dust on all of her creations


What is your guiltiest food pleasure?

Shawarma. Extra tahini. And french fries in the shawarma (because double carb).


Which restaurant do you long to return to?

Behesht in Finchley central. Best Irani food eva. Guaranteed to give you the most fantastic keshk e bademjan food comas that ever did exist.


What would be your last meal?

Mathrooba. It's this savoury Bahraini porridge made by slow cooking rice, chicken, loads of herbs and spices and then beating the whole thing to a thick, porridge-like consistency. It's the kind of stick-to-your-ribs, warm-your-soul kind of good.


What dish do you cook the most at home? 

Soups. I love brothy things with leafy greens and lots of lemon juice. Working at the test kitchen means we taste food things all day- which is great! But when I'm home I like to have simple, fresh, warming foods to give my digestive system a much-needed rest. I will share my soup with whoever sits at my table!


What restaurant T-shirt would you wear?

I like Monty's t-shirts because of the giant pickle.


Favourite vegetable? 

I can't possibly answer this! Spinach? Maybe spinach. But I also really love aubergines! 


Most-used condiment? 

Definitely olive oil. Basically liquid goodness.


Most overrated dish?

Fish n chips. Sorry, I said it.


Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Berdawni in Zahle, Lebanon. All the hot and cold mezze, the most beautiful grills, and then to finish: baskets of the freshest fruit in the land. No fuss, no frills, eat-with-your-hands kind of food. I would happily eat this everyday for the rest of eternity

Favourite fast food joint?

E. Mono on Kentish Town Road


Quick Fire

Breakfast in bed or in the hotel restaurant? 

In the hotel restaurant. Hit me up with that grand selection!


English Breakfast Tea or Long Black coffee, or something else?

Black coffee and that is all.


Martini - gin or vodka?

Gin


Ketchup or mayo? 

Team mayo! Bonus points if it's homemade.


Stella or Boli?

I haven't tried either? I'm the worst kind of drinker in that, well, I hardly drink. Mostly because it makes me sleepy and that's just no fun!


London or New York ... or another city?!

NYC! I studied in upstate New York and worked in Manhattan and I am certain that I left a piece of myself in that city.


City break or hideaway?

Hideaway. Preferably somewhere hot. I'm an island girl at heart, so anywhere with sunshine and the sea is where I find peace.

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