People in the Middle East have been becoming more aware of the need to diversify their tastes. This is thanks to new cooking TV channels, restaurants and food bloggers. Food festivals are a great opportunity to discover new, delicious tastes. This is why the TV channel Fatafeat participated in the Dubai Food Festival through Fatafeat Kitchen. Egyptian based chef, Salma Sulaiman has participated alongside other Fatafeat chefs. We got to talk to her, and even have a special recipe!
You’ve got a Master’s in medicine. Ever considered going back to it?
Though I have spent extensive effort and time studying medicine and earned my Master’s degree, I don’t think I would ever go back to practicing. I have found my true calling and practicing what I love is the most important passion for me now.
What’s your favorite thing about being a TV chef?
My favorite thing about being a Fatafeat chef is having to work in a team to produce something very useful, creative and artistic.
What’s it like to participate in something like Fatafeat Kitchen in the food festival?
I was so excited to participate in the Fatafeat kitchen event during the Dubai food festival. To meet my fellow chefs and to engage with the audience at the Love Cooking Demo was like a dream trip for me.
Does your background with Egyptian and Tunisian food make you more open to trying new things?
I spent most of my childhood in Tunisia. I was part of the Arab expat community, for whom gatherings over food were a favorite activity, so it was natural for me to explore different Arabic cuisines like the Tunisian, Moroccan, Lebanese, Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian. It is very important to acknowledge the authenticity of our Arabic flavors.
What’s your advice for working mothers?
There is nothing we can say to the working mums except “May Allah help you”. She can prepare some precooked meals and store them in freezer, seasoned minced meat for kofta, tomato sauce divided in jars for pasta, seasoned chicken can either be used for fried chicken or thrown in oven with some veggies. And once in a while, when life is easy and she is on vacation, she can log on to fatafeat.com for some new ideas.
Try this simple, yet delicious recipe by Salma:
Chicken with pickled lemon
• 1 large chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin on
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• ½ teaspoon of black pepper
• 1 tablespoon of oil
• 1 tablespoon of butter
• 2 pickled lemons, quartered
• 2 onions, sliced
• 2 tomatoes, cubed
• ½ teaspoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of turmeric
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 2 lemons, squeezed
• 3 teaspoons of honey
• 10 prunes (optional)
• 2 tablespoons of coriander, minced
1. Season chicken with salt and black pepper.
2. In a saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat and add the chicken pieces.
3. Sear the chicken pieces on all sides until golden.
4. Add onion, tomato, sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, lemon juice and honey.
5. Stir until well combined.
6. Cover and cook over medium heat for ½ an hour; then add the prunes.
7. Fold in the pickled lemon and cook for 15 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with coriander on the top and remove from heat.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes