Voice for Vegans and Veggies

SILK ROAD KITCHEN DISHES UP MIDDLE EASTERN CUISINE

VeggingOut’s Deirdre Breen recently donned the apron to take part in the latest Vegan and Vegetarian Middle Eastern cookery course run by Silk Road Kitchen, at the invitation of owner Abraham Phelan, whom she says makes cooking a delightful experience.

We are all proud of one of Dublin’s greatest literary landmarks – the Chester Beatty Library – and a jewel in its crown is Silk Road Café, a truly beautiful venue that has served up some of the most amazing Middle Eastern cuisine in the capital for the past 14 years.

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Abraham Phelan, owner of the Silk Road Kitchen Cafe & Cookery School, recently invited me to participate in one of the many vegan and vegetarian courses he runs from the Silk Road Cookery School, located at the KCR Industrial Estate in Kimmage.

He adapted the premises to create a homely kitchen from where he and a number of guest teachers run a range of courses, influenced by the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

It was a very enjoyable evening because Abraham is an extremely fun guy who makes cooking a delightful experience. Originally from Jerusalem, a love of his native Middle Eastern cuisine is palpable and it is impossible not to feel inspired by him.

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He does not believe in a staid, rule-bound approach to cooking, rather he explains how to make some basic dishes and inspires you to tweak and experiment, to use a mixture of exotic spices, your taste-buds and an active imagination to achieve the outcome you want. His approach to cooking is inclusive, generous, warm and non-judgemental.

I joined nine other foodies for a two-hour masterclass on how to make M’Jaddara (a lentil and rice dish topped with fried onion), Palestinian Mahshi (stuffed vegetables filled with a flavoursome vegetable and bulgur [rice] mixture) served with a Palestinian Pomegranate Salad and Baba Ganush (blended aubergine with oil, garlic, lemon and spices).

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Everything was absolutely delicious and overall a really fantastic dining experience! We made enough to take away in containers provided by Silk Road Kitchen and enjoy for lunch the next day.

With more than 40 years of experience under his belt, Abraham recently opened Ireland’s first Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Cookery School following numerous requests from people wanting to pick up some top tips when vegging in. The Silk Road Kitchen also provides a catering service and cookery classes for meat-eaters.

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Meanwhile, the Silk Road Café, located in the Chester Beatty Library, offers a range of menus from Afghanistan, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine, as well as Ireland.

The café also caters for conference delegates and all-evening receptions. For further information contact Abraham Phelan on 01-4070770 or e-mail catering@silkroadcafe.ie.

For the full list of recipes for M’jaddara, Mahshi, Pomegranate Salad and Baba Ganush click here.

For further information on Silk Road Kitchen's range of cookery courses click here

 

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