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Author Notes: Last month, there was a lot of buzz and excitement in the family. Nitin Madan (my brother in-law) released his first movie – “Colin Hearts Kay” - at the Brooklyn film festival. Whilst we couldn't wait to see it, we were all a little tense. If we loved it, it would be a 'no-brainer' but what if we didn't? What would we say? Well thank God….it was amazing!!! It was super-hilarious and might I add did so well at the festival that they added an extra screening. Ultimately it took home awards for Best Editing and the Audience Choice Award! If you ever get the opportunity to see it, I cannot recommend it highly enough (www.colinheartskay.com).
My brother loved the film so much that he organized a private screening of his own in a downtown New York screening room. He asked me if I would come. I said YES!! He asked me if I could cook. I said 'ARE YOU KIDDING WITH ME'. I know cooking for 20 people might not phase many people but for me it felt like catering!! Whilst somewhat intimidated by the prospect, I turned the volume really low on that unwanted voice in my head and reminded myself calmly that this was for Nitin, after all. Of course, approaching it with that lens made me want to do it. I had to figure out what to cook but given that we are experiencing our annual heat wave in NYC, it obviously wouldn't be beef stroganoff. Done! It would be a citrus, sweet and spicy spread of ‘mayonaisse-less’ potato salad, tabouleh and lavash-wrapped chicken kebab rolls. Since I forgot to take pictures of the chicken kebabs and since nobody mentioned my potato salad even once, here is the recipe for my tabouleh salad. You must make this before the summer is over, it is tasty and healthy and sufficient to eat all by itself.
- 5 ounces couscous or bulgur
- Juice and rind from 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 bunch Fresh Mint
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 8 scallions
- 1 Deseeded red pepper
- 1 teaspoon corriander powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can Garbanzo beans / chickpeas
- 1 Persian cubed cucumber, deseeded tomato
- Prepare couscous as per directions (on packet)
- Once cooked add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, fluff with a fork and allow to cool
- Peel clove of garlic and mince in to a fine paste
- Wisk remaining olive oil with minced garlic, lemon juice and lemon rind until the mixture reaches a cloudy golden color
- Finely chop all the cilantro, parsley, scallions / spring onions, mint and finely cube the red bell pepper
- In a frying pan, lightly toast the pine nuts
- Lightly wash and drain the garbanzo beans / chickpeas
- Add the couscous, the chopped herbs and red bell pepper, the garbanzo beans and pine nuts to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the dry ingredients of salt, cayenne pepper and coriander powder
- Pour over the olive oil, lemon and garlic mixture and toss all the ingredients together
- Allow Tabouleh to stand for at least 10 to 15 minutes