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MeatIf you are thinking about how to serve all the meat stashed in your freezers post Bakra Eid, here are some recipes – most, a fusion of foreign cuisines flavoured to local taste buds – that will help you cook up a storm.

The latest trend on the meat feast front heads in a Mediterranean direction, with once popular Indonesian and Chinese dishes lagging behind. The countries around the Mediterranean Sea, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Spain and Turkey, and all the places in between, have long been renowned for their aromatically tantalising dishes which, with the addition of some heat, in the form of dried red chillies during cooking or with a plate of fresh green chillies on hand, are now gaining popularity across Pakistan.

Greek roast lamb, heavily flavoured with garlic and either fresh or dried rosemary and thyme, is simple to make and, when cooked to perfection, entices even the most meat jaded palette to take yet another mouthful. Served piping hot, with roast potatoes, spicy rice, fresh naan or pita bread, and bowls of crunchy, fresh salads of your choice, this recipe will add just the right amount of zing and variety to your menu.

Then there are Turkish treats, the most well known being shish-kebab conjured up from beef or lamb, served in slices, inside freshly baked pita bread accompanied with crispy salad, garlicky humus, cubes of feta cheese and a healthy bowl of olives to complete the feast.

Moroccan and Egyptian tajines – meat based dishes which include fruit, fresh or dried, such as apricots, peaches or plums to thicken the spicy gravy, are incredibly rich, can be as chilli hot as you like and served either with rice or naan – bring Arabian nights right to the table.

Mouth-numbing hot is the Indonesian way but unlike traditional Asian ‘hot’, Indonesian chefs throw lots of fresh herbs (basil being a favourite) into their creative stir-fries, rice dishes and steamed delicacies which, with a little ingenuity, will completely blow your palette!

– B Khan            

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 12, 2014.