Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Meorav Yerushalmi a. k a Jerusalem mixed grill - Jerusalem street food classic of pita stuffed with offal and onion

Meorav Yerushalmi might be all Greek to you, but it shouldn't. And not just because it's not Greek, it's Hebrew. But also because it's one of Jerusalem's street food classics that prove how offal is not awful. It's said to have been born in Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market and as can be expected, these days several restaurants claim to have invented it. 

The dish is so legendary that in 2009 it even made it to Guinness Book of World Records. The biggest dish created weighed a whopping 200 kilos. The smallest was stuffed into a pita the size of a coin. 

The content of the dish varies depending on the place. It can feature either lamb or chicken, cooked on a flat grill but the meat has always been made stretch a bit further with the addition of offal, such as chicken liver and spleens (yes, for real). Occasionally it's made entirely out of offal and hey - what better way to pinch those pennies this January! I actually prefer that - in case we insist on eating animals, we might just as well make it as sustainable as possible and use every piece of it. 

What ever the meat is, the dish always has onion in it along with aromatic spice blend, which lends the dish its lovely taste that will transport you right back to Middle Eastern markets, spice bazaars and street kitchens. 

I used bokaharat spice blend for which the recipe can be found on the blog over here.

Serves 4

Jerusalem mixed grill - fragrant offal with onion:

300 g chicken hearts
300 g chicken gizzards
300 g chicken livers
1  large onion, roughly sliced
2 tbsp bokharat spice blend
salt, pepper
oil for frying

For serving: pita bread, tahini dressing

Rinse gizzards and chicken hearts. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add the offal and simmer, covered, until tender (about 2  hours). Skim off any foam.

Pat the chicken livers dry and cut to smaller pieces (into 2-3).

Once rest of the offal is done, heat about 4 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion and continue to cook until it's softened and got a bit of colour. Then add bokharat and continue cooking for a little while longer to really bring out the aromas. Then add livers and cook, over hot pan, until nicely browned but not yet all the way cooked through. 

Drain the gizzards and chicken hearts and add into the mix. Toss them around to makes sure everything is evenly coated in the spices. Season with salt and peppers. Serve on a bread, wrapped into a flat bread or stuffed into a pita bread, accompanied by what ever veggies you want, tahini dressing and amba, Iraqi mango pickle (for recipe please see here).

Tahini dressing:

2 dl tahini
the juice of a lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
salt, pepper
1/2 - 1 dl cold water

Shake the tahini jar for a smooth consistency. Measure the required amount into a bowl and combine with lemon juice. Add garlic and parsley. Add water, a little at a time for the desired consistency. Season as needed. 

My recipe for fool-proof home made pita bread can be found here

Other things you might want to consider stuffing your pita (and face) with are:

- Muhammara, Syrian roasted pepper dip 

And now, that everyone's been fed it's time to continue the journey. Nest stop is Palestinian territories and Hebron, Hell on Earth.




Caring is sharing!

1 comment :

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