Eyal takes you through the key ingredients for his kofte, using fish instead of lamb which you would find in the traditional meat version. Sea bass is used all the time in Israel (referred to as "lavraki") and you're looking for nice bright eyes and shiny skin when selecting your fish. He flavours his fish kabab with fresh coriander, spring onion, white onion and lemon for a refreshing taste and an influence of the Mediterranean. Eyal grills the aubergine on hot coals to make a delicious baba ganoush - he'll talk you through checking for quality and how to select the best for grilling.
Specialist ingredients of the week
A bit about the specialist ingredients
Date syrup (silan) - dates are heavily ingrained in the cuisine of Israel and have long been a symbol of hospitality for welcoming guests. They are one of mankind's oldest foods and are a hardy fruit that thrive in some of the harshest and hottest climates in the world. Dates are strongly associated with biblical history alongside the likes of olives, figs, pomegranates and barley and are a specialty of the fertile Galilee region in Israel. In ancient times, dried dates were the ideal travel food for those embarking on long trips but they're just as popular today by home cooks and chefs alike. Silan is a sticky syrup made by slow boiling fully ripe dates before squeezing the juices from them which is then reduced to produce a thick syrup. It's a slow process which requires patience and in many Israeli households it's an all-day event. The flavour is a richer alternative to honey or caramel and is delicious in marinades or added to tahini for a sweet dipping sauce.
Cumin seeds - Cumin is known in Israel for its role in the famous baharat spice blend and is often used in falafel or hummus. The seeds are the dried fruit of a plant that's related to parsley and have a fragrant savoury flavour with a subtle spiciness. The cumin plant is native to the hot and arid climates of Egypt and Syria and has a long history of being cultivated with archaeologists finding seeds in Egyptian tombs. The spice then went on to spread across countries via Arab invaders.
Ingredients You Need