In News & Blog, Recipes and Nutrition

Our last Surrey cooking class focused on combatting SCI fatigue through healthy eating. These recipes for delicious hummus, tabouli, persian lamb and chickpea stew and eggplant stew make for a yummy dinner while being mindful of SCI nutrition!

cooking class food



  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (rinsed and drained) OR 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (if you’re using canned chickpeas)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons, to taste)
  • 1 medium-to-large clove garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 24 tbsp ice water (more as needed)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Any of the following garnishes: drizzle of olive oil or zough sauce,
  • sprinkle of ground sumac or paprika,
  • chopped fresh parsley


  • 3 bunches flat-leaf parsley (finely minced, should make 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup super fine bulgur wheat
  • 3 medium sized ripe tomatoes (very finely minced)
  • 2 Persian cucumbers (very finely minced)
  • 1 handful fresh mint (finely minced)
  • 1/4 cup red inion (finely minced)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 stalks of scallions (thinly sliced crosswise)
  • t tsp ground allspice (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • leaves of romaine lettuce to serve

Qormeh Sabzi (Persian Lamb Chickpea) Stew

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder (finely diced)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 green onions (chopped thin)
  • 3 tablespoons celery leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 lb fresh spinach (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup cooked garbanzo beans OR
  • 2/3 cup cooked red kidney beans (drained)

Khoresh Bademjan (Eggplant Stew)

For the Eggplant and Tomato Stew:

  • 1 1/2 lbs eggplant (stemmed, peeled, and cut into 1-in pieces)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (trimmed, peeled, and finely sliced)
  • 3 large cloves garlic (peeled, smashed, and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (sea or kosher, plus extra for salting the eggplant)
  • 1 can/28 ounces tomatoes (whole and peeled, drained)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (store-bought or homemade)
  • Optional: 1 pinch saffron

For the Yogurt Herb Sauce:

  • 6 – 7 ounces yogurt (plain)
  • 1/4 cup dill (fresh, chopped)
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic (smashed, peeled, and finely chopped)
  • Optional: 1 pinch salt

Directions for Hummus

1. Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the baking soda. Cover the chickpeas with several inches of water, then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling, reducing heat if necessary to prevent overflow, for about 20 mins, or until the chickpeas’ skin is falling off and they’re quite soft. In a fine-mesh strainer, drain the chickpeas and run cool water over them for 30 seconds. Set aside (no need to peel them for this recipe).

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blend until the garlic is very finely chopped, then let the mixture rest so the garlic flavor can mellow, ideally 10 minutes or longer.

3. Add the tahini and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy, stopping to scrape down any tahini stuck to the sides and bottom as necessary.

4. While running the food processor/blender, drizzle in 2 tbsp of ice water. Blend until the mixture is ultra smooth, pale and creamy. (If your tahini was extra-thick to begin with, you might need to add 1 to 2 tbsp more ice water).

5. Add the cumin and the drained, over-cooked chickpeas to the food processor. While blending, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth, about 2 mins. Add more ice water by the tbsp if necessary to achieve a super creamy texture.

6. Taste, and adjust as necessary—I almost always add another 1/4 tsp salt for more overall flavor and another tbsp of lemon juice for extra zing.

7. Scrape the hummus into a serving bowl or platter, and use a spoon to create nice swooshes on top. Top with garnishes of your choice, and serve. Hummus keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.

Directions for Tabouli

1. While tabouli does not take much time to prepare, the bulgur wheat does need to be soaked for 30 mins in cold water. Thus, begin by soaking your bulgur wheat before moving onto chopping all other ingredients.
2. Next, very finely chop all tabouli ingredients. Ideally, you should try to use a knife here and try to retain a bit of “chunk” in all the ingredients (especially parsley), but you can use a food processor if pressed for time. Just be wary not to over-chop and create ingredients too small.
3. To combine, take a large bowl and begin by adding cucumbers, onions and mint. Stir well to mix the ingredients.
4. Next, add minced tomato and stir again. At this point, let ingredients sit until the bulgur wheat is fully soaked and ready to go.
5. When ready, add parsley and bulgur wheat to your tabouli and stir 
6. Add your olive oil and half of your lemon juice and stir again.
7. Add your sumac, paprika, allspice and black pepper, and stir. Over the course of stirring, add the remaining lemon juice to help distribute the spices.
8. Garnish with sliced scallions, serve with a piece of romaine lettuce, and you’re done!

Directions for Qormeh Sabzi (Persian Lamb and Chickpea Stew)

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy pan, and sauté the lamb until well browned on all sides.

  2.  Add onion, cooking until soft, then add salt and pepper to taste, turmeric, lemon juice, and water, bringing to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes.

  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and saute the onions, celery leaves, spinach, and parsley for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  5. Add these vegetables and chickpeas to the meat and mix together thoroughly.
  6. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer 20 mins, or until meat is tender, adding water as necessary to keep up consistency.
  7. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

Directions for Khoresh Bademjan (Eggplant Stew)

  1. Place eggplant in a large colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of sea or kosher salt and set aside.
  2. In an oven or large chef’s pan set over medium high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and sauté until they’re soft and translucent, and beginning to brown in spots, about 7 to 9 mins. Add garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt, and sauté until onions are coated and spices are aromatic, about 1 min.
  3. Add the eggplant to the pan (if it’s released a lot of liquid, pat dry with paper towels first). Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté, coating the eggplant in the onion and spice mixture, until the eggplant turns tender and shrinks in volume, about 8 to 10 mins.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, using the spoon to break them apart into large chunks. Add the water, pomegranate molasses, and saffron, if using. Stir well. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered for 10 to 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over rice, quinoa or couscous. Top with the optional yogurt herb sauce, plain yogurt, or fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
  5. To make the optional yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, dill, garlic, and salt, if using. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
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