We have recently got back from a lovely trip to Amsterdam. One night while walking along the beautiful streets of the Jordaan, looking for somewhere to eat, we passed the most amazing smell!
It was like something out of a cartoon where Tom and Jerry are hypnotised by the smell of freshly cooked food.
It was amazing, but when we got to the source it turned out to be a tiny corner shop Deli. We didn’t think we’d be able to eat there, so carried on looking but nothing could shake that smell, so we doubled back for a closer look.
Inside there were just 4 tables, but you could actually eat at the Deli, much to our delight!
The Deli was called Rainarai. As you walked in there was a large chilled cabinet full of vegetarian and meat dishes, with rice and cous cous, and spiced vegetables. You ordered 1 meat, 2 vegetables, with rice or cous cous. It was then heated, and served to you at your table. There were also locals calling in, where it would be placed in a takeaway box to be re-heated at home.
The menu changes daily, and is always freshly cooked. The flavours were incredible and it felt so fresh and tasty. I came home desperate to try cooking with similar flavours, packed with spices and heat but all simple, fresh and low fat.
Rainarai takes it’s inspiration from Nomadic North African cuisine, it also reminded me of the Middle Eastern cuisine you see from chefs like Ottolenghi and Sabrina Ghayour. So when we got home, having picked up sniffles and a cold (no doubt from the flight) I decided to try a warming winter stew, which featured some of the ingredients used by these chefs.
This recipe is my own chicken stew recipe, adapted using flavours used by Ottolenghi. It’s sweet and sour (but not in the Chinese way) and slightly spicy too, so is a great Winter warmer!
If you don’t have all the ingredients at home, click the links above, which will take you to amazon where you can buy them. I earn a small commission from it, but had bought them myself previously, so it comes as a genuine recommendation.
I used my Sage Fast Slow Pro (which I LOVE) for this. I set it to high for 2 hours. But this could easily be cooked in the oven or slow cooker too. On the hob/oven I would cook for 2 1/2 hours and in the slow cooker I would cook for 4.
I'm Lisa and this is the Lovely Appetite blog. I’m always experimenting with recipes, hunting through cookbooks for inspiration or trying out new places to eat. Please browse the site and enjoy reading about my findings.