A guru of Egyptian cooking is planning a packed programme of festivals, including one of the county’s prestigious events, just six months after launching her business in Shropshire.
Marina Ibrahim launched Cooking Like Cleopatra six months ago and has been left overwhelmed by the success of her authentic Egyptian food cooking demonstrations and classes.
Marina, who lives in Ludlow, has also produced her own spice product called Dukka which has proved a hit with her customers across the UK.
Marina said: “Egyptian cuisine is becoming increasingly popular and the first six months in business has been phenomenal for me.
“People may go on holiday to Egypt and return wanting to learn how to cook some of the food of Egypt and I have the privilege to be able to do that.
“But also I find I am introducing Egyptian dishes to people who have never and may never have the opportunity to taste them otherwise.
“Recipes and alternative cuisine is becoming more and more popular and the success of my business in just six months is a true reflection of that.” Marina said popular dishes include Baba Ganoush, Tabbouleh and Tabouli and she was particularly looking forward to the Ludlow Food Festival in September.
Already the festival season has seen Marina present a cooking demonstration at Ledbury Chill Festival which was a resounding success.
“For me Ludlow is the capital of food outside of London so to be able to host a demonstration at Ludlow Food Festival will be a real honour. “I hope to be able to unveil a new product by then too,” she said. “My own exclusive Cooking Like Cleopatra spice Dukka is selling out at every festival I do because after people have watched my demonstration and tasted the results they want to easily replicate that at home.”
Marina also offers team building courses, private cooking classes and special occasion events along with event demonstrations and workshops.
Dukka is a delicious Egyptian dry mix of roasted hazelnuts, sesame seeds and spices including coriander and cumin finely blended together.
The word derived from the Arabic word for “to pound” since the mixture of spices and nuts are pounded together after being dry roasted to a granular texture.
The actual composition of the spice mix can vary from family to family. I have created my own blend, although there are common ingredients such as sesame, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.
Traditionally Dukka is served as mezze by dipping fresh Egyptian bread first into mild tasting olive oil and then into the nut mixture. It also serves as a versatile seasoning in Egyptian cooking. You can sprinkle it onto various dishes like salads, fresh vegetables, pasta dishes, pita or even pizza. I’ve been adding it to roasted vegetables and grated carrot salads, and I’ve been seasoning hard-boiled eggs with it (dip and bite, dip and bite:-) You can also use it to coat chicken, turkey or fish with it before frying it or BBQ it
In Cairo, you can buy ready-made versions of Dukka wrapped in paper cones on tvarious spice markets and on Khan-El Khalili Bazar.
Dukka is now becoming popular in other countries outside of Egypt. I have launched my own Dukka blend. Friends and customers alike, who have tried my Dukka for the first time, loved it from the moment it hit their taste buds. It’s moreish and delicious. If you want to try it or even buy it, Cleopatra’s Dukka is now available on my cookery courses and soon in designated outlets in and around Ludlow (watch this space for further information)
Dukka – Enjoy the pure Egyptian flavour!
Ahlan Wa Sahlan – Welcome!
Do you love the Middle Eastern cuisine? Have you been to Egypt and since then became an Egypt Aficionado?
Then join me on UK’s first and only Egyptian cookery masterclass at Ludlow Food Festival on Friday, 13th September @ 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm
I am passionate about Egyptian food and I have learned many of the traditional recipes from my beloved aunt Moneira. I have also developed my own style by introducing some modern twists and using the source of local produce around me to cook the most popular Egyptian vegetarian mezze.
“Ful Medammes is Egypt’s national dish. You don’t know Egypt, if you haven’t tried Ful Medammes.” The spicy and very nutricuous fava bean stew is eaten for breakfast but is also enjoyed for lunch or as a snack. You can buy it from street vendors and shops almost everywhere in Egypt. These tasty mezze are easy and fun to make, especially with a team of eager helpers. You will also learn how to make ‘Jewels of the Nile” these are delicious Pharaonic sweets. And by the end of the course you will get to sample to eat and take away with you!
Friday, 13th September @ Ludlow Food Festival (Egyptian Food Experience Workshops @ 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm)
Venue: Round Tower in the Inner Bailey of Ludlow Castle, Castle Square, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1AY
If you are fascinated by Egypt – its Culture – its Food then Cooking like Cleopatra is for you! Immerse yourself by this culinary multi-sensory experience of popular and new creations of Egyptian mezze.
Please get in touch for dates and further details on 07958 629220 or email marina@
Ashoofak ba’deen! – See you soon!