Here is a first recipe for those of you who so kindly offered to kitchen-test some of our recipes and let us know how it goes. Zibdiyit Gambari is a much beloved classic Gazan seafood dish. Enjoy!
1 kg (2 lbs) peeled fresh shrimp
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 green chili peppers, such as serrano or jalepeño. Adjust according to desired hotness.
3 T tomato paste
6 tomatoes, peeled and diced, approximately 3 1/2 cups
(*one 26oz can of diced tomatoes can be substituted out of season)
2 T. chopped green dill (1 T. crushed dill seed may be substituted)
6 cloves fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
1 cup water
¼ cup pine-nuts (slivered almonds or cashews may be substituted)
2 T. olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Cook peeled shrimp in a dry pan for about 10 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and shrimp are pink. Skim off any foam that appears. Set shrimp aside.
Coarsely chop the hot green pepper and crush it with 1/2 tsp of the salt in a mortar.
Chop dill and garlic finely and mix together.
Toast the pine-nuts and sesame seeds until golden, or fry in olive oil (traditional method).
In the same pan the shrimp were cooked in, sauté onions in olive oil. When onions are transparent, add tomato paste and stir well. Then add tomatoes, spices, crushed chilies, water and the chopped dill and garlic. Stir well and allow to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Then add the shrimp and stir together.
Pour this mixture from the pan into the zibdiye. If you do not have a zibdiye (likely!) an ovenproof clay, earthenware or glass dish will do. You may also bake in individual ramekins if desired. Cover with sesame seeds, pine-nuts and fry oil and parsley. Bake in oven for 10 minutes covered with aluminum foil, then remove the foil and bake another few minutes until crusty on top.
Serve with bread.