This is one of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's contributions to Cook for Syria a brilliant fund-raising book of middle-eastern inspired recipes from top food writers which was conceived and curated by instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy*.
Apparently the name of the recipe means 'he burnt his finger', a reference to it being so irresistible that you can't help but get stuck in.
According to Ottolenghi "It is a dish fit for a feast but extremely comforting and delicious with all the toppings mixed in."
40g tamarind, soaked with 200ml boiling water
250g fettuccini, broken up roughly
60ml olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced (350g)
350g brown lentils
1.5 litres chicken stock
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
6 garlic cloves, crushed
30g coriander, roughly chopped
20g parsley, roughly chopped
90g pomegranate seeds
2 tsp sumac
2 lemons cut into wedges
Flaky sea salt and black pepper
Mix the tamarind with the water well to separate the pips. Strain the liquid into a small bowl discarding the pips and set aside.
Place a large saucepan on a medium-high heat and once hot add the broken up fettucini. Toast for 1-2 minutes until the pasta starts to brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring frequently until golden and soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the chicken stock to the pan and place on a high heat.Once boiling, add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until soft.
Add the toasted fettucine, tamarind water, 150ml water, pomegranate molasses, 4 teaspoons of salt and lots of pepper. Continue to cook for 8-9 minutes until the pasta is soft and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and set aside for 10 minutes. The liquid will continue to be absorbed, but the lentils and pasta should remain moist.
Place a small saucepan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes until just golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.
Spoon the lentils and pasta into a large shallow serving bowl. Top with the garlic and coriander, parsley, pomegranate seeds, sumac and serve with the lemon wedges
What to drink: I would chose a light, fruity young red from Syria's neighbour the Lebanon like the Domaine des Tourelles red which is currently selling for £9.50 from D & D Wine and around £10 from other indies.
From Cook for Syria (£25 Suitcase) Profits from the book are donated to aid children affected by the crisis in Syria. There are a whole load of delicious recipes in it from some of Britain's top food writers. Do buy a copy.