This is a nice and fragrant Syrian inspired granola using typical Arabic store cupboard ingredients. It’s quick to make and works well as a gift.
As a British Iraqi, I grew up with aromatic, colourful food made from scratch. What I love about Syrian and Middle Eastern flavours is that you can very easily and quickly turn something ordinary into something sultry, with layers of depth.
I always make fragrant granolas like this and though it's usually impromptu, I often end up using the ingredients described here as many are staple’s in the Arabic kitchen.
The orange zest, fennel seeds and cardamom really give this granola an edge. Using flavoursome medjool over regular dates in this otherwise economical recipe, is worthwhile, and they are widely available.
- 2 cups of oats
- 1 cup of walnuts roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup of pistachios
- 3 tbsp of sesame seeds
- 1 flat tsp of fennel seeds
- ½ tsp ground cardamom or seeds from 3 whole pods crushed
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Generous pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp of argan or olive oil
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 6 medjool dates
- Zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 160 oC, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients including the orange zest but not the dates, and mix well, then stir in the oil and honey so that everything is coated. Spread the mixture onto the lined baking tray so that you get a thin layer. Bake for 25 mins, stirring the mixture halfway through. Pit and chop the dates and add into the mixture at the end, while it’s still warm out of the oven. Leave to cool then store in an airtight container. I recommend enjoying this with full fat yoghurt drizzled with our argan oil, and honey or date syrup, with a side of refreshing fruit.
As an Iraqi hearing stories first hand of people left helpless by war, the crisis in Syria is all too familiar and breaks my heart. Syria is known to have some of the best cuisine in the Middle East and #BakeForSyria is a brilliant initiative that at the very least shows that so many of us care. You'll find this recipe and many others in the Bake for Syria Cookbook now available on Amazon and in Waterstones.