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Food & Drink / Recipe: Pepped-up peppers

RECIPE swapping might seem hopelessly quaint to those who do not cook. For those who do, however, there are few more pleasing souvenirs from a holiday than an unusual recipe. Today we begin a new series of recipes collected while on your travels.

Anne Morton of Tonbridge, Kent, returned from Morocco impressed by how fragrant and refreshing a sprig of mint could make a pot of tea. Her recipe proper, discovered in a Moroccan cookery book by Fettouma Benkirane, is for spiced and stewed sweet peppers, to accompany kebabs or roast meat.


Serves 8

Ingredients: 2lb/900g sweet peppers, lightly grilled, peeled and chopped

2lb/900g tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

1 palmful chopped parsley

1 palmful chopped coriander

4 cloves garlic, minced

2tbs sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

2oz/50ml olive oil

Preparation: Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. As it begins to cook, reduce heat and, stirring as needed, sweat gently for 20-30 minutes.

OUR next recipe, from Catherine Pitches of Edinburgh, is tinged with melancholy. It is for potica, a spiced tea bread, given to her by an acquaintance in Slovenia just before civil war erupted.

Slovenian Potica

Serves 4-6

Ingredients: For the dough:

8oz/225g plain flour

1oz/25g fresh yeast

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2oz/50g sugar

2oz/50g butter

1tsp salt

Fresh milk as needed

For the filling:

5oz/125g ground walnuts

1tbs rum

2tbs sugar

2oz/50ml boiled milk

1 egg yolk

Preparation: Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of warm, but not hot, milk. Mix salt and sugar into flour, then rub in butter until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Rub in yeast. Whisk together egg and yolk, and mix into flour. Gradually add small amounts of warm milk as needed to achieve a dough.

Knead for several minutes until it is supple, place in lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and allow to rise, for at least one hour.

Roll it out in a rectangular shape to a thickness of 6mm. Mix all the filling ingredients together and spread on the dough. Roll up dough into a log, bend into a circle and allow to rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas 4 and bake for 45 minutes. Dredge with icing sugar.

Both Ms Morton and Ms Pitches will receive copies of Patricia Wells's food-lover guides to Paris and France. New travelling recipe entries, stating

the source, should be sent to Emily Green, Recipe, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.