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Lebanese Spiced Squid

A mouthwatering squid recipe, delicately spiced with a medley of coriander, cayenne pepper, cumin and allspice. Simply serve with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Introduction

Here I’ve created a Lebanese twist on the classic fried calamari dish – deep-fried squid coated in a light batter. For simplicity’s sake I’ve opted to shallow- rather than deep-fry the squid but the result is just as good. Make sure you use cornflour rather than plain flour – it keeps the coating really light and crispy.

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Ingredients

50g cornflour
1 tbsp ground coriander
1½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
700g squid, cleaned
Vegetable oil, for frying

Method

Measure the cornflour and spices into a sealable container, then add the salt and pepper. Cut the squid into rough rectangles, each about 3 x 5cm. Score one side in a criss-cross pattern. Drop the squid into the container, put the lid on then give it a good shake. If you don’t have a container, use a large bowl and put a plate on top.

Pour enough oil into a pan until it’s a couple of centimetres deep. Heat the oil over a medium heat until it’s hot. You can check it’s ready by dropping a pinch of flour into it – it should sizzle madly. Cover a baking tray with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper.

Lower the squid carefully into the hot oil, cooking three or four pieces at a time. Depending on how thick each piece is, they’ll take no more than 30-40 seconds in total. Flip them over once they’re golden on one side and cook until they have an even colour all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt to serve.

My Secret

For a delicious sauce finely chop 1 large tomato, 1 seeded green chilli, half a red onion and a handful of fresh coriander leaves, Add the juice of a lemon, 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses and salt to taste.

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