Recipe from “Patrick Skinner’s Cyprus Kitchen”, illustrated by Alyana Cazalet

cartoon - pals in the kitchen

This is a popular Cyprus dish, and it’s easy to make a success of Afelia.

Ingredients for 4-6 Servings

450 g of lean pork meat cut into small chunks
450 g of potatoes, peeled and cut into similar sized chunks
2 tsp of crushed coriander seeds (more if you like)
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 wine glass (20 cl) of fruity dry red wine
1 wine glass (20 cl) of good meat stock (or half a pork or chicken stock cube in boiling water)
Ground black pepper
20 cl of olive oil


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet (which has a lid) or shallow saucepan.
  2. Stir in the meat and brown quickly over a good heat (around five minutes).
  3. Add the diced potatoes and stir-fry for around five more minutes.
  4. Add coriander, pepper and cinnamon and stir well for a few seconds. Then tip in the wine and the stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Turn the heat down, put the lid on the pot and simmer for around 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through but not falling apart. If your oven is hot the Afelia may be cooked there—I rather like the “casseroley” touch this imparts. Oven temperature:175?C
  6. Check the liquid level from time to time and top up with wine and/or stock if necessary. The sauce should be quite thick and rich.
  7. Serve as part of a Mezze, or as a main course with crusty bread, a green salad and maybe a Bulgar Wheat (Pour-gourri) pilaff.

Wine Accompaniment: a fresh, young, fruity red. If you’re in Cyprus then go for “Ayios Onoufrios”.

Courgettes with Onions, Tomatoes and Potatoes



Although I am not a vegetarian, a lot of vegetables are consumed in our house. And I love them, and devising new ways of cooking them. It’s not the huge, clone-like unblemished tomato, aubergine, cucumber or courgette you see in supermarkets that fascinate me — it’s the natural, home-grown sometimes knobbly all sizes of vegetable lovingly grown in someone’s little patch around their dwelling, nurtured into readiness and taken to market to gain a little income.

Cornucopia of Cyprus vegetables

I love strolling around these markets, looking at the produce and the men and women vying with each other to sell you their wares. There’s one particular stall in a small Limassol market I frequent from time to time where the garlic is better than at any other … and another with the best tomatoes, and so on.

The tradition of vegetable cookery has more than sunshine and water to it — Until refrigeration, meat was difficult to keep and often expensive to rear. Vegetables in a pot greatly extended and added flavour to a small amount of tough, stringy meat.  

Another great factor is — the olive. All around the area these gnarled old trees give up their bountiful oil-bearing crop each year, providing the basis of the healthiest cuisine in the world. Every kind of dish, fried or stewed in olive oil. Oil on salads. Oil on herbs and bread — the cheapest meal there is, like the olive oil and "Zata" of Lebanon, which has sustained many a family of the mountains over the centuries.

Add to the fresh vegetables, the peas, beans and other pulses, which are dried and easily stored and you have the basis of marvellous food, all too often sadly neglected by restaurant chefs and home-cooks alike.   Every year, for a few weeks, we can buy fresh black eye beans ("Loubia" in Arabic, "Louvi" in Greek), which make a delicious plate with some onions, garlic and spinach. But, at other times, the dried variety make are equally acceptable.

My recipe is found all around the Mediterranean, but is very popular in Greece, where it is called Briam, and in Cyprus. It uses baby marrows (‘Zucchini’, or ‘Courgettes’) and is delicious. It is truly vegetarian and suitable for periods of fasting.

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Courgettes bake well with onions, tomatoes and potatoes, in this Greek dish which is great for lunch or dinner parties because it can be kept a while in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve it. It’ll make a meatless main dish, too.

For a generous tray, get ready:

1 kilo of potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
750 grams of courgettes, sliced across
Two or three large onions sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
Half a kilo of tomatoes, skinned and chopped into chunks
Salt and pepper and chopped fresh herbs of your choice

METHOD (couldn’t be simpler!)

Pour 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil into a large baking dish and put all the ingredients in. Mix well together with the oil and bake in a hot oven for 45-60 minutes. Stir once or twice during this time.

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Pork and Peas


Recipe from “Patrick Skinner’s Cyprus Kitchen”, illustrated by Alyana Cazalet   Ingredients  500 g lean loin or fillet of pork, cut into 2cm cubes 1 good-sized onion, peeled and sliced 1 tbsp flour 45 cl stock (use home-made if you can, or a pork or chicken stock cube in boiling water) 230 g peas (freshly […]

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