Not only is Meghan Markle's first solo charity project, Together: Our Community Cookbook, beautiful and chock-full of delicious-looking (and easy-to-tackle) recipes, it also highlights a group of women working to make their community a better place following an unthinkable tragedy. And proceeds from the cookbook will go towards supporting the Hubb Community Kitchen, a communal cooking space at the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in West London, which opened following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.
In January, the Duchess of Sussex visited the Hubb Community Kitchen and pitched in to help the women prepare food. While she wrote the cookbook’s foreword, the rest of the pages are filled with recipes and touching personal anecdotes from women who cook for their families in the Hubb kitchen. You’ll find dishes from around the world, including a super-simple samosa recipe that Prince Harry apparently loved, a dip that takes just a few minutes to make (it’s one of Meghan’s favourite recipes in the book) and a show-stopping dessert. Get the recipes below.
Munira Mahmud's green chile & avocado dip
"My life-long dream has been to have a food van; I spend any free time I have thinking up dishes, and putting ingredients together in my mind. These dips are my own invention."
- 2 green chiles
- 1 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- 2 lemons, zest and juice only
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise, optional
- To taste salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients except the mayonnaise into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the mayonnaise (if you wish) and stir to combine, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Munira Mahmud's vegetable samosas
"Grenfell was a real community and my neighbor Rania and I used to party with food all the time. The first time I made these samosas for her, she ate ten of them. Really! They look like a lot of work, but if you have a food processor to chop the vegetables it’s very easy. Use my quick way of folding them too, to save time. Just be sure to make enough…"
- 1 potato
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 120g green cabbage, finely sliced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 100g mixed green and red bell peppers, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 12 spring roll wrappers
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Boil the potato in salted water for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool, then peel and dice.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the spice seeds and fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the turmeric and cinnamon and stir for a few seconds until the onion is coated with spices. Add the cabbage, carrot and peppers and cook over high heat for 4–5 minutes or until tender.
3. Add the diced potato, peas, salt and sugar and stir for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a large plate or a tray and let cool.
4. Cut each wrapper in half to make two rectangle strips. Keep the wrappers covered with a clean, damp cloth to stop them from drying out. Working with one strip at a time and with a long edge facing you, fold the bottom right-hand corner of the strip to meet the top edge, forming a triangle, then fold the top right-hand corner over to meet the top left-hand cover of the strip, forming a square shape. Brush the single layer of pastry (bottom left) with some beaten egg and fold over to form a triangular pouch. Open the pouch and fill with about 3 tablespoons of the samosa filling. Brush the pointy end with beaten egg and fold over to seal the pouch. Place on a tray and keep covered while you make the rest of the samosas.
5. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the samosas on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little oil and then with some beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over, brush the other side with oil and egg and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden.
Faisa Hayani Bellili’s caramelized plum upside-down cake
As soon as I heard about the Kitchen, I volunteered to help, cooking recipes from my homeland, Algeria. This cake is one my mum used to make. She always said plums are an unreliable fruit – they can be quite sour when raw. This brings out the best in them.
- 2 tsp sunflower oil, for greasing
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 plums, halved and pitted
- 1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 heaping tsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp almond, meal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 23cm/9-inch round springform cake pan with sunflower oil and place on a baking sheet.
2. For the caramel, put 225g/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar into a small, wide, heavy pan over low heat. Without stirring, let the sugar dissolve completely. Once liquid, let it gently bubble for 15–20 minutes, until it is a deep golden color. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, half the vanilla extract and the salt, gently swirling the pan to combine the butter as it melts. Once fully incorporated, immediately remove from the heat and pour the caramel into the prepared cake pan. Place the plum halves on top, cut side down, nestled tightly together, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the remaining 85g/6 tablespoons butter together with the remaining 75g/6 tablespoons granulated sugar and the brown sugar until pale and creamy: this will take 2–3 minutes using electric beaters; if you don’t have them, use a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Once the eggs are well combined, add the remaining vanilla extract, the cornstarch, almond meal, flour and baking powder to the bowl and fold through with a spoon until just combined (taking care not to overmix), then pour over the plums. Smooth the top, then bake for 50–55 minutes until cooked through; a thin skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.
4. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and flip over before releasing the sides of the pan and removing the base. Let the cake cool for another 5 minutes before slicing.