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Olia Hercules Cooks A Taste Of Home 👨‍🍳

London-based Ukrainian chef Olia Hercules, is in the kitchen sharing her simple summer recipe from her homeland of Ukraine. She’s whipping up her family’s favourite, lamb cutlets with harissa, flatbreads and salad.

Lamb Cutlets With Harissa

Serves 2- 4 


100ml kefir or yoghurt

1½ tbsp rose harissa

/1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

500g lamb cutlets, chops, or another steak-y cut

sea salt


1. Mix the kefir or yoghurt in a bowl with the harissa or chilli sauce, spices and ½ tsp salt. 

2. Put the lamb cutlets into a medium baking tray and spoon over the marinade, turning the meat so it is well covered. Leave to marinate for up to 2 days in the fridge, or for at least 15 minutes.

3. When ready to cook, if the meat was in the fridge and you have the time, return it to room temperature. Preheat the grill in your oven to its highest setting.

4. What I do is this: put the lamb cutlets directly on a rack at the top of the oven and the baking tray with the marinade beneath them. I then cook the meat under the grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, the marinade should also reduce down a bit (it will split, but that's not a problem) I like my lamb cutlets just well done, so I cook them - depending on thickness for a further 2 minutes. You can always check yours by taking one of the cutlets out and cutting into it. Cook them for longer if you like them really well done. 

5. Put the cutlets into the now-hot marinade-sauce and serve. Eat them with Easy Flatbreads and salad and yoghurt. I sometimes add a bowl of chilli flakes, too. 



200ml kefir (or 100ml yoghurt mixed with 100ml water)

10g honey, or sugar

4 tbsp olive oil

250g self-raising wholemeal flour, or plain flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder,

plus more to dust

sea salt


1. Put the kefir into a large bowl and whisk in the honey or sugar and half the olive oil with 1 tsp salt. Add the flour and stir first with a spoon and then get your hand in there and bring the dough together.

2. Now take it out of the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for a minute or so. The dough won't be smooth straight away, but do not worry. Leave it covered for at least 5 minutes, or for as long as 30 minutes, if you have time.

3. Now divide it into 8 equal parts (roughly 50g each) and form each wedge into a rectangle.

4. Roll each piece out over a lightly floured surface into a strip about 15 x 3cm.

5. Brush with oil and roll it up like a Swiss roll.

6. Stand it coil side up, squash it down with your palm, then roll out again into a 15cm circle. Repeat to form all 8 flatbreads.

7. Now heat a dry frying pan, add 1-2 flatbreads and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium-low heat. I pinch off a little bit to check it is cooked inside.

8. I keep the cooked breads in a bowl covered with a plate, so they keep warm and steam a little, becoming softer as they do.

My Brother's Salad

Serves 6


2 (or however many you like) medium garlic cloves

2 large aubergines

5 tbsp olive oil

½ small red onion, finely sliced

juice of 1 lemon

4 large, very ripe tomatoes (such as Bull's Heart)

2 tbsp sesame oil

soft herb leaves, such as coriander, dill, basil, or all of them

100g feta, crumbled

sea salt


1. Peel and squash the garlic and chop it roughly. 

2. You can peel off strips of aubergine skin if you like, as Sasha does; it does help it cook more quickly. Then chop the aubergines into 3-4cm cubes, quite roughly, there's no need to be too precise here. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat without adding any oil. 

3. Now put the aubergines in and fry them dry, moving them around from time to time. You want them to cook through and soften, it will take about 5 minutes. At the very end, add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the garlic, then stir often. The oil will moisten and colour the aubergines and the garlic will give its flavour; this will take 2 minutes, Switch off the heat.

4. Meanwhile, get the sliced onion, put it in a bowl and spritz over the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Let it sit while you finish the salad. 

5. Cut the tomatoes into chunks, catching the juices in a bowl. 

6. Add the aubergines to the tomatoes with the rest of the olive oil, the sesame oil, the onion and its juices, herbs and feta.

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