Monday, 28 December 2009

Kabsa with Chicken

Actually a Saudi dish, eaten almost every where in the Gulf.. very tasty, quite easy and the flavours are really worth the effort, which is not that much :)

***We have some issues with the rice boiling so here is how I do it: I take 3 mugs of rice and measure water with the same mug. Must say I use Basmati rice, white rice, not seela. So, heat the oil, add whatever I have to and then add the water/yakhni. Once its boiling, I add the rice. Let it cook COVERED for a few minutes. Check, if the rice is slightly puffed, I lower the heat to lowest. Place a damp cloth on the pot, cover it and leave it. The rice is done in about 10 to 12 minutes. Check, if it still looks slightly un-done, I wet the cloth again and cover and leave some more. That usually does the trick.
So now in this recipe - once ur chicken is done and u've removed it, you must check - if u can do it by looking only well fine. Otherwise, measure out the amount according to how much rice ure using. So if its three mugs of rice, the broth that remains in ur pot before u put the rice in must be three mugs too. Not more otherwise ur rice will be squishy.
Drain the water from the soaked rice and add the rice to the broth in the pot. And cook as you would normally cook rice that you make on 'damm' -
If your kind of rice is the one  that needs more water than cup to cup, then adjust water quantity accordingly.
I hope that clarifys the procedure? If not, please do ask :) ***

This is what you need

1 chicken, small one for 2 people and large one for 4 people
2 bay leaves
2 cubes of maggie chicken bouillon mixed in with 2 tbls flour
1 diced onion
 5 garlic cloves
6 cardamoms
5 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 dried lemons
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
enough salt for the rice and full  tsp pepper
1 piece ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
4 hard-boiled eggs
enough oil to fry the onions- around 3/4 to 1 cup
pine nuts and almonds, roasted in butter, for flavor

Do this with it:

1- soak the rice, at least half an hour before

2- In a stockpot add your onions and garlic on medium and let brown. Then add all of your spices. Stir in tomato sauce on med heat until sauce thickens.Then add your chicken into the sauce. Saute it for a few minutes, on medium heat. Add double the amount of water u need for the rice, and let it cook, covered. On high flame for the first 10 minutes, low thereafter, at least 35 minutes

3- now after your chicken has cooked for 35 minutes turn ur oven grill on. Take the chicken out, put it in dish and let it get crispy and brown under the grill. It will look a bit dry, but its actually quite juicy, and will be softer still once its in the rice. But if the though worries u, just keep it as it is, or fry it in a little oil, for the colour

 4- add the rice to the hot broth, let it come to a boil and cook. 5 minutes before the rice would be down, add the boiled eggs and nuts. Make a well in between, put the roasted chicken and cover slightly with the rice. Cover and let the rice cook to its end, another 5 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy the typical Khabsa flavours :)

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Bienenstich Torte

Dont ask me what it's called in English - dont know :) Honeybee Cake? na.. sounds silly, since there are only 3 tsp honey in it. I'm sure it has a name.. let me know, someone..

Get this together:

For the yeast dough
200 ml milk
50 gms butter
420 gms flour
11 gms instant yeast
100 gms sugar
1 tbls vanilla sugar
1 medium egg

For the topping
200 gms butter
100 gms sugar
1 tbls vanilla sugar
3 tsp honey
125 ml cream
250 gms blanched almonds

For the filling
80 gms custard  powder, vanilla flavour
700 ml milk
100 sugar
100 gms butter
250 ml cream
2 tbls vanilla sugar

.. and do this with it..

1- the day before, or early morning, make the custard, as usual and add the butter to it. Cover and cool in fridge

2- warm milk in a small pan and melt the butter in it, set aside

3- mix in the instant yeast with the flour and pour in the warm milk and all the other ingredients. Using the dough hook or your hands, make a soft dough. Smooth it out, cover and let it rise in a warm place

4- to make the topping, slowly heat the butter in a pan, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the almonds, mix and let it cool down

5- grease baking sheet, roll out the dough to fit and spread the topping on it. Leave to rise again, at least half an hour, an hour is better

6- bake in preheated oven, at about 200 C, for 15 minutes, or until the bottom is evenly browned and the topping is golden

7- let it cool down slightly, and slice horizontally, making two halves.

8- add the cream and sugar to the pudding, whip smooth and spread on lower base of cake. Place top part on it, press down slightly and let it stand 10, 15 minutes, before you serve.

Tomato Capsicum Soup

Okay so something for the cold.. or warm, as you prefer..

You need:

1 kilo fresh red tomatoes
1 large red capsicum
1 tbls oil, preferably olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium sized onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepepr
1/4 tsp white pepper
12 tbls butter
1 full tbls plain white flour

with all that, do this:

1- cut the capsicum in half, or quarters and put it under the grill, to get all blackened and burnt. As soon as it is that, take it out and put it in a plastic bag or cover well with a cloth. Though the bag does it better. Let it cool down a bit

2- chop the onions roughly, and put them in the pot along with the oil, stirring, to get them slightly golden. Add the garlic, chopped roughly, the bay leaf and the tomatoes, halved and a quarter glass water

3- mix, turn and toss and cover on low heat for at least 10 minutes. Keep the heat low so it doesnt burn

4- meanwhile, remove the capsicum and peel off the skin. Should come off easily. Chop the capsicum, set aside

5- chk tomatoes. Their skin should be easily removable. Do that - pick it off with a tong. Thats why you should only halve them - otherwise you'll hang around forever, finding all the pieces...

6- add the capsicum and let the whole mixture cook a while - around 15 minutes. The veggies will be soft and mushy

7- remove from heat and cool down enough to blend

8- meanwhile, heat the butter in  the pan and toss in the flour, mixing swiftly, to avoid any clumps and add the spices. Keep a glass of water at hand, and pour in quickly, to form a thin soup. You can add more, if you wish but then the soup will be too thin

9- blend the tomato mix and pour that in the pot and let it boil up. Once it has, just switch off the stove and let it sit there for a few minutes

10 - serve with croissants or any bread of your choice...

Note: you can of course substitute the plain flour for some chicken broth cubes.. and add a carrot too, only that will mean longer cooking times. I suggest you just try it as is first and then see what you like. The salt pepper is what I used, because I prefer to taste the flavour of the capsicum and tomato. You can adjust according to your taste.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chicken Shashlik... my way..

I'm sure there must be a way or two differently, to make this dish. I dont even know if its the real real one :) but it tastes a lot like the Bundu Khan one in Lahore.. plus, I love it :) So u try it...

You need:

For the chicken to marinate in:

1 kilo chicken breast cubes
1 tbls minced ginger and garlic
1 tbls soya sauce and vinegar each
1/2 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp sumac, or, 1/2 black salt
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp haldi powder
1/4 tsp dhania powder (coriander)
1/2 onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Veggies for sauce and seekhs, cut in cubes:

1 large green paprika
1/2 kilo tomatoes, remove insides and set aside
3, 4 small onions
1 tbls soya sauce
1/2 tbls white vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper

For the sauce

the insides of the tomatoes, chopped
125 ml tomato paste
1 tsp red chili
1/2 tsp, or to taste, salt
1 tbls soya sauce
1/2 tbls vingegar

For the rice
800 gms rice, soaked and pre-boiled
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

I have not written any quantities for the oil - in general I have used 2 tbls each time, almost.. the rest is as u would like it..

So, do this:

1- marinate the chicken in all the given spices, cover and set aside for at least an hour


2- after the hour is over,  make seekhs of almost all the cubes adding paprika, onion and tomato, leaving just about a quarter cup of the cubes. Brush with oil and let the skewers rest

3- heat oil in a pan and throw in the remaining veggies, adding all the spices for them. Fry for a few minutes and remove from heat. Fry the remaining chicken cubes, and add them to the veggies

4- make the sauce, add to the chicken/veggie mixture. If you like, keep some leftover, to decorate the rice with.. I didnt, used it all in the rice..

5- grill the seekhs - or fry them, as u wish.I half fried and half grilled. That went quicker. Keep warm

6- heat some oil in a pan and throw in a little of the garlic. As soon as it browns, add some rice. Fry the rice in batches, each time browning garlic and frying. Remove the rice and layer it in a broad dish which u can heat on the stove


7- make space in between all the rice and dip the sauce/chicken/veggie mix in. Place the skewers on top.

 8- heat a piece of coal, place it on foil and put that on top of everything. Cover and set the whole pot to heat slowly. This will give ur shashlik the aroma that is so enticing..

9- uncover, and enjoy! I grilled some tomatoes and onions to go.. choice is yours.

Some notes:

You can of course do it the traditional way.. make the skewers, fry just the veggies separately and make the sauce separate. Serve all three separate. I dont like that.. makes the food cold. I reason, if I am going to eat it all together, why not mix it all in? Personal preference, I guess. So, make and enjoy.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Fried Fish and Chicken Boti

Ok, so dont have a step by step of these.. but still they are so worth eating :) So just noting them down.

For the fish:
Marinate 1 and half kilo fish fillets in
4 tbls besan, mixed with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp fish masala (recipe below) and 1 tbls white vinegar, 3 tbls mustard oil. Mix it, marinate the fish for at least a day and fry in hot hot mustard oil and a tbls ghee...

**fish masala - dry roast a tsp each of fengureek, coriander seeds and white cumin, half a tsp of kalongi and ajwain. Grind them and 1/4 tsp garlic powder together. Use a tsp or less, according to your taste for fish**

For the chicken:
Cut 2 large breast fillets into cubes, marinate in a mix of 1 cup yoghurt, 125 ml cream, 1 tbls ginger garlich paste, yellow food colour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garam masla and 1 full tsp amchoor - or mango powder. Marinate overnight. Thread on skewers and brush with oil. Set under the grill. Alternately, heat a tbls ghee in a small pan and put the chicken in and stir fry till done. The stir fry gives u more juicy boti.. but the grilled version is good too. Serve hot...

Meethi Paneer Biryani

Ok, its Meethi - as in Fengureek... and not meethi as in sweet :))  A different taste, somewhat unusual, but I find it a refreshing change from the usual meat and chicken affair. Worth a try, even if its only once...

You need
3 mugs rice, soaked
5 green cardamons
1/2 zeera
1/2 tsp dry fengureek seeds
Salt to taste

2 blocks, or 400 grms of paneer, fried - I used halloumi
2 bunches fresh meethi leaves
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped

2 cups plain yoghurt
100 gms almonds, fried in some ghee
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 black pepper, 1/2 garam masala, 14 tsp each jaipfal and jawetri and ground green cardamon

Do this:

1-heat some oil in a pot, add the fengureek, cardamons and zeera to it and let it splutter

2- add the rice, salt and enough water for it to cook.. and cook as u would normal pilaw..

3- once rice is done, let it rest and cool down a bit

4- wash, clean and blanch fengureek leaves for 2 minutes. You want them to retain colour and smell

5- heat some oil in a pan and add the onions. Let them get golden in colour and add the yoghurt, spices and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes

6- add the paneer cubes and let it cook for a few minutes. You want a gravy like look..

7- add the meethi leaves and cover, letting it simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside

8- layer rice in another pot, adding half of the paneer meethi mix, sprinkling some almonds and half the chopped mint. Repeat, till all is used up. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and put the lid on. Let it sit till it gathers steam.

9- open.. and enjoy with plain dahi or the kababs :)