Saturday, 11 December 2010

Life goes on..

Just in case someone is wondering where I am.. my beloved Father passed away on November 26. I've just returned ... was blessed to be there to see him off on his journey to his Maker. May his soul rest in peace and may he be blessed with the highest place in Jannah. Ameen, summa ameen.
So bear with me.. I'll come back, when I can..

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Random Thoughts

I was just wondering if anyone knows, or thinks about, what ElZaA stands for? Its stands for the name of my children - Zara, Alina (whom I call Elli) and Abdullah :) Too often in life we lose sight of the really important things in life. I posted a status on Foodilicious (the other love of my life :) ) and people reacted to it so openly.. which made me think.. Here's what I wrote:
I am grateful for a house that needs cleaning and meals that need to be cooked.. for it means that I have a home and a family and enough food to plan with..
And thats whats going through my mind.. how often we forget, what life really is about. We get lost in the desert of socially acceptable norms and demands.. and yet, the things that matter most often get overlooked. 
So, just wanted to remind myself - and others, if anyone's reading this - sure, the workload is a lot at times.. but the reasons are all worth it. 
Enjoy your family and loved ones. Dont sweat the small stuff, as the book says. Love them and accept them.. life is too short to hold grudges. 
So, here's a message to my loved ones.. love you all.. and am grateful to have been blessed by you in my life. 

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Chicken Seekh

Well, here you go Fatima :) These are my take on seekhs.. though I ususally go for wooden skewers, this time I've used metal ones. They're longer, hence quicker. Another thing is, though the seekhs tasted very mild and soft, it was a tad diffifcult to get them on the skewers.. which I resolved by first making long kababs and then inserting the seekh in each.. Also, I fried some of them, the rest I grilled in the oven. I must confess, I prefered the fried ones more.. they were jucier.. I guess that had to do with the grill heat. . I'm assuming it will be better on a real charcoal grill.. So, please do try and give me ur feedback. Ok, so here goes:

You will need:

1 kilo chicken mince
3 medium onions, minced in the processor
6 to 8 cloves of garlic
large piece of ginger
1 bunch of coriander
2 small eggs - make sure they're SMALL.. if u only have large, just use one
breadcrumbs of 3 slices of white bread - make them fresh
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp each of garam masala and nutmeg-mace-cardamon powder mix
1 level tsp salt, or to taste
1 level tsp each of coriander and cumin powder
1 full tsp each of black salt, curry powder and black pepper powder
1 and half full tsp aamchoor powder (mango powder)

Do this:

1- process the coriander with ginger and garlic and onions. Add all to chicken mince and process in processor/grinder again
2- add the breadcrumbs, spices, and eggs and mix all well. Let it rest for half an hour in the fridge
3- form the kababs and insert the skewers inside

4- fry a few of the kababs in oil and set the skewers on the grill or in the oven

5- serve with rice or parathas

I fried some green chilies, slices of one small lemon and a cup of peas in hot oil. Added water and cooked the rice as normal damm rice. Once done, I made a small 'tunnel' in the rice and poured some orange food colour without mixing it.

The kababs I fried, I tipped onto the rice with the frying oil.

The whole lot I served with a tomatoe chutney - just blend half a bunch of mint leaves, 2 cloves of garlic with a little water finely. Add 3 quartered tomatoes to it and blend lightly so that you have a rough chutney. Spice it with a pinch of salt and juice of one lemon.

So, there u go.. I didnt add green chillies to my kababs, because the children wouldnt have eaten it. But you can, if you want to. Have fun and do give me ur feedback.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Meat Hara Masala

Okay so this is a 'aap ki farmaish' kind of recipe.. u can imagine me saying it in the typical radio ishtyle ;)
Thanks for asking for it Naila dear. I have no idea if its that what you wanted.. but I like it. Its simple, quick, easy and very to my taste at least.. especially if you have it with fresh naan.., or, lilke I did, with bhatura.. yumm :) You can use chicken as well.. go for bone-in.. that will give it an extra taste. The procedure will be the same, just adjust cooking times..  So, here goes:

You'll need:
6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 bunches of fresh coriander
4 to 8 green chillies.. you can of course increase or decrease the amount, but I find this best
1/2 kilo meat - I used mutton shoulder cut
1 tbls GG
1/2 cup yoghurt
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 level tsp roughly ground black pepper
1 level tsp or to taste salt
juice of 2 lemons

and this is what you should do:

1- wash the garlic cloves, chillies and coriander, chop roughly and blend in the blender with some water. Set aside

2- wash the meat, put it in a pan with salt and GG and enough water to cook the meat. Close the lid and let it boil

3- once the meat is halfway done, add teh yoghurt, mix in and let it cook fully

4- meanwhhile, fry the onions to a nice gold colour. Drain and let them cool off a bit. Add  them to the blender with the chutney u've already made and blend once again

5- fry this mixture in the oil of the onions, till it looks nice and moss green
6 - check ur meat - if its done, steam off excess water, if any, and add this chutney.. the fragrance is so very very good!.
7- you need to bhunofy this well. The oil is the same that u've used to fry the onions in.. so if u find it a little on the drier side, add some more. I didnt..
8- tip in the lemon juice and black pepper while you stir
9- there u go.. once the fragrance is right, ure through.. serve with naan or even white rice..

Sunday, 3 October 2010


 I was thinking, its been a while since I posted.. and somehow, the spark is not coming.. though I have been making a  lot of good things - choco-pear pie.. tandoori chicken.. fish n chips, to name the most recent. Why is that, do you think? Why-ever it may be, give me a reason to post please.. which means, ask me to make something.. a wish list, if you will :) But not right now.. after October.. am on leave till then :) So.. hopefully someone will help me pick myself up and move..
Thanks in anticipation :)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Hows this?

I spent almost all morning changing the outlook of my Blog. Tell me, was it worth the effort? and please dont anyone say you liked the older one more. .. I didnt save that template :)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Chicken Shawarma - from scratch

Hubby and the family all love shawarma.. and I noticed we'd been ordering out a lot. So, here's my take on it. Its a lot healthier.. and more hygenic, I'd say :) Its a lot more lighter, too. Hope u like it... do let me have ur feedback on it.

So, this is what you need:

1 kilo chicken breast filet, sliced in to thin squares.
(for that I sliced each filet in half, to half thickness. Then cut of broad strips and sliced those to quite thin squares)
1 tbls ginger garlic mixed
1 level tsp each of curry powder, dhania powder, aamchoor, black pepper powder
1/2 tsp of white pepper powder and onion powder each
1/2 tsp red chili flakes - optional

1 tsp or to taste, salt
juice of half a lemon
Olive oil to fry
Mixed pickles, 1/4 cup, chopped fine
1 cucumber, chopped fine
1 medium onion, sliced in rings, sprinkled with 1 tsp sumac
1 cup store bought homous
1 cup mayonaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup yoghurt, a little less or a little more
salt to taste
a plate of french fries

For the dough
4 mugs flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. Make soft dough with milk. Rest 1 hour.

Do this:

1- heat olive oil in a wok or large pan, toss in the chicken and fry
2- once the chicken starts turning colour, squeeze over the lemon and mix. Keep frying on medium low
 3- when almost all water has evaporated, add the spices and fry well
 4- when the oil separates, remove from heat and set aside
5- the dough should be ready by now. Make small golf balls and set aside

6- mix the homous, yoghurt, mayo, minced garlic, some salt and 1 tbls olive oil. Taste, the sauce should taste light, not heavy

7-roll out the dough  balls thinly - but not too thin. Place it on a hot girdle, without any oil or fat

8- cook them till the puff up slightly, from one side. Flip over, let cook till puffy again or it looks done to u. Put them in a cloth towel and keep infront of u

9- assemble all things in front of u - the onion rings, the chopped pickles, chopped cucumber, homous mix, french fries, bread and chicken
 10- place a sheet of sandwich paper on a cutting board or table top

11- put one flatbread on the sheet. Spread with homous. Place the meat, french fries, onion rings and pickles on one another
 12- roll the bread, and roll the sheet around it.

13- serve warm with a potato, pasta or green salad. Unfortunately, mine didn't make it to the camera.. so I cant show u the rolled version, but I guess we can all roll a roll.. right? :)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Alu-Besan Koftay with Paneer in Cream sauce

Ok, its been eons since I posted anything. Mainly because I firmly  believe that the day has less than 24 hours where I live.. and another - oh alright, I admit, I was plain lazy.. but, here I have something innovative and new for u. At least, new for me.. its not a recipe I've seen anywhere and copied.. just made what came to mind. So, here goes:

You need:
For the koftay
3 to 4 large potatoes, boiled
1 medium onion, finely cut
1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 full tsp aamchoor
1 level tsp zeera powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1/2 or more black pepper powder
1 tsp or to taste, salt
2 tbls or a bit more, browned besan

Mix all of this well and make balls for koftas and set them aside

For the Cream Sauce
2 medium onions
1/2 tsp zeera
1/4 tsp kalongi
3 kari pattaz
125 ml thick cream
1 tsp aamchoor
1/2 tsp or to taste salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp haldi powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 block of halloumi or any other firm cheese of your liking

Do this:

1- heat oil and put in the zeera, kalongi and curry pattaz
2- puree the onions in a blender
3- add them and to the oil and let the excess water evaporate

4- add the spices, saute them till the oil separates. Add some water if the gravy gets too dry or thick

5- once the mixture leaves oil, add the cream and half a glass of water. Mix all well, cover and leave on very low heat for around 5 to 7 minutes

6- cube the paneer pieces and fry them in shallow oil

7- add the paneer to the onion mix, cover and leave on low again

8- fry the koftas in a little oil - too much oil will soak them full and u'll have alu paste, not kofta!

9- the paneer gravy should look nice and thick - add a 1/4 glass water and drop the koftas in carefully

10- cover, heat once on low, sprinkle some dhania on it and serve with phulkas.

Note: dont put the  koftas in here and cook it in a thin shorba. Its just besan and alu, will not hold together!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Kofta Biryani

I searched the net, looking for something that would do justice to the word "biryani".. but all I found were recipes of koftas in rice.. by the way, if anyone knows of a good one, do let me know.. well, so, I got some  things together and this is the result.. I must say, it tasted fabulous.. rich and very biryani-ish :) DO try this and pls DO give me ur feedback..

So, this is what you need:

For the Koftas

½ kilo mince meat
2 medium chopped onions
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 full tbls of GG paste
2 slices of stale bread, softened in water and squeezed out

Spice plate:
2 tsp cumin powder
1 and half tsp coriander powderz
1 full tsp curry powder
1 level tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt, or to taste
½ tsp elaichi powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp black salt
¼ tsp cinnamon powder

For the biryani masala
½ kilo mince meat
2 large onions, ringed
5 tomatoes
1 tbls GG paste
About 150 gms almonds –I took a handful..

Spice plate:
4 cloves
5 black pepper corns
2 big elaichis
1 tsp shahi zeera
1 star anise
1 full tsp, or to taste, salt
1 full tsp coriander powder
1 full tsp cumin powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp haldi
½ tsp, or to taste, red chilli flakes
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp each of elaichi powder, jaiphal and jawetri

And of course
3 mugs of rice
ghee/oil to fry
yellow food colour

Do this:

1- process all ingredients for the koftas together finely

2- make small balls, fry in oil and set aside

3- heat oil in a pot, add the whole spices and fry for a few seconds. Add onion rings and let them brown very slightly. Add the mince and sautee it. You want a nice brown colour. Add  the spice plate and sautee till the meat is well done

4- blend the almonds in a blender with a little water to get a thick paste. Fry this paste in ghee, or oil, if you wish, to "cook" it. It will look like kheer to start with and end up looking like khoya.. thats when its done

5- add this paste and chopped tomatoes to the mince. Mix in well, cover and let it cook on very low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, taste for salt, set aside.

6- layer some rice in a large pot, spread some of the mince masala, some koftas and another layer of rice.

7- sprinkle the yellow food colour as is, without diluting with water, repeat with layering..

8- last layer should be rice. Cover and let the rice gather steam.. uncover.. serve.. enjoy.. :)