Thursday, 8 December 2011

No-bake cookies

Since we very wisely decided NOT to bring our oven with us.. and I dont use the microwave due to health hazards, I'm somewhat at a loss as far as baking goes. I love baking - remember the 7up cake and the coke cake and what not? No? well, that would be because the pictures are on Foodi but no step-by-step here..  Anyway. So, since I so craved something baked today, I surfed around for cookies I could make without an oven. I must admit, I didnt really find anything that 'spoke' much to me. But I collected a general idea.. and this is what I have come up with.. It could very well be that there is something similar online somewhere.. if there is, rest assured, I havent copied from there :)

So here goes, this is what you need:
200 gms butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar, (213 grms each)
1 cup choco chips, (214 grms)
4 cups oats - rolled or otherwise, up to you. I used quick cooking. (105grms each)
2 tbls cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
And this is what you should do
1- put the butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan and let it boil up. Once it does, time it and let it boil for 2 minutes. If you dont, the batter/dough wont set. It will boil up and turn foamy and settle down as it cools. Let it boil up, just remove from heat and let it cool down.. then put it back on heat to boil the 2 minutes

2- mix together the oats, choco chips, cocoa and vanilla essence. You could add nuts, I didnt have any, but if you do, now would be the time to add them in.
3- pour the butter mix over this - dont  use all - I had about a quarter left. You want a dough that is sticking together. If you use all of it up your cookies wont set. Best is here to use a wooden spoon

4- drop spoonfulls on a greased tray. Alternatively, make small balls with your hand and flatten them on the tray

5- let them cool down to set.

They were nice and chewey.. soft but not 'raw' soft... I wanted to experiment a bit more so popped some in my stone-oven.

They came out crispy - and a bit burnt since I left them in too long. But definitely very yummy..  So, my baking / choco cookie craving was satisfied :D

 Have fun and do let me know if you try them out :)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tabs and Halways of Gajar

People, I tell you honestly, this tab sorting business is not for moi.. I simply cannot do it! Spent a good hour and half trying to make pages and copy and paste and what not - but seems to me that short of starting a new blog all together, there is not much I can do here.. ! If anyone has more sense of these matters and can help me do something, or, has a better idea of how to do what, do lemme know..

Meanwhile, back to the more important things in life - like Gajar ka halwa :) I thought winter without this delicacy is quite un-winterish.. yes yes, the kilos are important but - sigh - since they aren't going anywhere, we might as well enjoy life. Whats that quote, 'eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will die..' Well maybe not that drastic but you get the picture :)

Ok, back to the halwa..

This is what you need:
3 kilo carrots
600 gms sugar
300 gms GOOD quality ghee
6 to 8 half crushed and half ground green cardamons
300 to 400 gms Nido milk powdr
Almonds and co as per your choice and preference. I used neither here, but thats just me :)

And this is what you should do:

1- wash and clean, scrub if must be, the carrots. Shred them in the machine or by hand...

2- after shredding, I was left with 1690 gms... out of the 3 kilos..

3- set the lot in a non-stick pot, put the lid on, keep the stove on low and do whatever you need to do while u wait..

4- after around half an hour or so, the water from the carrots should have dried out. If it hasnt, u need to raise the heat a bit and stand at the stove and keep stirring so it doesnt burn..

5- once the water is dry, add the sugar, mix in well and again, turn on low and read a book or surf through some of the other recipes here :)


6- once even that water dries, which should take you another half hour at the most, your real work starts.. Heat the ghee in a pan - now this amount of ghee is personal preference. Less would keep it dry, and more would just be too much, at least as per my taste..

7- add the elaichis and let the ghee get really hot...

8- as soon as it is hot, pour it over the carrot halwa carefully. It will splutter so be careful!


9- keeping the stove on medium heat, bhunofy your halwa until the ghee is to be seen atop and the fragrance tells you its done.


10- now is the time for adding any almonds if you're using them. If not, add in half of your dry milk powder and mix in well.


11- once its well mixed, spread the rest carefully over the top, reduce heat to lowes and cover the pot. Let it sit on damm for around 10 mins. Be careful that it doesnt burn - watch it time to time.

12- now when you need to serve, uncover and carefully lift of layers of the halwa.. the dry milk powder will have formed a sort of thick khoya on top. You can gently mix some of it in so as to have chunks..

Enjoy it hot or cold, though I love mine warm :)

 Note: whenever u need to re-heat the halwa, always add some milk to it - fresh or packet makes no difference, as long as it is milk :) That will keep its fresh carrot colour and save it from burning.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Hullo World :)

Ass'salaam o alaikum everyone and Good morning :) Well, its actually good day now but nevermind :)
I havent been around since ages and thought this would be a good time to drop in and tell you where I have been, since I havent been here...
We - meaning my husband and children and yours truely, have shifted to Pakistan, Peshawar recently. Having spent quite some time in the UAE, we are now back to our own batting side.
So I've been busy adjusting to life in alien quarters... not having lived here for much before this. The lack of posting has two major reasons - for one, I am by nature a put-offer.. so I keep wanting to but somehow never get round to it.. and for another, when I have time, I dont have light. When I have bijli, I dont have time. When I have time and bijli, the net is down. When I have all those, guests come.. and when I have them all and guests dont come - well then my nature comes in between... I assume you've found out where the problem is?
Since I am here, I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have voted for my blog at the voting site.. Thank you.. I was so surprised to see ElZA on the list at number 9... :)
There was something very important that I wanted to share with you all. I thought of it while reading a comment. Now it has slipped my mind. I will re-read all those comments again, sometime soon, and then hopefully be reminded of what it was that was so important and here's hoping that our common destinys will make it possible for me to go online at that point in time and tell you all about it.
Till then.. have fun, enjoy the sun and bask in the winter light.. as I will now proceed to do..
Much love.

Friday, 13 May 2011

White Chicken Qorma

So I was out of tomatoes, otherwise this would have been a traditional murgh karahi. I was in no mood for a shorba.. and didnt have any bread to go with it, if I'd grilled it. Last option was to make this. This is the first time I've made it and I must say, it wont be the last :) I really enjoyed making it. I had no recipe to follow, so just went with my own imagination and Alhamdolillah, everyone was happy with the result. Have a go.. you'll like it..

This is what you need:

1 whole chicken, cut into 12 or more pieces
1 full tsp curry powder
1 and half tsp white pepper powder ( u can reduce this, I like white pepper)
1 level tsp black salt
1/2 tsp or to taste salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 and half tbls dessicated coconut &1 tbls white sesame seeds - ground together
1/2 cup blanched almonds, blended to a paste
4 tbls yoghurt
1 tbls cream
2 medium onions, pureed
1 large stick cinnamon
4 to 5 green cardamons
1 large bay leaf
1/2 tsp whole white cumin
2 to 3 green chillies
1 full tbls GG paste

And this is what you do with them:

1- Heat oil and fry the dry spices. Add the chicken. Let water evaporate.
2-  As soon as the onion dries up, add all the spices and saute well. You dont want the onion to get brown, just dry.. so watch the heat.

3- Add the yoghurt, cream and ground sesame and coconut
4- Mix well and let it cook a bit. Let the yoghurt water dry up a bit then add almond paste.Mix all in very well and keep heat on medium flame.
5- Keep stirring, if it gets too dry and sticks, add some water. I couldnt get all the almond out of my blender, so added water to the remains inside and blended again. I used this water whenever I needed to add some to the curry.

6- As soon as your qorma has the desired thickness remove from heat and put the green chillies on top. Cover and leave to rest for a few minutes.Then serve hot with naans or white rice.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

2 things

Hullo people :)
Ok, I have some pretty rude comments in my in-box... since I've opened the blog for all, I cant control who joins in. So.. please stop being so unfriendly.. whoever u are...

And secondly, I was thinking of making pages and sorting certain recipes under one tab - like starters, cakes.. u get the picture. Only, its a huuuge lot of work.. plus I'd lose all the lovely comments.. so - what do u all think? Shall I do it, nevertheless? Or keep it, as is? Advise me people...

Lots of love!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Simple Pulao

I was looking through the blog and noticed I dont have a pulao here.. So, here is one. Its a simple one, no frills and no extra spices, except the basic. So, here we go:

This is what you need:

1/2 kilo meat
2 to 3 tbls of dark brown fried, blended onion* - depending on how dark you like your rice
3 mugs rice, soaked for at least an hour
salt to taste
spice plate with:
5 cloves, 1 tsp black pepper corns, 1 large piece cinnamon broken
6 to 7 cloves of garlic, 1 large piece ginger
3 to 4 tbls coriander seeds, 1 tbls cumin seeds
3 tbls ghee

Do this:

1- place all dry spices on a muslin cloth. Tie it up.

2- place this bundle, plus meat in a large pot.

3- using the same mug u used to measure rice, add 10 mugs of water.

4- add the onion blend and salt, mix in, cover and let it cook

5- the meat should take 25 to 3o minutes to be tender.
6- check in between, as soon as the meat is tender, remove the spice bundle, add the drained rice and mix well. I didnt measure the remaining yakhni/liquid. It looked about right so I put the rice in. If you feel it is too much, remove some with a ladle/cup until u have the yakhni only half an inch above the rice. Half inch as in one finger tip.. 'aik poora'. That is the measurement my Mother taught me and I use it still.

7- cover the pot and let it cook on high flame
8- around 7 to 10 minutes later, the water will have evaporated. Place a cloth over the pot and cover tightly. Turn the heat to lowest.

9- just before you serve, add the dollop of ghee. Close the lid and shake the pot a few times. The ghee will melt and mix in.

10- serve hot with plain yoghurt or any other side dishes of your choice, like potato cutlets or yoghurt boondi.

* Just a note about the onions: I fry them a really really dark brown - the colour u would say is  burnt. Then blend them in the blender with the same oil they were fried in and more if needed. No water at all. Keep this well covered in the fridge. Do make sure the oil coverers the paste. You can use this in every dish that needs colour. I use it for pulaos to save time on frying onions for the colour. There is no burnt smell or burnt taste.