Thursday, 9 June 2016

Russian Salad

Ramadan Mubarak folks!
This is a blessed month in which Muslims all over the world fast from dawn till dusk. We practice self-discipline, increase Prayers, Recite Quran and charity during this Holy month.
This Holy month also teaches us self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate.
So people, try not to waste food, and try to give to the poor as much as you can, not only for this month but all year round!

 Food is a huge part of Ramadan, from delicious salans and parathe in Sehri to pakore and fruit chaat in Iftar. It does get a bit old after a few days though, all the fried stuff (the food coma after all that, i could just pass out right in front of the table!), we ,meaning me and my husband opt for a more easier and much lighter-on-the-stomach option, We just have dinner !
We break our fast with Khujoor (dates), offer Maghrib prayer and than have dinner. Much better, believe me!
It was just the 3rd roza, but im already tired of frying stuff, so today I made Grilled Chicken with Potato mash and Steamed Vegetables. Paired it with this gorgeous Russian salad. 
(Will post the recipe for the grilled chicken as well)
This recipe if so close to the one you get at Pizza Hut, really delicious and so easy to make as well.

The recipe is slightly adapted from Tarla Dalal.

Serving: 3-4 people
Prep Time : 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

You'll need,
1 Potato, peeled and cut in small cubes
1 small Carrot, peeled and cut in cubes
1/4 cup of Peas
1 Apple, diced (I like them skin-on, you can peel them if you like)
1 small Cucumber
1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
2 tbsp of Cream (or full fat milk)
Salt to taste
a pinch of Black Pepper
1 tbsp of Caster sugar

Additional ingredients you can add,
Pineapple Chunks
Sweet Corn
Bean sprouts

Add the diced potatoes to the boiling water. After 5 minutes, add carrot and peas as well. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Check the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. Drain and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together mayonnaise, cream/milk, salt, castor sugar and black pepper.
Chuck in boiled vegetables, apple and cucumber. Thoroughly mix, check and adjust seasoning. 


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Prawn Karahi

Prawns are somewhat an aquired taste. When done right, they are succulent, juicy and amazing; but a minute overcooked, they are like rubber.
My version of this prawn karahi is so easy, you'll have all the things at your house already, unless you have to go out to buy prawns, for which fresh works best but you can totally use frozen too. No hard and fast rule to any of my recipes (or so I say :D )
Anyway, this recipe is really easy, you dont have to spend hours in the kitchen to make it, 35-45 minutes tops!
It doesnt get any easier than that!
And the taste...

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-45 minutes
Serving: 3-4 people

1/2 kg of Prawns (shelled and deveined)
1 large Onion (chopped)
2 Tomatoes (chopped)
3-4 Green Chilies
3-4 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup of Yogurt
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Crushed Chili Flakes
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1/2 a bunch of Coriander 

Fry Onions till light golden brown. Than add chilies and Garlic.
Cook till fragrant.

Add chopped tomatoes along with all the spices. 
Cook covered on medium heat till the oil comes on top and the tomatoes are done, about 15-20 minutes. 
Keep on checking though, so it doesn't burn. If it starts to look very dry add a hint of water.

Now add beaten Yogurt, mix it up and after a minute dunk in all your prawns.
Cook on high for about 3-4 minutes max. Do not cook for more than that or the prawns will get chewy and rubbery.
Add coriander, Whole green chilies and garam masala on top.
This should go from the stove to the table right away. Dont cook the whole dish beforehand and reheat later, this would result in rubbery prawns.
 If you want to save up on time, make the gravy beforehand and when you're ready to serve just heat up the gravy and than add yogurt and prawns. Cook for 3 minutes and serve!


And I leave you with this visual.

Until next time!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Potato Pilaf {Aloo Waley Chawal)

Hey everyone!
I know its been a long time since I've posted anything here. We were busy moving to a different house. the last month and a half has been pretty hectic to say the least!
Between all the shifting, unpacking and organizing; I have started making cakes too. Check them out!!

So back to today's recipe.
Potato Pilaf ; or 'Alo waley Chawal' as we call it; was something that we used to have quite often when we were kids. I remember my mother making this for us and serving this with yogurt or pickles. So good!
But as we got older, this pilaf sort of went on the back burner, we stopped having it as often as we used to.
But this is an ultimate comfort food for me. 
Its really easy and so quick to make too!!

There are a lot of different ways to make it, I'm sure every Pakistani home has their own version, I'm sharing how I make it ! (a little twist to my mother's recipe)

This recipe is for 1 serving only (as I made it for myself only), you can multiply the recipe as per your requirement.

You'll need:
1/2 cup of Basmati Rice
1 Potato peeled and cut in cubes
1 small Onion, chopped
1-2 Green chilies
3-4 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp of Red Chili Powder
Salt to taste
a pinch of Turmeric
1/4 tsp Cumin (Zeera)
1 small Tomato, chopped

Heat oil in a deep pan, Add onions, green chilies, curry leaves and cumin.
Cook till the onions are golden brown.

Add the spices with a little water to prevent burning. Stir for 10-12 seconds.

Add tomatoes and cook covered on low flame till the oil is released and the tomatoes are tender.

Add potatoes. Cook till the potatoes are half done.

now pour in water (double the amount of rice. I used 1/2 cup of rice, so I added 1 cup of water)

Check and adjust seasoning at this stage.

When the stock comes to a boil add your rice.

Cook on medium heat till almost all the water evaporates and the rice gets puffed up.
Then put on dam at very low flame for 10 minutes.

Take out and serve with Salad and Mint raita!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Creme Caramel

This is what I had for dessert last night. Pretty gorgeous huh!
Creme Caramel in all its glory!

Some minor imperfections, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

It looks like I spent hours on it, but this took about 15 minutes of prep time only, and 45 minutes in the oven.

Its really easy and only requires a few ingredients, which I'm sure all of you will find in your kitchen.

I've used ramekins here. If you dont have ramekins, fret not. You can double or triple the recipe and make it in a cake tin, casserole dish or whatever floats your boat. Just make sure that its oven proof, and you have something bigger to put it in. (see post below)
This recipe makes 2 servings. 
Prep time: 12-15 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Time in the Fridge: 2-3 hours

You'll need:
(For the Caramel)
1/4 cup of Sugar
2 tbsp of Water

(For the Custard)
1 cup of Full fat Milk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
3 tbsp Sugar
1 whole Egg
1 Egg yolk 

Preheat oven at 160 degree centigrade.
(For Caramel)

Heat sugar in a pot till light golden
Try not to stir with spoon as the sugar will crystallize. Use the spoon when the sugar is melted.
When light brown quickly add water and stir. (Measure water beforehand)
Be careful not to burn the sugar, once it reaches light brown color it will quickly turn dark brown and bitter.

Remove from heat and quickly pour into ramekins (or any dish you're using)
Careful not to burn yourself, as the sugar is REALLY REALLY HOT at this time.

Keep aside.
Meanwhile make the custard.

Gently heat Milk, vanilla essence and 2 tbsp of the sugar till hot but not boiling.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk Egg, Egg yolk and the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar.

Now add the hot milk to the eggs in a thin stream while whisking continuously so that the eggs dont get cooked.

Pass the mixture through a sieve. This will insure that your creme caramels are silky smooth, so dont skip this step.

Now add this to the ramekins.  

Place the ramekins in a dish (I used a casserole dish) and fill the dish with water.
the water should be 3-4 cm high. 
This is called a Bain marie. The water will let the custard cook gently and not burn.

Cover the whole thing with aluminium and bake for 45 minutes.

Take out and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.

Now comes the hard part:
Cling wrap the ramekins, and keep in the fridge to chill for about 2-3 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, gently run your knife on the edge of the custard (be careful not to break th custard, its so delicate. As you can see mine did break a little from the sides as i was taking it out). Place a platter on top, and flip. Remove the ramekin, and enjoy your master piece!

Leave a comment to tell me how it turns out!!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Cuban Chicken Sandwich

I saw this recipe on Food Network's Eat Street. It involves marinating the chicken with orange juice, i was instantly intrigued. I did change it just a little bit to suit my taste.

All the credit goes to the 'Bongo Brothers' food truck in NYC.

The sandwich is super juicy while the orange juice adds a tiny bit of tangy flavor to it. Really delicious!
I like to eat mine with Onion rings, but you can totally skip that if you dont like it. Serve with fries.

(This recipe serves 2. You can easily double or triple the recipe)

You'll need :
(For Chicken Marination)
1 chicken breast (or boneless chicken thighs) cut in cubes
Juice of 1 Orange (mandarins, sweet limes, or whatever floats your boat in the category)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Oregano (dried or fresh, whichever you can find, I used dried)
1/4 tsp Cumin powder (Zeera powder)
1 tsp of Olive Oil (or any other oil)
1-2 cloves of roughly chopped Garlic

(For the Sauce)
3 tbsp Mayonnaise 
1 tbsp Cream
1 tsp White Vinegar
Salt to taste
pinch of Black Pepper
1 tsp Tomato ketchup
1 tbsp of finely chopped Onion

(For Onion Rings)
1 large Onion (cut into medium thickness rings)
4 tbsp All Purpose Flour (Maida)
4 Tbsp of Corn Flour
Salt to taste
Buttermilk (to make the batter)
NOTE: Make your own buttermilk by adding a tsp of vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Than use as required.

(Other Ingredients)
Buns (store bought, homemade, your choice)

NOTE: This can also be made into a wrap, using flat bread or tortillas.

Add all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl. Mix together.

Add chicken pieces. Mix to coat evenly than leave for 1 hour in the fridge.

Fry the chicken with all the juices till cooked through and the marinade becomes thick and saucey.

Like so.

(For The Sauce)

Add everything in a bowl

Mix together. Keep aside.

(For Onion Rings)

Mix flour, corn flour, salt and red chili powder in a bowl.

Add buttermilk to make a dropping consistency batter.

Dip Onion rings in the batter and deep fry

till golden brown.

(To Assemble)

Apply a generous amount of sauce to the bottom of the bun. 

Add lettuce, chicken, and onion rings.

How gorgeous is this?!

Hope you like it!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Fish Biryani

As you guys may know by now, Biryani is a staple in my in-laws' house.
Its a weekly event.
The handling of fish is a tiniest bit tricky, otherwise this biryani almost follows the same recipe as the Chicken Biryani I make.
Many people complain that the fish smell, even after they wash it with vinegar and salt and whatnot. 
Take my advice, and wash it with just water and cook according to the recipe, you'll see that the fish doesnt smell at all but give off an amazing appetizing aroma. 

For this recipe You'll need:
(For the Marinade)
Fish pieces (I used bone-in King Fish, You can use any fish you like, bone-in or fillet)
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp Red Chili Powder

(For the Rice)
750 Gram of Rice
1 stick or Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
3-4 Black peppercorns
1 Black Cardamom
1 Petal of Mace 
1 Star anise

(For the Gravy)
2 Large Onions (sliced)
1 tsp of Ginger Garlic paste
1/2 Bunch of Coriander leaves (makes about 1/3 cup)
1/2 bunch of Mint leaves
2 Tomatoes (chopped)
4-5 Green Chilies
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Red Chili Powder (adjust accordingly)
1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder
1 tsp of Coriander powder
1/2 tsp of All Spice (Garam Masala)
1 tbsp of Fish Biryani Masala (or any biryani Masala) (optional)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 cup Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

(Other Ingredients)
a few Saffron Strands
1 Onion (browned)
1/2 tsp of Cumin
a few drops of yellow food color (optional)

Marinate fish with Lemon juice, Red Chili Powder and Ginger Garlic paste for 30 minutes (or you can leave it for 4-5 hours as well). Up to you.

While that's happening, Boil rice with Cardamom, Cloves, Black pepper corn, Mace and Cinnamon till 2/3 done.
Drain and pour cold water over the rice to prevent further cooking.

Heat oil in a pan, fry fish pieces for 2 minutes each side. (the wingy thing curled up, dont know why :D )
Take out and keep aside.

In the same pan cook Onions and 1 star anise till golden brown (add more oil if needed)

Add Ginger Garlic paste, Coriander and Mint, cook till fragrant.

Add diced Tomatoes.

and all the spices.

I added 1 tbsp of Fish Biryani Masala as well. You can add any biryani masala or you can skip this entirely.

Cook till the oil is released and the tomatoes are done.

Add a cup of yogurt. Cook for about 2 minutes more.

Add green chilies and lemon juice. Mix.

Carefully place the fish pieces in the pan. Make sure that your pan is wide enough that the fish does not overlap or you'd break the fish while taking it out.
Cover and leave on low flame for 5-7 minutes.

Soak a few Saffron strands in warm water for 5-10 minutes.

Take the fish out in a plate. keep aside.

Layer rice with the masala. Sprinkle Cumin, Browned onion and Saffron water(with a little yellow food color) on top.

Place the fish on top. Cover and leave of very low flame for 25-30 minutes.
Place a flat Tawa at the bottom to prevent burning.

Take out and serve!