Thursday, December 11, 2008

Zaafrani Kheer

Eid ul Adha Mubarak to all my readers!
I know I am almost a week late, but better late than never,right?
It was a really busy eid!I could not write a post even to wish eid mubarak..I am sooo sorry!
CHAOTIC is the only word that best describes how my eid was!

The dessert of the day was zaafraani kheer,a kheer with the flavour of saffron.Saffron just changes the flavour and the aroma of the normal kheer...a pinch of it is more than enough!
Aromatic Basmati rice is cooked in milk and saffron till soft and mushy and then mixed with sugar,fried in ghee along with nuts...
You can either pulse the rice before hand,to reduce the cooking time, or you can directly cook the rice in milk..

1) Rice 100gms
2) Milk 1 litre
3) Sugar 1/2 cup
4) Condensed milk 3 tbsp
5) Saffron 1 pinch
6) Nuts a handful chopped
7) Ghee 3 tbsp

--Was and soak the rice,drain water!
--In a saucepan,put ric and milk,when it starts boiling put saffron and let it cook till rice is soft and mushy,keep stirring in between,scraping from the bottom!
--When the rice turns mushy using the back of the spoon,press the rice grains to the walls of the saucepan and mash.
--Add Sugar and condensed milk and mix well,turn off the flame!
--In another saucepan heat ghee,when it is warm add the chopped nuts,when it turns brown,put the cooked rice, mix well,if the consistancy(it gets thick when it turns cold) is too thick add some milk to it,simmer for 5 minutes,turn off the flame.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chocolate-Coffee Frappe

The weather here has changed,days are pleasant and cloudy,nights are cold and breezy! This beautiful weather is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee, So each evening called for a cup of coffee,in the pleasant evening breeze,but one day my taste buds yearned for something different,So I set about experimenting in my kitchen with the ingredients available in my fridge...and voila,I am so glad that I tried this,because this is a really yummy beverage,being a coffee lover,I have fallen deeper in love with coffee.....
1)Vanilla ice cream-6 scoops
2)Instant coffee powder 1 tsp
3)Nesquik chocolate -1 tsp
4)Milk 1 Cup
5)Sugar 2 Tbsp(adjust to your taste)

--Heat milk in a saucepan,put coffee powder and sugar,mix untikl dissolved,turn off the flame and let it come to room temperature.
--In a blender put the coffee,milk ,sugar mixture and 4 scoops of Vanilla icecream and nesquik chocolate powder(or any cocoa powder),blend at high speed,till the mixture becomes frothy.
--Transfer in tall glasses(this recipe makes 2 tall glasses),add a scoop of ice cream on the frappe and sprinkle some cocoa powder.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rambling about Sameeha...

I love the small conversations that take place between me and Sameeha,she has started speaking logical, like elders,but still with the innocence of a child.
Everyday I go down to send her off the school bus, and everyday she says,
'Mumma aapki yaad aayegi na school mein' so I say,
'aap jaao,mein peeche se taxi mein aaungi'.
Then one day when we were waiting for the school bus,a helicopter flew over us, Sameeha was very excited, and said
'mumma hum us mein baithenge na,kaise hamara pair utni oopar jaayega?'
I said'hamara pair oopar nahin jaayega,wo helicopter neeche aata hai tho usme log baith the hain'.
So this topic ended there,and we started talking about something else,then her bus came and again as always she said
'mumma school mein aapki yaad aayi tho?'
I said as always'mein aaungi peeche se taxi mein baith kar'

so she said'mumma taxi mein math aao,helicopter mein aao:)'
I said'Oh OK!'
27th Nov is her sports day, she is supposed to be doing march past and drill:-)
Its really amazing to see how enthusiastic she is about her homework, because as far as I have seen, and even I HATED home work, but when I say 'come Sameeha lets do home work'...and she is like 'Yahoooooooooo', by home work I mean she has to trace alphabets and numbers on dots!
She assists me in her own small and special way,by bringing or putting away things,cleaning the dastarqaan,or just co-operating with me during her younger sister's tantrum session:-)(these days,its fun to watch the Tom and Jerry LIVE,Sameeha is suppposed to be Tom and Huda is supposed to be jerry).
But Love and soft talk is the only way by which she listens,sometimes when I am bugged by something ,and then ask Sameeha to do something with an angry tone, she sulks and becomes her stubborn best,but again if I change my tone and say'Beta..plz kardo na...plz bebu'...and BAM its done!
She will be four in March,it seems as if,it was just yesterday, we brought her home from hospital...time just flies... with the same speed ,time will fly and she will be a Big girl!Inshallah!

May Allah give her a happy and successful life and a rewarding Hereafter...Aameen

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Ras Malaai....from milk powder

Remember,I made Gulab Jamun sometime back? And I said Ras Malai is just similar to that,well here I am with the recipe of Ras Malai,a MUST TRY for all those with a sweet tooth!

This is my Husband's favourite,I learnt this recently from my MIL, but whenever we go out to Karachi Darbar,my husband always finishes his meal with Ras Malai.
Now this tastes so good that,it was over within a single day,eceybody helped themselves with double servings,before learning this method I followed the shortcut method from IFR,but this one is not that difficult at all!

Some fellow bloggers have used ricotta cheese,havent tried that though,but if anybody does do let me know how does turn out, here are some links
this is by AF of My recipe
Now this one is very good with step by step pictures,it looks good!

1)milk powder(Nido)-1 cup
2)Ghee 1 Tbsp
3)egg white-of 2 eggs
4)Maida-1 Tbsp
5)Milk 1 Litre
6)sugar 1/2 cup(adjust accd to ur taste)
7)condensed milk-1/2 cup
8)pistachios 1 handful(half chopped and half slivered)
9)Baking powder-1/2 tsp heapful


--In a large bowl put milk powder,baking powder,egg white,maida and mix until a sticky cohesive mass is formed,like dough,but sticky,now grease your hands with oil or butter and bring togeather the milk dough and knead with your knuckles for 2-3 minutes.keep aside(this dough gets hard,so work fast with it)covered.
--In a saucepan put milk,sugar chopped pistachios and condensed milk and bring to boil on high temparature,then lower the flame
--Meanwhile from the milk dough take small portion and make ball and then press it so that it forms the shape of a disc,because,to absorb the milk evenly,it needs large surface area,coz if it is round ,the inside part might not absorb the flavoured milk and will be dry! The disc should be the size of a coin,because when it is mistened it swells up,and if u make big discs then the ones made will be Humongous,so be careful!
--Repeat this untill you use up the entire dough,now immerse these discs in the milk on low flame one by one,so that they dont overlap,shut the lid of the saucepan for 1-2 minutes ,and then turn off the flame.
--Let it cool down,dont handle these at this point since there are chances that these discs might break,so let it cool.
after sometime,transfer them in the serving dish,very gently one by one and then pour the milk of the saucepan over the discs and garnish with slivered pistochios and chill in the fridge, Its is best served chilled!


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Its MeMe time ......and award time

Hi,I have been tagged by Yasmeen of Healthnut and Lubna of KitchenFlavour for this 7 Meme,so here goes..
I am also tagged by Hema of Adlak's tiny world for this memd

7 Things I Say More Often:
2)Sameehaaaaaa....Hudduuuuuuuu..kya, kar kya rahe ho tum log(what are u guys doing?)
3)OK,OK fine, Its OK
4)Maafi Mushkil, Mushkil nahi,Masla nahi,koi baat nahi
5)Thank you soooooooooo much
6)I am soooo sorry

7 Things I Did Before:
1)Did my Engineering in Electronics and Communication
2)Had the time of my life during the four years of my engineeing with my friends
3)Had the time of my life visiting the DISNEY(Magic kingdom,epcot,MGM) and Univarsal Studios ORLANDO
4)Streaked my hair secretly(but after coloring it wasnt secret anymore and I got a good spanking lol)
5)Spoke endlessly on phone with my best friend Sanober.. who is now in Australia
6)Ate very cautiously(no desserts,very little rice,very little oil)
7)Lived in Hyderabad for a major part of life,Bangalore,Tamil Nadu,Lybertiville and now Dubai

7 Things I Do Now:
2)Blog and Browse
3)Play and chill out with Sam and Hud
4)Drop and PIck Sameeha(to school bus not to school,I have to get license ..)
5)Try and cook new things
6)Shop or window shop at shopping Malls(Love MOE)

7 Things I Want to Do:
1)See the holy Kaba,cave Hira, all the places with Islamic history !
2)I want to stop eating all the desserts and stuff and start excercising and get back to pre-marriage looks :-(
3)Be more efficient and improve on my time management
4)Start my career
5)Give a good islamic,ethical,disciplined upbringing to my kids
6)Do endless shopping(high hopes,or u can call this a fantasy)
7)Move to US

7 Things That Attract me About Opposite Sex:
After sometime looks wont matter...that helps only in the initial point of view!

7 Favorite Foods:
1)Mummy's Biryani
2)Basket Noodle from Chung Hua,Hyderabad
3)Shawarma plate of Al-Reef Dubai
4)Pizza Hut's Cheezy bites(droooool)
5)Mummy's tamate methi gosht,khatti daal,tala hua gosht,pasinde,chugar gosht.....
6)irani/persion food ,Lebanese food
7)coffee lovers only(cold stone),mocha almond fudge(London dairy), and 1 I dont remember its name, there was one ice cream in dairy queen with oreo cookies,gajar ka halwa

wow I love talkin about myself ;-)
I would like to tag Mallugirl of Malabar Spices,
Maimoona of mammus kitchen,
armina of live life my size,
zee of like deja vu all over again!

Best buddy award was given to me by Yasmeen of health nut and Malar Gandhi.thank u so much,I would like to pass it on to zee , armina ,anjum and mallugirl!

Some more awards..I think it is awards season everywhere,everybody in the blogosphere is getting and giving awards,
Adlak's tiny world's Hema has honored me with the following awards

Thank you so much Hema

Malar Gandhi of Kitchen Tantra
shared these awards with me

Thank you so much Malar

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

The name biscotti is derived from 'bis' meaning twice in Italian and 'cotto' meaning baked or cooked.
Biscotti is said to have originated during Columbus's time and credited to an Italian baker . They became so popular that every province developed their own flavored version. Because of their long storage ability they were an ideal food for sailors, soldiers, and fisherman.

Most European countries have adopted their own version of biscotti: English - rusks, French - biscotte and croquets de carcassonne, Germans - zwieback, Greeks - biskota and paxemadia, Jewish - mandelbrot, and Russians - sukhariki
The sticky dough is first shaped into a 12 inch (30cm) log and baked until firm. After a short cooling period, the log is sliced into diagonal slices and baked again to draw out the moisture thus producing a crisp, dry textured cookie that has a long shelf life. Recipes containing butter or oil will have a softer texture and will not keep as long as the traditional recipes that only use eggs to bind the ingredients together.

-----Joy Of Baking

Finally I made a bakery item from scratch!It is so easy that I wonder why people go and buy it from Starbucks spending 7 Dirhams for each piece!!! I think you can make about 16-20 biscottis at home,with the amount with which u can buy 2 pieces at Starbucks!

Since India was ruled by English,we better know it as Rusk,I ate the most original in shape and taste(the most original has aniseed in it for flavouring) in Delhi, Chandni Chauk, when I went there I was expecting 'kabhi khushi kabhi ghum' type of place,with kajol type gals dancing in it....'banno ki saheli........'
Hey can anybody say this tongue twister in a single go.."Chandu ke chacha ne chandu ki chachi ko,chandni raat mein,chandni chauk mein,chaandi ke chammach se chaashni chataai"

uff.. bollywood has influenced me a lot,much to my husband's

OK back to the rusk,when we were visiting Delhi, we liked it so much that we brought back dozens of it home,and due to its long shelf life enjoyed it for days..
I made it from the recipe here

You can read on for a novice baker's version:)
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 bar milk chocolate(galaxy,dairy milk,hersheys)chopped or chocolate chips

--blanch and chop the almonds
--chop the chocolate bar into small pieces.
-- preheat oven to 350 F, place the chopped almonds in a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 10 mins(I did not blanch jus chopped it)
--Line the baking sheet with a parchment paper.
--Now in a bowl or tray sift togeather flour,baking powder and salt
-- In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.)
--Slowly add the flour in it,beat till it is mixed well
--Then fold in the chopped almonds and chopped chocolate .
--After a good mixing the mixture will be a sticky cohesive mass,grease ur hands with oil, or better what I did is filled a bowl of water,dipped my hand in the water and brought togeather the dough to a log shape,
--Transfer it to a baking sheet and place in oven at 350F,let it bake till it is firm on touch it will take around 20-30 mins,
--Then take it out and let it cool for sometime,Then slice the log horizontally into thin slices using a serrated knife.
--Now place the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins, then take out and turn over the slices and again bake for another 10 mins or until crisp and golden in color


P.S: Sorry for the unclear pictures,the pictures are taken from my mobile, as my camera has gone on a business trip with my husband to Finland,on his way back he is going to stop over at Zurich :(
I asked him to get a cowbell from there, the one Kajol buys from ZUrich in DDLJ....oh again see what bollywood has done to me!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bird's Nest

This appetizer looks like the nest of a bird,therefore it is named bird's nest, a must try for people with kids,they will love it,my kids loved it:)
Of late I have become a nostalgic soul,I miss my old days so much that I keep thinking of it all the time,is there a problem in me or is everyone like that?
College days were fun! I miss all my friends, everybody is dispersed in one or the other corner of the globe,I just wish those days never ended, those were days filled with fun and mischief.

If only life had a rewind button! We could go back to the days where life was so simple without any responsiblities or commitments and bloody expectations from everyone,days spent pampered by everyone...

But life in reality is hard like rock without any rewind
Ok bored you all with extra special 'gyan'.This avtaar of mine appears every now and then,when I feel that, why did we ever grow.... life should have been the way it was. but no we have to face the reality..
Sometimes looking at Huda I feel how blissful she is,so innocently ignorant with this world and its know sometimes ignorance is a form of bliss...seriously!
Ok ,sorry I will go on and on..with my better get going with the recipe

1)chicken boneless-500 gms
2)potatp-3 medium
3)ginger garlic paste-2 Tbsp
5)pepper-1 tsp
7)shredded mozarella cheese-1/2 cup
8)zeera powder-1 tsp
9)garam masala- 1 tsp
10)Seviyan(sheerqorme waali)-1 cup (crushed)


--Wash the chicken pieces and put it in a pressure cooker along with ginger garlic paste,salt,pepper and some water and cook till the chicken is very soft,if there is any water remaining cook till all the water is absorbed.
--separately boil the potatoes,then peel and mash and keep aside.
--Now shred the chicken pieces,add to it the mashed potatoes,zeera powder,garam masala,check for salt and pepper if it is less you can add now,if you want you can add chopped cilantro,but thats optional, then add some lemon juice.
--Mix everything nicely such that a homogeneous mixture is formed.
--Now take portions of the chicken mixture,grease your hands with oil and form a ball of the mixture, now make a well in it using your index finger,add about a teaspoon of the mozarella cheese in the well,now press the mixture on top of the well such that the cheese is enclosed in it, make a ball, and repeat this with the rest of the mixture, you will be able to make aroun 25-30 balls with the mixture, the size should be that of a tennis ball.
--You can freeze this at this point if you want this to be used later,but first freeze it on a plate for a couple of hours and then when it has frozen,take it out from the plate and put it in a freezer bag and freeze.
--Put the frying pan on heat with some oil in it to shallow fry.
--Now break the eggs a in a bowl and whip a little ,such that the egg yolk and egg white mix well.Dip the chicken ball in the egg ,such that it is coated with it on all sides.
--Put the crushed seviyan in a shallow plate,roll the checken ball coated with egg in seviyan such that the crushed seviyan get stuck on the chicken ball.
--Now shallow fry this ball in frying pan till all the sides turn golden brown, repeat with rest of the mixture.
--Enjoy it warm...
Weather in Dubai is changing,its not hot at all, not cold, I enjoy this pleasant weather in our balcony,with my coffee mug and the Bird's Nest, watching the trafffic jam on the road from Dubai to Sharjah or Sharjah to Dubai :-)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Gajar ka Halwa(carrot dessert)

On a lazy Friday,leafing through the FRIDAY magazine,I saw this fantabulous recipe and equally inviting picture of Gajar ka Halwa. Now I was not at all in the mood of grating the carrots ,so I dropped the idea of making it ,but then I started craving for it,so much that I started wondering whether I was pregnant,because during my first pregnancy I was craving for gajar ka halwa like crazy,never knew it was so simple,that time following the instructions from shan masala mix and making a decent dish was an accomplishment,I couldnt cook! either the mutton wouldnt get soft,or I would have put LOT of salt,or once I had put lot of chilli powder,so after realizing that,I was terrified,so to mask the chilli powder I added sugar,1-2 tbsp!!!! just imagine,my husband had to put up with my food,cribbing all the time,why didnt I learn cooking!!
Anyways now he is happy that I am improving! Credit goes to him,for being my connoisseur !
So coming back to the topic,to fulfil my cravings I brought some from a desi sweet shop in Devon,I was not satisfied by the quantity,but then beggers cant be choosers right?
So as I went to drop Sameeha for school bus,I brought a kilo of carrots from the grocery and started working on it!

Oh talking about Sameeha,she is enjoying her school,goes happily,sometimes she says "mumma school mein aapki yaad aayegi na mumma":)
Huda on the other hand is very very very naughty! She bullies Sameeha,breaks things,spills everything........and of all her mischievous endeavors,the most annoying one was when she dropped my NEW mobile phone in a cup half filled with tea!!!

1)Carrots- 1 kg
2)Milk 1 Ltr
3)Ghee 150 gms
4)sugar 350 gms
5)cashews-50 gms(chopped)
6)almonds-50 gms(chopped)
7)unsalted pistachios 50gms (slivered)


--Wash and grate the carrots.
--In a saucepan,put about a tbsp of ghee,and then put the grated carrot into it,saute for some time and then put milk,cover and let it cook on medium-low flame ,stir every now and then so that it doesnt stick to the bottom of the saucepan!
--Now after the milk has been absorbed and the carrots are soft,add sugar and mix well,and let all the moisture evaporate,such that the mixture is dry.
--Now in another saucepan,heat the rest of the ghee,when it is warm throw in the chopped cashews and almonds,and fry them till golden brown color,then put the carrot mixture into it,mix really well,such that the carot mixture glistens because of the ghee coatedover it.
--Serve warm garnished with slivered pistachios!


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dosa and Takkali ki chutney

Thakkali is the Tamil word for tomato. This chutney is an accompaniment to idli and dosa.
Now I have seen so many variations of tomato chutney,hyderabadi style is called tamate ki chutney is made like this
this one is without onion, then again there is kache tamate ki chatney,then some people like it with the list goes on...

This particular dip is a Tamil speciality,I learnt it from my MIL,since she is visiting us, idli,dosa has become a regular breakfast at home!
Back in my school days,on my reports day(the day on which our report cards were handed to our parents),for getting good marks we were given a treat by mummy,so our first choice was Taj Mahal,Abids...and there,I dont remember ordering anything other than masala dosa...little did I knew that I would be eating it so regularly, I mean when I am at my in-laws place,our breakfasts are either dosa or idlis or paniyaram or uthappam or aappam,.I never knew the names of last two dishes till I got married, for me the only two south indian dishes were idli and dosa...but there is more to it,the batter is same for all ,but you can make variations,I never thought that this would be so easy,some failed attempts to make dosa before marriage made me think that making dosa is not my cup of tea!

But see I am here making dosas,like a pro.
Ok so enough of my self dabba,lets start up with the ingredients for dosa
4 cups parboiled rice
1 cup Urad daal
1 tbsp methi seeds

--Wash and Soak the rice,daaland methi for 4-5 hours.
--then grind it in grinder(too good if you have sumeet mixie),use minimal water,coz if the batter gets watery its very difficult to handle.
--then a tip I learnt that if yoy have some leftover steamed white rice,put about a cup of it while grinding,as this will make the dosas softit seems.
--After grinding it to a fine paste,leave it on counter covered for about4 hours at normal temperature or 2 hours if it is really hot,for the dosa batter to get fermented.
--not after it gets fermented,using a deep spoon,mix the batter well,add some salt
--Heat tawa(i use non stick),put about 1.5 deep spooon of batter in the centre of the tawa,and take in in circular dirctions,using the spoon,till entire tawa is covered,put some oilfrom the sides,for crispy dosa put more oil,for soft dosa use less oil,wait till the colour of the dosa changes to golden brown colour,the outer sides of the dosa will not stick to tawa,then flip the dosa....u know this needs a practical demonstration,I dont think anybody can understand with what I am writing,anyways inshallah will take and post if possible.
the flame should be low when spreading the batter,once the batter is spread all over the tawaincrease the flame,cook the dosa, then after cooking dosa ,befor putting another dosa sprinkle some cold water on the hot tawa and lower the flame,this willbringthe tawa temperature down ,if tawa is hotthe batter will stick in one place.

looks like I have confused you guys a lot..
I like to make this because my daughters love idli/dosa,I dont have to run around the house to make them eat it,I make it with a dollop of ghee for Sameeha,and sometimes I spread sme grated carrot on the dosa for her tiffin!

Mostly Idli/dosa are accompanied by naaryal(coconut)chutey,or potato curry everywhere,but the Tamil Nadu speciality is tomato chutney,I prefer this to the naaryal chutney,because of its tangy taste!
Takkali chutney

1)Ripe tomatoes-3
2)onion 1 medium
3)whole dried red chilli
4)Ginger small flake
5)garlic 3-4 flakes
6)dessicated coconut-2 tbsp
7)curry leaves
8)chana daal-1 tbsp
9)urad daal-1 tbsp


--Heat oil in a kadhaai,throw in the mustard seeds and the daals and fry till golden brown,then put curry leaves,dried whole red chilli.
--Then put chopped onion,tomato,ginger,garlic,curry leaves,cilantro and fry till tomato is soft ad sqeeshy.
--Turn off the flame ad let it cool,after sometime,blend the mixture coarsely in a blender.

Enjoy this with idli/dosa/paniyaaram!

Yasmeen of Healthnut has awarded me with the chocoholic award,Thank you so much Yasmeen!
I love chocolate,especially the crunchy ones like kitkat and crunch,I will let you in a secret,back when I was a kid,my eldest brother once sent us a bag full of goodies hershey's kisses,MnMs,snickers...which were divided equally between all of us,my sister and brothers kept it safely hidden from me,and had it once in a while, but within a couple of weeks I finished my share,and like sherlok holmes found out each ad every person's share of goodies and finished all of theirs:), but after some days when confronted by my brothers ad sister in front of my mom,I was cornered!
To protect me I had the most the powerful weapon....tears!Shedding few tears spared me,though Baji and bhayya were cross at me for almost a week:)

Thanx Yasmeen once again for the award!

I would like to give this award to Lubna

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