Sunday, September 28, 2008


The above picture is an entry for CLICK:Crust

OK, so here comes the Queen of Arabian desserts.... baklawa(or baqlawa or bakhlava)....

Baklava is a Mediterranean dessert made with Phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and sugar. After baking to perfection, a sweet syrup is immediately poured over the pieces allowing the syrup to be absorbed into the layers.

It is one of my favourite mediterranean dessert,with just the right amount of sweetness.Again this has different versions,greeks make it one way,arabs make it the other way,some use sugar syrup,and some use honey,some use vanilla and some use orange blossoms, so lets just stick to the basic bakhlawa recipe, once you master this ,you can go on and try other variations.
I prefer selected bakeries for this because many bakeries put lottt of syrup making it gooey, I like it crisp.
If you are somewhere near chicago,you will love the bakhlawa in a store called nusrath on Kedzie road,and right next to it,you will find an arabic restaurant,ypu will love the arabic food there.
Here in Dubai,its literally found in every other bakery!
Things to remember while baking this pastry are, to always take care of the temparature, since little high or low temperature may make it very hard or undone .

for pastry:

1)phyllo dough sheets-1 packet
2)melted butter-1 cup
3)chopped nuts(your choice)-1.5 cup
4)nutmeg powder,cinnamon powder-1/4 tsp
5)ground pistachio for decorating

for syrup:
1)2 cups sugar
2)1.5 cup water
3)juice of 2 lemon

--place sugar, water and lemon in a pot and let come to boil, let simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat,and let cool completely before adding to sweet.
--Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
--Mix nuts, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon .
--Butter each later of the philo dough,with the help of a brush,or if u dont have brush you can use a cotton swab to spread the butter on the philo sheets, and layer 4 sheets at a time then add nuts and repeat the layers.
--Cut the pastry,with a greased knife into any shape, most commonly squares or diamond shape. Place in oven and cook for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
--Drizzle the baklava while in the pan with the simple syrup and then let cool completely before serving. Top each piece with ground pistachio.


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Huda loves...

These are few things that Huda Loves:
--Huda loves to pull out and tear the tissues from the tissue box
--Huda loves to dance, even to tring tring of phone
--Huda loves to pluck out the olives from pizza
--Huda loves to hold phone near the ear and pretend to talk
--Huda loves shoes(genetic ,you see)
--Huda loves to fight with Sameeha aka Baji
--Huda loves when a fresh bedsheet is laid,she is the first one to climb on bed on it.
--Huda loves to put perfume..not coz ofscent but because of the dash of cooling sensation it generates on skin
--Huda loves to wave at everybody , all the passers by..anybody..*wave*

--HUda loves to call MAMMA ,only when she is angry.
--Huda loves to call LULU(lelo),when I am in the kitchen.
--Huda loves to go downstairs to pick uo Baji from her school bus,and also loves to wave goodbye to the driver of baji's bus
--HUda loves to shift attention from same old mummy,to Baba as soon as he comes back from office.
--Huda loves to play peekaboo...Huda kahaan hai..Huda kahan hai...YAHAAAAAAAN HAI.
--Huda loves to show off her teeth and in doing so wrinkles up her nose.
--Huda loves to imitate a fish that has been removes from water(yeah she is so restless)
--Huda loves to drill her tiny toes on my feet ,when I am doing the dishes,believe me dont underestimate this,its really painful.
--Huda loves to hold her filled feeding bottle upside down,spill the milk on floor and play with it by splashing it splash splash
--Huda loves to follow mummy and shower her attention
--Mummy loves every second of her attention.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Umm Ali

Umm Ali

Umm Ali is a traditional arabic dessert supposed to be made on all special occasions.
This is the first time that I tried this out, and it was really good, but very heavy dessert, since this was my first time making it,I made few mistakes which I would like to correct,my husband said it should b little more watery,mine was more like shaahi tukde,soft like, it is supposed to be liquidy,but neverthless,if we ignore the consistancy part of the dessert ,it was tasty...and you can indulge yourself to a melt in the mouth experience.

The funny part is the name of this dessert,which translates to 'mother of Ali',I googled and searched all over, why this particular name, and which Ali is the dessert referring to, luck,I just conclude that,THAT Ali's mother was really lucky that a dessert is named after her:)

There are different versions of this recipe, some have raisins and coconut in it,some have dates in it,I dont like cocnut much so I followed the dates version.

This recipe has been adapted from Abeer of baking-haven, she has a good collection of recipes of cakes and cookies, I have an eye on her Mocha Cake,will try it out after Ramdan,I told you I am a coffee freak

So here is the recipe of Um Ali by Abeer
I added condensed milk ,to the milk in step 3 along with sugar .

Yum isnt it? looking at the pictures makes me wanna make it again and sink my teeth in the rich creamy softness,and the crunchiness of the toasted nuts..*droool*


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Sunday, September 21, 2008


Qubooli-chana dal flavoured in a yogurt and onion curry, layered with basmati,cooked in the aroma of cardamom,cinnamon and caraway seeds.
This recipe used to be our eid special,prepared for brunch with the traditional sheerqorma. Mom used to prepare it with dahi ki chutney(raita) and shikampur(minced meat patties with a filling of onion and yogurt,shallow fried). The festive air used to make it all the more tasty.
This is a very tasty one dish meal,and biryani equivalent for vegetarians :)
Now for eid generally I make mutton/chicken biryani,coz thats what is the PUBLIC DEMAND(read, husband demand),but cooking it in normal days makes me think of eid day back then when eid meant dressing up and looking good and doing hafta vasooli(eidi), making the most of being younger to people who can shell out cash(;)), wow I used to be rich after eid,with all the eidi collected(I was the youngest of all so,I didnt need to give it to anybody).
I was not able to cook this particular dish after marriage as I did not know the recipe,I missed it,but could not find a recipe close to what I ate.
which remindsme of a sher...arz hai
'rang laati hai mehandi sookh jaane ke baad,yaad aati hai khaane ki khaane se door jaane ke baad:)'(altered from original)
then recently found it in a google search and was more than happy to find it, I was in TN then, I made it, and it was an instant hit there,loved and relished by all,hope you like it too...

1)Basmati Rice-2 cups
2)medium size onions-2(fried to golden brown)
3)chana dal-1/2 cup
4)yogurt-1/2 cup
5)ginger garlic paste-2 tsp
6)garam masala-1tsp
8)cardamom 3,cinnamon-1 inch long stick,caraway seeds-1/2 tsp
9)turmeric-1/4 tsp
10)red chilli pdr-1 tsp
11)cilantro-1 cup chopped
12)8-10 green chillies chopped
14)1 big lime

--Boil Dal till almost done,not mashed up,but whole.
--Wash and soak rice,put water,cinnamon,cardamom,caraway seeds,half of the cilantro,grren chillies and salt in a pot,cover and boil.
--In the meantime,heat ghee,whisk yogurt,ginger garlic paste,turmeric,red chilli powder,salt and ghee,cook till oil separates.
--Add daal and cook till dry,add garam masala and fried and crushed onion,squeeze out the juice of lime,mix well and keep aside.
--Add soaked rice to the boiling water,cook till 3/4th done, strain.
--Before putting it in layers,spread some oil,on the bottom of the pot,so that rice does not get stuck to the bottom .
--Now put half of the rice in the pot(first),then the dal mixture(second layer),then again the rest of the rice.
--soak saffron in 1/4 cup warm milk(if u dont have saffron use food colour)
--Spread blobs of ghee on the top rice layer,then sprinkle saffron milk,all over the top layer.Garnish with cilantro.
--cover it tightly with aluminium foil,then with a lid.
--cook for 10-15 mins on low flame(sim).
--Let it stand for 10 mins before serving,then mix the layers well and serve.
--Enjoy with Raita, tamate ka masale ka saalan or mirchi ka saalan.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The adventures of Tin Tin

There are somethings that you can never forget.

Back then, when I was a kid,I loved comics like any other kid,I read Archies,Tinkle..many more,but the first set of comics that I (not me exactly,will come to it later) read were' The Adventures of TinTin'.

I read it sooooooo many times, that I remembered every line of it.Actually those comics belonged to my sister.

Our school used to gave away gift vouchers from a bookstore for the students who stood first or second in class, so my sister had a voucher for each year,and she had a shelf full of books ,and I was the one who read it all the time:),coz she was busy reading school books!

Yeah I was an average student,'one day batsman:D',managaed to pull up in the top ten,sometimes missed top ten,so was on and off!e TinT

So that was long back,TinTin,is all over and done with no more TinTin now, recently when Sameeha wanted ro see cartoon,I searched for someting,and what I found was a whole series of TinTin episodes,thI was so overjoyed watching it,it reminded me of the good old days,remembered every dialogue in it! every character in it so well, how Captain Haddock says'millions of blue blistering barnacles!',snowy,professor calculous....loved it!

We had four comics of the TinTin series,some others I read it from library!

So the four that we had were

1)The Black Island

black island-1

black island-2

black island -3

black island-4

2)Castafiore Emarald

Castafiore Emarald-1

Castafiore Emarald-2

Castafiore Emarald-3

Castafiore Emarald-4

3)Flight 714

Flight 714-1

Flight 714-2

Flight 714-3

Flight 714-4

Flight 714-5

4)The seven crystal balls

The seven crystal balls-1

The seven crystal balls-2

The seven crystal balls-3

The seven crystal balls-4

So enjoy the cartoons that I grew up with ....

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tamate ka Masale ka saalan

This particular gravy is an accompaniment to biryani or bagaara khana or khubooli, mirchi ka saalan is used more often, but the taste is equally good and is wayyy easier, this comes in the genre of bagaare baigan..or mirchi ka saalan, the ingredients for this recipe are simple so,it can be made anytime with great results, you can make this recipe a bit interesting,by adding boiled eggs instead of tomatoes,when this is accompanied with bagaara khaana or any vegetarian main dish,as this would add the protein element to the menu:)
This recipe is going for RCI Authentic Hyderabadi cuisine, First I was confused,first I thought of Lukhmi, then I dropped that idea, then Qubooli, but due to some reasons could not make it, so here I am with this gravy.
If you are IN for tangy taste then, you will love this dish and also it is very easy, I guess it will take less than half an hour to be prepared(without distractions).You can make an extra batch of the grounded mixture and freeze it, so that the next time you have to make it, it will be a breeze
So the recipe goes...

1)tomatoes 4 nos
2)dessicated coconut 3 tbsp
3)peanuts 2 tbsp
4)sesame 1 tbsp
5)onion 1 small
6)mustard seeda 1/2 tsp
7)cumin seeds1/2 tsp
8)roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
9)tamarind size of a lemon
10)ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
11)chilli powder 1 tsp
12)turmeric 1/4 tsp

--Roast coconut,peanuts,sesame separately till each turns to light brown colour.
--grind coconut,peanuts,sesame to a fine paste,use required amount of water to grind it.
--Heat oil in a saucepan,then fry the tomatoes(you can cut the tomatoes in quarters or you can slice them) for about a minute, then take it out and keep aside.
--Now in the same oil,put mustard seeds,cumin seeds and fry till the mustard stops spluttering and cumin turns brown,then add onion, fry till it turns transparent.
--Then add g/g paste,red chilli powder,turmeric,salt and then put the grounded masala(coconut,peants,sesame).
--saute this till the smell of coconut and peanuts leaves(bhoonofy it really well!),keep stirring as this masala tends to stick to the bottom a lot.
--After sauting it really well,stir in the tamarind pulp,let it come to boil.
--now let the saalan come to the desired consistency before leaving in the tomatoes.
--So when the gravy comes to the desired consistency, drop in the fried tomatoes,cover the lid and let it simmer for about five mins on a low flame,till the oil leaves from the sides.

Enjoy it with Biryani, bagaara khaana...khubooli.
This recipe goes to RCI Authentic Hyderabadi cuisine hosted by Mona of Zaiqa.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


I love to dig into this dessert.period.
If you are a coffee lover, then you will love this recipe to bits. This dessert was introduced to me when I was carrying Sameeha, and that time I was a coffee freak, maybe thats the reason why she doesn't sleep a lot.
Jokes apart, still I am in love with this dessert,I must admit my husband makes this better than me:(
There is no need of cooking just dipping and layering, but the main problem for me is that, I learn t this recipe when I was in US, so the crackers that were used were Graham crackers, which are rectangular and flat, so its very easy to layer, here I dont know whether we get these kinda crackers here in Dubai, so anyways I made it with McVites digestives,the taste was same, not much difference, but a little bit crusty,so you can increase the whipped cream layer
I tell you it is very easy,if you are making this without any distractions(mine are sam and hud)then you can wrap it up in about 20-30 minutes,or maybe even less if you are using hand blender to whip the cream.

Each food has memories attached,whenever I eat this, I get the memories of those days when my sammy baby was a tiny tot,our stay in the US,everything gets refreshed,dont you have any food with a story behind it?
mine are uncountable,each food reminds me of one or the the other incident associated with it.
Anyways I am deviating from the topic, the topic was Tiramasu. So,after having tasted this, made at home,I found it in the menu of an American restaurant,without second thoughts I ordered for it,but thank God, the waitress said,that it had Rum in it, oh my God I was horrified.I just politely said 'No, thanx,I think I will go with some other dessert'. So the moral of the story is some things are better made at home, than to eat outside.I mean that was the most difficult part of being in US, you have to be very careful selecting halal food,even bread has to be checked before buying.But then there are many good things too....

Again, I am going away from the topic, I think you better check out the recipe before I start blabbering again:D.

1)Crackers(McVites,Digestives or Graham or Marie) 1 packet
2)Dream whip 1 packet
3)milk to make whip cream with dream whip(115ml i guess,check the whip cream powder directions)
4)coffee 2 tbsp(I love rich coffe flavor,you can use less for mild coffee taste)
5)milk 1.5 cup
6)condensed milk half tin
7)Milk chocolate 1 bar

--Make the whipped cream,according to the dirctions on its packet, add to it the condensed milk and mix well using whisk or an electric blender(this one would save your time and energy)
--In a bowl mix some warm milk(1.5 cup)with coffee.
--Now take a flat dish,take each cracker or biscuit,dip it in the ceffe/milk mixture, and arrange on the flat dish,one by one till the surface of the dish is covered.
--Then put the layer of whipped cream/condensed milk layer,so as to cover the cracker layer.
--Again lay the cracker layer dipping in coffee,then again the whipped cream layer.
--Repeat layering until you run out of the crackers and whipped cream(:)),see to it that the top layer is always whipped cream as this will look good,but nevertheless,cracker layer will also be fine.
--Now grate the milk chocolate,and sprinkle the chocolate shavings on the layers generously.
--Keep it in fridge for about half an hour and then serve

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

check this out...

Litsen to this its really cool!

Months in Islam

99 Names of Allah

Gives thanx to Allah

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sameeha to school

Sameeha will be going to school from tomorrow, just today we went and finalised, got her uniform and books, Sameeha is all excited about going to school and meeting her CHEECHER.

I wonder why kids these days are so happy to goto school,I was told back when I went to school for the first time, I cried and cried and cried,maybe kids are more adventurous now.
So for the first day tomorrow,parents are asked to accompany the child, so no worries, this is the first time that I will be leaving her alone without anyone I know, I dont know how she willbehave in school,will she ne shy or active or a cry baby? hmmm lets see...just thinking how fast time has passed, I still remember loitering around my school corridors and playground, now my daughter will be doing the same!

Sameeha's school uniform--check
Sameeha's books---check
Sameeha's bag--check
tiffin box---check

everything is ready,but,I am nervous.
her uniform is really cute, ill post her pic in her uniform.

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