Sunday, 27 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 17

Bidding farewell to Ramadan with special post from lands of God's own country - Kerala, today we have Sherien from Sherienscookbook with a special Malabari recipe. Lets check over what she has to say.

This is my first guest post for Huma Kalim and extremely honoured to share my Ramadan experiences with her. As everyone know Huma Kalim is extremely talented and many of her recipes are out of the world. Here I am sharing my Ramadan experience and a simple recipe that everyone can try during Ramadan.  Let me introduce myself. I am Sherien Mohamed Ramzan, owner of the blog I live in Kerala (a small state in India) popularly known as ‘God’s own country’
In Kerala, the month of Ramadan is welcomed with so much fervor and faith. During this auspicious month, Muslim community offers sincere prayers with long hours of fasting dedicated to the Almighty as common in any other place. Also gatherings of women for prayers at convenient place and Ifthar gatherings are common. Now we have come to the last ten days of Ramdan.
  The last ten days of Ramadan is considered to be auspicious and very important in the life of Muslims. These are the most blessed days in the blessed month of Ramadan, For Muslims, the last ten days is the time for giving charity, settling disputes and forgiving each other.It is also the time for evaluation of one's life, and asking forgiveness to the Almighty and time for drawing more closer to the Almighty. Let Allah forgive all our sins...
A little bit about the Ramadan cuisine of Kerala.....the cuisine is completely different during this month predominated by the dishes from North Kerala that includes semolina, plantains, poultry and eggs. With these ingredients umpteen varieties of recipes are available. As a food blogger, I would like to introduce to some of the dishes made in my house during Ramadan. The simplest and most preferred in the place where I live is rice porridge (Nombu kanji) that is prepared different spices and herbs.  Tapioca and fish curry ,Sweet semolina porridge , biriyanis, ghee rice with non-vegetarian side dishes, mutton samosas are also common.
Here I am sharing the recipe of Super quick low fat mutton pulao that is a real good treat during Ramadan…..

Recipe for Super Quick Mutton Pulao

Ingredients required
Mutton – ¾ kg(cut into big pieces with bones)
Basmathi rice/Kaima rice/Jeerakasala rice / Bangladeshi biriyani rice – ½ kg
Onion  – 5 medium sized(sliced)+ 1 (sliced for frying)
Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
Tomato – 2 no.s (chopped)
Garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Ginger paste – 3 tbsp
Green chillies – 5-6 no.s
Garam masala – 1 tbsp
Salt -  As per requirement
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder – ½ tsp
Poppy seeds – 2 tbsp (soaked)
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup(chopped)
Mint leaves – ¼ cup (chopped)
Raisins and cashewnuts - Handful
Method of Preparation
Grind poppy seeds to a paste.
In a pressure cooker add mutton,onion ,green chillies, tomatoes,garlic paste,ginger paste ,Garam masala, Salt, turmeric powder and kashmiri chilli powder, poppy seed paste and coriander leaves and mint leaves. Add ¼ cup water.Cook for 4-5 whistles or till meat is tender.  
Cook rice separately by adding 1 tbsp oil and double the quantity of water in a pot by closing with a lid.
Add cooked mutton mix to the rice and mix well and let it cook in low flame for 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t get burned. Saute onion in remaining oil till brown and saute raisins and cashewnuts . Add it to pulao.The super-quick low fat mutton pulao is ready to be served.

To know more about Sherien visit her @ blog, facebook

Saturday, 26 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 16

Welcome to second last post of this event. Yesterday was the  last friday of Ramadan known as Juma tul Vidah. Its kind farewell to Ramadan signalling that eid is just about to come.Now all the muslim households will be gearing up for the eid celebration. And when there is celebration Biryani is the first dish that comes up before setting the menu. Our todays guest Razina from RaaZzzfoodlove is sharing with us Biryani from Awadh. Lets see what she has to say about Ramadan & Eid. Over to you Razina.

First of all Eid wishes to all the readers of this page. I'm Razina who blogs at RaaaZzzfoodlove, living in Bangalore with my family. When Huma requested me for a guest post on the occassion of Ramadan/Eid festiviites, there was no way that I could have said no. I immediately agreed for it, and zeroed in for an Eid recipe. Eid in our part of the world is synonymous with new dress, henna, morning Eid Prayer, zakat or mandatory charity, giving eid greetings to our relatives and friends, loads of sweets and exotic spicy dishes all prepared at home to mark the end of month long fasting. 

The Eid dish that I have brought in for the readers is Awadhi Gosht Biryani or Lucknowi Mutton Biryani. This biryani is a kind of pakki biryani and includes 3 steps, the first being making of the yakhni, second the cooking of the rice and finally the assembly and dum. Look below for the detailed recipe.....


For preparation of gravy
Mutton - 750 gms
Onions - 2 large, finely sliced
Green cardamom - 5
Cloves - 5
Bay leaves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1"
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 5-6, chopped into chunks
Yoghurt - 200 gms
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp

For Preparation of rice

Rice - 1/2 kg basmati, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
Cloves - 3
Salt - 4 tsp, adjust it on slightly higher side
Oil - 2 tbsp
Vinegar - few drops
Saffron - few strands, mixed with 2 tbsp of milk
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

In a pressure cooker, heat oil and ghee and fry the onions till golden brown. Remove and keep aside
In the same oil, add the whole spices and let it crackle
Now add the mutton pieces and fry on high flame for few minutes
Add salt and ginger garlic paste and fry for 3 minutes or till the raw smell fades away
Add 3/4th of the fried and crushed onions, red chilli powder, green chillies and yoghurt and cook till oil separates
Add just enough water and pressure cook till mutton is done and no water is left. If any water is left just cook on high flame till it dries up
In a separate pot, takes lots of water and bring it to a boil
Add cloves and salt
Add rice and once it starts boiling, add oil and vinegar.Stir
Once the rice is 90% done, switch off the flame and strain the rice
Now take a pot and grease it with oil/ghee
Layer it with rice and mutton. Repeat the process till all the rice and mutton is used up
Drizzle ghee and milk infused with saffron on top. 
Garnish with brown onions and coriander leaves, cover the lid and place any heavy item on it and simmer for 20 minutes
Yummy biryani is ready!!!

You can add few drops of kewra or rose water at the end, I personally don't like it so I have not used it
You can use dough to seal the pot while giving dum, I just keep some heavy utensil over it for making my work easy
To give the recipe more authentic touch you can cook the mutton on slow cooker method, it may take an hour or so. I generally pressure cook to speed up the process

Hope you liked it as much as I did, thanks for giving me this opportunity and have a blessed Eid!!!

To know more about Razina visit her @ blog, facebook

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 15

Today we are travelling to the mystic land of berbers and nomads, Morocco with Nada from Fleur d' Oranger, Masala and Co . Presently based in UK , her blogs  features the food habits, traditions, culture and all things Moroccan.Lets check what she has brought from her home country.

Well, Ramadan has officially started here in the UK! May this holy mouth brings you the utmost in peace and prosperity!Today's post is dedidated to Huma's readers. I hope you enjoy it all!

I have introduced our culinary habits during this month over here. Like I mentioned before, most of us love having some little bites on our Ramadan table, surrounding the main soup of the day for a first meal
In the old times, Harcha (see my extensive post about it here), or the Moroccan semolina galette (also found in Algeria under a different name) used to come plain, with herbs, stuffed from the inside with some basic ingredients in some limited areas of Morocco.
Nowadaws, Harcha comes in individual portions and can its dough can be mixed with olives, khlii' (Moroccan preserved meat) and also cheese, which is the version I'll be posting today.

Harcha can be eaten any time of the day, it can replace bread: You either eat it as is, or you open it from the middle to make a sandwich, or you can just place things on top and bite into it (again, it's all explained here).
But for today's harcha, cheese comes already inside. Once one bites into it, that white layer reveals itself as a nice surprise. 

Harcha should be eaten at room temperature or slightly warm. It's not a freezer-friendly recipe and it's best consumed within the next 6 hours.
It's important to choose the right caliber of semolina. It's not the fine durun flour, it's not a couscous grain and it should not be the large grain either. It's just like the one used for Basboussa or Revani(if you are familiar with these desserts).

Stuffed mini-harcha galettes with cheese 
Serves 4 persons
Prep: 10 min - cooking: 20 min

Basic ingredients for harcha
·         300 g de fine semolina 
·         1 tsp of salt  
·         30 ml of oil (vegetable or olive oil) or/and melted butter 
·         90 ml of lukewarm water (or a 50%-50% water and milk)
·         1/2 tsp of baking powder
·         100g of crumbled feta or soft white cheese (jben is a favorite in Morocco)
·         1 tbsp of dried herbs (thyme, oregano)

For shaping
·         20-30 g of fine or medium semolina 

 Black or green olives, pitted and chopped


"Bessess" the semolina: feed it with fat

  1. Mix dry ingredients with the fat you are planning to use (oil, melted butter..). Work these ingredients with your fingers making sure all grains have been properly coated. This should take about 1 min.
  2. At this stage, you can cover it and leave it for a few minutes to 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, carry on with the next step.

Shape the dough ball

  1. Slowly incorporate the liquid (water, a mix of water-milk) to the mix bring the dough together. Some people leave it slightly sloppy. I don't like it hard so It's easy to shape it and I don't like it sloppy either:too hard and you will have cracks, too sloppy and it will be somewhat rubbery. 
  2. Try to come up with a ball by sending the dough from one hand to the other. This will form a ball without developping gluten or breaking the texture of the semolina grain. This should take about 1 min.
  3. In the meantime, heat a heavy bottom non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat. 

Shaping and cooking harcha

  1. For small harchas using a round cutter or a glass: sprinkle the worktop with fine or medium semolina and roll/flatten the dough anywhere between 5 mm to 7 cm (I prefer it thin). Place the cheese on top and cover with another port of the dough which you need to flatten with your hand to cover the cheese. 
  2. Because we are dealing with small portions in this recipe, I flatten the dough, I place the cheese in half of it and I cover it with the other half. Then I cut my mini-harchas
  3. The filling should not poke from the bottom or top (it's okay if it shows from the sides), it should be totally covered otherwise it will stick to the pan.
  4. Roll the bits of dough left and shape another mini-harcha which might have bits of cheese everywhere, just make sure you tuck them inside (no cheese pocking thing).
  5. Sprinkle again from the top. Cut and place over the skillet..Cook each side about 10 min until you see brown patches.

It's always important to handle the dough quickly and not to let it dry.Serve warm or at room temperature, any time of the day!

To know more about Moroccon cuisine visit Nada @ blog, facebook

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