Monday, 21 July 2014

Fried Chicken Puffs- Guest Post for "Yummy Food"

When I saw Lubna's invitation for a guest post, I didn't have to think twice to say yes. By now, her Ramadan event "Joy from fasting to feasting" has earned its own place in the bloggers world with fame and publicity. I remember this event was a 'link-in event' before and if I'm not wrong, she started inviting for guestposts since last year.  I love her space; her pictures and the way she presents her recipes. I had tried a few of her recipes like peanut chutney, kashmiri dum aloo and strawberry smoothie with muesli on top.. My family loved those dishes and these have been added to our menu since then. All thanks to you ,Lubna.






Home-made Chicken puffs is one such deep-fried snack prepared in our family, which is different from the baked ones you see in bakeries. It has flaky layers , but not as much as baked puffs. But it is still good in its own way and is easy too. The spicy chicken filling is my favourite ; but you can make it with filling of your  choice. Let's hop over to 'Yummy Food' for the recipe and step-by-step pictures..






  

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mango & Berry Rippler- A Guest post for With A Spin

This time, it's for a wonderful photographer cum blogger. Lail S Hossain writes her blog- With A Spin so beautifully with delicious recipes and wonderful pictures that I keep staring at all those  pictures posted in her blog. I love her enthusiasm in styling and clicking foods; pictures are amazing. So, when I received a mail from her for a guest post, I willingly said 'yes'. 


No sugar is added to this smoothie. But still, this smoothie is delicious and delectable for breakfast, evening snack or even as a dessert. The goodness of mango and strawberry is not disturbed as no artifical flavor is added and no two fruits are blended together; but swirled. It makes a delicious alternative to the similarly named, but slightly less healthy, strawberry/raspberry ripple ice cream. I got this recipe from a book titled '75 smoothies' . Cick here to hop over to Lail's space for the recipe.

And do not forget to link in your entries to 'Ahlan Ramadan Event with a Giveaway' with delicious Ramadan recipes. 


Friday, 11 July 2014

Gudbud Falooda- A Guestpost & Giveaway Annoucement

Ramadan Kareem to all of you. I've been a follower of Gheza-e-shirin since years, but got a chance to know Huma personally since we started an event together Ahlan Ramadan. Her blog title in itself is a different and innovative one which seeked my attention initial days. Thank you Huma for inviting me to be a part of your wonderful blog.


A tall glass of fruity rich Gudbud Falooda is a delicacy in summers, especially during Iftars. I try to invent various ways to please my fasting kids in a healthy way, without forcing them to take-in fruits- fresh and dry, nuts etc. This is one such delicious healthy treat to your kids, if you can substitute healthy ice creams instead of regular ones. This faloods is inspired from Masterchef contest in which Chef Ajay Chopra challenges its contestants to prepare a giant Gudbud Falooda.  Click here for the recipe. 






We have updated our event page with the giveaway announcement and Rafflecopter link.  We have planned three types of giveaway for this event!

The beautiful baking book, “Surprise-Inside Cakes” by Amanda Retke



A USD 15/- gift card from Amazon.com.

A beautiful salwar set from NavVarn.
 After linking in or emailing us your entries, please use the Rafflecopter below to like all our pages and to stand a chance to win the giveaways! 

So what are you waiting for? Awaiting all your delicious, “healthy” entries… 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

AHLAN RAMADAN- Event with a Giveaway

Assalamu alaikum dear friends…

The blessed month of Ramadan is almost here. The month when the Quran was revealed to the Muslims as guidance… that is how important the month is. While we spend majority of our time in Ibaadah in the form of our Salaah(prayer), recitation of the Qura’an, pondering over the verses, giving Sadaqah(charity), at the same time we give a lot of importance to our food served during the Iftar (fast breaking) and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) to ensure that enough energy is provided to carry on during the long hours of fasting.

 



As days pass by, the shift is towards healthy eating during the meal times, considering the hazards caused by deep fried and unhealthy foods after the fasting hours. We, Hasna, Huma and Rafeeda are proud to host a 6 week-long event on our respective blogs, looking at options for healthier cooking and feasting. Do you have a recipe that you treasure and think is a healthy option to serve for the Ramadan meals? Then this is the place for you. The event, which we have named as “Ahlan Ramadan – The Healthy Way” starts from June 25 and will continue till August 6.




Let us look into the event rules:

1. The base theme is “healthy” – usage of whole grains, lentils, lean meat, baking instead of frying, etc. can be considered. It can be a any recipe with a healthy twist. For example, using whole-wheat flour instead of maida for samosas are welcome even if it is fried.

2. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian entries can be linked.

3.There is no set category – drinks, snacks, meals, bakes, etc. are all welcome.

4. Please publish the logo as well as link it to this event announcement page. To make it easy, just copy and paste this statement to your blog post: 
             “Sending this entry to Ahlan Ramadan –The Healthy Way” 

5. All participants must compulsorily like our FB pages – Kachuss Delights, Gheza-e-Shirin and TheBig Sweet Tooth.

6. There is no limit to the number of  entries per participant, archives allowed,which is to be linked using the linky tool below.

7. Non-bloggers are also welcome to participate! Please provide us the recipe and the picture at the following email address: ahlanramadan2014@gmail.com


Now let’s break the surprise! Yes, we have planned three types of giveaway for this event!

The beautiful baking book, “Surprise-Inside Cakes” by Amanda Retke



A USD 15/- gift card from Amazon.com.

A beautiful salwar set from NavVarn.




After linking in or emailing us your entries, please use the Rafflecopter below to like all our pages and to stand a chance to win the giveaways! 

So what are you waiting for? Awaiting all your delicious, “healthy” entries… 





Please use this Second Linky Tool as the first one is closed


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Kozhiyada/Irachiyada (Chicken stuffed Pockets) with step by step pictures & short video


Ramadan is a month of fasting and not feasting. Unfortunately, many forgot the true meaning and blessings of this blessed month. The sales of supermarkets go high, malls are full, latenight shopping , people seen partying around and women spend whole day in the kitchen. I'm not saying that we should not eat or drink or cook, but  managing the time enough to worship, seek forgiveness and turn closer to Allah is more important than all these. Spend your time wisely. Do prepare yourselves and all your house chores this month which may help you in refraining yourselves inRamadan from doing least important activities. 



We break the fast using dates, fruits and juices. Making fruits salads or chaats with nuts turn them a bit appealing to the kids. Otherwise they hate fruits. Fruits and juices can't be avoided when fasting during long summer days. These help in bringing our fluid and bloodsugar levels up ,without overdoing it. After maghrib prayer, we eat our snacks with tea. We make it as simple and less spicy as possible and restricts our intake to a few numbers. I think we should not upset our tummy by stuffing too much of food immediately after Iftar. People always find ways to excuse themselves and make more than one variety saying this is for my daughter, one for my son ,one for hubby etc. I usually don't do that; instead I make one snack a day, hubby's favourite a day, daughter's the next day and my son's favourtie the third day. The cycle goes on whole Ramadan, unless guests are invited for Iftar. Inviting guests for Iftar is a sunnah ,whereas don't take this oppurtunity to show off your friends how good a cook you are and stuff them as much as possible. Choose 2-3 of the best snacks and which takes less effort and which may not hinder your prayers or other religious activities. I prepare beforehand and freeze some snacks this month and invite guests as early as possible; most probably during the first ten days. Then comes the dinner, a slight heavy for us after tharaveeh. We couldn't help that all these years. Mostly pathiris , non-veg side dish and kanji to keep the fluid balance. Suhoor is always light and healthy. Fibre rich, non-spicy and non-fried alongwith 2-3 dates and lots of water. This is our Ramadan food routine. I'm not boasting anything or trying to prove how good I am, but a slight attempt to make realize few of my Kannur friends,who are so excited to cook and click during Ramadan. I was like that a few years back; but changed for the good ;)

 That was a long intro. Now this recipe is simple,traditional , delicious and famous Malabar snack. Chicken filled pockets or Kozhi (chicken)ada or we can call it Irachi(meat) ada when we make it with Beef/Mutton filling. It's delicious with either beef or chicken or mutton filling. The choice is completely yours :) Shaping can be done in various ways. I've tried to include 2-3 common shapes. Some shape it like chinese wontons too.

 Click the link for filling recipe.

Chicken Filling

Beef/Mutton Filling


Ingredients for the Dough/Pastry:


All purpose flour/Maida 2 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Warm water enough to knead



Method:
1. Knead the dough using the above ingredients to the consistency of a roti dough. Loose dough may turn the whole process into messy and lead to oily snack.

2. Devide the whole dough into four equal balls and roll them up into a big roti as seen in the picture. Don't roll into so thin which might result in oily snack.  I didn't measure the thickness but 1 or 2 mm less thicker than my chappathi ;)

 3. Take a cookie cutter or cirlce shaped lid or anything of the kind and cut small round cutouts like shown in the picture. If your lid is not that sharp enough to cut, shape it first and then use a knife to cut.

 4. Now take a small cutout, stuff in with the filling of your choice, fold it into a semi-circle , close and seal the edges. If you want to design the edges this way, check the video below.



 5. A different style to edges: After sealing the edges, take a fluted pastry wheel (zigzag cutter), dip that in flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough, roll it through the edges and then, remove the cutouts.

6. Yet another style: Use a slightly bigger cutter this time. Cut them into small cutouts, take one, take 2 tsp of filing and place it in on one side of the roti , separated from each other as seen in the third picture in the collage below. Close and seal the edges. Press in the middle of those two stuffing and seal there too. Run the fluted pastry wheel through the middle and the edges. You will get two adas(snack) here.

 7. I double fry most of my snacks, which make it more crispier. For this, throw in few snacks in hot oil in low flame and fry till it changes its color little bit. Oil should not be too hot and do not fry too much the first time. Just a little change in color is enough. It may take 10-15 seconds.
8. Draining and cooling is very important before freezing or frying for the second time. Cool it completely. Make sure that these are not kept overlapped while cooling. This is the stage where you can freeze them.

9. For freezing: Take an airtight container and layer once-fried and cooled snacks on it. After doing a single layer, place a sheet of cling film on it and then layer adas again. Place clingfilm, then adas and so on.. till all the snacks are placed in the box. Place one more sheet of cling film on top and then close the lid tightly. Keep this in the freezer. This would stay fresh for about 2 months or so. Once freezed, you can change these to freezer bags and no need of clingfilm after freezing.

10. Deepfry them in hot oil in medium flame till they turn brown, crispier and crunchier. Serve them hot.




Monday, 9 June 2014

Basic Chicken Filling- How to freeze.. (Ramadan Preparations)




Ramadan is near and hence , the time for preparation has already arrived. I always think of doing a series on Ramadan preparation much before Ramdan; but never happend it on time. But still I hope this would help some or the other.

Ramadan ,as you all know is a month of devotion. Thirty days of fasting (refrain from eating or drinking) from dawn to dusk ;when every muslim is devoted towards his creator. We try to get more closer to Allah by more and more prayers, charity, seeking for forgiveness and extra prayers. We don't really get time to do daily chores. So we try and prepare our house and kitchen in such a way that we don't have to spend lots of time in irrelevant activities. We do all major cleaning jobs ,prepare some snacks and freeze, do some smoothie preparations etc. Here, I'll try to post some of the preparations I do during this month.





This is the basic chicken filling which is used almost in all malabar snacks. We stock this in the freezer usually for 1 or 2 months so that we can make any snacks  when guests arrive in a short notice. You can use this for toasted sandwiches too..






 Ingredients:

Chicken 500 gm
Ghee 1 tbsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Onion 4cups
Garlic 5 pods
Ginger 1" piece
Green Chilli 6-10
Turmeric powder 1/2 + 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Coriander leaves few







Method:
1. Cut the onions lengthwise into 2 or 3 equal parts and then slice them.


2. Cook the chicken till done  alongwith little water, salt,pepper and 1/2 a tsp of turmeric powder. Let it cool.

3. Shred the meat using a food processor or a grinder or even using hands.  Just pulse them if you are using a grinder. If you grind it more, the chicken will return to kheema consistency or a meat paste which we do not want.Just one or two seconds is enough.


4. Now heat ghee and oil in a pan. Add the sliced onions to it and saute it for a while till it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic & green chilli paste to it. It'll take about 10 mts or so in medium -high flame. Adjust the flame so that  there is no moisture left in the pan.

This is picture from Beef Filling

5. Now add salt and turmeric powder to it. Mix in the shredded meat to it.


6. Season with the remaining spices like pepper and garam masala. Pop in the Coriander Leaves.

7. Freezing tips: Let it cool and then freeze it either in freezer bags or containers. If you are storing in a freezer bag, you can beat with a roller pin so that you get it separated or if storing in a container, just use a fork or knife to separate it. Defrost only the portion which is required.

Monday, 2 June 2014

A "BIG WIN" & Eggless Mango Tiramisu





 Blogging is lot of fun! I like all about it- making the food, sorting the recipes, shooting the pictures, editing it all into a post etc. And when we don't do any of these, we are planning for the next innumerous recipes to be attempted. This is the only problem I find in blogging that it takes whole lot of time.   So at times, it becomes crucial to take a break in between to sort out our life and routines.  Taking a break is more frequent these days as kids are grown up. they need more of my time unlike before. And now, being a member of Indian Association Ladies Wing, I've to attend meetings and functions more often. etc.etc. To sort it all I had thought of taking a break from social media-fb and blogging for quite a few weeks; but never did I think that it would end up in more than a month. 


Life has been busy.Many things happened in between like the Mango themed competition in Home Chef Guild. I wanted to badly participate in it and I was late . Only a few hours left to close the entries. But still I thought of trying something.. Dug into my kitchen cabinets and started creating a dish. I had very little time left and somehow managed to post the pictures to the Guild in time. To my surprise, I won the whole competition 'The Big Win' and soon after that one more win for the most hits on their blog . I was so happy and wanted to share with the world; but my exams stress stopped me from doing that then. It took me more than a month to share my win with the world. :) Better be late than never and here I share this recipe with all my readers.


This recipe has then been tried by many of the Guild members. Happy that they all liked it and this require very less effort compared to the original tiramisu. I wanted to add glaze to the top but lack of time didn't allow me to do so. White chocolate shavings and coffee sprinkle on top(which I added later after the picture got clicked) could defenitely do justice to the recipe. 
Ingredients:

Custard made with readymade powder and 500ml of milk according to the package instructions.
Mascarpone Cheese 400g(Click here for homemade recipe)
Double Cream 200g
Icing sugar 7tbsp or to taste
Saviordi/Sponge Fingers 1 packet
Graham crackers4-5
Mangoes 1 big
Instant Coffee 1 tsp or more for garnish
White Chocolate Shavings for garnish
gelatin 1 sachet

Method:

Prepare by lining a pan with baking sheets on sides. Layer the base with sponge fingers/saviordi. I didn't soak them in coffee syrup as I didn't want too much of its flavor.so just sprinkled on top while serving. It's upto u , if u want, u can soak them in coffee and then layer

Beat heavy cream alongwith icing sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence till soft peaks form. Fold mascarpone cheese into it.

Fold in warm custard already made.

Double boil gelatin in 3 tbsp of water and fold nicely to this cream mixture.

Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture on the saviordi layer. Cut graham crackers and mangoes into squares and then layer them on top of this cream layer.

Pour the remaining cream mixture on top. Garnish with mangoes and white chocolate shavings. Sprinkle coffee powder on top.(optional)









Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Homemade Mascarpone

Mascarpone cheese is so easy and ridiculously cheap when homemade with just two ingredients. You get the same or a better texture than the shop bought one if you follow the instructions carefully. Also those in India find it difficuilt to get these kind of cheese and I hope this post might help them too. TiramisuTiramisu cupcakePound Cake Tiramisu and many other desserts could be enjoyed more deliciously than before.




 

 Ingredients:
(yields 150g)
Fresh Cream (Amul/Puck/Al marai etc.) 2 cups
Lemon Juice                                            1  tbsp




Method:

1. Keep ready the bowl, strainer and a piece of cheesecloth or the kind.
2. Heat cream in a saucepan till bubble appears at the edges.

3.Add lemon juice to it and keep on stirring until the cream sticks to the ladle like in the picture. It won't split as in making paneer.Don't forget to scrape the bottom and sides while stirring. You may otherwise use doubleboiler to do this.
4. Switch off the flame and pour this onto the cloth which is kept on the strainer. Cover with the cloth and refrigerate for 24hours.
     
5. This is how it looks the next day. Mascarpone Cheese is all set to go into all your delectable desserts.