Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Harira (Ramadan Soup)

Ingredients

Harira (Traditional Ramadan Soup)

  • 1 each large bunch fresh coriander, and, parsley
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained, and, rinsed
  • 2 cans (each 19 oz) tomato, drained, and, chopped
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground ginger, turmeric, and, pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, thinly, sliced
  • 12 pitted dates, halved

Directions

Harira (Traditional Ramadan Soup)

  1. Chop 1/4 cup each of the coriander and parsley; set aside. Tie together remaining coriander and parsley and place in large saucepan. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard herb bundle. Add lentils; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, turmeric and pepper; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. In food processor or blender, purée 3 cups of the soup. Return to pot and heat through. Stir in lemon juice, oil and reserved chopped herbs.
  4. GARNISH: Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cinnamon; top with lemon slices and dates.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cucumber & Orange Juice with Oregano

Ingredients

  • 2 lb/910 g medium cucumbers
  • 2 1/4 cups/530 ml fresh orange or mandarin orange juice, preferably clementine
  • 1 1/2 tsp superfine sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or zaâtar, plus more as needed

Preparation

Trim the ends from the cucumbers and scrub the peels. Remove about half of the peels from each cucumber and remove the seeds if they are large. Cut the cucumber into chunks and put in a food processor or blender. Pour in the orange juice and sprinkle in the sugar and oregano. Blend for at least 1 minute or until very finely puréed. The drink should be a bit thick and slightly foamy. Taste for sweetness and seasoning and adjust as needed.
Pour into a pitcher, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in tall glasses or in small bowls with spoons.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Aloo/ Batata Vada

Aloo/ Batata Vada


Makes: 8 vadas
Ingredients
2 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon grated ginger
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
oil for deep frying
salt to taste
Ingredients for batter
1 cup gram flour
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
Method
Combine all batter ingredients in a wide mouth bowl. Add a little water at a time to make batter thick enough to thickly coat back of a spoon. Make sure to whisk the batter well until light and fluffy. Keep aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Stir in the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes till onions are soft and light golden in colour. Add ginger, green chillies, asafoetida, turmeric and salt and sauté for a few more minutes.
Finally stir in the mashed potatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes. Allow the potato mixture to cool down, stir in the coriander leaves divide it into 8 portions. Shape into round balls and keep aside.
Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat; dip and coat each of the potato balls in the gram flour batter and gradually let it into the oil and deep fry until golden brown in colour on medium heat.
Take care not to turn the heat to high as this will not evenly cook the batter and you might just end up with over browned and uncooked portions. Drain the fried vadas on absorbent paper and continue the frying process for the remaining vadas. Serve hot.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Paneer Poppers

 

Paneer Poppers

Ingredients:

350g Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
2 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon gram flour (besan)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
Water as needed

Method:

1. Cut the paneer (cottage cheese) in square or rectangle pieces.
2. Take corn flour and gram flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt and crushed black pepper. Add water and mix well. Make the batter, not too thick or thinner.
3. Take the breadcrumbs in a plate, so it will be easier to coat the paneer pieces.
4. Dip the paneer pieces into the flour mix.
5. Now roll in breadcrumbs roughly to coat.
6. Dip again in flour mix and roll in breadcrumbs properly this time to coat them. Make sure the paneer poppers pieces are coated well with the breadcrumbs.
7. Heat the oil in a pan. Once the oil heated, deep fry paneer poppers until they are brown on medium heat to avoid burning outer layer.
8. Drain the paneer poppers on kitchen paper.

Serve paneer poppers hot or warm with any chutney or dip.

Variation Tips:
You can use beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water to dip. Now coat each paneer piece in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and finally in the bread crumbs. Make sure all layers are coated properly (specially the bread crumbs). Repeat this process for double coating for paneer poppers.
Source: yourcookerybook.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pizza Bhajias

Ingredients:
Half cup cubed green pepper
Half cup cubed onions
Half cup tomatoes or polony
Half tsp baking powder
10 spring onions chopped
1 tsp salt
Half bunch dhania
Half cup or more water
3/4 cup flour,
8 green chilli sliced
1 tsp garlic,
1 tsp b pepper n half tsp mixed herbs.

Method:
Mix all the above ingredients to make thick batter.
Fry spoon fulls in deep hot oil, until golden/light brown
Serve with chutney of choice and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chicken Lagan

Ingredients :

Half Cup spaghetti
Half cup mixed vegetables
1 Cup cooked ,cubed chicken fillet (filling)
1 Onion chopped
Half cup grated cheese
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon green chillies
1 Teaspoon baking powder
4 Teaspoons Butter
4 Teaspoons oil
Fine cut Dhanna

Method :

Mix above Ingredients well.
Beat together 3 eggs, 4 level tablespoons flour & 250ml fresh cream.
Add to chicken mixture.
Bake at 180 Degrees till done
Cut into squares and serve with chutney.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Super Foods" for Ramadaan

By Umme Faatimah (B.Dietetics Univ. of Pretoria)

The modern world has swept us off our feet in so many ways...our dressing, our lifestyles and most noticeably our eating habits. We have so casually adapted the western culture of unhealthy eating, moving further and further away from the Noble teachings of the Quraan and Sunnah of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him).

Yet, the newest nutritional research continues to discover the benefits of certain foods, labelled as “Super Foods”. They have also unravelled the great benefits of certain eating habits, such as washing the hands before and after meals, eating with the hands, not drinking with meals…just to mention a few. However, all of this has already been outlined in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah more than 1400 years ago.

We are certainly the losers if we do not make an effort to practice upon the Sunnah in our homes and kitchens. What better time to bring about these changes than now? Our beautiful Deen offers us the opportunity during the beautiful month of Ramadhaan, to bring about positive changes in our lives- changes that benefit us mentally, physically and spiritually which Insha Allah (Allah Willing) can be sustained for the future.

Physically, fasting gives the digestive system a much needed rest. Energy normally used for digestion is now directed to body detoxification, tissue repair and system healing.

With that in mind I have chosen to highlight just a few of the favourite foods of our The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). With the special month of Ramadhaan fast approaching, we can all ensure we have these foods on our shopping lists. InshaAllah, by us adopting the lifestyle of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we will be rewarded enormously… Ameen.

DATES

Dates are the most mentioned fruit in the Quraan. They are high in energy, fibre, iron, vitamins and minerals. The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)said: “ The home with no dates is like the home with no food”.(Hadith- Sahih Muslim)

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)used to break his fast with fresh dates and a few sips of water. If he did not find fresh dates, he would use dried dates. He (pbuh) said: “When one of you breaks the fast let him do so with dates, for they are a blessing and if he cannot find dates then with water for it is a purification” (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

He often consumed dates with cucumber, butter, cream or bread. A dessert called “Haisa” made with ghee (butter), dates, cheese and yoghurt was also prepared.

Tips: At iftaar (breaking fast) time, dates can also be used to prepare date milkshakes, date chutney, date desserts as well as sprinkled over salads. For sehri (pre-dawn meal), dates can be used as a softened spread over bread or added into muffins, rusks etc.

OLIVE OIL

Dieticians and nutritionist the world over have been advocating the use of olive oil for its excellent cardio-protective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ongoing research is revealing more and more great benefits on the consumption and application of olive oil.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)said: “Eat the olive and use it as an ointment as it comes from a blessed tree”.(Hadith-Tirmidhi)

Tips: During Ramadhaan, olive oil is best used raw as a dip for breads or as a salad dressing. The lighter olive oils are well suited for cooking and baking purposes. Whole olives can be added to salads as well as de-pitted and added to breads, muffins, pies and pizzas.

BARLEY

A recent Readers Digest article highlighted barley as one of the five healthiest foods we tend not to eat. Yet it was barley that was one of the staple foods in the diet of our The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). Modern research is discovering that barley has a very high soluble- fibre content. This helps to keep the arteries clear and healthy. It has an extremely low glycaemic index (GI), which means it takes a longer time to digest, keeping one fuller for longer.

It is mentioned that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) consumed barley in the following ways:

SAWIQ – a coarse broth prepared from ground wheat and barley - very much like a haleem (soup)

THARID – Barley bread covered in gravy cooked with meat

TALBEENAH – A porridge prepared using barley and milk

A Hadith in Mishkaat narrates that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)never used sifted flour in his lifetime. We should take lesson from this, as we are all moving to consuming more refined and processed foods where all the beneficial nutrients have been stripped off. Allah SWT mentions in the Holy Quraan grains with their husks, amongst His many gifts to us. Un-sifted flour as used by The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)contains all the valuable nutrients found in the bran and germ layers and has a lower GI.

Tips: During Ramadhaan, barley can be added to soups and broths or prepared as a drink by boiling and straining mixture. A hadith in Bukhari mentions that The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) consumed “Sawiq” at iftaar. Barley flour can be used for preparing breads and rotis. Substitute 1.5 cups barley flour for every 3 cups regular flour. Cereals containing barley flakes like muesli can be purchased, or barley flakes can be added to biscuits, muffins, breads and other cereals.

Barley can be prepared as a filling porridge for sehri -Talbeenah. Soak 1-2 tablespoons whole barley overnight in a flask filled with rapidly boiling water. At sehri time, strain water out and prepare porridge with honey and milk. (Store bought “pearled barley” has been polished with some of the bran layer removed).

HONEY

Modern research has been abuzz with the myriad of health benefits associated with honey- anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, energising tonic….to name a few.  Our beautiful Deen has encouraged the use of honey 1400 years ago. The Holy Quraan mentions“there comes forth from the bee’s belly, a drink of varying colours, wherin is a healing for men”.(Qur’an 16:68-69)

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) further said “ Make use of two cures- honey and the Quraan”(Hadith-Ibn Majah)

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) loved drinks that were sweet and cold and often consumed honey water.

Tips: Honey can be used to sweeten items like tea, fresh juices, milk drinks and cereals etc. Raw honey which is thicker and creamier has a lower GI, and can be mixed with cinnamon and used as a spread on toast for sehri.

GRAPES AND RAISINS

Grapes have been found to contain resveratrol- a powerful antioxidant that protects the body on a cellular level from damage. The seeds are rich in flavonoids which lower the risk of fatty plaque accumulation on the lining of blood vessels to the heart.

The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) loved eating grapes. Hadith in Abu Dawood mentions The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him )often consumed a drink “Nabeez”- prepared from soaked raisins. Nabeez can be prepared by soaking raisins after Esha (evening) prayer in clean water covered with a plate. The following morning the water can be drunk and the soaked fruit eaten or just use the blender to obtain a beautiful cloudy Nabeez. And, if you soak in the morning, drink in the evening. Nabeez should be consumed within twelve hours of soaking to prevent fermentation.

Tips: Nabeez or fresh grape juice can be prepared as a drink after Taraweeh (evening prayer in Ramadaan). Grapes can be served as part of salad or dessert. Raisins eaten with nuts can be enjoyed as a healthy munch after taraweeh salaat.

The Sunnah way of eating is the healthy way of eating. InshaAllah, let us all strive to revive and bring alive the Sunnahs of The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) in our homes this Ramadhaan. I have highlighted just a few. Make an intention to eat on the floor, share eating utensils and to fill a third of your stomach with water, a third with food and a third left for air.

Besides the immense health benefits outlined above our greatest rewards really lie in following the Sunnah, as it comes in Hadith mentioned by The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him):

“ The person who follows my Sunnah is the one who truly loves me, and will be with me in Jannah” (Hadith-Tirmidhi)

Allah Ta’ala said to His Messenger (pbuh)“Say (to mankind), if you love Allah, follow me – Allah will love you and forgive your sins.” (Qur’an:3: 31)

Wishing you all healthy eating, the Sunnah way…Ramadaan Mubarak!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chinese Chicken Balls

Chinese Chicken Balls

 

Ingredients

  • Fine chicken mince 250 gm
  • Egg 1
  • Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
  • Corn flour 1 tbsp
  • All purpose flour 1 tbsp
  • Ketchup half cup
  • Spring onion 1 to 2
  • Vinegar 3 - 4 tbsp
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
Method
  1. Combine minced chicken, egg, salt, black pepper, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, corn flour and all purpose flour in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Make small balls of the mixture and fry them in hot oil.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry 1 tsp garlic ginger paste in it.
  4. Add shallots, tomato ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper, saute.
  5. Add chicken balls to it, mix.
  6. Serve hot.
  7. Tips: If a dish is over salted, put a handful of kneaded dough in it. It will absorb extra salt.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Patishapta - A Bengali Sweet Crepe

Patishapta


For Batter:1cup Maida
4tsp Rawa
2tsp Rice flour
1+3/4cups Milk

For Filling:
1cup Grated fresh coconut
1/2cup Khoya
1/4cup Palm sugar/Regular sugar

Sweetened condensed milk (for serving)

Method:

Heat a pan, take the coconut and sugar together,mix it well with a spatula, once the sugar melts add the khoya and cook until the mixture turns thick.

Meanwhile mix all the ingredients given for the batter in a bowl and makes a smooth batter.

Heat a tawa, pour a ladle of this prepared batter and spread it as round thin circle, if needed drizzle melted butter or ghee.

Once it gets cooked, flip it and cook the other side.

Place the prepared filling in the middle and bring the edges of the crepe to the center.

Serve immediately drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj


Ingredients
3-5 medium eggplants (3 lbs)
5 table spoons Tahini paste
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 table spoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Instructions
  1. Roast the eggplants in the oven on medium heat, or on a BBQ grill for about 30 minutes.
  2. While eggplants are still hot (not too hot so you don’t burn your hands), peel them and discard as much as possible of their seeds.
  3. Strain the water from the eggplants by placing them on a colander for about 10 minutes. This step is important so you don’t get a liquid Baba Ghannouj.
  4. Add eggplants and all ingredients in a food processor and let run for 2-3 minutes until you get a paste.
  5. Place Baba Ghanouj paste into a serving plate, garnish with any/all of the following: olive oil, chopped parsley, sumac spice or chili powder, salted pickles…etc
  6. Serve cold as an appetizer, with a side of Pita bread.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bokhari Rice

Bokhari Rice

Serves : 6  Persons
Duration : 70 Min


Ingredients:
2 Cups Basmati Rice
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
500 Gram Meat Pieces
1 Large Chopped Onion
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Chopped Ginger
2 Cups Grated Carrot
1 Tablespoon Mixed Spices
2 Teaspoons Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Cups Chicken Broth or Water

Preparation:
1. Wash rice and soak in salted water for 15 minutes.
2. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add meat pieces and stir until brown. Stir in onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir until onions are caramelized.
3. Add carrot, mixed spices, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, salt, black pepper, and water. Cover the meat and let simmer until meat is well done.
4. Remove meat from broth. Set aside. Drain rice and add to the broth. Add enough water to reach ½ an inch above the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat until rice absorbs most of the broth.
5. Place meat pieces on top of the rice. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
6. To serve garnish rice with fried raisins and almonds.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mixed Fruits Custard

Ingredients :
2 bananas – chopped
4 peaches – chopped
1 mango – chopped
½ cup fresh cream
½ litre milk
2 tblsp corn flour
8 tblsp sugar
1 pkt halaal strawberry jelly
2 tblsp china-grass
6 tblsp sugar
rose essence
Method :

- Make jelly in 2 cups boiling water. Cool and set. Then cut into pieces.
- Soak the china-grass in water. Boil 3 cups of water with 6 tblsp sugar and add the china-grass.
- Cook till it dissolves and turns thick. Cool it and mix rose essence and set. Then cut into pieces.
- Boil milk, add corn flour and keep stirring till it becomes thick and creamy. Remove from heat and mix 8 tblsp sugar. Cool and add cream.
- In a bowl, put the chopped mixed fruit and pour over custard. Decorate the top with jelly pieces and china-grass. Chill and serve.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top 10 Hydrating Fruits

Top 10 Hydrating Fruits For The Ramadan Heat

Top 10 Hydrating Fruits For Ramadan
What a blessed time of year when the glorious month of Allah connects with His sweet summer season. All this heat though, will tire us out quicker in fasting season. So, these are ten fruits of Allah (also in season) known to keep us hydrated and focused on connecting to Him.

REMEMBER! The recommended amount of drinking water is 8-10 glasses per day. In Ramadan it will be a digestive challenge to drink vast amounts in short periods, particularly after breaking the fast. Top up your water shortage by eating 2-4 juicy fruits per meal for bursts of energy. Stay hydrated insha-Allah.

1. Watermelon – Hydration rating 92%. As this fruit is mostly water and sugar it's packed with essential rehydration salts magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium so it can actually hydrate you more effectively than water.

EAT IT! Blend watermelon chunks with ice and coconut palm sugar for a light Iftaar dessert.



2. Oranges - Hydration rating 87% water. Oranges are sweet and packed with more than 100% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C. Plus that citrusy perfume...! Wallahi (by Allah) I believe it's a heavenly scent. Love it.

EAT IT! Squeeze fresh orange juice into chocolate drinks and cut up segments into fruit salads.


3. Berries -  Strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant fruit and are made up of 92% water. Raspberries and blueberries are also at their peak during the summer. Full of vitamin C, berries are known to clear the arteries, regulate blood sugar and taste awesome. Go for organic, eat a handful each day.

EAT THEM! I tend to spoil berries with whipping cream or folding into an Eton mess but you don't do that. Eat berries with cereal for Suhoor (morning meal) or as a parfait with yoghurt and granola.


4. Figs – Known as At-Teen in the Qur'an, these summer beauties are indulgent fudgy fruits with a high-output on the health scale. They're known to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, help with weight loss; even the leaves of the fig tree lower the insulin required by diabetics. As one of the world's healthiest foods, figs provide the fibre energy to keep moving and read Qur'an.

EAT IT! Slice fruits with coconut milk ice cream/Kulfi, blend into a fig smoothie or make a fig chutney with some medjool dates for breaking the fast each day. See? Sunnah-approved.


5. Grapes – These hydration gems are known for their extremely high content of Resveratrol, a substance that acts as an antioxidant and is heart-friendly. Bursting water with each bite, take your pick from purple, red, black or green. One of summer’s most delicious fruits.

EAT IT! Slice into fruit salads or just eat whole. One my favourite mix-ups is eating a single grape with a morsel of cheese and sprinkling of coffee granules. Sounds weird but tastes gooood!


6. Grapefruit - Hydration rating 90% water. Sweet but zingy, grapefruits contain only 30 calories and the detoxifying limonoids, which according to research, may inhibit cancer tumours. Either way, eating natural is always healthier, happier and a way of recognising Allah. Bismillah!

EAT IT! Pan fry segments to caramalise grapefruit and eat with waffles. Cut a fruit in half, sprinkle with fairtrade sugar and scoop to eat with a spoon. *Warning, do not get into eyes. Ow.


7. Coconut water - Hydration rating 95%. Coconut water (not milk) is the liquid found in young green coconuts that gets absorbed as the coconut fruit matures. It has a relatively low sodium and carbohydrate content and tastes dry but refreshing. Avoid the hype around coconut water but drink it as a blessing and nourishing fruit in Ramadan.

DRINK IT! Buy fresh and buy from local greengrocers. Avoid the packed cartons which tend to include preservatives for a long shelf-life and dilute the drink.


8. Cantaloupe - Hydration rating of 89%. Cantaloupe is an exceptionally good fruit for supporting energy production and the ability to keep the blood sugar stable. With all that goodness and flavour this is a top munchable fruit. That's not even a word but I stand by the fruit!

EAT IT! Blend the flesh into pulp and freeze for instant sorbet, or skin and cut into chunks for a mixed watermelon/sweet melon salad.


9. Pineapple - This exceptionally juicy fruit is packed with bromelain, a mixture of compounds with potent anti-inflammatory powers. In other words, eat pineapple now and you may avoid pain meds in the future.

EAT IT! Pan fry pineapple rings (without the skin) to caramalise and eat with yoghurt/ ice cream or create fruit kebabs by piercing bitesize chunks onto wooden skewers with strawberries, grapes and melon.


10. Mango - The king of the fruit jungle, mangoes provide a lot of bang for their 135 calories, and they're a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, plus fibre. British weather is too cool to produce spectacularly sweet mangoes thus we get them imported!

EAT IT! There's no need to mess with this fruit. Slice to eat or cut in a cross-cross fashion to turn out a 'hedgehog' design. Open mouth and consume. Alhamdulillah.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Nutty Wonders

Ingredients :
1 cup caramel
1 cup coconut
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup melted sugar
1 cup peacan nuts
1 cup crushed marie biscuits
Nuts for decorating
Chocolate for coating
Method :- Mix melted chocolate together with all other ingredients
- Roll into balls and allow to set in refrigerator
- Dip into chocolate and sprinkle with nuts
- Leave to set
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