Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Angel in our home!

We are blessed with a little angel in our home. A wonderful gift from God, so perfect and sweet. She is the joy of our hearts, her cute little smile gives us the message that heaven has smiled down on us with her arrival.
Iam thankful to Almighty Allah who Has bestowed upon me the joy of motherhood through our little princess.Bringing my daughter into this world wasn't an easy task and I very well understood the meaning of the saying "Heaven lies beneath a mother's feet". The sight of my little daughter was enough for me to forget about all the pains which I bore to bring her in this world. Its all God's Grace bundled up in a cute little face.
Enjoying the bliss of motherhood, I think I would be taking off from blogging for a short period of time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Awards and Meme

It was a very pleasant morning for me today as when I browsed my blog I could see a"shower" of awards to me from my blogger friends.There was a time when I used to complain to my husband that I do not have a single award on my blog,but now I have a collage of awards on my blog.Its so encouraging and fun to receive awards for your blog.I once again like to thank Yasmeen and Lubna for making me feel honoured by sharing their awards with me.!

Great buddy Award:
Hard working food Blogger!

Kreative blogger award!

Yum Yum Blog award.!
Foodie 360 award

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Banana Nut Bread

Today finally I was able to post banana nut bread recipe from my favorite book (which I got atleast a month ago.)
Though its an easy recipe to try I was too lazy to post it and I owe my laziness to the "little bun in my oven" which is quite ready to come but is enjoying its stay inside by keeping both mom & dad waiting and tasting some delicious delicacies cooked by my husband.I hardly cook anything these days, thanks to my husband who is always ready to cook anything which the baby wants and the mom demands :)
here is the recipe of banana nut bread from " essentials of baking'
Iam sure my little angel must have enjoyed while I ate my slice of bread.

large ripe bananas
1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
3/4 firmly packed brown sugar
6 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
1/2 cup whole milk
Bananas and orange zest

Step 1
Using a fork mash bananas and keep it aside.Bananas should be 1and 3/4 when mashed.In another bowl mix together all purpose flour , whole wheat flour , baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg ,orange zest and nuts.

Step 2 In a large bowl beat eggs,sugar milk and butter.Add the dry ingredients and the mashed bananas alternatively and mix with a spatula until the batter is moistened.

Step 3
Transfer the contents into a buttered pan and bake on 350 degrees for 55 - 60 mins. Insert a fork to check if its done.

let it cool for sometime and then serve ..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Classic Dark chocolate Brownies

Classic Dark chocolate Brownies
I was happy to get my second award from Yasmeen of health nut -"I'm a Chocoholic" It was so sweet of her to pass this award to me. Thanks again Yasmeen:) Being an ardent sweet lover chocolate always tops my list of sweets. I remember the first thing I baked after coming here was chocolate cake and was amazed to find out how easy was making cakes here, since then I regularly bought cakes n brownie mix and baked them.
Putting a scoop of vanilla ice cream on hot brownie and again topping it with chocolate sauce..is one of my favorite.
Just a week back I got this beautiful book on baking from the library, Williams- Sonoma's "Essentials of baking".Its an amazing book with beautiful illustrations, I coudn't stop drooling after gazing at those pictures, I might have turned the pages of this book-a hundred times and was in a BIG dilemma as what to bake first! as I found every recipe to be equally tempting.
But after I got the Chocoholic award I finally made up my mind to bake a chocolate brownie and this time from the original recipe and not from the ready to make mix.
It came out perfect, I enjoyed it with a scoop of vanilla on top of it.
here goes the recipe!
6 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate,
6 oz unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cup of sugar.
1/4 salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz all purpose flour
Melt chocolate and butter in the top of double boiler . Check out here for the exact procedure.
I melted the chocolate in microwave.
In a large bowl beat together eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla extract ,slowly transfer the chocolate mixture and mix well until blended . Add the flour (in small portions ) and mix slowly until its properly blended.
Pour the batter into the greased baking pan( grease the pan with butter).Bake it on 350 degrees for about 35 minutes .
Use a knife or fork to check if its properly done.
Cut into small squares and serve.

Brownies served with Chocolate! I dedicate this post of brownie to my sweet blogger friend- Yasmeen!

Monday, October 6, 2008


I have always loved eating pizzas.Its one of my of favorite,so I decided to give it a try today, believe me I enjoyed making pizza,its fun to make pizza.I was so excited to see the dough rise, it was more than double its size.
Making pizza is an easy process but not a quick one. You need to knead the flour and let it rise for about 2 hrs.Kneading is an important process too.
The good part is that the Pizza dough can be kept in the refrigerator for several days and frozen pizza dough can be kept for several months; would be of great help in emergencies.

Ingredients for basic pizza dough:( make sure you take exact measurements).

1 and 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast.
1/2 cup water(warm).
1/2 cup cold water.
1 and 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
1 and2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt.

Toppings:( which I prefer)
Green / yellow / red peppers( makes your pizza look colorful)
Pizza Sauce
And the most important of all CHEESE!

In a cup mix yeast and warm water and keep it for 5 mins till its foamy in its texture.
Take a big bowl to knead the flour add salt,olive oil,cold water knead it for some time add the yeast mixed water and knead it well.Knead the dough until you have a smooth ball.
Cover it with a cloth and keep it in a warm place for about 2 hrs ,enjoy seeing your dough rise:)
put the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and stretch it with your hands,use a rolling pin to make pizza of appropriate thickness.
Lavishly spread pizza sauce and your favorite toppings on it. Finally spread shredded cheese and bake it by placing it on pizza stone on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Your delicious pizza would be ready to be served , though its not as easy as placing an order for pizza on phone but Iam sure its gonna make you proud of your achievement.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sheer Korma ! ( Vermicilli pudding)

Sheer Korma is a sweet dish prepared in India on the day of Eid. Eid marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.Its the day of celebrations for us. I prepared sheer korma on the day of Eid. My recipe of Sheer korma is quite easy and it goes like this.

Seviyan roasted 2 cups(got from Indian store)
Whole milk 1/2 gallon
Sugar 2 cups or less if u prefer less sweetness in your dessert.
Ghee/ clarified butter 3 tbsp
Dry fruits:
Almonds: 1/4 cup
Pistachios : 1/4 cup
Chirongi : 1/4 cup
Pitted Dates : 1/2 cup

Blanch the dry fruits and peel the skin of almonds, chirongi and pistachios.
Cut almonds into thin slices.

Step 2:
In a big pan heat ghee and fry all the dry fruits till slightly brown and keep it aside.

Step 3:
Boil milk for nearly 30 to 40 mins on medium flame.

Step 3
Finely break/ crush seviyan and fry in ghee till golden brown and then add sugar and stir it well.
Add this fried seviyan with sugar to the boiling milk. and cook again for 10 - 15 mins.

Step 4 :
Garnish the sheer korma with fried dry fruits and and serve hot.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Perfect Haleem!

Hyderabadi Haleem, the most favoured dish by every hyderabadi. A perfect haleem cant be compared with any other dish. In Ramazan the city is full of vendors selling different kinds fruits and delicious haleem.
I remember the best haleem being cooked by my best friends Mom.I used to love eating haleem cooked by her.Oh !I must say she is a great cook and luckily this Ramadan she happened to be in the States, I called her and took the recipe from her.I bet u will love this haleem.
This is my another entry for the event Joy from fasting to feasting.

Wheat grains 1lbs
Mutton or beef 3 lbs
Gram lentils(chana dal, urad dal,moong dal) 2 cups
Onions 4 (medium size, thinly sliced)
Ginger and garlic paste 3 tbsp
Whole garam masala:
Shazeera/ caraway seeds: 2 tsp
Dalchini / cinnamom sticks 2 (1' 1/2 inch each)
Whole black pepper / sabith Kalimirchi 2 tsp
Kabab chini 1 tsp
Cloves 4 nos
one cup of chopped coriander
one cup of chopped mint
slit green chillies 8-9
red chilli powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
curd 1/2 pound
lemon juice 1 cup
For Garnishing
Mint leaves
coriander leaves
lemon wedges
fried kaju/cashew nuts

Step 1:
Soak wheat, and lentils overnight and boil with salt and black peppercorns till it is tender and easily mash able.I used hand blender to mash the lentils. keep it aside.

Step 2:
Wash meat and coat it with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and keep it aside.
Cut onions in thin round slices and fry in oil until golden brown(be careful not to burn onions). Remove and keep it aside( I kept it in freezer for about 15 mins to make it crisper).
You can also use ready to use fried onions which we get in Indian grocery stores.But fresh fried onions give better results.

Step 3:
In a pressure cooker put oil ginger garlic paste fry for a minute add meat, garam masala, kabab chini, chopped green masala, salt, water, curd and boil the meat till it is so tender that it can be separated by hand.(I separated the bones from meat to make it easier to eat).
Mix boiled meat and lentils.

Step 4 :
In a big bowl heat 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee and again put one tsp of ginger garlic paste and fry for about a minute add lentils and meat mixture and cook on medium flame for about 20 mins. Lastly add one cup of lemon juice and again some green chopped masala and cook on low flame for abt 20 mins. keep on stirring it with a heavy spoon.

Step 5: Garnish with boiled eggs, fried cashew nuts,chopped green masala, fried onions ghee and serve hot.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I decided to make bhajiyas today, I remember back at home, my mom used to fry a variety of them. Bhajiyas are great for snacking. It is a must in most hyderabadi families at the time of iftar.
This is one of my recipes for the event joy from fasting to feasting.
We generally use chickpea flour for frying bhajiyas.

2 cup chickpea flour
red chilli powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste 1/2 tsp(optional)
Chopped cilantro
a pinch of baking soda
salt to taste
oil for frying.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl adding enough amount of water so that its consistency is neither thick nor too soupy.We can use this batter right away, but it is better to prepare this batter 2-3 hrs before frying.
Fried Spinach leaves dipped in chickpea flour/ Palak pakodi/palak bhajiyas
ake spinach leaf wash and dip it in the chickpea flour mixture and deep fry it in hot oil.
Try not to burn it .well fried Palak bhajiyas are crispy.

Fried tomato dipped in chickpea flour /Tomato bhajiyas/
Cut a tomato into quarter inch slices and place them on a paper towel so that the water is absorbed. Dip it in the batter and deep fry it.fry well for quite sometime to avoid bhajiyas becoming soggy.
Fried boiled egg /Egg bhajiyas
Boil an egg, remove the shell and use an egg cutter to cut it into fine slices, dip the pieces in the batter and deep fry them.This bhajiyas taste great !

Fried potato in chickpea/ aloo bhajiyas.
peel potato and make thin slices, dip and fry,these are everyones favourite !

I tried Jalapeno Poppers too, by deseeding the Jalapenos and filling them with cream cheese. We can use the same batter, but, add an extra coat of cornflour and then di it into the batter again before frying in hot oil.
These turned out to be good but were quite hot, you can use sour cream as a dip for them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spicy Boiled Lentil (bengal gram) (ubali hui chane ki dal)

Split chick peas with skin removed is chana dal or Bengal gram ,widely used in Indian food.Quite healthy as it is full of protein.
We usually prepare this boiled dal for iftar as its nutritious and very easy to prepare. This is my ramazan special recipe and goes for the event of "joy from feasting to fasting".

1 cup chana dal
green chillies 4-5
cilantro 3/4 cup
mint leaves 3/4 cup
fresh lemon one medium sized
black pepper powder a pinch
salt to taste

Boil chana dal till its very soft but not sticky. To save time of boiling I prefer to soak dal for 3-4 hrs.
Grind or chop finely green chillies, cilantro and mint leaves.
Mix this finely chopped mixture to dal.
Add salt , black pepper and squeeze in fresh lemon juice.
Mix well and serve.

I prepare this quite often and sometimes I substitute the lentils with frozen corn to prepare spicy corn.(add cumin powder if you use corn)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cracked Wheat Soup

Ramazan Mubarak to all my readers!
This is my first recipe for the event Joy from fasting to feasting hosted by lubna and yasmeen.
Both Lubna and yasmeen are doing great job by posting easy, healthy tips and recipes for iftar and suhoor. well done girls!...
Cracked Wheat soup is full of protein and quite healthy.I hope my readers like and give it a try. Once my neighbor invited us for iftar and made this soup I liked it and took the recipe from him. This soup is quite easy, it is basically cracked wheat cooked in meat and tomato soup.

Raw cracked wheat

Cracked wheat 1 pound
lamb meat with bones 1 pound
one medium sized onion
2 big tomatoes/ (you can also use tomotao puree if u want)
red chilli powder according to your taste
tumeric powder a pinch
salt to taste
fresh cilantro,green chillies.
garam masala powder(grounded caraway seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom ) 1 tsp
one cube of maggi stock(you can use either mutton or chicken stock, it gives good taste but its optional)
olive oil 2 tbsp( you can use any other cooking oil too)
lemon juice 2 tbsp

Soak cracked wheat for about one hr.
In a big vessel add olive oil, chopped onions,red chilli powder,tumeric powder, ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, meat and fry for sometime, add ample amount of water and cook till the meat is very tender.( I used a pressure cooker to save time )
add cracked wheat, garam masala, green chillies,maggi stock cube and cook
the consistency should be soupy finally add fresh cilantro, fresh mint and lemon juice. Serve it hot with sliced cucumbers.

Soup ready to be served !

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Biryani is the south Asian rice dish made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat/vegetables.The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) which means "fried" or "roasted". There are many kinds of biryanis
made from fish, quail, shrimp, deer and hare.
Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most popular version non-vegetarian types, and is savored in all parts of India and forms an integral part of Indian cuisine
Hyderabadi biryani is of two types, the Kacchi (raw) Biryani and the Pakki biryani
Kachchi biryani is prepared with raw meat, which is marinated in curd and then cooked along with the rice by sealing the handi (vessel) with a layer of dough, and is cooked on dum - steaming over coals. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention of time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.
In Pakki biryani, the meat marinating time is shorter, and the meat is cooked before being layered with the rice and cooked in a dough-sealed vessel. In Pakki Yakhni (with cooked gravy), the ingredients are already cooked before baking.
(Compiled from wikipedia)

A biryani is accompanied with Dahi chutney (curd & onions); Mirchi ka salan - a green chili curry or bagare baigan or bagare tamata.
The biryani I have prepared today is of chicken and this goes as my post for RCI event for hyderabadi cuisine hosted by Mona

Ingredients for Biryani
Basmati Rice - 2 pounds
Chicken - 2 pounds (chicken pieces should be medium in size)
Ginger & garlic paste- 2 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Black pepper powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 2 tsp
Curd(thick) 1/2 cup
sour cream 2 cups
Green Masala paste:(either grind these green herbs or finely chop them)
Green chillies - 6
Mint leaves 1 cup
coriander leaves 1 cup
For the boiling water; to cook rice-
Caraway seeds 1 tsp
cinnamon,5 grms
cloves 3 no
cardamom - 7-8 no
Slit green chillies 3
Saffron 5-6 strands soaked in warm milk
Onions 1 pound sliced in circles and deep fried till golden brown in color(I used the ready to use fried onions which we get in Indian grocery.)
Ghee / clarified butter 2 tbps
lemon juice 1/2 cup

Clean and wash the chicken pieces and put it in a strainer so that the water is fully drained and chicken pieces are semi dry.
Add ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, red chilli powder, powdered black pepper turmeric powder, garam masala powder, crushed fried onions,curd and sour cream,I used more of sour cream as it leaves less water while chicken is being baked.cover it and let it marinate for minimum 2 hrs.(I marinated it for 8 hrs)

Marinated chicken for biryani

Step 2:
Clean,wash and soak the rice for at least 1/2 hr.
Take a big pot with 2 liters of water in it add Caraway seeds,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom ,slit green chillies and when the water beings to boil transfer the soaked rice into boiling water.Add salt and let it cook rice till it is 50 percent done.

Boiling water to cook rice for biryani(called "Adhaan " in urdu language)

Be very Careful not to over cook rice.keep on stirring it and checking it.When the rice is cooked drain the rice and keep it aside.

Drained semi cooked rice for biryani(I got this strainer from Ikea,its really good specially for biryani as u can fix its handles on your sink)

Step 3
Take a big baking tray lavishly apply ghee on it, transfer the marinated chicken.

Marinated chicken transfered in a tray

On the top of chicken put the layer of half cooked rice.Finally spread mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions,soaked saffron,pour ghee,lemon juice on top of rice.

Biryani ready to be baked

Seal it tight with aluminum foil.

step 4
Bake biryani for about 30 mins at 400 degrees and for an hour at 300 degrees.
Finally your hard work is paid off and your delicious biryani is ready.
I served it with bagare Tamata(masala tomato curry,I posted this curry recipe before)

Biryani served on traditional hyderabadi "Dastarkhan"(red cloth spread, on which food is served)

Hyderabadi Biryani served on traditional dastarkhan along with dahi ki chutney,bagare tamata and a sweet dish Badaam ki jaali(Almond patties)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mango Strawberry Delight

Sweets/ desserts of any kind are my favourite. I can eat them any time but my weighing machine stops me to do so.The dessert I am posting today is one of my favourites,it is the yummiest and most delicious dessert I tasted so far.I bet u will start drooling right while making this yummy dessert.
I recently got this recipe from my colleague and I made this twice in just a week's time.Its quite easy and can be made in a few minutes.
1 tin of mango pulp(I got it from Indian grocery store)
1 tin of condensed milk
1 box of cool whip
1 can of crushed pineapple
The procedure for making this dessert is quite simple; just mix mango pulp, condensed milk, cool whip, crushed pineapple and put in a tray and whip it lightly, cut strawberries and decorate it on top.
PS. u can also add small pieces of strawberry to the mixture while mixing it.
Refrigerate it for an hour. Serve it cool
Ummm... enjoy it.(Don't think of the calories, u will lose its taste :))

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Double ka meetha( Bread pudding)

Bread slices 8
Milk 3/4 cup
Condensed milk 1 cup
Cashews, almonds 1 cup
butter/ ghee
Sugar syrup: Boil three fourth cup sugar in three fourth cup of water with cardamom added to it for 15 minutes. keep it aside
Method: Blend condensed milk with whole milk and keep it aside.
Cut the corners of the bread and make 2 pieces of the bread slice(diagonally) Dry the bread by keeping it under fan.Since its summer now, I kept it for few hours under sun in my balcony.I was told we can even put in oven for few minutes but I personally did not try this option.

Fry bread slices in hot butter/ ghee until golden brown.Arrange the pieces in flat tray, sprinkle chopped nuts on these slices then pour sugar syrup all over.Finally pour the milk and keep it oven uncovered for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.Milk will be completely absorbed by the bread slices.
This sweet dish is ready, u can have it either hot or cool it in fridge before serving.Its definitely yummy and is not for the calorie conscious people:)

Double ka meetha baked and ready to be served