Simple Quinoa Salad

  It is the month end and time for the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge! This challenge was initiated by Priyaakka and then moved on to be managed by Mayuriji. I must say that she is doing a good job keeping everyone motivated to participate in the challenges, even though the group is small.   This month, the theme is “cool salads” since it is summer in almost everywhere in the world. I am teamed with Priya Satheesh (there are too many Priyas in the bloggy world! 😀 ). I admire her for all the innovative combinations that she comes up with, for almost all her recipes. This is the second time I am teamed with her, the last time being when I made the potato frittata.     The two ingredients she gave me was avocado and tomato. I was fine with the tomato but avocado always gives me nervous… 

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Majboos Dejaaj ~ Emirati Chicken Rice

  Did you miss the book review last month? Or you haven’t? If it’s the second case, then you haven’t been reading the blog properly. 😛 Jokes apart, last month, I gave this segment a miss since the Blogging Marathon post collided with the last Saturday. Since I had to choose BM over the book review, I let it go for the month. Here I am this month, making sure that I don’t miss it. 🙂   I am pretty much excited about the post I am doing today. As you know, I am on a mission to collect as much as local cuisine as possible. Having resided in the UAE my whole life, I feel ashamed that I haven’t been accustomed to local cuisine as much as I would have wanted to. But those who have come here would agree to me that local food is not readily available,… 

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Chocolate French Yogurt Cake

  Weekends come with a sigh of relief. The long weekend actually made me slightly under the weather. My throat is sore and most of the time my eyes are puffed up thanks to allergic reactions. I don’t like the way I am feeling even though it has subsided quite a bit with the medication. I am not sure how much I can rest over the weekend, but sincerely hoping to… Meanwhile, I am looking forward to the next week with a lot of excitement. Some little changes on the personal front is what I am expecting, InShaAllah… As we progress in age, we have to seriously look and take care of ourselves and hopefully this step will be the start to an array of change, InShaAllah… I will keep myself updated on IG so do follow me there! It will be just to keep myself motivated and not get… 

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Carrot Lassi ~ Carrot Yogurt Drink

  We had a long weekend this time due to the holiday of Israwal Miraaj being pre-poned. We have guests staying at our house so we took the opportunity to go around Abu Dhabi and showing them around. Whoever goes to Abu Dhabi, a visit to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a must, so that was our last stop before returning back home. I had gone there early February with my parents on a very chilled, blowing day. I had forgotten my watch at the ablution area and remembered about it only halfway on our drive back. By then, I had no way to go back to get it. I normally keep my watch in my bag during wudu, but this time, I don’t know what had happened. This time, I took a chance and asked the security regarding the watch. My habit of taking clicks helped me trace… 

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Garam Masala with Coriander

  “Garam Masala” – literally mean hot spices – is a quintessential spice mix used in Indian cuisine. The best part of this spice mix is that it varies from house to house! Would you not believe me? If my family despises cumin, I may well skip it off from my bottle of garam masala. I have seen black cardamom being used in some North Indian garam masala mix while this spice is not at all used in south India. A garam masala mix can be with as less as three spices to as many as is available to you. The flavor of the spice mix mainly depends upon which spice is used maximum and which spice is stronger in flavor. Whatever said and done, a pinch or a sprinkle of this spice mix will turn your bland gravy into something amazing. I am sure all of you would agree… 

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Vegan Mixed Berry Overnight Smoothie

  You will still keep saying a lot of vegan stuff on this blog. Even though I am off from the diet, I still go for it when I don’t want to feel bloated or just want to go light. Very recently, a colleague of mine started Ayurveda for his skin treatment and now whatever I bring for them to eat, I have to make it vegan. 😀 So I still continue to explore it as much as I can. In fact, the thought that you can make desserts and dishes without eggs, milk and butter is definitely an encouragement. There was a time when baking without eggs and butter would have been considered “sacrilege” but not any more! 😀   But we ain’t baking anything today, but sharing with you an “overnight smoothie”. You must have read of overnight oats, but smoothie? Yes, the only difference is that instead… 

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Pakistani Mint Cumin Raita

  Each time you go to a Pakistani eatery here, there is something standard that will come with everything that you order. The best part about it is that you can dip all your food in it, pour it over your curry to mellow down the heat, or have it just like that. It is my favorite thing to have whenever I go to any eatery. Just try dunking your kebabs in them – they taste amazing.   During my initial days of blogging, I had received a request from a fellow blogger asking if I knew how to make the raita we get from Karachi Darbar. This chain of restaurants is one of the most well known Pakistani food chains here. We used to absolutely enjoy the food, but off late,  I have not been liking their food, so it’s been a long time since we hopped in. 🙁… 

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Semolina Mango Cake

  I hope you enjoyed the Mango Custard Verrines and Aamras posts in this month’s 3-back-to-back mango recipes. I have been wanting to bake with semolina since long but never got around it. My first attempt at making the basbousa, which is an Arab style semolina cake soaked in sugar syrup, was a dud, and I never got to making it again. Even though I have bookmarked several recipes that use up semolina, I have still kept it pending. There is so much that I am cooking and trying so some things do go off to the end of the list. 🙂   I made this cake to finish off a can of mango pulp that I had got at a deal. My mind went loitering at all options like ice cream and pudding but then I remembered the semolina mango cake recipe I had saved up very long ago…. 

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Aamras ~ Sweetened Mango Puree

  After the Mango Custard Verrines, I thought of choosing a very traditional and simple recipe. Aamras is nothing but mango puree. In the north, during the mango season, mango is pureed and stored in order to use it for the future. Aamras is usually served as a dessert or even as a part of a main meal. My colleague P (do check out her Bombay Chicken Biriyani and Mangalore Chicken Sukka!) would tell how amazing a combination aamras is with pooris. Yes, I have heard about it too, but somehow was never convinced, thanks to my South Indian roots. 😉 We can never mix sweet with savory. But since we had the Balaleet experience and were converted, I was somehow confident that this would work too.       Aamras is the best to be made the day before. Allow it to cool and the flavors to mingle, to taste… 

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Mango Custard Verrines

  It feels like ages since I have done my 3 back-to-back recipe series! I don’t know why. Even though I did the blogging marathon last month, I did miss my series, since the pressure is on me to decide the theme and do the posting based on that, without any outside influence. 🙂 So after February, here I am this month…   It was not difficult to choose what to do this month. With the king of fruits slowly coming into the market, what better time than to indulge in some treats? So this time, I am coming with three back-to-back mango treats, which are simple yet delightful to your tastebuds…     The first one is a super simple “Mango Custard Verrine”. What is a verrine, you may wonder. Verrines are normally layered food in see-through shot glasses. It can be sweet or savory. You may wonder how it… 

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Hyderabadi Kheema Biriyani

  I normally don’t post on Fridays unless they are challenge posts. But this time, thought of giving that rule of mine a little miss. 🙂 Today is our anniversary #13. This is the fourth anniversary we are celebrating on the blog. 😀 At times I really wonder how much effort it takes to make a marriage work. One or the other spouse does a lot of adjustments, forgiving and forgetting the small and large mistakes. Why do we do it? There is something more than love that keeps a marriage going. I have realised that every day of my life. I am quite a moody person and one small thing can push me off a corner. HD is just the opposite. Maybe that’s why we are still together in it despite every odds. He is not a romantic that gives me surprises off the hook, or makes me feel… 

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Apple Dates Muffins

  Schools just opened for the girls on Monday and that marks the start to another strenuous academic year. As the girls move up grade after grade, it comes with a sense of pride marked with a tinge of sadness… that very soon, our children will cease to be kids and be grown ups in their own right. Rasha will be soon entering her dual numeric age and she is so excited about it! She keeps telling me that she is going to become a teenager and while that statement does give me a mini heart attack, I remind her that teenage sets in only once the numeric age name ends with teen, so she still has another three more years to go. 😉 That did upset her a bit, but gave me a little relief too.   As they grow up, it does get a little difficult to handle… 

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Bakmi Goreng/ Mie Goreng ~ Indonesian Fried Noodles

  We are on the tenth of the month, so time for the Muslim Food Bloggers Challenge of the month! The way days fly from one tenth to the other is unbelievable. Sometimes I feel we have enough time to handle things, but this time, it came to a point that I had to whip up something so quick so that I could at least be a part of the challenge. It doesn’t happen to me usually. I like to plan and be prepared in advance, but sometimes things just don’t work out in your favor and plans keep getting postponed, only for the deadline to be staring at you. Alhamdulillah, still I was ready a week ahead, not too late I suppose. 😉   This month, we explore Indonesian cuisine. Why, you may ask. Indonesia happens to be the largest Muslim country in the world, accounting for 20% of… 

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Dulche De Leche Shrikand ~ DDL Yogurt Dessert

  I was just thinking to myself how long it has been since I have shared some motivational quotes or even thoughts on the blog. Sometimes the head doesn’t work, as simple as that. Especially when things are going smoothly, Alhamdulillah. At times, we feel routine is boring. We wish something extraordinary would happen. Good surprises add joy to the otherwise mundane life, but what if the surprise decides to take an ugly turn? Nobody would like it. Nobody would be able to accept it as soon as it happens. Once it slowly settles down, then you start absorbing it and accepting it, believing that things will turn better. So till I don’t have any surprises, good or bad, I am Alhamdulillah happy with my life. Frustrations are there – very human like – but I try for it not to interfere into my current thought process. 🙂   Sharing… 

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Kettle Popcorn

  I am trying to remember when did I get the idea of “kettle popcorn”. I just don’t remember… seriously! Kettle popcorn is nothing but popcorn with a slight sweetness. It isn’t caramel popcorn, yet not just the normal popcorn. This popcorn seems to have originated from the US, you can read a little bit on Wikipedia but more than that, I don’t know. 😀 I am still wondering about its name. It isn’t made in a kettle, yet, why is it called so? Hehe…   The process is just like normal popcorn, just that you add some sugar, which melts and covers over the popcorn giving it a slight sweetness. The sugar actually becomes one reason why you have to be extra careful while popping it, since there are high chances of the sugar getting burned. So do trust your ears and nose while making this popcorn! 😉 Just… 

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