Chana Pulao ~ Chickpea Pilaf

  The first weekend without the kids passed by, and I must say I managed well, though it was a bit overwhelming at times. Since HD is mostly busy with his work, my company are the girls and I tag them along wherever I go. So driving without them in the passenger seat on Thursday night and at home on Friday evening when HD had gone to finish off some important work, was a little emotional for me. But at the back of my mind, I told myself that this may be something that will happen every summer vacation from now on, as long as I will be working, so I better get used to it.   Yesterday, we had a lovely get together at Huma‘s place for lunch. Ria, Priya (your names seem to rhyme! 😀 ) and Zerin were able to join us. We had so much fun chatting,… 

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Kaala Chana Chaat ~ Black Chickpeas Chaat

  HD has this annoying habit of bringing in fried snacks from the nearby restaurant just before Iftar time. His intention is good – to give me relief from having to make something for tea time. But normally, I never do unless there is a request from the girls for something. They are not too much into fried snacks, and their liking is very limited to a small variety. When he buys, he brings in quite a lot and you end up over eating without even realizing it. 😕 The only thing I used to like of what he brings was this simple Kala Chana Chaat, which I now end up making it at home when I crave for it. This year, after so much coaxing, he has almost stopped bringing in snacks – such a relief! – though a couple of times he decided he must get some. 😀  … 

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Shorbath Adas ~ Emirati Lentil Soup

  I have this habit of buying food magazines that get released during the month of Ramadan. Every year, magazines like BBC Good Food, Spinneys Food and Gourmet release special Ramadan editions, containing very interesting meal ideas and recipes for the month of Ramadan. For the last three years, they have been including a small section of local recipes contributed by home chefs, bloggers and restaurant owners, and I have been marking them up to make. One recipe that I had tried previously was this delicious Emirati falooda, which also happens to be a drink that features frequently during this month. This comforting soup that I am sharing today is likewise adapted from a recipe that appeared in the BBC Good Food Ramadan 2015 issue.   Every Arab country calls their lentil soup “Shorbath Adas”. “Shorba” is soup, and “adas” is lentil. Even though the base ingredients may be the same, the… 

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Lefki Fasolada ~ Greek White Bean Soup

  Starting the next round of the Blogging Marathon #76… This time, I chose to explore Greek cuisine, under the theme “Flavors of Greece”. The only Greek recipe I have is an obvious Greek Salad! If you go through their food, the flavors are so similar to the Mediterranean cuisine that I was very sure I would have an accepting bunch at home for the food that I would cook from this cuisine. Considering my lack of time as I mentioned in this post, I decided to go for some very easy recipes to try. My pins kept growing since there were quite a lot of simple and straightforward recipes in this cuisine. Do search around for yourself for some amazing ideas!   The first recipe I chose to cook was this flavorful white bean soup, which I adapted from here. As I ran through the ingredients, I was wondering… 

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Musaara Varakiyathu ~ Malabar Wheat and Bengal Gram Pudding

  The Muslim Food Blogger’s Challenge is 6 months old! Alhamdulillah… it feels great to be going on. The group maybe small but we have a really enthusiastic bunch, that keeps the challenge alive. I am sure you will all agree that enthusiasm and interest is what drives everything ahead, and I thank Him for this little bunch of bloggers who make my life so easier to go on… 🙂   This month, we reverted back to trying from a blog and we chose to cook from “Shab’s Cuisine“. This blog is one of them that I started following when the cooking bug hit me around 7 years ago – yes, my cooking passion is pretty young, you see! 😉 I totally love her blog since she had some very simple recipes plus her blog was a treasure of Malabar recipes. I guess I don’t need to mention the amazing… 

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Spiced Chickpea Mango Salad

  Most of my cookbooks are instant purchases. I just flip through and purchase. At least buying that way has given me decent cookbooks compared to some of my online purchases that have literally made me cry once the books have landed in my hand. 😀 I guess I better not talk about them and move on with the book chosen for this month’s book review… 🙂   “Chilli Notes” by Thomassina Miers happens to be the author’s fifth cookbook. And she is no mean one – she is a Masterchef winner. I really didn’t know that when I picked up the book. 🙂 I picked it up from the Borders store at Mirdif City Center, along with the “Low Fat Baking Book” that I reviewed the first in the series. I don’t know what exactly pulled me to buy it but there were surely these factors: Hardcover – I… 

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Varutharacha Sambar ~ Malabar Style Mixed Vegetable Lentil Stew

  I would really call sambar as the ultimate comfort food of a South Indian. Why not? We would have sambar with everything. Recently, I discovered that sambar went amazingly well with porottas too! If you are wondering what a “sambar” is, it is a South Indian stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables and lots of spices.   I had mentioned in this post that I am not fond of store bought sambar powders. Each brand tastes different and somehow I don’t seem to like any. I prefer to make my own little batch each time I make my sambar. When I discovered that we had our own version of making sambaar using roasted coconut paste, my joy had no bounds. Umma was never aware of a version like this, so I never grew up with one. I have adapted this recipe from many sources so can’t pinpoint just one…. 

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Daal Paratha ~ Lentil Flatbread (with leftover daal!)

  It’s been sometime since I participated in the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge, I guess. When was the last time? My last post was this delicious dessert way back in July. Then vacation and hangover came into play and finally I gave myself in to make it up for this month’s challenge. The theme for the month was “Breakfast” and I was paired with Mayuriji for the secret ingredients.   As we all know, breakfast IS most important meal of the day. If you don’t eat well then, you may have a haphazard day to follow. I am not somebody who has a heavy breakfast but I ensure to eat something good enough to keep my energy levels on for the whole day. I have already shared a few breakfast ideas that I resort to on the blog. So when Mayuriji gave me my ingredients as wholewheat flour and methi… 

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Muringayila Parippu Upperi ~ Drumstick Leaves with Lentils

  Allah has His own ways. Each time, my blogging enthusiasm starts taking a downturn, He immediately surprises me with something that helps me take the U-turn, Alhamdulillah. 😀 I have had two things happening over the weekend, the smaller one is winning a gift voucher from Siri’s space and the big one was a mighty surprise: a feature on Manorama Online as one of the six Malayalee foodie accounts to follow on Instagram! It was a real surprise, since I feel I pushed behind a lot of well deserving foodie accounts, but it made me a stronger believer on His Will that may have caused me to be in that list in between all top shots! So rest assured, I am not stopping my blogging in the near future, InShaAllah… 😉   I did a little story on “Muringayila” or drumstick leaves when I had done this post. Drumsticks… 

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Hearty Bean Barley Soup

  Time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I must admit this is one challenge I am so happy to be in! Every month, once our reveal is done, I eagerly wait to see which blog is assigned for the coming month. A food blogger never gets tired of going through another food blog. The only issue is that it gives a feeling that there is still so much to try! 😀 I don’t think that is bad at all. As long as we realize that cooking is a continuous learning process, it will make you feel fine. 😉 The blog assigned to me for this month was “Our Eating Habits“. The owner of the blog, Jamie is the mother of three lovely kids, who are home-schooled, and she absolutely enjoys cooking for them. It is so well evident on her blog. The range of recipes on the blog is… 

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Lauki Chana Dal ~ Bottlegourd Chickpea Lentil Stew

  Last week saw some awesome movement on the blog. All I did was share the Chocolate Biscuit Pudding on a few FB groups and what happened was the least that I expected! The day it was posted and the next day showed some really good hits on the blog, in fact last Wednesday showed the highest hits ever since I started the blog. The other time I got close to it was when I shared the Fluffy Biscuit Pudding. I get asked by all as to how to keep a blog running. In fact, there is no formula for it. If you are ready to spent a lot of time looking at ways to emaciate your blog in the way of social networking and otherwise, and if you are lucky, you will get in a healthy amount of hits. It is a lot of work. But more than work,… 

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Nawabi Qabooli Biriyani ~ Chickpea Lentil Biriyani

  Alhamdulillah, today is the day of Arafah. For the people who are Makkah for the pilgimage of Hajj, they will all assemble in the vast ground of Arafah, continuously supplicating and praying to the Almighty for themselves and for all of the others. The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” (Tirmidhee). It is said that He forgives all their sins, even if it is as much as the foam on the surface of the sea, SubhanAllah! How can we count foam? To read more about this day, you can check out this link. For those not on Hajj, it is highly recommended to fast, since fasting on this day with sincere intentions… 

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Chicken with Kidney Beans

  Blankness seems to be the call of the day. Mostly when I open a blog post, I stare at the screen with an empty feeling, not knowing how to go ahead. Writer’s block, I suppose. 🙂 Or maybe I am just overwhelmed by a lot of things around… hehe… I really don’t know. But since I am not in a mood to keep the blog blank, I will go ahead and do the post for the day.   I love combinations of lentils with non-veg, just like this Murg Chanay. As soon as I saw this recipe on Haffa’s space, I had to try it. Even the name she mentioned was so interesting. But when I searched Google just for my information, I noticed Mexicali Chicken was a totally different dish, so I refrained from using that name, instead just kept it straightforward. Hehe… This is just the type… 

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Ethapazham Madhuracurry ~ Ripe Plantain Lentil Sweet Curry

  As we roll into the last days of this precious month, it is a two fold feeling – the sadness that Ramadan is leaving us this time and the excitement that Eid is coming. Eid-ul-Fitr is Allah’s way of giving us relief from the tough days of Ramadan that we have had, at the same time, for some serious stock taking of how much we have learned from the month and how much of it can we move forward with during the rest of our life. It is a festival where we thank Him for giving us the strength, perseverence and willpower to submit to His Will. However, just like I stated, it is also a time for us to consider continuing the work that we carried out during Ramadan till the next Ramadan, InShaAllah… How easy it is to do, is totally upto us but with His help,… 

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Palak Daal ~ Spinach Lentil Gravy

  Galloping towards the fag end of the precious month… and not feeling good at all! 🙁 Alhamdulillah, we are having a lovely time with my parents and InShaAllah, tonight my sister and her boy will join us, so we are all excited about the few weeks that are coming up. Time with family is always welcome and especially, when you have festivities coming around… Even the hot summers don’t seem to affect the spirit, isn’t it? 🙂   I totally love lentils. For me, it is a totally comfort meal. Normally, in Malabar cooking, the use of lentil is very minimal, like using it in masala vada or in this aubergine curry. Umma doesn’t like much of daal, so she used to hardly make them at home but once I was in charge of the kitchen, I started cooking it at least a week – yeah, I know my… 

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