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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Meat Chickpeas Patties

  It is the 10th of the month and it is time for the Muslim Food Blogger Challenge of the month! I love hosting challenges and love it even more when there is healthy participation too. We are now in our fourth month, and Alhamdulillah, things are going quite well with a lot of enthusiasm in the team. I would love to thank each and every member who take the challenge and try to participate as much as they can! 🙂   For this month, the theme chosen was “Cooking from the Scrapbook“. Being foodies, we all would have at-least one scrapbook. Either it is a scribbled diary during our school days where we noted our Home Science recipes or copied it from the newspaper that our dad would be angry with us if we run the scissors around it. 😀 It may be a book with all cut-outs, or… 

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Macarona Bel Bechamel ~ Egyptian Macaroni with Bechamel

  After taking a month off last month, we are back with a bang with the MENA Cooking Club challenge! This month, we are cooking from Egypt.   Egypt needs no introduction. The land of the Nile and the Pharoahs, that’s how everybody knows it to be. It is a country that everybody would want to visit at least once in their lifetime, and that includes myself as well. For this month’s challenge, we were given three options: Macarona bin Bechamel – a macaroni dish, with beef and with bechamel sauce;  Touly – also called the Egyptian ratatouille and Fateer, which is a delicious layered Egyptian bread.   Fateer is something that we buy from Union Co-op at times and eat it just like that. The bread is really greasy but you can’t stop it at one bite. I wanted to try it but looking at the amount of butter/ghee… 

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Chukandar Ghosht ~ Beetroot Mutton Curry

  Something I like about our neighboring country’s cuisine is that they include vegetables in their meat curries. You will find spinach in their mutton curry, methi in their chicken curry, etc. I guess some of the influences are found in some of our North side states as well, though I am not very well aware of the same.   I found “Chukandar Ghosht” in a group mainly of Pakistani members. The color and the recipe allured me. I am sure all of you agree how beautiful the color of beetroot makes any dish look. Just giving you some examples, like the Beetroot Raita and the Eggless Red Velvet Muffins. I had to make it somehow, since my kids are very fond of beetroot. This is such an easy-to-put-together curry, with no tough ingredients and tastes amazing with some hot naans or simple steamed rice. Try to use tender mutton… 

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Shepherd’s Pie

  When winter arrives, all you need is comfort food – food that can be put together easily but is so good to settle down your coldness and hunger too! Winter in UAE is never so cold that you get a chill on your spine. I love winters here, since you can move out in your normal clothing plus a Kashmiri shawl or a thin sweater. The days are short, the nights are long and it all feels cozy outside. Even though you always feel hungry, food tastes the best during this time, as water won’t interrupt frequently! 😀 Last year, we had pretty decent showers so this year we have to wait and see what is there in store for us, InShaAllah…     The second one in line of 3 back-to-back potato recipes after the Chicken Potato Salad, is the Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe is just as good… 

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Kunjipathil/ Kakkarotti/ Erachi Pidi ~ Rice Dumplings in Meat Stew

  I feel it’s been long since I have done a totally Malabar style recipe post on the blog. So let me break the delay now… 🙂 Kakkarotti, also called as Kunji Pathil (literally translates as small disks) or Erachi Pidi (literally translates as meat and dumpling) is nothing but dumplings made with rice flours, dunked into a spicy meat stew. It is a little bit of work, like many traditional Malabar recipes are, but the end result is so delicious that you will see your family literally licking the plates that it is served in! The cooking is involved into two stages – one, making the pathil or dumplings and the second making the thick meat stew and finally you mix all of them up, simmer and then temper them to make a complete meal. The ingredient list may look long and the process cumbersome but if you plan out… 

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Irachi Varattiyathu ~ Roast Meat with Coconut Peices

  Last Thursday, my parents arrived. Alhamdulillah, the feeling of having them back even though for a little time is priceless. There is a little extra joy coming ahead as my sister and her boy will join us this Thursday evening for a couple of weeks, InShaAllah… Looking forward to a fun filled Eid… 🙂 Ramadan is moving at a dizzying pace and somehow I am not able to keep up the pace. No wonder it is said, that “Ramadan is like a rare flower, that blossoms once a year. Just when you begin to smell its fragrance, it disappears for another year.” Whoever said this, has said it so true… 🙁   As I was going through the posts over the past few weeks, I have not posted any “serious” recipes as such. They have all been quick fixes – like juices, and snacks. I must say that when… 

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Harees ~ Emirati Wholewheat Mash

  Ramadan is incomplete in this part of the world without a regular supply of “Harees”. I bet anybody who has been here will agree.   “Harees” is nothing that whole wheat slow cooked along with mutton and bones till nicely mashed. Umma would say that in those days (early 80s), she has seen the maids at the Arab houses would have a huge pot outside the house kept on a makeshift stove, with fire from dried date palm or wood and they would stir in once in a while to ensure it doesn’t stick. The harees would be cooked for hours till you are unable to distinguish the whole wheat nor the mutton. The bones that would be floating on top would be fished out and then the harees would be packed in casseroles with a generous topping of ghee, called as “smen”. These are then distributed to the… 

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Khoreshte Bamieh ~ Persian Meat Okra Stew

  I am surprised that I haven’t posted any Iranian recipes after the Fereni. I am really surprised – how did that happen? 😕 I had promised myself to explore a lot of Iranian food and cook them up for the blog, but going through my recipe index, that hasn’t happened. Hmm… OK, let me explain to you why I love Iranian food. The first company I worked with was an Iranian company. I worked there only for seven months but those were lovely days. We did not have to carry lunch and everyday except Thursday, which was a KFC day, would be typical Iranian food -the crisp white and yellow rice topped with warm butter or sometimes laced with barberries (zereshk), those perfectly grilled kebabs, their mildly spiced curries, the tabbouleh and the dessert, which most of the time, would be the fereni, but a thicker one. The whole… 

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Coorg Beef Curry

  There are days when I feel like leaving all and just running away. Aren’t their days when we all feel like that? At times, the determination is sky high – that I am going to overcome everything, come what may be, while some days are just the opposite – everything feels like a deck of cards! I have this habit of sitting in the dark once the whole house goes to sleep, with the dim light in the passage on and the whole house silent. Somehow, Azza does not like me sitting alone, so she came and disturbed my silence the other night. Irritated, I commented, “I am going to put both of you at a school back home. You people go and stay with uppa and umma (my parents)” Initially, she looked excited and in a matter of seconds, she coiled down onto my lap and stayed silent…. 

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Raarha Ghosht ~ Special Mutton Curry

  Somehow, good days always seem to come to an end much faster than you would like it to. My parents went back after a month’s stay yesterday morning and dreading going back home, I took the kids out to their favorite play area, and then got a few things done for the car plus a little bit of shopping. Nothing really helped me actually – a lot of things are very peripheral, you think they would help you overcome when they really don’t! 🙂 It took me time to go off to sleep but then I told myself that I am not alone as far as not having parents close by is concerned. All those who stay abroad miss their parents irrespective of how your relationship is with them… Also I consider myself unromantic, as seeing a lot of red all around thanks to February 14 being Valentine’s Day… 

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Aatunthala Curry ~ Goat Head Curry

  Even though we are not used to any “exotic” kind of foods except chicken liver or giblets occasionally, this is one thing I used to eat when I was small. D would sometimes bring aatunthala (goat head) when he finds a good one in the near butcher shop and umma would make this simple yet super tasty soup like curry with it. My sister would not touch even a bit, and that would only make me happy. Just like how this recipe phased out till I forced umma to make it for the blog, this one also had gone into oblivion. Since I am wary of buying from butchers, I normally don’t prepare it. I always believe that it is better for the men to get things like these for us to cook, since the men on the other side will be wary of giving bad stuff to them!… 

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Patees ~ Emirati Beef Patties

  Today is commemorated as Martyr’s Day across the UAE. The day was declared by the president of the UAE, as a mark for respect towards all the UAE soldiers, who were martyred on their duties and from this year onwards, it is a public holiday. You can read more about it here. May Allah bless the souls of the martyrs with the highest ranks in His Jannah, Aameen…   Following up from our Faloodah post of yesterday, today is a nice snack to have with a cup of hot black coffee, or kahwa, like the locals call it here. This recipe is also from the cut-outs as mentioned yesterday. I made a few variations to the original recipe – I mixed the beef mince into the potato mash, while the original recipe had asked to put a little beef inside a potato ball and shape like a patties. I don’t… 

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Meatball (Kofta) Curry

  I am a watcher, to say the least. I keep my eyes wide open to absorb any type of beauty I get to see – it may be a baby, a lovely dress worn by a pretty woman, that dazzling abaya, somebody’s ring, nicely presented food, a frothy cup of coffee, a well made cup of chai… That’s not the only thing I watch! The sun, moon, stars, trees, wind… everything related to nature amazes me. When I catch the moon in the daylight, it amuses me. The sun sinking in between the tall buildings, creating a lovely silhouette excites me irrespective of how many times I see it. Last week, I happened to see two bright stars in the early morning sky. At around 5:50 am, I had just opened the balcony door to feel the day and a glance up showed me two stars shining so bright,… 

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Omani Mutton Kabouli

I am so glad to say that I am hosting the MENA Cooking Challenge this month, and the country for the month is Oman. I have gone to Oman only two times in my life – one to Salalah when Rasha was just a year and a half and the other in 2013 to Muscat to see my BFF after 15 years! Both the trips, unfortunately were too much in a hurry and I am waiting for a chance when HD will have at least a week to spare to go visit both the places separately – so in fact I should be getting two weeks of his time. Still waiting for my appointment… hehe…   The Sultanate of Oman is a monarchy, sharing its borders with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. I must say that this big nation is blessed by nature – surrounded with a lot of… 

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