Vegan Mixed Berry Overnight Smoothie

ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  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

ย  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. ย  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, ย I have not been liking their food, so it’s been a long time since we hopped in. ๐Ÿ™… 

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Semolina Mango Cake

ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  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

ย  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 Bombayย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ย  ย  ย  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

ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ So after February, here I am this month… ย  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… ย  ย  The first one is a super simple “Mango Custard Verrine”. What is a verrine, you may wonder. Verrines are normally layered foodย in see-through shot glasses. It can be sweet or savory. You may wonder how it… 

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Hyderabadi Kheema Biriyani

ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is our anniversary #13. This is the fourth anniversary we are celebrating on the blog. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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

ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That did upset her a bit, but gave me a little relief too. ย  As they grow up, it does get a little difficult to handle… 

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Bakmi Goreng/ Mie Goreng ~ Indonesian Fried Noodles

ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย  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

ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  Sharing… 

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Kettle Popcorn

ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜€ I am still wondering about its name. It isn’t made in a kettle, yet, why is it called so? Hehe… ย  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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just… 

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Aash-mal-Zaffran ~ Emirati Saffron Rice

ย  I have been wanting to post more Emirati recipes but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I had initially planned at doing one recipe per month, but things are not going as per plan. I try to keep a healthy mix of all kinds of recipes on the blog, and Alhamdulillah, I feel I am doing a fair enough job. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am actually happy with it, since I don’t want to feel any pressure regarding concentrating on one cuisine, especially when you have to be extra careful as to how your folks would react to different flavors. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย But, yes, this year, I have been trying to keep a tap on cooking more local recipes and I am sure I will be able to keep recording them at a good enough pace rather than keep them waiting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย  Today, I am sharing a very simple recipe but… 

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Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

ย  While almost all Indian schools started yesterday, I had some respite of not having to send the girls to school for a week more. I am feeling really relieved of having got an extended holiday from having to wake up really early on a weekday and bang my head over what to pack in their boxes. ๐Ÿ˜€ Five days isn’t much of a long time, but still… any small break is definitely welcome, since this is going to be the case for the next three months, InShaAllah… ย  And talking about the weather, we are back to getting hot. The rains have stopped and the winters have moved on. The mornings and evenings are still good, though a little humid, but the afternoons are getting a bit unbearable. The summers have to come in, isn’t it? So let’s get to having a lot of fluid and keeping ourselves hydrated… 

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Aloo Paratha ~ Potato Stuffed Flatbread

ย  Most of the times, when I am at office, I order aloo paratha for breakfast. We have a little shop just across the street, that sells some amazing parathas. If we need to get the aloo parathas, we need to order them quite early or else we end up getting a gobhi (cauliflower) paratha or mooli (radish) paratha in its name. ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  I have tried many versions of this favorite stuffed flatbread. However, once I tried this version, I have never gone to try any other recipe. The masala filling is so easy to make. The crushed spices give it a nice intermittent bites, that add to the taste of the parathas. I like it nice and simple, just with some yogurt to dunk in and some pickle. The best thing about this bread is that you don’t need any side to go with it. It is apt… 

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Vegan Strawberry Mango Smoothie

ย  It is the end of the month and it is time for the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge of the month. With the summers looming in this part of the world and back home already under a heat spell, it wasn’t difficult finalizing the theme for the month. The theme for the month is “Summer Coolers” and my partner for this month is Shailaja, whom I am dealing for the first time and am glad to be partnered with. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  She gave me mango and ice cream as my secret ingredients. Mango is coming into season and who doesn’t get excited about this delicious fruit! I am not very fond of ice creams in my smoothies or drinks, so decided to only utilize mango for this challenge. What I did was pair it up with another seasonal fruit that are available now in the market, which is strawberries. This… 

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Baked Blueberry French Toast

ย  We have had some amazing weather over the last weekend. Scheduling posts actually keeps me away from updating the blog with what happens, but sometimes you are forced to, especially when the posts are related to challenges and you don’t want to miss the dates. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to be particular that way, and Alhamdulillah, so far I have been doing well to manage. If you are following me on Instagram, you would have caught up with the weekend weather updates. I tend to post more weather/sky/nature clicks there rather than my food. ๐Ÿ˜€ Somehow, I prefer to click my surroundings rather than what I am eating, especially when we are at a restaurant. I prefer to dig in right away rather than pull out the mobile, click it till the perfect click is done, and then eat it cold. I can’t take it that way… ๐Ÿ˜› The rains… 

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