Pasta in a Jiffy

  You might be thinking – what a name! I didn’t know how to name it better than this! 😀 Ever since I discovered this way of cooking pasta, I have left aside the traditional way of making it. The original idea was given by Rini during her cook along segment in the UAE Food Guide. I have twisted and tweaked this recipe in many ways, and this is just one version. I will be giving some versions in the notes section for you to try.   Just keep a few pointers while cooking pasta this way: Know your pasta. Most of the pastas available in the market quick fast. Hence do not even wait for your pressure cooker to whistle. As soon as you hear the “shh” sound, switch it off and allow it to cook in its pressure. I have used Quaker oats pasta here, so I allowed… 

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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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Cheesy Chicken Pizza with Wheatgerm Crust

  There is one thing I am slowly convincing myself – that I can’t escape from night photography. Period… I have always wondered if people would stop reading my blog if I don’t improve my pictures. Would you? Please do tell me… 🙂 Once during a casual conversation, Lubna had mentioned that the pictures on the blog reflects the nature of the blog. If the concentration is on food photography, then there will be lesser posts, but if the focus is on recipe sharing, then the number of posts will be more. It actually made a lot of sense to me.   I never started the blog to focus on food photography. It was more to keep me motivated to cook, since I know the type of character I am. 😀 I can have long stretches of no-cooking days when we live off the fridge. I don’t want to blame… 

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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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Pesto Stovetop Pizza ~ Pizza in just 20 minutes!

  My kids love pizza. I discovered it very late… hehe… My initial days of making pizza did not receive so much enthusiasm so I was kind of slow on it. But once we started having Papa Johns, all the kids need is pizza. That too not any pizza, something that has a proper pizza like crust and looks and tastes like pizza. But who has the time to wait till the yeast does its job and the oven gets done. I mean on an average to make a pizza, you need at least an hour and a half and I don’t have that kind of time, period! 😀 That is when I chanced upon on this video and decided to make it as soon as possible. But I prefer making the dough separate and put it on the pan, so that is what exactly I went ahead with. Frankly,… 

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Peanut Pasta Salad

  We have been eating from out like mad. During these holidays, since we would hit the road early and come back really late, we hardly cooked anything much apart from the biriyani. My sister is already asking me to make her some special since I haven’t made anything much, hehe… I mean, that is true… there is hardly any time to be making specials especially when time is so limited. I am hoping to make at least something before it gets too late, InShaAllah… One request that has come is for this mango cheesecake, which I must get doing soon…   From all the eating, at times we do crave for very subtle meals. This pasta salad is one of them. Last year, we had a small blogger’s meet-up, in which Asiyakka had come with a salad similar to this. It was so delicious that we wiped up the… 

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Sausage Mac n Cheese

  Alhamdulillah, my parents arrived for a month last Friday, and as usual came with a lot of eatables from back home, though the quantity was not very high as I kept reminding umma not to bring too much that I would be forced to throw away because of nobody eating them. Whenever my parents come, we have a constant flow of guests, unlike the other days, so the kitchen was burning more as well. A good sign, isn’t it? The main thing for the kids is that they have their grandparents to come back to from school, and Azza was saying, “Nalla bhakshanam kittum!” (We will get good food!) With the way she said, I felt my whole cooking effort melting into thin air! 🙁 I have always been writing how tough it is to please my kids, they prefer umma’s food much more than my food that sometimes… 

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Baked Mac n Cheese

I constantly try to improve myself. After all, we cannot allow ourselves to stagnate. It doesn’t help us in any way. Even though sometimes I feel I am doing better, sometimes I do feel I am not doing much to help myself. That is why I keep reading, I keep trying to bring in tiny changes, as “drops of water maketh an ocean”. That is why I keep adding in here little titbits that I feel will help me in some way or another… One I found from my favorite Yasmin Mogahed… Her words never fail to boost me up. May Allah give her reward for the good she is doing… On days, when you are in a mood for something vegetarian but exactly not in that condition – that’s when Mac n Cheese comes to rescue. There is nothing complicated about it – cooked macaroni washed in some white sauce… 

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Mushroom Capsicum Pizza with No-Yeast Base

Time for a challenge post! It was last month I started my tryst with the “We Knead To Bake” challenge with a savory bread and I had done the Chicken Bread. This month, we were asked to bake our own pizzas, moving out of our comfort zone. Even though I bake pizzas on and off, the only three pizzas that I have featured on the blog are here, here and here. The time I saw the challenge, I had my mind set out on trying this fruit pizza, but somehow it didn’t work out. I guess it was mainly because I was doing a lot of baking and the overload of sweet stuff at home was getting onto me, so I cancelled my initial plan. But I still wanted to make it to the challenge of the month, as I am not sure about how I would be able to… 

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Mini Chicken Pizza with Wholewheat Base

Taking it further from yesterday’s post, some beautiful lines I found… only if we all would understand that pure love is given to us by Him and we keep asking it from Him, the world would be a better place to live in… 🙂 I guess enough of mushiness… this pizza was made during a lazy lunch. Wanting to make it a bit healthy, I made the base with wholewheat alone and tried out to see how it would fare. Though it was dense. it did give a good flavor. Unfortunately, all-purpose flour always tastes much better but still doesn’t mean that you keep using it all the time, thanks to what all you get to hear about including it too much into your diet. Anything without chicken is normally not entertained at home, so I had to add the chicken for the sake of kids but do skip it… 

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Chicken Pasta in White Sauce

A little story to start… while I was packing Rasha’s lunch box and Azza was sipping her cup of milk before going to school, we stuck a conversation: Me: Athante teacher Englishila paraya? (Does your teacher speak in English?) Azza: Alla… (No…) Me: Pinne Hindiya samsarikka? (Does she speak Hindi?) *BTW, my kids learned Hindi only by watching cartoons… at least one advantage of watching them! Hehe…* Azza: *Shakes her head to imply no* Me: Pinne entha paraya? (Then what she speaks?) Azza: Ummi chamcharikkuna pole… (Like how ummi speaks…) It didn’t run through my head initially, then I realized that she was indicating that her teacher communicates to her in Malayalam. Since she didn’t know how to say the so-called-complicated name of our language, she gave me this response! I am awestruck at how they frame their responses… kids these days! 🙂 Whenever I am not in a mood… 

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Spicy Chicken Pizza

There is a strength in these words… In-Sha’-Allah… and what does it mean? “If Allah Wills…” Every Muslim, when he commits to anything, even if it is a small matter, he has to ensure that he gives a commitment from his side along with these words. I know that people jokingly say that these words have a guarantee of six months. That is because of the wide spread misuse of it. If people use these words to let their discomfort or uneasiness known to do things, then they are mistaken. Either we say we do not intend to do it, or say we may or we would, with an “InShaAllah”. Once I learned the strength of these two words, I never fail to use it. First of all, we are committing to the fact that we are powerless in the absence of the Almighty’s support. How many things man has… 

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Sausage Mixed Vegetables Noodles

    A new year is always about resolutions. I have always wondered – why does it have to be? We all know very well that our life is on a tipping scale, on which we are on a balance. Nobody has a clue as to what will happen – forget about tomorrow – the very next moment. We live a life of uncertainty, in all ways. And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow”  – Al Qura’n – Surah Kahf 18:23 I realize there is no tomorrow in life, it is always today. I have to discover my strengths today, my weaknesses today, create all the inroads today and get closer to Allah today. Nobody guarantees tomorrow for us. So it is for us to take into account this bitter truth and ensure that we take advantage of every second that comes by. One of the biggest… 

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Keema Macaroni ~ Pasta with Minced Meat

I guess I need not say much about the quote I am sharing with all of you today. I am a person of high expectations – despite trying to develop myself into a better person and having reduced my level of expectation from all around me, I have not reached the level where I would have zero expectation. I guess it is not human to reach that kind of a stage, but still I would love to reach a stage where my expectations are so low that it does not guarantee any heartbreaks if things don’t happen just like how I want it to be. I really don’t know whether I will ever reach that situation but yes, I am trying… I love anything to do with pasta or macaroni, as they are my go-to on my lazy days. One dish I make quite frequently when I have some mince… 

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Chicken Tandoori Macaroni

I always am awed with the Almighty’s creation. We all may belong to one species called “man”, yet how different we are from each other. Even if we have the same father and mother, the mix and matches in each individual differs. When you may look similar physically, mentally you are totally different. In this diversity, there is a lot to learn.  I love to observe the goodness in others and tell it to them. It gives me a lovely feeling altogether, MaShaAllah. Every person is blessed with some goodness and it is for us to see it in them to realize how beautiful life really is. 🙂 Hmm… I guess too much of hard core philosophy, I guess I’ve to thank it to the view I woke up in the morning – even though a bit humid these days, the sky is at it’s best, with tinges of black,… 

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