Dum Aaloo Biriyani ~ Potato Biriyani

  We are now in the last ten days of Ramadan, which is considered to be the most blessed days of this month. Even though the consensus is bend towards the odd number days to be considered “Laylathul Qadr”, it is recommended that the same level of worship is maintained all throughout the ten days or till Eid is declared. I had already shared some information regarding this night in this post during my initial days of blogging. However, many people still don’t realize its importance and end up spending majority of the days and nights in shopping for Eid. It is something that happens not only where I stay, but back home too.   I always make it a point to finish my Eid shopping before Ramadan begins, yes, with the full thought that we may not even live to see the day! But I also feel it is… 

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Tabbouleh ~ Middle Eastern Parsley Salad

  This month, being Ramadan, for the MENA Cooking Challenge, we were given a free reign. We were asked to choose any recipe that is normally cooked during this holy month in the MENA region. The first thing that came into my mind was salad – and of course, what better than Tabbouleh!   One good thing about this region is the incorporation of a routine of soup and salad into their daily eating habits. You will see that before every meal, even in restaurants, a small serving of soup and salad is always provided. It is a mandatory part of their eating habit, unlike our Indian style of mostly having only onions as salad and never any soup! I have tried hard this Ramadan to introduce a soup and salad routine, but barring from a day or two, I wasn’t really successful, thanks to the heat in the kitchen… 

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Sago Rose Milk

  Sometimes I peek back and wonder, where did the month go? We are almost finishing the second ten days of Ramadan and moving towards the last ten days of the month, considered to be the best days of the year itself. Somehow days are flying in full speed, just like water slipping through the fingers. It makes me feel very uneasy, making me think if I am taking full advantage of these blessed days. May Allah accept our little deeds done by the best of our capacities… Aameen…   Meanwhile, I will leave you with this delicious drink, which I had make when I saw this post. I love anything with sago, though I don’t cook very frequently with it, since it can be very tricky. This drink is basically an adapted sago payasam, cooled and sweetened with rose syrup, but unlike payasam which is usually served warm, this… 

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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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Patates Lemonate ~ Greek Lemon Potatoes

  Potatoes, being my personal favorite vegetable had to be my next choice for the third recipe – Greek White Bean Soup and Greek Pancakes being the other two – under the theme “Flavors of Greece” in the Blogging Marathon #76. You might be wondering why I did not choose any non-vegetarian dishes to make for Greece. In fact, they have a plethora of lip-smacking non-vegetarian fare especially with meat. However, respecting the general participants of the marathon group who happen to be majority vegetarian, we simply opt out of doing it. Also, it became an excuse for me to be making more vegetarian fare at home. I am trying to restrict our intake of poultry and meat to two days per week and somehow, I am getting some acceptance for it at home. 🙂     The main star of this potato bake is definitely the lemon. My folks… 

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Tiganites ~ Greek Pancakes

  I love pancakes for breakfast. It is one of the easiest recipes to cook for a hale and hearty breakfast. Wouldn’t you agree with me? You can serve them plain, with a sprinkling of sugar, a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce… whatever you may fancy it with. While searching for recipes for the Blogging Marathon #76 under the theme “Flavors of Greece”, I had to check for pancakes and yes, there were! Tiganites or Greek Pancake are simple pancakes that are made in every Greek household in their own variation and is normally served with a drizzle of honey and crushed walnuts. More than the pancake recipe, it was the servings that excited me and got me into trying the recipe. 😀       Even though Google gave me variety of recipes that looked like normal pancakes with milks, eggs and baking powder, I… 

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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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Salata Hara ~ Arabic Spicy Tomato Dip

  Many of us are fond of pickles, in some way or the other. I am not a pickle fan, though I have a little while eating biriyani. Hehe… If you buy rice from the Arab restaurants here, it comes with a runny and spicy tomato relish along with it. Since the rice is normally bland without much spices, this sauce gives it a nice kick. I never knew what it was called and thankfully, blogging has taught me its name.   “Salata Hara” literally means “hot salad”. But actually speaking from Indian tongue perspective, it isn’t really hot. It is mildly spiced but so flavorful that it can give a plain dish a much given boost. What more, it is no-cook! All you need to do is to blend all ingredients and store it up for the flavors to mingle. The main base of this relish is tomatoes, though… 

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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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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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Vegan Biscoff Cheesecake

  After the Gulab Jamun cheesecake shots, here comes the second cheesecake in the Blogging Marathon #76 under the theme, “I love, you love Cheesecakes!”.   And it has to be vegan! 😉 I have been wanting to try a vegan cheesecake since very long but somehow I never liked the idea. Maybe it is just the mental thought. I have been seeing this recipe and the amount of cashews that go into them, somehow doesn’t appeal to me. However, while this theme was declared, I had already decided I would try to make one, to know the feel and texture of it.     The recipe is very easy to make. The crust of the cheesecake is dates and walnuts, while the “cheesecake” portion is blend cashew cream, made up of soaked cashew nuts, coconut milk, some coconut oil and your choice of flavoring. I chose to make this with… 

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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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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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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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