Monday, 26 November 2007

Pomegranate and Walnut Tabouleh salad


This is my entry to 'power less' cooking.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this event. I could not bring my self to blog something cooked on electric or gas or microwave as that is power and energy. Finally I came up with this. However all food needs energy to grow, so it is an almost impossible task. So I have sun-ripened pomegranate, walnuts, celery, onions and herbs dressed with olive oil and sun drenched lemon juice! Really delish


Ingredients
1 cup burghul wheat
4 cups flat leaf parsley; chopped fine
1/2 cup mint leaves; chopped fine
3 large pomegranates; peeled and separated
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup celery; choped fine
1 cup chopped spring onions
5 large mild chillis; chopped fine
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Method
1. Wash and soak the burghul wheat for about an hour, drain, leave in strainer until almost dry (or squeeze the water out)
2. Combine all the ingredients exceopt the lemon juice and oil in a large bowl.
4. Add the lemon juice and Olive oil just before serving, mix well
Serve

Chachis Birthday Lunch

Yesterday we celebrated Chachi's 75th Birthday
The whole family was here, we ordered the food, I just made the salad. Menu was:

Chicken Tikka
Seekh Kebab
Vegetable Samosas

Pomegranate and Walnut Tabouleh salad (recipe to follow)

Jeera chicken
Mixed Vegetable Shaak

Lamb Biryani
Nan Bread


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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Ma'amoul



.
Ma’amoul biscuits / cookies have a shortbread–like crust with a date or nutty filling. The first time I had Ma’amoul pastries was from one of my middle-eastern students, delicious, they literally melt in your mouth.
I never dreamt of making them, until I saw them on Indira’s blog; Mahanandi . She has a beautiful step by step recipe, using a special wooden mold, I could not find any so I have just used a fork to make the designs. But I am going to Dubai in December and I am going to hunt one down!! So be prepared for a deluge of ma’amoul cookies.
Ingredients:
Pastry
1/2 cup semolina
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup melted butter (coolish)
2 tbspn water
1 tblspn orange flower water

For the filling:
250 gm pack of pitted date paste (block); finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup water
2 tspn orange flower water
1 egg; beate
Method
  1. Place the semolina and flour in a bowl, mix with a fork, add the butter, water and orange flower water, mix with the fork until you get soft dough. Cover and leave for 1 hour
  2. Meanwhile place the dates in a bowl with the water, and microwave for 2 minutes
  3. Stir; add the nuts, mix and place in the microwave for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Stir and let it cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Centigrade or 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Take a lime-size lump of the pastry, pat it down or roll it out, place a heaped teaspn of filling in the centre, close it, by pinching all the sides, flatten it into a patty like shape and place in on a greased oven tray pinched side down.
  7. Use a fork to press some designs on the pastry.
  8. Brush each patty with the beaten egg. (I forgot to do it –LOL)
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.
These keep for 2 months in an air tight container.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Shami Kebab

Think spice for this month is GINGER; my favourite spice, I always have lots of ginger in my carrot and apple smoothie – yummmmmm.
This event is hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s World. What a great series it has been!
A Shammi Kebab is a burger made from chana dal and meat (can be beef, lamb or chicken), these spicy kebabs are of Mughal origin, common throughout the Indian subcontinent. The version I am giving you is an Ismaili or Khoja one with lots of ginger.


Ingredients
1 lb cooked boneless lamb / beef / chicken
1 tbl spoon grated ginger
4-5 cloves garlic; minced
1 400gm Can of Chick peas drained
1 Eggs
3-4 green chillies;
6 stems coriander leaves (2 tblspn)
3 stems mint leaves (1 tblspn)
1 Lime; juiced
¼ tspn Garam masala
Method
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processer and grind, not too smooth leave it slightly chunky.
  2. Mold the mixture in to burger like patties about 1/4" thick and 2" in diameter. Place on a greased baking tray, and bake in a pre-heated oven to 350ยบ F. 25 minutes.
You can shallow fry if you like
Serve with any chutney; I used a coriander, yogurt and coconut one.




Pics taken in wintertime suck!

Date Halva

Dates are the A fruit a Month. This event is hosted by Chandrika of AkshayaPatra. This is a very quick and easy recipe, great instead of petit fours after dinner



Ingredients

250 gms Dates; seedless weight; chopped fine

1/2 cup whipping cream 125 mls

1 cups mixed nuts; almonds, pistachios and walnut; chopped into chunks

2 tblspn desiccated coconut

Method

  1. mix the dates and cream, micro wave on high for 3 minutes
  2. remove mix and microwave for a further 2 minutes
  3. remove stir the nuts and microwave for a further 3 minutes.

Times may vary depending on the microwave.

  1. stir, let it cool and make a large sausage or salami on a piece of foil, roll in desiccated coconut and freeze until hard (2-3 hours)
  2. Cut into ½ to ¾ inch slices. Serve with Coffee.
To make them healthier you can replace the cream with water.
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Friday, 16 November 2007

Masala Fish / Machi Bateta / Spicy Cod and Potato Curry



Ingredients
2 lb cod; skinned and cut in 2 to 3 inch pieces
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbl spns plain flour
4 medium potatoes; cut into circles
1 large onion; chopped fine
8 large tomatoes; blanched, peeled and liquidised
1 tspn tomato puree
4 cloves garlic; minced
1 tspn grated ginger
4 chillies; minced
2 tspn coriander/cumin powders
1/2 tspn tumeric
salt to taste;
3-4 tblspn Oil
Coriander chopped fine for garnish

Method
Marinate the fish in add lime juice and some salt for 30 minutes. Coat with plain flour and shallow fry until golden brown; set aside
Saute the potatoes until cooked; put the to one side
Heat 1 tlbspn of oil in a pan, add the onions until, golden brown.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, ginger, chillies and salt. Cook, until the oil floats out, then add the salt, tumeric, coriander and cumin powders, mix and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Place the fish and potatoes in an oven proof dish; pour the tomato mix (masala) over them and place in a medium hot oven (180oC for 30 - 45 minutes) or microwave for 6-10 minutes until every thing is piping hot.
Garnish with coriander, serve with chapattis
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Dal / Dar Ismaili Style / Toor Dal Soup



This is my entry for Jhiva for Toor Dal hosted by Linda of Out of the Garden We call toor; tuvar, this dal is split pigeon peas or bharazi or mbaazi as we called them in East Africa.

Ingredients
1 cup tuvar / toor dal
1/3 cup masoor dal, channa dal and mung dal
4 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
4 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick (flat)
2 Cardamoms
8 peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 large onions (chopped fine)
3-4 medium tomatoes (blanched, and chopped finely)
6 cloves garlic minced
1 inch ginger grated
4 green chillies chopped finely
2 heaped tspn Coriander/cumin powder
½ teaspn turmeric
1 lemon; juiced
salt to taste
3 cups water

Method

Boil the lentils with 3 cups of water. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan; add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and peppercorns for a 1 minute or so.
Add the onions, turn down the heat, fry until brown, that should take at least 10 minutes, Keep stir or the onion will be burnt.
Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillies cook until tender the oil floats out; add coriander/cumin powder and turmeric.
Add the boiled lentils and the water, lemon juice and salt.
Bring to boil; add more water if necessary; consistency should be like a thick soup.
In this recipe you can add lamb and potatoes as well, and then it becomes ghosh wari dar.
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Friday Evening Meal

On Fridays evening we normally go to khane, so eat our dinner earlier than usual. 6.00pm, in case any of you is passing by!
Since childhood we always had the same menu on Fridays, Dar (Dal), Masala Machi bateta, rice and chapatti. More recently it varies slightly, instead of Machi bateta, we may have a prawns or chicken dish, but dal, rice and chapatti are always on the menu.
The variation on the prawn dishes includes Methi Prawns and Mushrooms, prawns dopiaza, prawns with red peppers. The chicken dishes include Methi chicken, Red pepper and chicken palak.

So today’s menu
Dal
Masala Machi Bateta / Masala Fish and Potatoes
Rice
Chapatti


Recipes on the way.
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Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Hey! It is Chachi’s Kitchen first birthday today

I can’t believe it; I have really enjoyed blogging this year. I have met so many nice people, who I feel are my friends. Thank you guys for being so encouraging in your comments, I really appreciated it. Even if you are not a blogger, please comment, this is what keeps a blogger going, know that they have an audience, in short I guess we are kind of exhibitionists or a AWs.

Going back to my blog, many of the traditional recipes are my mothers. My ma is Chachi to lots of people, that’s what she is known as. She is a brilliant cook, and I have learnt and am learning from her all the time. The other contributors to this blog are my siblings/cousins and siblings/cousins in law. This is a true family blog, containing old traditional recipes along with new fusion recipes. We are Ismailis raised in East Africa, now living in the UK, Canada and Australia. And through marriage we have acquired Pakistani, English, Irish, Italian, Canadian influence.

I wanted our 1st year birthday to coincide with entering to a blog event; this is my entry for Jai and Bees Click event

I also wanted to use another blogger’s recipe, I got this one from Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine, more or less followed as is, who in turn got it from another blogger; Hooked on Heat. I am not going to retype the recipe, as you can get it at source(s).

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Sunday, 11 November 2007

Bateta jo Shaak / Spicy Potatoes in Tomato Sauce

I just realised, this is my 201st post!
And Chachi's Kitchen will be 1 year old on 13th November more importantly:
Chachi (my mom and rasoi teacher) will be 75 on the 27th of November. So get ready for some celebratory recipes.

12 small new potatoes; quartered (leave the skins on)
1 tblspn oil
½ tspn cumin seeds
½ tspn mustard seeds
3 large tomatoes; blanched, peeled and crushed
2-3 cloves garlic; crushed
1 ½ inch ginger; grated
2-3 green chillies; chopped fine
¼ tspn tumeric
2 tspn coriander / cumin powders
salt to taste
Coriander leaves and stem; chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the pop, the potatoes, fry them until they are almost cooked
  2. Add the tomatoes, cook for a few minutes, add the garlic, ginger and chillies, mix and cook for a further 5 minutes, add the salt, tumeric, coriander and cumin powders, mix and cook until the potatoes are cooked.
  3. Garnish with the chopped coriander
  4. Serve with hot puries

Whole Wheat Puri



Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour (chapati flour)
1/2 tblspn vegetable oil
1/2 tspn salt
¼ tspn ajma / ajwain
1/2 tspn roughly ground black pepper

oil for frying

Method


  1. Mix the dry ingredients, add oil and mix, add water to form a firm dough and knead till smooth. Let it rest for about 30 minutes. Make small balls about walnut size.
  2. Roll out into 4 inch diameter circles.
  3. Fry in hot oil, one or two at a time, holding them under the oil on the first side until they puff.
  4. Turn and fry till golden brown; remove onto paper towels
  5. Serve hot with kheer or bateta jo shaak.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Kheer / Nutty Rice Pudding with Saffron


Kheer is rice cooked in milk, with lots of nuts and saffron. There appears be a version of it throughout India and Pakistan, see Wiki.

Ingredients
½ cup basmati rice; washed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 tspn butter
2 pints full cream milk
½ tspn cardamom; roughly crushed
¼ tspn saffron
½ cup sugar / or to taste
1 cup coarsely ground pistachios and almonds

Method

  1. Heat the butter in a pan, fry the rice add the milk and bring to boil.
  2. simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Add the nutmeg, saffron, sugar.
  4. Boil for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Add the nuts, stir and serve with hot puris

Kheer, Puri ne Bateta jo Shaak


In my childhood a real treat was a nutty kheer with saffron, whole wheat puri and spicy potatoes, sometime it was just kheer and puri, sometime spicy potatoes and puri, and when we got really lucky we had all three!!
This is what we had for supper a few days ago. I went easy on the kheer, but love it nonetheless.
Recipes coming up asap

Monday, 5 November 2007

Coconut Chutney

1 cup grated fresh coconut

2-3 green chillies - minced

2 tablespoon yogurt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons melon seeds

4/5 curry leaves

1 tablespoon oil

Combine the yogurt, coconut and minced chillies in a bowl. Heat the oil in a small pan, when hot, add all the seeds and the curry leaves (cover) and let it pop, when the sesame seeds are brown, add the whole lot to the coconut mixture. Stir to mix and serve.

Chilla




Ingredients
1 cup gram flour
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup warm water
2 cloves garlic – minced
½ inch ginger – grated
2 chillies - minced
2 spring onions – chopped finely
2 table spoons chopped coriander
Salt to taste
Method
1. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl, add the yogurt and mix, to make a smooth paste
2. Add the water gradually until it has a consistency of pancake batter. Beat until smooth.
3. Leave aside for 1 hour.
4. Beat again and add garlic, ginger spring onion, chilli and coriander leaves. Mix well.
5. Heat a pancake pan, spray some oil in it. Pour 1 ladle of batter and spread it evenly. Flip it over when cooked on one side and cook the other side. Repeat the same with remaining batter. Serve hot with coconut chutney.
Makes about 10 in a 7 inch pan

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Vitumbua




The other week, one of my anon readers asked me to make vitumbua. Vitumbua is a Tanzanian dish, made from rice flour, coconut, yeast and cardamon. When made well it is fluffy and literally melts in your mouth.

Ingredients

2 cups finely ground rice flour

2 tblspn plain white flour

2 tblspn fresh grated coconut (available frozen in most Asian stores)

1 400 gm tin coconut milk

½ cup hot water

1 tspn dry yeast

½ cup sugsr

½ teaspoon roughly ground cardamom seeds

oil

Method

  1. Mix rice flour, grated coconut, and the coconut milk and hot water to form a thick paste. The temperature should be equivalent to body temperature.
  2. Add the sugar, cardamom and yeast and mix well.
  3. Cover and leave over night
  4. Next day mix thouroughly
  5. Instead of using the vitumbua karai, I used an appam pan which I have previously used to make ponganalu.
  6. Heat the appam pan, plan a drop of oil in each pan, pour in the batter so that the pan is ¾ full.. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and flip the vitumbua, this is quite tricky, but gets easier with practice.
  7. Cook the other side and repeat until all the batter is finished.

We had them for breakfast this morning. They can be served with a kuku paka. Recipe to follow. There is a good recipe at Aly's website.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Tumbua Ndizi / Gonja or Sweet Plantain Fritters

Recently I had a request for this dish from one of my anonymous readers. Tumbua Ndizi is a typical East African dish, Ndizi means bananas in Swahili.

In Uganda we had 4 kinds of bananas

Matoke: Green (raw) bananas which never ripen to yellow, the flesh is mainly carbohydrate, and although when ripe it is sweeter, it can not be eaten uncooked. When cooked the flesh become soft, it is a bit like potato.


Gonja, are sweet cooking bananas, when cooked they do not become soggy and soft like ordinary bananas. When very ripe they are black on the outside. They can be cooked in coconut; nyrial wara gonja, just fried or fried in batter (tumbua)

Ndizi was what we called the ordinary dessert banana

Menvu are small dessert bananas, about half the size of normal bananas, very sweet, these are the bananas I grew up on. They were always there, along with pawpaw (papaya). To get back to the tumbua ndizi - here is how you make them

Ingredients

4 ripe gonja / plantains
1 ½ cups self-raising flour (plain flour with 1 ½ tspn baking powder)
2 tbspn Sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut milk (tinned is fine)
Roughly ground cardamom
Oil for frying


Method

1. Make batter, using flour, cardamom, sugar, milk and coconut milk. Cover, and then leave an hour.

2. The batter should be thick enough to completely coat the banana.

3. If it is too thin, add more flour, if it is too thick add a little milk.

4. Peel the plantain, cut into 3 / 4 pieces, cut each piece into 2/3 horizontal slices.

5. Dip each piece of plantain in batter, making sure they are well-covered, and then fry in hot oil until golden.

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