Wednesday 22 October 2008

Roast Winter Vegetables with Tandoori Masala

This is a great winter warmer. Real comfort food, but heallty! The chickpea flour in the marinade gives it an extra crunch.

1 butternut squash; peeled
2 parsnips; peeled
2 potatoes; peeled
1 turnip; peeled
1 aubergine
2 courgette / zuchinni
2 round dudhis / squash; peeled
For marinade
1 cup yogurt
2 tsp tandoori masala; available in Indian shops and most big supermarkets
1 tablespoon chickpea flour;or gram flour; available in Indian shops
3-4 cloves garlic; minced
2 inch ginger; grated
salt to taste

1 Cut all the vegetables into 1-2inch chunks,
2. Parboil the potatoes and the parsnips - boil for 5 minutes, drain and wash with cold water.
3.Mix the marinade, yogurt, chickpea flour, tandoori masala, garlic and ginger
4. Marinate the vegetable in this mixture for at least 30 minutes
5. Place in a hot (200) oven for 45 minutes
6 serve with a green salad.

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Sunday 19 October 2008

Afghani Gormeh Sabzi (Vegetarian) / Green Herb Stew

This dish is usually cooked with lamb, but as I wanted to serve it with lamb chops, it is vegetarian. It is usually served with rice, Gormeh Sabzi is part of the Golden Jubilee Series..
It may look like chana palak, but it tastes completely different, really yummy, do try it.

1 large leek; finely chopped
4 cups spinach; finely chopped,
1 cup flat parsley; finely chopped
1/2 cup dill; finely chopped
1/4 cup fenugreek leaves; finely chopped
1/4 cup chives; finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander; finely chopped
4 small potatoes; peeled and cut into two
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 500gm tin beans (kidney or blackeye beans)

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add leeks, fry until transluscent, add the potatoes, and cook for a further 10 minutes, add the tumeric.
2 . Add the chopped green herbs, stir and cook for 15-20 minutes, making sure they are not burnt!
3. Add the lemon juice, (you can add a cup of water at this point to make it more runny; I did not) cook for about 5 minutes, add beans and cook for a further 20 minutes.

I served it with lamb chops and basmati rice. The chops were cooked Syrian style, coated with pomegranite molasses. The recipe will be on the blog soon.

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Friday 17 October 2008

Lamb Kebab jo Shaak / Lamb Kofta \ Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

for kebab / meatballs / kofte
1 lb 500gm minced lamb
1 egg
1 onion,
2 cloves garlic
1 inches fresh ginger
2-3 green chillies
1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander
2 slices of bread
Juice of 1 limes
1/2 tspn garam masala
2 large onions ; chopped fine
6 small potatoes
1/4 cup yogurt
2 inches ginger; grated
6 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 tspn saffron
6 large tomatoes (blanched, peeled and liquidised)
whole garam masala; 2 sticks cinamon, 4 pods cardomom, 5 cloves; 1/2 spn cumin seeds
2 tspn coriander/cumin powder
1/2 tspn tumeric
1/2 tspn red chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tspn garam masala
2 tablespn oil
salt to taste
chopped coriander for garnish

Kebabs / meatballs / kofta
1. Place the minced lamb and the beaten egg in a bowl
2. Place the bread in a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs; add to the mince
3. Place the onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander. lime juice in the food processor; grind and add to the the mince with the salt and garam masala. Mix
4. Place in the fridge for about an hour.
5. Form golf ball size balls, place on wax / greaseproof paper

6. Heat the oil in a pan, add the whole masala, cook for about 3 minutes, the pods should have puffed up

7. Add the onions and fry until almost carmelised, this is the most important step in this curry, the onion must be dark brown - just a step before they are burnt! (will take 15 minutes at least
8. Add the tomatoes, cook for about 5 minutes, add the yogurt, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic/ginger tumeric, cumin/coriander and chilli powders, stir and cook for a few minutes.
9. Add potatoes. Add one cup of water bring to boil. Add the saffron.
10. Gently place the meatballs into the sauce.
11. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and meatball are cooked/
Serve with basmati rice.

I served it with rice and stuffed bhindi.

you can serve with rice and salad or just chapatis.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Dhebra with Courgette / zuchini

Recently one of my readers asked me for a recipe for dhebra.  We usually make these with dudhi, but I had to improvise and use courgette!
1 cup bajra / millet flour
1 cup whole wheat flour 
2 tablespoon oil
1/4 tspn sodium bicarbonate
1 cup chopped methi / fenugrek 
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1 courgette; finely grated
3 cloves garlic; grated
1 -2 inch stem ginger; grated
2-3 green chillies; finely chopped
1 cup sour yoghurt (if not include 1 tblspn lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
oil for frying

1. mix the two flours and sodium bicarbonate, add the oil, mix.
2. add the herbs, courgette garlic, ginger, chillies and youghurt.
3. mix, add the water carefully so that you have a stiff dough, leave for at least half an hour
4. make about 16-20 patties and place on wax or grease proof paper
5. heat the oil, meanwhile take some cling film / saran wrap and place some sesame seeds on it, place a patty on this, sprinkle some sesame seeds on this, and using another piece of film / wrap, flatten the dhebra.
6. fry slowly at low heat or the centre will not cook
7. Serve warm with yogurt.

Sunday 12 October 2008

Aleppo Muhammara / Roasted Pepper and Walnut dip

Chachi and I went to Aleppo in August this year, here is a picture of Aleppo Citadel. It was here that we saw MHI twice! And it was also here, in a restaurant across the road from the Citadel where I had the best muhammara ever! No wonder, muhammarra originates in Aleppo, who knew that! I thought it was Turkish!! ;)

If you look at the pictureof the citadel carefully at the top of the arches, you can see the dancers / performers practicing prior to Mowlana Hazar Imam's visit. It was an amazing sight.

This recipe is part of my Golden Jubilee Series.

4 red peppers
2/3 cups breadcrumbs (I used the Japenese panko)
1 cup walnuts
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tspn salt
2 tspn cumin, 1 tspn Aleppo chilli powder (available in Middle Eastern Shops, you can use ordinary Chili powder to taste.
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoons pomegranate syrup or molasses; you can get it in Turkish or Middle Eastern Shops
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Grill or broil the pepper until they are black, peel the burnt skin, should come of easily if placed in a polythene bag while still hot. Or else you can buy roasted pepper in olive oil (NOT vinager)

2. Place the peppers, breadcrumbs, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, cumin and salt in a food processor. Grind until you get a fairly smooth paste, add oilive oil and mix.

3. Garnish with parsley, mint or corianderServe with warm pitta bread.

Saturday 11 October 2008

Syrian Fattoush Salad

This salad along with Tabuleh salad were in all the meals we had in Syria, whether it was in Damascus, Homos, Salamiya or Aleppo! It is a very healthy, herby salad with bits of pitta bread. In Syria the pitta bread was fried, I just browned it in the oven. This salad is part of the is part of the Golden Jubilee Series.

1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
3 large tomatoes; cut in cubes
1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
3 sticks celery; sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp. dried mint
1 pita; torn in small bits and bake in the oven for 4 minutes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of sumac
salt and black pepper
Mixed all the vegetables, herbs and pitta bread
Make the dressing by puting the ingredients in a small bottle, close the top and mix well, pour over, chill and serve in half-an-hour.

Baba Ganoush: Aubergine Dip

We had a lot of this in Syria, in fact with every single meal, it was delcious. This roasted aubergine dish is part of my Golden Jubilee Series


2 Aubergines
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
black pepper
olive oil to drizzle
Parsley for garnish

1. Wash the aubergines, make some slits on them and put them in a moderate hot oven (180 C) for 45 minutes.
2. Peel the aubergines, and liqudise with the rest of the ingredients
3. Garnish with parsley
4. Serve with warm pitta bread
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Eid Dinner

For our Eid Dinner, we decided to combine the Syrian, Indian and Khoja Ismaili cuisine. This is what we came up with, it went down well!

Syrian Meze:
Houmus: chickpeas and sesame seed dip
Aleppo Muhamarra: hot pepper and walnut dip
Baba Ganoush: Aubergine dipPitta bread
Fattoush Salad with toasted pitta bread pieces
Tandoori chicken and Potatoes
Saffron Seera with almonds and pistachious
Lamb Pilau

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