Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chicken Biryani

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Rice is a main meal in the Middle East, we usually have it for lunch. I have never posted any recipes yet because I usually make white rice, with other side dishes. However I thought of posting one of the methods of making chicken biryani, It is quite simple. I guess every household does it a bit differently, I change it sometimes as well and this is one of the ways.

1/2 kg chicken (marinade: 5 garlic gloves mashed, 1 tbs ginger mashed, red pepper (or black), salt)
2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked for at least one hour
2 garlic gloves mashed
1 tbs ginger mashed
2 medium sized potatoes cut into cubes
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced into small pieces
2 medium sized onion diced
1 tsp cinammon powder
1 tsp cardamom powder (plus seeds, optional)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (plus seeds, optional)
1-2 tbs tomato puree
few coriander leaves, chopped
one small onion for garnishing 
3 cups boiled water
3 tbs oil
deep oil fry for chicken and potatoes

pepper i use

  • Marinate your chicken, fry the potatoes in deep oil till golden, remove from heat and fry chicken till fully cooked- set aside
fried chicken and potatoes
  • In a deep pan (low heat), add the 3 tbs oil, add onion, fry till soft and add garlic and ginger, fry for few minutes
  • Add your spices, cinammon, cardamom, cumin, salt, pepper/chilli and cook for few minutes
  • Add the diced tomatoes, and tomato puree, if it seems a bit dry add around 1/4 glass of water and cover for 5-10 minutes

  • add the coriander leaves, chicken and potatoes, cover for a couple of minutes
  • add boiled water (around three to four cups)
  • Add the rice, increase heat but watch continuously so it won't get burnt (you might need to add more water), cook uncovered in moderate to high heat till water is almost dry
  • Now decrease heat to the lowest, cover the rice and cook for around 10 minutes
  • A tip: if you feel you can't control the water/cooking time, you can cook the rice separately. Boil it in salted water till cooked, sieve and add it to the tomato/chicken sauce and cover in low heat for 10 minutes. 
  • Garnish with fried onions.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Date cookies

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

These are the kind of cookies we serve for guests, or finish them off ourselves. We have them with Arabic coffee , but you can enjoy them with a glass of milk as well :). While I watch the tv, I remove date seeds, eat the date, or make a cake, or these cookies . In this way the task doesn't become really boring.

the date ball
Ingredients (slightly adapted from here) :
1-1 1/2 cup date (depends how much date you want in your cookies)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
200 gram salted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 or 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • Mix the date with Cinnamon powder and set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, one at a time, add vanilla
  • Add flour, mix till combined
  • roll small part of the dough using a rolling pin, add some rolled date, close it and cut, emm I can't explain it, but hope the photos are able to.

  • bake in oven set to 175 degrees Celsius for ten minutes
  • keep in tight container

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Easy Salad

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

If you are like me, promised yourself that one of this year's resolutions is to feed your family a healthier variety of food, (but, like me as well), quite lazy on making salads, this one can make you feel less guilty and proud that you met your objective :D..

any other vegetables

for the dressing:
Dill, or coriander leaves, or mint leaves(or all) chopped
lemon juice
olive oil

Mix and serve..

Monday, 7 February 2011


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Quite similar to chapati I posted before, but with less ingredients and a slight different frying method.

Ingredients (makes 12 medium sized parathas):
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbs oil for the dough (plus more for frying)
1 tsp salt
1+ cup water

  • Mix all ingredients (except ghee), knead the dough in a floured surface, add more flour if it sticks and knead till you get a smooth dough, the longer you knead the better
  • take small portions (size depends on how big or small you want your parathas)
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the balls till they are thin. Add a little less than a teaspoon of ghee and rub over the chapati
  • roll them as shown in pictures (after this step, you can put them in a flat surface with flour so they don't stick to each other, and freeze them. take them out to room temperature and fry them).

tucked down
  • heat a pan (medium heat), add a teaspoon of oil and top it with the rolled paratha
  • you might need to squeeze the paratha a little, so it can have some colour, then add a teaspoon of oil on top of it, and turn it..each side should take around two minutes.
  • serve warm, but you can still reheat them without adding any oil, or freeze them straight after they are cooled.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Chicken with coriander and dill

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A simple chicken dish, but with lovely scent and flavour.

450 gram chicken
6 garlic cloves, mashed
1 tbs mashed ginger
1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
salt, pepper
coriander and dill leaves, amount as you like
3-4 tbs lemon juice

  • Marinate the chicken with garlic, ginger, cinnamon,salt and pepper.

  • Cook covered in low heat, add water whenever it gets dry
  • Chop coriander, and mix together with the lemon juice.
  • when chicken is cooked, remove from heat, and put in a baking dish.
  • Cover the chicken with the coriander, dill and lemon juice

  • bake uncovered for ten minutes in 180 degrees Celsius
  • serve