Mango Cheesecake

Posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Mona ©copyrighted in Butter/Makhan, Cream Cheese, Egg/Anda, Mango/Aam, Sugar/Shakkar, Yogurt/Dahi | 1 Comment » 754 views

My husband is not a very big fan of cheesecakes. But I on the other hand, a big fan!

I wonder who might have been the person who thought first of inventing a cake made of cheese.

Cheesecakes are divine. A rich, smooth dessert, that definitely would make anyone happy, except my husband.

Mango Cheesecake
recipe adapted from here

Digestive Biscuits – 250 gms, finely ground
Butter – 3/4 cup, melted
Cream Cheese – 500 gms
Hung Yogurt – 1 cup
Mango Puree – 2 cups
Eggs – 4, large
Sugar – 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 350°F
Wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with 2-3 layers of heavy duty aluminium foil.
For the Crust: In a mixing bowl, add the finely ground digestive biscuits and pour in the melted butter. Mix until well moistened. Transfer crumbs to prepared pan, and press crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
For Cheesecake Filling: In a food processor, or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all the remaining ingredients and process for 5 minutes until just combined, keep scraping down the bowl. Pour cream cheese filling over crust. Place foil-wrapped springform pan in a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill roasting pan with enough hot water to come 1-inch up the sides of the springform and carefully transfer to middle oven rack. Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about an hour and a half.
Transfer the cake pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Later refrigerate, uncovered for 6-8 hours.
To serve, run a knife around the edges, slice and serve wedges. The cake keeps well refrigerated for upto 2 weeks.


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Guest Post by Aisha: Somali Style Goat Curry & Mixed Veg Pulao

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by Mona ©copyrighted in Blog Events/Entries/Polls | 4 Comments » 1,099 views

I am very happy Aisha of Kitchen Sojourn is guest posting on my blog today. I am a big fan of her simple and delicious recipes and her blog inspires me. Please welcome Kitchen Sojourn to Zaiqa. And please do visit her blog, its a gem and you will all love it for sure.

A healthy delicious Somali dish perfect for Ramadan. This comfort food rich in protein surely brings strength to the body and revitalizes it. The meat, spices and veggies incorporated in this dish constitute a flavorful and wholesome meal when served with rice.

Somali Style Goat Curry & Mixed Veg Pulao

Ingredients for goat curry:
1/2 kg goat cut in cubes with bone
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Black Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Zeera dhania (cumin and coriander seeds) powder – 1 tsp
All spice powder 1/2 tsp
1 tsp lemon juice
2 medium sized onions sliced
4 medium tomatoes sliced
3 jalapeños diagonally sliced
A cup of chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Oil 3-4 tbsp
In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except onions, tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro. Marinate this for half an hour. When its done, heat oil in a pressure cooker then add the marinade. Pour a cup of water and pressure cook for 15 minutes on low heat after the first whistle. If you are cooking in a non stick pan, add water accordingly and cook until the meat gets tender. Open the lid and transfer the curry into a large non stick pan. On medium to high heat cook until the curry is thick enough, then add tomatoes and jalapeños and saute them for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes start losing water. Now its time to add the onions and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer into a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with mixed vegetable pulao and raita.

Ingredients for Mixed Vegetable Pulao:
2 cups basmati rice (washed and soaked)
4 cups water
1 chicken stock cube
Half cup frozen mixed vegetables rinsed
Half tsp black pepper powder
Half tsp curry powder
Salt to taste
In a non stick stockpot, heat oil and then add mixed vegetables, black pepper and curry powder. Saute for two minutes and then add water and chicken stock cube. Add salt according to your taste and bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts to boil add the soaked rice. Cover the lid and cook on low to medium heat until the water dries up and the rice becomes tender . Serve it with the goat curry!


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Guest Post on Yummy Food – Easy Chicken Sliders

Posted on July 21st, 2014 by Mona ©copyrighted in Blog Events/Entries/Polls | 1 Comment » 940 views

As many of you might know, my lovely friend Lubna over at Yummy Food hosts a wonderful Ramadan Event at her food blog every year that showcases Ramadan recipes from around the world. Month long, utterly delicious ramadan recipes by food bloggers from the world are published and I always look forward to what the next recipe is going to be every single day.

Lubna has requested me to contribute to her event, which I was very excited about. I was immensely busy and inspite of being very late, Lubna was very sweet and patient with me <3 I came up with an easy recipe for chicken sliders for iftaar/dinner. For the recipe, please head over to Lubna’s blog and check out my guest post at Yummy Food.


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Healthy Ramadan Meal – Baked Chicken with Vegetables, Couscous and Tatziki

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by Mona ©copyrighted in Black pepper powder, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Canned Tomato paste, Capsicum, Carrot/Gajar, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Couscous, Cucumber, Garam masala powder, Garlic/Lahsun, Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Beans/Binees ki phalli, Lemon/Nimbu, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Olive Oil, Olive/Zetoon, Onion/Pyaaz, Poultry/Murgh, Radish, Red Potatoes, Salt/Namak, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Vegetable Stock, White Potato/Aloo, Yogurt/Dahi | No Comments » 1,072 views

We desi people tend to eat unhealthy especially during the month of Ramadan. We should all be making a great effort to cook healthy meals for our family and take care of our loved ones instead. Inshallah from this Ramadan onwards, I will posting healthy meal ideas for Iftaar and Suhoor. Keep watching this space for more healthy recipes and meal ideas to come.

The following recipe is just something I made on a whim. It is easy, healthy, and makes a perfect meal for ramadan.

Baked Chicken with Vegetables, Couscous and Tatziki

Chicken Legs/thighs pieces – 12-15 pieces
Black Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 1, roughly chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Mixed Chopped Vegetables – 4 cups, carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, olives, green beans, broccoli, radish, baby bok choy etc
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Olives – pitted, 1/4 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
for Couscous:
Couscous – 1 cup
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Tomato paste/Pasta sauce (store bought) – 1 tbsp
Fresh leaves and Cilantro – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Water/Chicken/Vegetable stock – 2 cups, very hot
Salt – 1 tsp
for Tatziki
Cucumber – 1/2, peeled and grated
Garlic clove – 1, mashed
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Fat-free Yoghurt – 1 cup
Juice of half lemon
Fresh mint – 4-5 leaves, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl bowl, add chicken, black pepper powder, turmeric, salt, ginger garlic paste, onion, garam masala, olives, olive oil and mix well. In a baking dish with high sides, add the vegetables in a layer. Over them add the marinated chicken again a layer. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 35-45 minutes covered, then the next 15-20 minutes uncovered until the chicken is juicy and done.
Add pasta sauce/tomato paste, chopped herbs, olive oil, and water/chicken stock in a kettle and let it come to a boil. Add couscous in a bowl. Once the water/chicken stock is boiling, pour over the couscous in the bowl and cover with a tight lid. Keep adise and let rest for 10 minutes. Then fluff with fork.

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber. Sprinkle it with a 1/2 tsp of salt. Let rest for 10 minutes. Then squeeze and scrunch with clean hands to get rid of the excess salty water. Add it to a bowl. Also add yogurt, mashed garlic, lemon juice, chopped mint leaves and salt. Tatziki is ready.

In a serving dish, add the couscous in a layer. Top it with baked chicken and vegetables. Serve along with tatziki on the side.

Healthy Desi Meals Ideas for Iftaar/Suhoor:
For Iftaar
~ Chanay ki Dal – Lemony Boiled Split Bengal Gram 
~ Jaam ka Kachalu – Guava Chaat 
~ Fruit Chaat – Fruit Salad
~ Baked Samosas – bake the samosas instead of deep frying
~ Ragda Cutlet – alter the recipe by not adding any oil to cook the onions, just saute them in a pan until they get a nice brown color; bake the potato cutlets instead of shallow frying; also do not sweeten yogurt
~ Pita Pockets made using Sheekh Kebabs 


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Buttermilk Biscuits

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by Mona ©copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour/Maida, Baking powder, Butter/Makhan, Buttermilk, Salt/Namak, Sugar/Shakkar | 1 Comment » 704 views

I first had buttermilk biscuits at Popeyes along with fried chicken. And it was love at first bite.

Since then I have been in search for a recipe to recreate them in my home myself. I tried a lot of recipes online and finally I can say that I might have found one that I am really happy with. Today I am going to share it with you all.

Buttermilk Biscuitsmakes: 8 biscuits
adapted from here


All purpose (not self-rising) – 2 cups
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Unsalted cold butter – 6 tbsp
Buttermilk – 1 cup


Preheat oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix. Now add cold butter cut into tiny pieces and buttermilk. Using a fork, gently mix, avoid overmixing. Dust flour on your kitchen countertop and invert the buttermilk+flour mixture. Knead dough gently 3 to 4 times until it holds together. Dust your palms with flour as well and pat the mixture down into a large patty, approx 1 inch in thickness.

Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper and dust it lightly with flour. Working quickly, use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits and keep placing the biscuits on the tray, make sure they are all placed close to each other. Place the baking tray in the refrigerator for approx 15-30 minutes. Now transfer the tray to the preheated oven and let them bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you see a get a light brown hue, remove from oven and serve warm along with a salad or coleslaw and baked/grilled chicken.


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