Qimah ke Luqmi

No wedding banquet in Hyderabad in earlier days were witnessed sans Luqmi in the menu, as a starter paired along with Qimah Kawab. Today other sophisticated entrées make their appearance on the wedding banquet tables. Luqmi is not much seen so nowadays, but it not forgotten, it is still one of every Hyderabadis most favorite snack.

Luqmi has Persian origins, and now is a popular Hyderabadi snack. Other snacks like Osmania biscuit, Pauna chai, Irani chai, etc all have Persian origins and made a mark in Hyderabad. Irani cafes in Hyderabad, seen at every other corner, selling these snacks and refreshments are always crowded with locals. Luqmi is preferred as a starter in the menu, a rectangular parcel stuffed with sauteed minced mutton cooked with a hint of spices and a delicious lemony zing to please your palate.

My miya yesterday had requested me to prepare a few Luqmi for the إفطار and الحمد لله he loved them.

Qimah – Minced meat (the filling)

Ingredients:

Qimah~Minced Veal/Lamb/Sheep meat – 700 gms
Onion -1, large, finely sliced
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp
Long green chillies – 3, chopped finely
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – 3 tbsp
Cashewnuts – chopped, handful

Qimah – Minced meat

Method:

In a large frying pan, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the onion and fry until evenly golden brown in color. Add the cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, cilantro and green chillies. Fry for a few seconds. Add the minced meat and cook mixing it well. Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook stirring frequently until all the moisture has been dried up. Pour lemon juice, and add the chopped cashewnuts, mix well and remove from heat. Let it cool down completely.

Luqmi – Minced meat stuffed parcels
Makes – 15 Luqmi

Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour/Durum Atta – 2 1/2 cups+extra for dusting (you can also use All-Purpose flour/Maida instead)
Semolina/Sooji – 1/2 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Yogurt – 1/3 cup
Warm water/milk – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Canola oil to deep fry

Luqmi – Minced meat stuffed parcels

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients except ghee and oil and working with your fingers, form a soft dough. Add a few more sprinkles of warm water if needed to form the soft dough. Once the dough has formed into a ball, smear ghee and cover with a lid. Keep aside for 40 minutes.
2. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes. Form the dough into 30 equal size balls and cover them all with a damp kitchen towel. Also divide the prepared Qimah filling into 15 equal portions. Pour cool water into a cup and keep aside.
3. Dust with extra flour and roll out two dough balls, one at a time into 8 cm in diameter circle each, using your rolling pin on the work surface. Make sure the rolled out circles are not very thin, they should be just a little bit thick. Place a potion of the divided Qimah filling in the center of the rolled out dough circle. Dip your fingers into water and smear lightly on the entire outer edge of the dough circle. Gently place the second rolled out disc over the filling and press the edges of the dough circle to seal them. Using a pizza cutter cut out the extra outer edges of the dough to shape into a rectangle. (You can collect the scraps until the last luqmi is done and roll it out into a ball and repeat the procedure again). With your fingers, press the edges once again to make sure they are sealed. Crimp the edges with a fork to form a pattern. Repeat until all the luqmi is prepared. Keep them on a tray, covered with a towel, until all are ready to deep fry.
4. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai. Depending on the size of your kadai, you can fry the luqmi, one or two at a time, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove using a slotted spoon into a wire mesh strainer for the extra oil to drain away. Serve them warm.

Head over to Muneeba’s blog and have a look at her version of Luqmi. Enjoy!

Luv,
Mona

Ande ke Bhajiye

One of my favorite Iftaars, or snack items~Ande ke bhajiye, which I enjoy plain, sans ketchup or any chutney.

Egg slicer ~ a nifty kitchen tool that slices hard-boiled eggs evenly in a jiffy

Ande ke bhajiye – Egg Fritters

Ingredients:

Hard boiled eggs – 6
Gram flour/Besan – 1 1/2 cup
Ajwain/Carom seeds – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp

Ande ke Bhajiye ~ Egg fritters

Method:

1. Using an egg slicer slice the hard-boiled eggs and keep aside.
2. In a bowl, add the gram flour, red chilli powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste and carom seeds. Add cool fresh water to make a smooth and fairly ‘thick’ paste, make sure it not at all thin or runny, and keep aside.
3. Heat canola oil to deep fry in a kadai.
4. Gently add the egg slices to the gram flour batter, and cover the egg slices completely with the batter. This is important or else the uncovered egg will explode in hot oil. Drop the batter covered egg slices into the hot oil, one at a time, and deep fry in batches, until lightly brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon into a large wire mesh strainer for the oil to drain away. Serve them immediately along with tomato ketchup, or any chutney.

This goes to the event ‘Joy from Feasting to Fasting-II‘ event being hosted by both Yasmeen and Lubna.

Luv,
Mona

Dinner on Second Roza

Zafraani Malai Murgh, Baingan ka Bharta, Tamatar Tuvar dal and Khushka was the dinner today after our second roza الحمد لله. The Iftaar was light~ Khajoor, Aloo Samosa with ketchup and fresh Plums.

Zafraani Malai Murgh – Chicken in Creamy Saffron sauce

Ingredients:

Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Long green chillies – 4, each cut into two
Fried crisp onions – 1/2 cup (store bought)
Chicken/Murgh, with bone – 1150 gms, cut into pieces
Salt – 2 tsp
Yogurt/Dahi – 1/2 cup, lightly whipped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Half and Half cream – 1/3 cup (you can also use light cream instead)
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Saffron threads – one pinch
Slivered almonds – 1 tbsp

Zafraani Malai Murgh

Method:

1. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Keep aside.
2. In a saucepan at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it warms up, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few seconds. Add the green chillies and fried onions. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and salt and fry until opaque, around 5-8 minutes. Pour in yogurt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Stir gently to mix and close the lid. Let cook for 5 minutes. Pour in half and half and gently mix well. Cover the lid and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Serve immediately along with Parathas or Naan or Khushka.

Baingan ka bhartha – Roasted Eggplants in tomato onion sauce ~ I

Brinjal – 4
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1, large, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
Long green chillies – 4, chopped
Tomato – 2, finely chopped
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Cilantro+Mint leaves – 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Fresh ingredients for Baingan ka Bhartha

Baingan ka Bhartha

Method:

1. Wash the brinjal and pat dry. Take a rimmed baking sheet and place a large sheet of aluminuim foil on it. Place the brinjal on the foil and place the baking sheet under the broiler-high setting for 15 minutes. Turn the brinjal after 8 minutes. Once the brinjal are evenly black in color, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, peel and discard the skin and finely chop the flesh of the brinjal. Keep aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, add oil and as soon as it warms up, add the onion and fry just until soft. Do not let it brown. Add ginger garlic paste, green chillies and cumin seeds and fry them along for furthur 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander seed powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well. Cover the lid and let cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chopped brinjal flesh and mix well. Cover the lid and let cook for 5 more minutes. Add garam masala and fresh chopped herbs and let cook uncovered for a few minutes. Serve.

Luv,
Mona

The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ‘09~Season I-Roundup

Wishing everyone a very happy and blessed Ramadan’09 Ramadan Mubarak!

Moments before Iftaar time at ‘MASJID-AL-NABWI~The Mosque of PROPHET MOHAMMED (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) in Madinah Al-Monawwarah, KSA~The place in the entire world that is very dear to me only next to Makkah.Source

May our prayers be answered, our fast accepted and our homes blessed with Allah’s (سبحانه وتعالى) mercy inshallah, Ameen.

“Call on Me; I will answer your Prayer (Quran – 40:60)

Ramadan (Sawm) is the ninth month of the Islamic Calender, a solemn time of prayers and reflection, when the holy book of Al-Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ). Month long fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam, is observed from sunrise till sunset, on every day of Ramadan. The meaning of Sawm is ‘to abstain’. Abstinence from bad behavior and bad language, sensual pleasures, hunger and thirst is a requirement of a proper fast. Ramadan teaches us moderation and spiritual discipline. Paying Zakat, or alms, to the needy or poor, is another of the five pillars of Islam, is essential during Ramadan.

During Ramadan, we basically have two meals, the Iftaar and Suhoor. Iftaar is after the sunset, when we break our fast eating a few dates, fruits or light Iftaar snacks, a drink or water, and then offer our evening prayers and have a bountiful dinner later. Suhoor, usually lighter than Iftaar, is had before the daybreak. Al-Quran is read with much regard and special lengthy prayers in the night called Taraweeh are observed. The du’as of a person who is fasting is never refused.

Life during Ramadan is slightly harder for us all Muslims living in non-Muslim countries I believe. In most Islamic countries, the whole daily routines of the general population changes to accommodate the observance of fast. Offices and work places open late and close earlier. Nevertheless, the Islamic spirit during Ramadan is the same throughout the world. Everyone shares Iftaar, either by sending what they have prepared to the local mosques, or sending a share to the fellow neighbors.

Ramadan is the best time to be in Hyderabad. The city seems to be abounding with food and people buying food from street vendors and road side food stalls from later afternoon to late in the night or until early mornings.Some typical Hyderabadi foods and dishes associated with Ramadan are: Haleem, Dahi wade, Fruit salads, Khatti Chane ki dal, Samosa, Cholay, etc.

I thank all the participants~bloggers as well as non-bloggers, for taking time out to participate and share their yummy Ramadan entries with us all.
Here’s presenting you all, the roundup of ‘The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ‘09‘. Hope you all enjoy the delicious recipes sent by my friends and beloved readers. May god bless you all!

1. Rizruby, one of the readers of my blog has shared with us all some of the delicious Ramadan dishes that she prepares for her family. These include~Haleem, Chicken 65 with gravy, and Cherry IceCream cake. Lets go through her recipes in her words:

Hyderabadi Haleem:
This is my mom’s recipe. I get many complements from family and freinds. It is a bit lengthy procedure, approx 2-3 hrs of cooking time but worth it. I do not add many dals, and usually like the taste and consistency of bawarchi/sherewan haleem back home in Hyderabad.

To prepare Daliya:

Daliya/Cracked wheat – 2 cups (8ounce size each)
Split and husked Black gram~Mash/Urud dal – 1/3 cup
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Caraway seeds/Shahzeera – 1 tsp
Loung/Clove – 4
Elaichi/Cardamom – 4
Cinnamon Stick – 1/3 inch

Wash wheat and dal. Add to pressure cooker. Add oil and rest of the above ingredients. Add water about your index finger level and pressure cook on med-low for 1/2 hour. Make sure wheat is cooked and soft when done.

Potli Masala packet (available in Hyderabad stores)

To prepare Masala water curry:

Potli masala bag -1 (You get Potli Masala packets in hyderabad stores)
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp

Take a sauce pan add 7 cups water. Add raw potli masala bag contents. Do not add any powder from bag. Boil for 20 mnts. Strain and reserve the water and keep aside. Take saucepan . Add oil and fry ginger-garlic paste. Later add salt and red chilli powder. Add yogurt and cook for 5 mins on low heat until yogurt is evaporating. Add drained potli masala water and cook for 10 mnts on med flame. Once done, remove from heat and keep aside.

To prepare Mutton gravy:

Mutton, with bone – 2-3 pounds (I use ribs and patla ghost mostly and regular ghost)
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Caraway seeds/Shah zeera – 1 tsp
Loung/clove – 5
Elaichi/Cardamom – 5
Cinnamon Stick – 1/3 insh
Garam masala powder -1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp.
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp

Take a pressure cooker and add the above ingredients. Pour 1 1/2 cups water and pressure cook meat till is very tender and falls off the bone. Feel with your hand if u can seperate meat from bones~if yes, let mutton cool down and remove the meat from the gravy into a bowl. Seperate meat from bones using your fingers. I do not prefer using boneless mutton and grinding, this kills the taste of haleem. So use your hand, its worth it. Keep aside the meat. Do not dry leftover gravy in cooker. Remove from heat and keep the gravy aside.

Haleem, in the cooking stage

Blending:

Add  1/3 amount of cooled potli masala water to cooked cracked wheat. Blend the mixture and keep adding another 1/3 amount of potli water during grinding process. Do not blend to fine paste but keep it a bit coarse. Keep aside remaining 1/3 potli masala water.

Haleem, served in individual platters

Dum~Final part

Take 2 average size onions and slice them thin. Fry till golden brown in oil. Keep aside.
Take a heavy bottomed 8 quart size non-stick sauce pan. Add blended wheat and cook for 10 mnts on low flame. Keep stirring every 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/3 amount of potli masala water and cook for 5 minutes. Now add pulled mutton, the mutton gravy and cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Keep stirring as mutton usually sticks to bottom. Also add finely chopped cilantro~1/2 cup, garam  masala powder~1/2 tsp ,and the fried onions.
Remember~try to adjust cooking time according to consistency you like~thick or thin or average.
Keep tasting in between always. Never add raw red chilli powder to haleem at this stage. You can add black peppercorns~1 tsp according to your tastes if required .
Now add 3 tbsp cooking oil and keep on dum/cover lid and cook for next 5 minutes on low flame. Then remove pan from stove.
Garnish every serving with minced cilantro, mint, lime juice and fried onions.

Yummmmmmmmmmmy.

I usually freeze leftover haleem sameday in freezer in ziploc bag or yogurt cups. You can freeze for 2 weeks. It helps to save time in parties or when family or friends drop in.
When reusing from freezer, thaw for four hours at room temp and microwave later. I have already done the same for coming ramazan.

Chicken 65
Servings – 5-6

For Chicken:

Ingredients-

Boneless chicken – 1  pound , cut into 1 inch size pieces, I use breast chicken meat
Salt -1/2 tsp
Ajinomoto salt -1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Shan tandoori chicken powder – 3/4 tsp
Lime juice – 1/2 tsp  or  white vinegar 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Corn starch powder – 1/2 tsp (do not use plain corn powder paste, starch powder makes chicken crunchy)
Egg white, beaten – 1 egg, no yolk
Salt free soya sauce – 1/2 tsp (optional)
(no coloring agents please)

Chicken 65, in the cooking stage

Take a mixing bowl. add above ingredients . add chicken pieces and marinate for 1 hr.

Method-

Take a non stick pan/karhai. Add 4 tbsp oil and let it warm up. Add marinated chicken and stir fry. Cook on medium flame for 15 -20 minutes till chicken is tender.

For Gravy:

Ingredients-

Yogurt – i/2 cup whipped
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Zeera/cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Slit green chillis – 4-5
Curry leaves – 10 leaves
Cilantro – 1/4 cup for garnishing
Shan tandoori chicken masala – 1/4 tsp for coloring
Ginger-garlic paste -/2 tsp

Chicken 65

Method-

Remove chicken from pan. Add 1-2 tbsp oil if necessary to pan and add green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry. Now add curry leaves and when u smell the curry leaves add yogurt first, salt and zeera powder. Stir fry and saute for 7-10 minutes on medium flame. Add chicken and cook for more 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Serving suggestion – Rumali roti. I use ‘Tortillaland’ brand uncooked wheat tortilla. I buy from smith grocery stores, it really tastes like homemade Rumali rotis. I never liked other brand of tortillas.

Cherry Icecream Cake
I always loved backhomes cakes from bakeries. Because they are soft and made with icecream, yummy.
I find very few choices in USA because of halal and wine factor. and also I do not like caramel and  dark chocolate. So I tried this recipe recently and boy it was yummy, very tasty.
I usually love cakes from wholefood market stores and smith grocery stores. You can use any cake mix and icecream for this recipe, like strawberry cake and dark cherries icecream, and fresh strawberries or peach or berries. One tip~do not add cut fruits to icecream but to cake mix.

Cherry Icecream Cake

Serves 5-6
Calories – approx 150 -200, from fat -60 %

Two cakes, baked in aluminium trays

Ingredients:

Bettycrocker cakemix- supermoist cherry flavor -1/2 box (this is halal and I got from walmart. You can use any flavor preferably supermoist variety)
Fresh cherries – 1/2 cup, cut into 1/4 pieces size
Fresh cherries – 1/4 cup pureed in blender (Add 1 tsp sugar if a bit sour)
Sliced almonds – 1/5 cup (I use readymade cut almonds from indian/desi store)
Eggs – 2
Olive/Canola oil – 1/4 cup
Water – 2/3 cup
Regular frozen Icecream – 1 1/2 or 2 cups (I used strawberry+vanilla combo)

Cakes sandwiched with the cherry Icecream

Method:

Take a mixing bowl. Add eggs and whip using a beater. Add oil and whip. Now add betty cake mix and water and whip for 2 minutes. Add sliced almonds and cut cherries to cake mix and mix. Take 2 aluminium foils trays, 12 inch size square, or as u wish. Aluminium foil is always good for baking. Grease them with oil lightly. Pour the mix in 2 separate trays equally. Bake together in oven at 325°F for 25 minutes. Now remove the cakes and cool them for 10 minutes. Place both trays in refrigerator (not freezer) for 1 hour. After 1 hour, blend the remaining cherries. Take icecream and make it smooth with spoon, making sure you do not melt icecream so that u can spread evenly on cake. Add blended cherries to icecream. Now spread soft icecream evenly on top of cake in 1st tray. Spread only on top not sides. Now remove cake carefully from 2nd tray and place above icecream in 1st tray. Freeze cake tray in freezer for 2 hrs. My freezer temp is 0°F. After 2 hrs remove and ice the cake with store bought icing and cherries and nuts. This is optional. I do not do because of the calories it adds. Cut the cake into slices and enjoy.
You can store the leftover cake in fridge, and not in freezer.

A slice of Cherry IceCream cake

You can use this recipe for birthdays or any occasions, I usually bake my biryani and cakes together and save time.

2. Jyothi, a Hyderabadi food blogger has shared with us all the following Ramadan delicacies:

3. Humaira, an another Hyderabadi food blogger has sent:

4. Yasmeen, the Hyderabadi healthnut has contributed:

5. Varunavi, fellow Hyderabadi food blogger sends her Shikampuri Kabab.

6. Muneeba also sends her delectable Zucchini Pakoras or Pancake.

7. Not to forget, the following the my entries for the event:

For more choices, refer to the Recipe Index on my blog.

All those who were unable to send me their entries this year, feel free to send me your Hyderabadi Ramadan delicacies for the coming Ramadan 2010 inshallah.

Here are some amazing pictures of Ramadan 2009 from all around the world.

Cheers!

Enjoy,
Mona