Chicken Jalfrezi – Chicken with Bell Peppers in Fragrant Sauce

Ramadan has started, and already we have completed the first five fasts Alhamdulillah. My very mischievous babyjaan will be two years old insha’Allah by the end of this Ramadan Masha’Allah. How time flies. This special month is even more dear to me as my little babyjaan was born in the month of Ramadan Alhamdulillah.

Stay healthy everybody. Be thankful that we are alive to witness this Ramadan Alhamdulillah. Pray Allah your heart out and ask of him whatever you need insha’Allah. And please remember me, my hubby and my baby in your duas. Enjoy this yummy and very easy to prepare chicken curry that insha’Allah your entire family will love.

Chicken Jalfrezi – Chicken with Bell Peppers in Fragrant Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 whole, cut into pieces
Juice of a large lemon
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – large, chopped
Bell Peppers/Capsicum – yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper and green bell pepper, all chopped up into small pieces – about 3/4 cup
Tomato – 2 large, chopped
Yogurt – 1 cup, lightly stirred
Roasted Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Seed powder – 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. In a wide saucepan with high sides at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the chopped onion. While the onion is frying up, marinate the chicken with lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Keep aside. Srir fry the onions until they are slightly browned.
2. Add chopped peppers and fry them for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and cover the lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they are mushy while stirring it an occasional stir.
3. Add the marinated chicken and the yogurt and mix well. Cover with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Give it a stir every few minutes. Sprinkle the coriander powder and cumin seed powder. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with rice/pulao/naan.

HEALTHY RAMADAN RECIPES:
Before I sign off, This ‎Ramadan I am on a hunt for healthy meal ideas for Suhoor‬ and ‎Iftaar‬. Please message me your recipes or send them to zaiqa.mona@gmail.com I will be posting them all on my blog with your name and details before this Ramadan ends insha’Allah. Please join in! I look forward to going through your recipes insha’Allah!

Luv,
Mona

Nargisi Koftay ka Qorma – Scotch Eggs in Gravy

If you want to impress your guests, then this is the dish that you should be making and serving them. With just a little pre-preparation, you can make this exotic looking dish in a jiffy.

Nargisi Kofta are so named because when the koftas are sliced open, they look like the almond shaped flower of the narcissus. I usually make shaami meat in large amounts and store it in the freezer for later use. Doing this really simplifies my meals. When I have just Khatti dal and rice, and my hubby is craving something meaty, I quickly defrost a pack of shaami meat, and either make Shaami kawab, or Nargisi Kofta.

Nargisi Koftay ka Qorma – Scotch Eggs in Gravy
Serves: 4

For the Nargisi Kofte:

Ingredients:

Shaami Meat – 1 zip-lock bag, defrosted or frsh made
Hard boiled eggs – 2, peeled

Method:
1. Divide the shammi meat mixture into two portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten out to form a thin patty. Wrap each patty around the peeled boiled eggs, smoothing out the join and making sure there is no egg left exposed. (if you feel that the shammi meat is not holding well to the egg, you can add a binding agent to the meat mixture, like egg white, or besan and mix well. Then, cover the boiled egg with the fixed meat, and it wont fall off)
2. Add 1-2 tbsp of canola oil and heat until hot. Shallow fry the nargisi koftay, turning it gently using a spoon, until it is browned on all sides. Some people also deep fry the kofta in oil, but I prefer to shallow fry them in little oil. Remove and drain on paper towel.

These are ready to serve as is. You can serve them as an appetizer. Or if you want to serve them in a gravy, follow the steps below.

For Qorma (the masala gravy):

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 5 tbsp
Onions – 4, finely sliced
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly whipped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted Groundnut paste – 2 tbsp
Roasted Coconut paste/Coconut cream – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

Method:
1. Take a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan on medium heat and throw in the thickly sliced onion rings with no oil. Give them a stir and cover with a lid. Open the lid, and stir them again, add a few splaches of water and cover the lid again. Continue doing this until the onions are are caramelized and cooked. Transfer them into a blender container. Add the yogurt, roasted groundnut paste and roasted coconut paste/coconut cream and blend till it is a smooth puree.
2. Pour oil into the same pan, and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add the pureed paste. Throw in red chilli powder, salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover and let cook for around 15-30 minutes on low heat until oil separates and floats on top while stirring occasionally in between. Add garam masala, chopped cilantro and pour in a about 1 1/2 glass of water and mix well (you can add more water if you prefer a thin consistency.) Half-Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve immediately along with Naan or parathas or along with a Pulao or plain rice.

For the final curry preparation:

1. Just when you want to serve the curry, gently drop the Nargisi Kofte, each cut into half , into warm Qorma.
2. Serve warm with Roti or Naan or Pulao.

Luv,
Mona

Sutriyaan – Spicy Indian Pasta

I often recollect the lazy weekend brunches at my mothers house during my childhood. My mother prepared some of the most simplest yet delicious dishes, and we so looked forward to them every time. These brunches also sometimes appeared as tea time snack or even as dinners. One of these dishes that often made its appearance at our table used to be ‘Sutriyaan’.

Parathas were a daily morning affair at my mothers house. My father still only eats parathas for breakfast. We used to have atleast 1 leftover paratha everyday. My mother stored them all and when they were enough to feed us all, she would whip us this absolutely scrumptious and quick meal for us all.

Serves: 4-6 adults

Sutriyaan – Spicy Indian Pasta

Left over Parathas – 12 – 15 (keep storing left over parathas in an air tight container in the refrigerator until you have the required number you need)
Canola oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato – 2, chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Lamb meat with or without bones – 1 pound
Roasted cumin seed powder – 3/4 tsp
Mixed Vegetables: Green Bell Pepper, Brocolli –  3/4 cup, chopped
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Fresh Lemon juice

Method:

1. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add the chopped onion and stir fry until it is golden brown in color. Add ginger garlic paste, mix well, and in a minute or two, add the lamb meat, chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix and let it cook until the meat is no longer red. Add about two cups of water and pressure cook until the meat is tender.
2. Once the meat is done, add the cumin seed powder and chopped green bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside. You can even prepare until this stage and store this in the refrigerator in an air tight container for a day or two.
3. Using your kitchen shears, cut the left over parathas into 3/4 inch strips. Now cut the strips into small pieces. Spread them all out on a tray and leave to air dry for an hour or two.
4. Just before you are serving, pour in about 3-4 cups of water in a saucepan at medium high heat and add the meat mixture prepared above. Mix well. Once boiling, add the left over parathas strips and mix. Cook for 4-5 minutes, and serve warm immediately. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and enjoy!

Luv,
Mona

Namakpaare – Triangular Crispy Salty Munchies

One of my most fond memories whenever I think of Namakpaare of eat them is the way my mom used to offer them to us as a quick snack. There always used to be something on our dining table during my childhood, something yummy, a delicious snack. I remember my mom used to spend a better part of her time daily in the kitchen, toiling away to keep us content, to keep us nourished and full.

Namakpaare are triangular deep fried crispy salty snacks that can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in air tight containers. A simple and delightful snack. A sweet version of the same is called as Shakkarpaare, which I had posted about a while ago.

Ammi (as I call my mom) used to offer us namakpaare mixed in a cup of warm khatti dal. You might be surprised at this unusual combination. But it always worked, and so wonderfully. I always loved to eat namakpaare soaked in khatti dal and I have fond memories of it. It is comfort food for me. When I gave my dear husband namakpaare the same way, he enjoyed them too.

Namakpaare – Triangular Crispy Salty Munchies

Ingredients:

Durum Flour – 3 cups
Carom Seeds/Ajwain – 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water – as needed
Oil to deep dry

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl add flour , ajwain, salt a tsp of oil. Mix with your hands. Add water as needed to form a stiff dough. Cover the dough in the bowl with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour.

2. Later shape the dough into a log. Cut the log into pieces. Roll Each dough piece into balls between your palms.

Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a disk, not very thin, neither thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise and then 1/2 inch across to get diamond shaped pieces. Do the same with rest of the dough.

3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadhai/wok and deep fry the namakpaare on medium heat. Fry till golden on both sides. Continue frying in batches until all the dough in used.

4. Store the namakpaare after they completely cooled down in an airtight container. They stay fresh for weeks.

Luv
Mona

Meethay Ghoday

A few days before I heard my mother in law speak about a sweet dish that I had never seen, tasted or even heard about in my entire life. She told me that Ghoday, is a special Hyderabadi dessert that her mom used to make for her when she was a kid. I immediately requested her to make it for me well.

ghoday – left to dry

The method is simple. And very similar to making pasta. Dough is rolled out, cut into squares and made into a cute flower shapes.

shaping ghoday

 Then they are left to dry out for a few hours or overnight. Once nicely dried they are deep fried until golden brown in color. Finally they are cooked in milk and sugar and served at room temperature.

deep fried ghoday

It was my first time I had prepared and tasted this dessert. I enjoyed it. It was delicious!

Meethay Ghoday – Traditional Hyderabadi Milk and Flour based Dessert

Ingredients:

Durum Flour – 1 1/2 cup (you can also use maida)
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Canola oil (you can also use a little bit of ghee for nice flavor)
Water
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Raisins and sliced almonds – 3 tbsp, shallow fried

Method:

1. Combine the flour, salt, oil and water (reserving some of the flour for rolling). Add only a little water at a time and make a dough. Cover with a damp towel and keep aside for 30 minutes. Later knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, firm and pliable. Make the dough into a log and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Roll into a ball between your palms. Using a rolling pin roll each ball into into a disc. Make sure that the circle is as thin as it can be and try to use as less flour as possible to aid in the rolling process. Cut the rolled out dough into squares using a knife or a pizza cutter. Shape each square into a flower as shown in the picture above and keep them aside on a tray. Continue until all the dough is used up. Leave the shaped flowers on the tray uncovered for 5-8 hours or overnight until they are dry and hardened a little bit.
2. In a frying pan pour oil to deep fry the prepared dried dough flowers. Once the oil is hot, deep fry them all until they are nicely golden brown in color. Usin a slotted spoon, remove them onto a platter.
3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan at medium high heat, pour milk and about 1 cup water and add the deep fried dough flowers. Mix well and let it simmer covered for 10-15 minutes until they are softened. Give it a stir once in a while. Add sugar and mix. Add more water if you need to cook them more. Once cooked thoroughly, add the shallow fried raisins and sliced almonds. Transfer to a serving bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Ghoday is ready to be served.

Luv,
Mona