Khare Seviyan

It has been snowing very hard here in Toronto since a few days. Everyday I get up, and draw the curtains only to see thick layers of snow on roofs, ground and everywhere. Even now it is still snowing.

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Magical, amazing wonder, but still a pain as it needs shoveling everyday, makes walking and driving on the slippery roads difficult and dangerous, and the unbearable chilly winds. I am wishing that the sun comes out as soon as possible and I get to see color everywhere soon inshallah. In the meantime, keep warm everyone.

Capellini pasta rolls

I love to prepare khare seviyan, or sometimes a simple tomato and leftover chicken + oats soup for breakfasts as a change to the very usual parathas, idli, egg sandwiches or cereals. As the name suggests khare seviyan are savory thin vermicelli noodles cooked in a tomato based sauce. Easy to prepare, simple yet filling. You can prepare it totally vegetarian or add leftover prepared qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or even paneer if you wish. Other than enjoying it as a quick breakfast, I also sometimes prepare it as a snack or even as a packed lunch.

Khare Seviyan – Savory Breakfast Noodles
Serves – 5

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Nigella seeds – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Green chillies – 4, finely chopped
Bell Pepper – 1, cut into thin strips (I used green bell pepper)
Tomatoes – 4, large, red and ripe, finely chopped
Leftover qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or paneer – 1 cup (optional)
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Water – 4 cups
Capellini pasta rolls – around 300 gms, broken into small pieces (or any semolina vermicelli noodles)

Khare Seviyan – Savory Breakfast Noodles

Method:

In a large pan at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add mustard seeds and nigella seeds. As the begin to crackle, add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add green chillies, turmeric powder and bell pepper. Fry them for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, leftover qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or paneer, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well and let cook covered until the tomatoes are soft. Add water and cover. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add the broken pasta and mix well. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium low and let cook until the pasta has absorbed all water. Serve immediately along with boiled eggs if you wish.

My blogger buddy Tamanna has recently announced an event she is hosting on her blog – ‘Winter Comfort Foods‘~ Classic home cooked meals that make you want to come home and whip up that favorite meal you learnt from your grandmother that gives solace when you are feeling low and uplift your moods. Especially good during this harsh winter season. So do drop by her blog to go through the details and join in the fun.
Khare Seviyan is my contribution to the event she is hosting.

Luv,
Mona

Sooji ka Halwa/Rawe ka Halwa

So finally the weather has turned beautiful and there is warmth in the air. People have started to enjoy the sun and I can smell wafts of BBQ’ed food from the neighborhood whenever I step outdoors. So, to celebrate spring, I had prepared Sooji ka halwa a few days back. This is one of the most easiest and delightful desserts that you can prepare in a jiffy and useful for those unexpected guests.

Semolina/Sooji/Rawa (fine variety)

Sooji aka Semolina is also called as Rawa (or rava), is a by-product of wheat, cooks very quickly and easily digestible. It is available in Indian grocery stores.

Sooji ka Halwa/Rawe ka Halwa ~ Semolina Dessert

To prepare this dessert, sooji is first roasted in ghee until a pleasant aroma exudes and it turns to a lovely sand color. Immediately the milk+sugar+saffron mixture is poured into it and allowed to cook for just a little while. If sooji is unavailable in the market, you can instead use farina, or cracked wheat, or cream of wheat whatever. There will be a slight difference in taste and will require a little more milk to cook, but it will be just as delicious.

Sooji ka Halwa/Rawe ka Halwa ~ Semolina Dessert
Makes – 4 (1/2 cup) servings

Ingredients:

Semolina/Sooji/Rawa (fine variety) – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1 1/2 cups
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Saffron – two pinches
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Chopped nuts (Pistachios, Almonds, Cashewnuts) – for garnish (you can lightly fry them in ghee/oil if you want)

Method:

1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat ghee on medium and add the sooji and roast it while stirring frequently until a lovely biscuit color is achieved. Remove from heat and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, boil milk along with sugar and saffron for 5 minutes. Add this to the roasted sooji rawa and mix well. Let it cook until most of the milk has been absorbed and the mixture starts to come together. Do not cook it much, as it condenses even more after cooling. Remove from heat and apply the varq (optional). Garnish with nuts and let cool. Some people like it warm and some people prefer it chilled.

Luv,
Mona

Masala Upma

This quick and simple preparation and a comforting one-dish meal is wholesome and perfect for a satisfying breakfast, brunch or a yummy snack and easy to take delight in. So when I returned home today tired and exhausted after a trip to the grocery mart and the Jumah salah, I thought of whipped up this instant masala upma and it was pure bliss.

Semolina/Sooji/Upma rawa (fine variety)

Idli, Wada, Sambar, Upma, Dosa are all famous South-Indian dishes, that are my absolute favorites too. And there exist many variations of each of them. This particular variation of Upma is one of my favorites. I enjoy my upma along with shallow fried peanuts, the way my Ammi used to serve upma to us all. Those peanuts really add a lot of flavor and crunch to the delicious upma.

Usually the coarser variety of semolina is preferred for upma, but I managed with the fine variety, which is used in the preparation of sweets, and it turned out fine enough.

Masala Upma – Savory Breakfast Semolina
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Semolina/Sooji/Upma rawa- 1/2 cup
Canola oil
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, fresh
Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Chopped Onion – 3 tbsp
Small green chillies – 3, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
MDH Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 1/2 cup
Groundnuts, with skin – 1/2 cup
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Masala Upma, served along with shallow fried groundnuts

1. Heat a skillet at medium heat and as soon as it is warm add the upma rawa and dry roast it stirring constantly and attentively until you see and slight variation in color to a light brown and you get a wonderful aroma. Immediately remove from heat and transfer the roasted rawa to a platter and keep aside.
2. In the same skillet, pour 1 tbsp oil and add the mustard seeds. As they start spluttering, add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves and urad dal. Stir fry for a minute. Now add the tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, sambar powder qnd salt. Mix well. Pour in about 1 1/2 cup of water, reduce heat, cover and let cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are mushy.
3. Meanwhile, in a frying pan at medium high heat add about 2 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add the groundnuts and stir fry until lightly browned. They burn easily, so be careful and attentive. Once done, using slotted spoon transfer the shallow fried groundnuts to a platter.
4. Now add the roasted rawa to the cooking tomato mix ture in the skillet while stirring constantly so as to avoid forming lumps and mix well. Cover and let it cook on low heat for 2-5 minutes until the rawa has absorbed all the moisture and it is mostly dry. Add chopped cilantro, mix well. Cover and let rest for 1-2 minute. Serve immediately along with shallow fried groundnuts and a mango or lemon pickle, or any chutney that you fancy.

Luv,
Mona

Dum ke Rote ~ I

Rote (also referred to as roat), are baked~cooked on dum, sweet and crunchy semolina flat cookie sort of delicacies made especially in Hyderabad city, which are deliciously crunchy from the outside, but soft in the center. This confection has the all goodness in them, including exotic saffron, nuts, khoa and glorious ghee.

Semolina -Sooji rawa (fine variety)

The following is one of my friend Saba’s recipe, which I have changed just a little bit here and there. My hubby loved these rote a lot الحمد لله and I plan to make them again soon inshallah.

My mother-in-law’s version is simpler. Inshallah I will post my Mother-in-laws version for this confectionery sometime in the future.

Dum ke Rote – Baked Sweet Semolina flat breads
Makes: 13 large rote as shown in the picture below

Ingredients:

Almonds – 3/4 cup
Pistachios – 1/2 cup
Saffron threads – 2 pinch
Semolina/Sooji (fine variety) – 3 cups
All-Purpose flour – 3 1/4 cup
Granulated Sugar – 3 cups
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Homemade Khoya – 3/4 cup
Ghee – 1 cup, warmed
Warmed Milk – 1 cup

Dum ke Rote

Method:

1. Soak the almonds and pistachios together in cool water overnight. The next day, peel them and keep aside. In a blender container pour in 1/2 cup warmed milk and the peeled nuts and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside in a bowl.
2. Add the khoya and the remaining warmed milk in a blender container and blend to a smooth paste.
3. In a mixing bowl, add semolina, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom powder. Using a whisk, mix well. Add the nuts+milk paste, and the khoya+milk paste and ghee and mix well. Knead to form a dough. Cover and keep aside for 1 hour for it to rest. Later, knead again until dough is pliable and cover again and let rest for 1 more hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F and knead the dough a final time. Pinch out fist size balls from the dough and shape into smooth balls. Using your fingers flatten them into discs (approx 6 inches in diameter) and arrange on greased foil lined baking sheets leaving 2 inch space all around each of the discs. Gently press few sliced almonds on top of each disc. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sides and base are nicely browned (but not burnt). Keep a close eye. Immediately switch to broil on low setting for 2-5 minutes until the tops are browned (but not burnt) and the nuts are toasted. Keep a close eye.
5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula transfer them to wire racks until they are cooled completely. Store in an air tight container at room temperature. Finish within 3-4 weeks.

If you prepare this delicacy at home too, feel free to send me your recipe for Dum ke Rote. I will be happy to try it out.

Luv,
Mona

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