Chuqandar Ki Subzi

Beetroot might not be a favorite of many, but both me and my husband love this hearty maroon root vegetable.

I love this simple curry along with warm parathas. It reminds me of my mother’s cooking and my childhood.

Chuqandar Ki Subzi – Beetroot Curry

Ingredients:
Beetroot – 3, peeled and chopped
Canola Oil – 3 tbsp
Onion – 1, medium size, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 2, medium sized, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/3 tbsp
Yogurt – 1/8 cup

Method:

In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it is hot add the chopped onion.

Fry it until it is golden brown in color. Add the, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add chopped tomato, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and give it a stir.

Cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add yogurt, keep stirring and let cook on simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped beetroot and half a cup of water and mix well.

Pressure cook for 5-10 minutes or until the beetroot is soft. Let cook until oil seperates. Serve with rice or Roti.

Luv,
Mona

Keema Bharay Tamatay Ka Salan – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

One of my most favorite dishes that my Mother-in-Law makes is this gravy curry of stuffed tomatoes. Every time she visits us we definitely ask her to make it for us. Today I am sharing her recipe with you all. It is a wonderful dish that tastes amazing and will definitely impress your loved ones.

Keema Bharay Tamatay – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 6 large tomatoes
For Minced Meat:
Minced Meat – 1 pound
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
For Qorma:
Onion – 1, sliced thick
Roasted Groundnut Paste – 1/3 cup
Coconut Cream – 3 tbsp
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Method:
1. Halve the tomatoes, and scoop out the pulp. Grind the pulp into a smooth puree. Keep aside. Keep the tomato halves aside in a platter.
2. In a non-stick pan with a thick bottom at medium high heat, add onions and brown them while stirring frequently. Remove in a platter and let cool. In the same pan, add the groundnuts and roast them for a few mintues until they are just a few shades darker. Remove in a cup and keep aside to cool. Once cool, add the roasted onions and groundnuts in a grinder and grind until it is a smooth puree. Add yogurt and puree.
3. Prepare the gravy – In a thick bottomed non-stick saucepan at medium high heat, add oil and then pour the groundnut puree and the tomato pulp puree. Keep stirring constantly for 5-8 minutes. Lower the heat and cook covered until it leaves oil. Keep stirring occasionally.
4. In a frying pan at medium high heat, add the minced meat along with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and let cook until the meat is dry and well-cooked.
5. Fill the tomato halves with the cooked Keema. Top each with the groundnut gravy.
6. Add the rest of the minced meat and the gravy to a thick bottomed wide saucepan. Spread it evenly in a layer. Arrange the stuffed tomato halves over the gravy and let cook covered at medium heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until it leaves oil. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro leaves and serve with Parathas and Rice.

Luv,
Mona

Hyderabadi Chicken Haleem – Harees

Haleem is meat delicacy, especially enjoyed during the month of Ramadan in India and Pakistan. In Hyderabad, one can see all restaurants begin to sell Haleem as soon as Ramadan commences. Tiny Haleem stalls pop up at every nook and corner, and people of all faiths enjoy it. It is the city’s most induldent dishes. Haleem is not as easily available the rest of the year in restaurants in India.

Haleem is originally an Arabic dish, brought to Hyderabad by the immigrants of Yemen, Iran and Afghanistan. It has all the nutrients a fasting body requires at the end of the day.

Home cooked Haleem is the best. So today I am sharing with you all my simple recipe for Chicken Haleem. I have posted two versions of Haleem earlier on my blog. You can try them all.

Hyderabadi Chicken Haleem – Harees

Ingredients:
Serves – 6-8

Boneless Chicken Breast – 2 (if large chicken); 3 (if small chicken) – cut into cubes
Marinade:
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Haleem:
Chana dal – 100 gms
Broken wheat – 250 gms
For Qorma:
White poppy seeds/Khuskhus – 1 tsp
Chopped almonds and cashewnuts – 1 tbsp each
Canola oil – to deep fry
Onions – 3, large, finely sliced
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon stick – one 2″ stick
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 4, each broken into two
Yogurt – 1 cup, lightly whisked
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom seed powder – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup/60 ml/4 tbsp
For Garnish
finely chopped Cilantro, and Mint leaves
Crisply fried onions
Lemon juice
Ghee
Fried cashew nuts
sliced/chopped Green chillies

Method:

1. Soak chana dal and broken wheat for 30 minutes in fresh cool water.
2. In a mixing bowl, add the cubed chicken breast, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and let marinate to 1-2 hours. In a frying pan at medium high heat, pour 1 tbsp of oil add the marinated chicken and cook while turning the chicken pieces until done. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.
3. Drain the soaking dal and the broken wheat and transfer them to a non-stick saucepan. Pour in 4 cups of fresh cool water and let cook while stirring frequently until the mixture is soft. This might take 1-3 hours. You can also pressure cook if you would like to save time, but I like to slow cook it. Add more water if needed to cook. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Meanwhile, shred the cooked chicken and keep aside in a bowl.
4. Soak cashewnuts and almonds in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 minutes. Grind them into a smooth puree.
5. In a food processor or a blender, add the cooked dal and the cooked broken wheat and process until well blended.
6. In a deep frying pan at medium high heat, pour oil to deep fry and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and fry it stirring constantly until evenly golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon transfer half of the fried onions onto a platter, scatter so that they cool and crisp up in a while, use these fried onions for garnish later on.
7. In a large non-stick saucepan, add 4 tbsp oil, lower the heat and add cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, green chillies and cumin seed powder. Stir fry for 10-20 secs. Add the yogurt and cook until separates. Add the pureed nuts mixture and mix well. Add red chilli powder, black pepper powder and salt. Half cover and cook stirring occasionally until it leaves oil. Add the blended wheat+dal mixture and the shredded chicken meat and mix. Pour in 2 cups water, and add garam masala powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Cover and let cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat when the desired consistency of a thick porridge is achieved. Ladle in serving plates, garnish and serve warm.

Luv,
Mona

Healthy Desi Chicken Tikka Wraps

It is of utmost importance to eat healthy, especially in Ramadan, when our bodies need the best foods to get the best of the nutrients.

I have been trying to eat healthy as much as possible since the last two Ramadan and alhamdulillah I am able to see results. I am feeling much better and able to to do a lot and not feel lazy and lethargic like I used to before.

Full of fresh flavors, these semi homemade wraps that I made for my family were a hit. They make a fun change from regular dinner fare. The parathas were store brought, and the chicken tikka were prepared and frozen the week before Ramadan. So I only just had to assemble the wraps and serve them for dinner. The chicken tikka was baked using a little bit of olive oil. These wraps are healthy and provide your body with good nutrients.

Chicken Tikka Wraps

Ingredients:

Parathas – 8
Chicken Tikka – 6 cups
Olives – 1 cup
Avocado – 2, diced
Tomatoes – 2, diced
Romaine or leaf lettuce, shredded – 2 cups
Sriracha Hot Sauce or any other hot sauce – to taste
Whipped Yogurt – 8-10 tbsp
Lemon/lime juice

Method:

Divide the chicken, and everything else between each wrap, squeeze over the lime juice, then fold over one end to tuck in, and roll up to serve.

A few Ramadan Tips:
~ Chew your food well before you swallow
~ Eat a Multi-vitamin with your meals

Luv,
Mona

Halal Tandoori Turkey – Roasted Turkey Desi Style with Pasta

Every Eid I try to cook something special and make the day memorable by preparing a delicious meal. I had never tried turkey before. So I was ecstatic to learn that Mina Halal is now offering zabihah by hand, Grade A, whole halal turkey through large grocery retailers throughout Ontario.

Mina Halal Turkey

Turkey is a magnificent bird. It has ultra lean, high in flavor meat and is it large enough to easily feed a gathering of 8-12. Turkey is high in protein, low in calories and one of the leanest meats around. It’s also an excellent source of B12. Dark meat from the drumstick is also an excellent source of zinc and selenium. This Eid why dont you all try my recipe in your home and impress your loved ones. They will be happy to eat something new and feel special inshallah. And when there are leftovers, you can use the meat in a multitude of ways, from soup and sandwiches, to pizza and pasta, to burgers and beyond.

I wanted to make an desi version of roasted turkey. And what better roasting technique than making a tandoori roasted bird. I served the tandoori turkey along with pasta and vegetables which I made using the broth after roasting the bird. The result was a spicy lip-smacking turkey that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Halal Tandoori Turkey – Roasted Turkey Desi Style with Pasta

Ingredients:

Halal Turkey – fresh or frozen (if frozen thaw according to instructions)
Vegetables:
Baby Bokchoy
Carrots – chopped horizpntally into 1/2 inch pieces
Broccoli florets
Baby radish
Baby potatoes with skin (red and white)
To Marinate:
Olive oil – 3 tbsp
Hung Yogurt – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 4 tsp
Salt – 4 tsp
Juice of one large lemon
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Cumin Seed powder – 1 tsp
Roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro and Mint leaves – finely chopped, 1/2 cup, tightly packed

Method:

1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well to form a paste.
2. Preheat oven to 440° F. Rinse inside and outside of turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Rub the marinate mixture all over the turkey, inside and out. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

marinated Turkey on a bed of fresh vegetables

3. The next day, atleast 5-6 hours before serving, begin the preparation of roasted turkey. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator. In a large roasting pan, place aluminium foil to cover it. Place the vegetables in the roasting pan so that they cover the entire base of the pan. Season them with salt and pepper. Tuck wings under turkey, tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and place it in the roasting pan over the vegetables.

roasted turkey

4. Roast turkey, uncovered for 15-20 minutes until you get a nice browned color on the turkey. Then lower the heat to 325° F, and cover the turkey with aluminium foil. Roast for a furthur 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. The turkey will be cooked to perfection and so soft that the meat will literally fall off the bone.

vegetables nicely done in the delicious broth

5. Transfer the turkey to a platter. Let cool for 30 minutes until you make the pasta.
6. Place a strainer over a bowl. Transfer the vegetables along with the pan juices into the strainer.

turkey meat

the base for the pasta made with broth and pasta sauce

vegetables in the strainer over a bowl

pasta served along with vegetables and roasted turkey meat

For Pasta: (Serves: 4)
7. Add 350 ml pasta sauce (I choose Garden Select) and the collected pan juices to a saucepan and let it come to a boil. Taste and add salt pepper to suit your taste. Mix and add 500 gms fusilli pasta to the saucepan and enough warm water to cover the pasta. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat. Keep stirring every few minutes. After about 10-15 minutes, lower the heat to simmer and cook covered while stirring occasionally until the pasta is done. Add more water if needed to cook the pasta. While you are cooking the pasta, debone the turkey and transfer the meat into a serving platter. Once the pasta is done, add the vegetables from the strainer to the pasta and gently mix. Serve the pasta along with turkey meat. Enjoy!

I still have a ton of leftover turkey meat mashallah. I will be posting something delicious with the leftover turkey meat in a few days inshallah.

Tip: you can store cooked leftover turkey meat once it has cooled down to room temperature in freezer bags in the freezer indefinitely. To use thaw in the refrigerator.

Luv,
Mona