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

Hara Masala Wali Murgh

The first I remember I ever witnessed chicken in a green colored gravy was at one of my aunts house, when she had invited us all for dinner. I was little and the green color of the gravy slightly put me off. I was hesitant and scared to try it. But when I did upon my mothers insistence, it was just like any other chicken curry, delicious and safe.

My version has fresh cilantro and mint herbs in the gravy, giving the gravy a light green hint. It is one of my favourites and a lovely change that my family enjoys.

Hara Dhaniya Wali Murgh – Cilantro Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 whole cute into pieces
Canola Oil – 4 tbsp
Cloves – 4
Green Cardamom – 5
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch stick
Onion – diced, 2 cups
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies – 5, sliced lengthwise
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato – diced, 3/4 cup
Cilantro/Coriander leaves/Hara dhaniya – 2 cups, tightly packed, chopped
Mint/Pudina – 1/2 cup, tightly packed, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Method:

In a heavy bottomed kadai at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it gets warm, add cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon diced onion and nigella seeds. Let the onions cook until they are brown in color. Keep giving them a stir every now and then. Add the green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two. Meanwhile puree the chopped cilantro and mint and diced tomato into a smooth paste. Add the puree into the kadai and cook for a minute. Add the chicken and mix well. Let it cook for 2 minutes on high and then give it a stir. Again after cooking it for 2 minutes give a stir, and now lower the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid and let cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. I like to cook my chicken until the meat literally falls off the bone. Give it a stir occasionally. Serve warm along with Naan or Pulao.

Luv,
Mona

Rasgulla – Rasmalai

One of my favorite desserts since my childhood is this Bengali delicacy Rasgulla. The white spongy balls in the sugar syrup please me to no extent. Its cousin is Rasmalai. The first time I tasted Rasmalai I remember very nicely was in one Ramadan during my childhood when we were staying at my Mama’s house for holidays. It was love at first bite.

In order to prepare Rasmalai you have to have Rasgullas. When you have guests and you need a quick dessert to make, you can use tinned store-brought rasgullas to make rasmalai, or making them from scratch is also as easy, but it needs a little time.

Rasgulla and Rasmalai 

For Rasgulla – Cheese Balls in Fragrant Sugar Syrup:
Milk – 4 cups
Lemon juice – juice of half a lemon
Water – 2 1/2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
1 green cardamom powdered

In a heavy bottomed saucepan at medium high heat, pour in milk and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir and keep aside for 20 minutes. The milk will curdle. Line a sieve with a muslin cloth and drain the curdled milk. Bring the ends of the cloth together into a bundle and squeeze it to drain water. Hang for a further 30 minutes until all the water is properly drained out. Transfer the milk solids to a bowl and knead into a soft ball. Make smooth equal sized 10-12 balls. In a pressure cooker, boil sugar in water and add green cardamom powder and the prepared balls. Pressure cook until you get a whistle. The balls will now swell up in size. Let cool, chill and serve. Or use them to make Rasmalai, recipe below.

For RasMalai – Cheese Cakes in Fragrant Thickened Milk Sauce:
10-12 Rasgullas
Milk – 3 cups
Rasgulla Sugar syrup – 3/4 cup
Saffron – a pinch

Grease the bottom of a heavy bottomed saucepan with few drops of ghee, this will prevent burning of milk at the bottom. Pour in milk and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for a hour. Meanwhile, take the rasgullas and gently squeeze them between your fingers to flatten them, but not break them, so that most of the sugar syrup is removed. Keep them aside in a bowl. Do not discard the sugar syrup. By now the milk will be reduced to about half its quantity. Drop the squeezed flattened rasgullas in the milk. Add the sugar syrup, saffron, dried nuts and let simmer for 15- 30 minutes. In a couple of minutes, they will soak up the milk and puff up. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature. Serve chilled.

Note:
You can store the sugar syrup and use it to flavor tea, coffee etc. It will last a few weeks in the refrigerator.

Luv,
Mona

Puran ki Roti – Parathas stuffed with Lentil Halwa

It isn’t until you lose something that you realize how important something was. A few days back I was on the verge of losing my blog. My blog of years, which is very dear to me. I was asking for help around, but no one could, and those who could, were way out of my budget. But I did not give up, how could I? I prayed and alhamdulillah, out of nowhere a very hunble gentleman came to my rescue like an angel. This brother was so willing to help me out for nothing in return. I will never forget your selfless help and you will always be in my prayers.

And I realized how much I missed blogging about my family recipes, and documenting the stories that live in my heart and memories. With a little boutique business and along with a toddler, I was unable to give the attention to my blog that I used to before. But inshallah, I am back. You will all see me blog regularly and I will never take my blog for granted ever again.

Today I bring you a recipe that is very close to my heart, that screams my childhood, those beautiful afternoons, when after a small siesta, my mother would make a few of these absolutely wonderful rotis for us all to fill our stomachs with. We all enjoyed the rotis with so much joy and always looked forward to the the next time when mother would make them again.

Puran ki Roti – Parathas stuffed with Lentil Halwa
Makes – around 10 Rotis

Durum Flour – 1 1/2 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
pinch of salt
enough water to make dough
For Puran:
Chana Dal – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Green cardamom powder – 1/3 tsp
Oil – as required for toasting

Method:

1. Wash and soak chana dal in surplus water overnight.
2. The next day, drain the water and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add water to cover the dal and pressure cook until the dal is soft. Using a whisk or an immersion blender, blend until the dal is smooth. You can also grind it if you want. Transfer to a pan at medium high heat and add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well and cook while stirring frequently until the dal resembles a thick paste and begins to sererate from the pan. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can also make this ahead of time and store in refrigerator for upto a week.
3. To make dough, add flour, ghee and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well then add water little by little. Form a soft pliable dough just like chapathi dough. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for an hour.
4. Make 10 lemon sized balls of both the dough as well as the prepared lentil mixture. Roll the dough flat just slightly using your hands, then place the lentil mixture ball in the center and wrap the dough around it completely to cover it well, just like you make stuffed parathas. Then flatten it slightly. Now using your rolling pin, roll it to a thick or thin poli. Dust flour if needed. Heat tawa pan and carefully place the rolled out roti on the tawa, drizzle oil and cook the roti on both sides until brown spots appear. Continue until all are done. Serve hot.

Luv,
Mona

Seviyon Ka Meetha

Seviyan Ka Meetha is an another lip-smacking dessert with fine vermicelli as the main ingredient. A drier version of Sheer Qurma, the delectable traditional sweet dish without which no Eid is complete for Hyderabadis. Infact I can easily say that Seviyan ka Meetha is much more enjoyed than Sheer Qurma in my house.

In Hyderabad, there are shops that even sell special hand made vermicelli or semia or seviyan or sewayya. These can be found in shops much more easily during the month of Ramadan. I have to make do with whatever brand of vermicelli I can get from shops here. Usually my MIL gets many packets of vermicelli during her visits to our place from Saudi Arabia as she is well aware of the fact of our love for this dessert. So as the supply for vermicelli has recently been restocked in my pantry, these days I have been preparing it very often.

This dessert is good for those moments when you have unexpected guests, as it is super quick to whip up and is a dessert most loved and enjoyed, one of my favorites. I am sure your guests will be impressed too inshallah.

Seviyan Ka Meetha – Vermicelli Dessert
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Ghee – 1/2 tsp
Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Dry fruits and Nuts – any, your choice; I added: almonds, pistachios, raisins – about 1/3 cup
Fine Vermicelli/Seviyan – 200 gms
Milk – 2 cups
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Granulated Sugar – 1 cup (add more 1/4 cup if you have a sweet tooth)

Method:

1. Gently crush the seviyan into pieces about 2 inch long (that is not too fine) with your hands while still in the packaging.
2. In a wide saucepan at medium heat add ghee+oil and and as soon as it warm, add the dry fruits and nuts. Fry them all together for a minute and remove into a cup. Keep aside.
3. In the remaining oil+ghee, add the crushed seviyan and roast in the oil while stirring continously until the seviyan are a chestnut color. Now add the milk and cardamom powder and let it cook for 2-4 minutes. As the seviyan absorb the milk, add the sugar. Once sugar melts, add the fried dry fruits and nuts and mix the seviyan gently. Cook for 2-4 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Once cool, chill in the refrigerator. Serve.

Sending this dessert to the #IndianFoodPalooza event going on at Indian Simmer.

Welcome to my Etsy Shop:

As you all might have noticed, I have very recently embarked on a new venture to quench my thirst for sewing crafts. Please click on the logo below to visit my online shop:

I have named my online Etsy shop “Omee’s Boutique”. It is still very new and inshallah I plan to make more items as my little baby will allow me to. Please visit my online etsy shop and and I hope you will support my endeavor.

JazakAllah Khair.

Luv,
Mona