Healthy Ramadan Recipe – Chicken Phyllo Fingers

These Chicken Phyllo Rolls are a healthy take on Meat and Chicken Samosas. They make a perfect healthy iftaar during this month of Ramadan. Serve them along with your favorite dipping sauce, or chutney.

Phyllo is a thin dough made mainly of flour and water, mixed to a stiff paste, and machine-rolled. It has been used for centuries in Greece and the Middle East to make sweet and savory dishes. It is easily available in major grocery stores in the freezer section. Today I have a simple chicken filling for the rolls. You can experiment and try different fillings too.

Chicken Phyllo Fingers
Makes – approx 12 rolls

Ingredients:

Phyllo Pastry Sheets – 12
For brushing the rolls – Milk, or Olive oil, or lightly beaten egg
Boneless Chicken Breasts – 2, cubed into small pieces
For Marinade:
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
Cilantro and Mint – finely chopped, 3-4 tbsp
Juice of 2 lemons

Method:

1. The night before you plan to cook these, put the frozen phyllo pastry in the fridge to defrost. Take the packet out of the fridge the next morning two hours before you plan to use it to bring to room temperature, otherwise the sheets will stick together..
2. In a mixing bowl, add chicken and the rest of the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well and keep aside.

3. In a pan at medium high heat pour oil and as soon as it warms up add the chicken and cook covered while stirring occasionally until tender. Add chopped cilantro and mint. Mix. Let cool. Once cool, either chop it up into tiny bite size pieces, or shred it. Keep aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375° F. Unroll the phyllo and lay it flat on a clean, dry surface. Place one sheet of phyllo on work surface, keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with damp towel to keep from drying out. Using a pastry brush, apply either olive oil, or milk, or lightly beaten egg all over the sheet. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of cooked chicken in the center of the narrower side. Fold the two edges towards the center. Now roll it up into a log. Brush the top with either olive oil, or milk, or lightly beaten egg. Arrange on a rimmed baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Bake until phyllo is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Luv,
Mona

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

Aloo aur Tamatoun kay Bhajiye

Cloudy weather and rains call for spicy deep fried snacks in my house. Back when I was in my parents house before marriage, my father’s request would almost always be Aloo ke bhajiye during the rainy season. I miss the monsoons in India. The fragrance of wet mud, the thunders, all I wanted to do was eat spicy bhajiyas along with chutney and a cup of hot chai of coffee during evening while sitting in the verandah. Pure bliss. Here in Toronto, I can enjoy rains while sitting at home only during the spring/summer season, when the air is heavy with the aroma of fresh grass and greenery.

Tamatoun ke bhajiye are my absolute favourite! No chutney or dipping sauce is needed along with these yummy fritters. They are delicious just as they are!

Aloo aur Tamatoun ke bhajiye – Potato and Tomato Fritters

Ingredients:

Firm Red Tomatoes or Potatoes – 5 to 6 (use a few of potatoes or tomatoes if you want them both)
Gram Flour/Besan – 1 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Carom seeds/Ajwain – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1/4 tsp

Method:

For Tomato fritters:
1. Wash the tomatoes, and pat dry. Slice them into medium thick roundels and keep aside. For Potato fritters: Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them into thin roundels and soak the roundels in a bowl of salted water. Keep aside.
2. Prepare Besan. In a bowl, add the besan, red chilli powder, salt, ajwain and turmeric powder and mix well. Add water, little by little and whisk until the batter is fairly thick and not runny. It should form thick coating around the tomatoes when they are dipped in the batter. Also, there should be no lumps in the batter. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, dip the tomato slices into the batter, cover it entirely with the batter, then deep fry. Make sure the tomato slices are completely covered with the batter before dropping it into the hot oil. Deep fry both sides for just a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove into a wire mesh strainer and continue until all are done.

For Potato fritters:
1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them into thin roundels and soak the roundels in a bowl of salted water. Keep aside.
2. Prepare Besan. In a bowl, add the besan, red chilli powder, salt, ajwain and turmeric powder and mix well. Add water, little by little and whisk until the batter is not too thick or too runny. It should form a coating around the potatoes when they are dipped in the batter. Also, there should be no lumps in the batter. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, dip the potato slices into the batter, cover it entirely with the batter, then deep fry. Deep fry both sides for just a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove into a wire mesh strainer and continue until all are done.

Enjoy the bhajiye warm along with a cup of hot chai on the side.

I also have an exciting news to share with you all today! My online store – Omee’s Boutique – has been featured in the October 2012 issue of Sisters-Magazine! I am featured on page 92. Very excited about this!! My first International Feature!!!
And to celebrate that, I am offering free shipping on all orders over $30 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)! Enjoy and take advantage of this limited time offer!

Luv,
Mona