Wednesday, 23 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 15

Today we are travelling to the mystic land of berbers and nomads, Morocco with Nada from Fleur d' Oranger, Masala and Co . Presently based in UK , her blogs  features the food habits, traditions, culture and all things Moroccan.Lets check what she has brought from her home country.



Well, Ramadan has officially started here in the UK! May this holy mouth brings you the utmost in peace and prosperity!Today's post is dedidated to Huma's readers. I hope you enjoy it all!

I have introduced our culinary habits during this month over here. Like I mentioned before, most of us love having some little bites on our Ramadan table, surrounding the main soup of the day for a first meal
In the old times, Harcha (see my extensive post about it here), or the Moroccan semolina galette (also found in Algeria under a different name) used to come plain, with herbs, stuffed from the inside with some basic ingredients in some limited areas of Morocco.
Nowadaws, Harcha comes in individual portions and can its dough can be mixed with olives, khlii' (Moroccan preserved meat) and also cheese, which is the version I'll be posting today.



Harcha can be eaten any time of the day, it can replace bread: You either eat it as is, or you open it from the middle to make a sandwich, or you can just place things on top and bite into it (again, it's all explained here).
But for today's harcha, cheese comes already inside. Once one bites into it, that white layer reveals itself as a nice surprise. 



Harcha should be eaten at room temperature or slightly warm. It's not a freezer-friendly recipe and it's best consumed within the next 6 hours.
It's important to choose the right caliber of semolina. It's not the fine durun flour, it's not a couscous grain and it should not be the large grain either. It's just like the one used for Basboussa or Revani(if you are familiar with these desserts).



Stuffed mini-harcha galettes with cheese 
Ingredients
Serves 4 persons
Prep: 10 min - cooking: 20 min

Basic ingredients for harcha
·         300 g de fine semolina 
·         1 tsp of salt  
·         30 ml of oil (vegetable or olive oil) or/and melted butter 
·         90 ml of lukewarm water (or a 50%-50% water and milk)
·         1/2 tsp of baking powder
·         100g of crumbled feta or soft white cheese (jben is a favorite in Morocco)
·         1 tbsp of dried herbs (thyme, oregano)

For shaping
·         20-30 g of fine or medium semolina 

Optional
 Black or green olives, pitted and chopped

Preparation 

"Bessess" the semolina: feed it with fat



  1. Mix dry ingredients with the fat you are planning to use (oil, melted butter..). Work these ingredients with your fingers making sure all grains have been properly coated. This should take about 1 min.
  2. At this stage, you can cover it and leave it for a few minutes to 1 hour. If you are in a hurry, carry on with the next step.

Shape the dough ball


  1. Slowly incorporate the liquid (water, a mix of water-milk) to the mix bring the dough together. Some people leave it slightly sloppy. I don't like it hard so It's easy to shape it and I don't like it sloppy either:too hard and you will have cracks, too sloppy and it will be somewhat rubbery. 
  2. Try to come up with a ball by sending the dough from one hand to the other. This will form a ball without developping gluten or breaking the texture of the semolina grain. This should take about 1 min.
  3. In the meantime, heat a heavy bottom non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat. 


Shaping and cooking harcha

  1. For small harchas using a round cutter or a glass: sprinkle the worktop with fine or medium semolina and roll/flatten the dough anywhere between 5 mm to 7 cm (I prefer it thin). Place the cheese on top and cover with another port of the dough which you need to flatten with your hand to cover the cheese. 
  2. Because we are dealing with small portions in this recipe, I flatten the dough, I place the cheese in half of it and I cover it with the other half. Then I cut my mini-harchas
  3. The filling should not poke from the bottom or top (it's okay if it shows from the sides), it should be totally covered otherwise it will stick to the pan.
  4. Roll the bits of dough left and shape another mini-harcha which might have bits of cheese everywhere, just make sure you tuck them inside (no cheese pocking thing).
  5. Sprinkle again from the top. Cut and place over the skillet..Cook each side about 10 min until you see brown patches.


It's always important to handle the dough quickly and not to let it dry.Serve warm or at room temperature, any time of the day!

To know more about Moroccon cuisine visit Nada @ blog, facebook


Monday, 21 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 14

Some people are gifted writers. Her daily musings wants you to check out her space now and then. Specially the posts with her cute cub, today Fabida  from Shocks&Shoes is sharing her thoughts about Ramadan with a healthy snack.


We’re more than half way through the holy month! Every year, when Ramadan starts, we think of 30 days of staying hungry and thirsty lying ahead of us. But every year, we don’t realize when the first 20 days whizz by and we’re left with the most important last 10 days of Ramadan!! Last year we created a Ramadan Advent Calendar of sorts, and stuck smiley faces on every day at Iftar:


We rarely realize that this month is a great opportunity to completely detox ourselves. Staying hungry and thirsty really puts things into perspective and makes us realize the value of something as simple as a glass of water. Having to perform on a regular basis without frequent nourishment makes us dip into internal reserves of strength that we never knew we had. Reading the Quran for a longer time and praying for longer hours helps us build focus. We are supposed to control our temper, be charitable and not lie. In fact, this is a chance to completely renew ourselves, inside out.


Another important value learnt is humility. We are asked to break our fast immediately on hearing the Azan or call to prayer. This is to establish the fact that rich or poor, we’re all humans with the same basic needs, which when deprived, make us crave for it equally at that moment of breaking the fast.


It is recommended to break our fast with dates and water, and then move on to other dishes. Considering there are Muslims in every country of the world, these dishes can take any form! Today I share a classic Ramadan dish from the Malabar region of Kerala, more specifically north Kerala. The dish is ‘Undaputtu’, a steamed dumpling made of rice and a prawn filling, which provides a pleasant deviation from all the fried snacks.



Ramadan Special - Undaputtu

For the Prawn Masala:

250 g peeled and clean prawns
½ onion, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Coconut Oil
Salt

1. Rub the prawns with a pinch of salt, turmeric and chilli powder and lightly fry them for a couple of minutes.

2. Heat oil, fry the onions till they begin to brown. Add the green chillies and garlic paste and fry.

3. Add the spice powders, salt and fried prawns. Cover and cook till the prawns are done.

For the dumplings:

½ cup parboiled rice, soaked in boiling water and left for 3 hours
Rice flour as needed
Salt
½ cup shredded coconut

1. Grind the soaked rice to get a thick paste. Add enough rice flour to get a dough.

2. Take a lemon sized ball of dough and flatten it into a small thick circle.

3. Put a tablespoon of the prawn filling in the centre of the circle and pull up the sides to cover it and shape it into a ball.

4. Roll the ball in shredded coconut and keep aside. Repeat till the dough is finished. At this point, you can freeze the dumplings for later.

5. Steam the dumplings for about 15-20 minutes, till the outer layer is properly cooked. For frozen dumplings, take them directly out of the freezer and steam them.



These dumplings are a good option when you are tired of eating meat and fried snacks :). In my family, we usually make everything in bulk a couple of days before Ramadan and freeze them. Then half an hour before Iftar, all I need to do is take them out of the freezer and cook them directly. Instant Iftar!

Hope this blessed Ramadan proves to be an occasion of spiritual awakening for all of us and makes us strive to be better versions of ourselves. As we near the last 10 days, may Allah bless us with the strength and focus to worship him with all sincerity. Ramadan Kareem!! 

To know more  catch up with Fabida  on blog, facebook

Saturday, 19 July 2014

II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share - Chapter 13

The best thing about this series is I have met so many people from different parts of the world. Became acquainted to this beautiful blogger Qurut ul Ain (Ainy)  from AinyCooks few weeks back via facebook. Her blog has huge collection of pakistani recipes.Lets check what Ainy is sharing with us today.

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I am very thankful to Allah Almighty that He blessed us all another year of Ramadan, a unique annual event which is waited among nearly 2 billion human beings around the globe. Fasting is undoubtedly the most honored way of reflecting spiritual practices.
There is no doubt that there are countless rewards of fasting in Ramadan and its benefits are known only to Allah Almighty, but according to knowledge and practices the prize is most precious. The five pillars are the foundation of Islam, which form the basis for a spiritual culture designed to provide an ideal environment for personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, constituting one of the most important spiritual practices designed to empower a human being in overcoming the self and transcending the ego, the one true veil between a human being and his or her Creator.
Ramadan is a gift from God, enabling us to become more compassionate, caring, kind and grateful. Its gives us unique opportunity to develop spiritually and gain strength to control over ourselves, our egos, nafs, the unconscious automatic primitive nature that tends to dominate our lives when unchecked.
May Allah Almighty guide us all & guide us on the right path, Ameen.
May you all have blessed Ramadan!
Ameen.
I am grateful to Huma Kalim who has given me this opportunity to share my recipe and thoughts with her readers.I blog at AINYCOOKS, you are invited to visit me...:)


HEART SHAPE CHICKEN KEBABS




INGREDIENTS:
chicken 1/2 kg (bone less or with bones)
gram lentil 1/4 cup
crushed red chilli 1 tbsp
salt
whole coriander 1 tsp
zeera/cumin 1 tsp
gram masala/ all spice  powder 1/2 tsp
onion 1 small
ginger 1 inch piece cut in small pieces
garlic 2 cloves
potato 1 medium size cut in four
coriander leaves chopped
green chillies chopped
egg for binding.

METHOD:

  1. Add all ingredients and a little amount of water should be enough to cook lentil , now cook till gram lentil soft and water dries completely .
  2. Shred chicken and discard bones,chop in processor .
  3. Add egg coriander and chillies,mix well and use heart shape cutter to make shapes ,fry in oil do not deep fry use less oil .
  4. Serve with chutney or ketchup...


Thanks Ainy for sharing with us the delicious recipe.To check more of her delicious recipes, visit her @ blog, facebook
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