Friday, October 9, 2009

Off to Pakistan

Asalam Alaikum,
We are going for our second rip to Pakistan. As I do not know if we will have internet this time, I maybe a way from blogging for a while.

I hope to record some new foods while away, so Inshallah I will have a lot to share when we get back.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Daals...Pulses(lentils)

Asalam Alaikum,
Daals are also a very quick and easy dish. You can eat with boiled rice or roti.

Step 1- Ingredients(counter clock wise from top left)-
One cup each of Moong dal(de husked and split mung beans) and Masoor dal(red lentils)-rinsed well
10- balls whole kali mirch(black pepper)
6 -whole Loung(cloves)
1-2 inch piece of dal chini(cinnamon) broken in half
8-10 whole cloves of Lasaan(garlic)
2 thinly sliced cloves lasaan (garlic
1 tbsp zeera(cumin seeds)
1 tbsp haldi(turm)
1 tbsp dhania (coriander powder)
2 tbsp lal mirch(red chili powder)
1 tbsp namak(salt)
you will also need 2-3 tbsp ghee
Step 2- Put everything in the pot except for the sliced lasaan, the zeera and the ghee. Add 8 cups water, and stir well.
Step 3-cover and cook on a medium heat stirring occasionally, until the daals are soft, and have somewhat lost their shape. At this point how much longer to cook depends on what you are accompanying your daals, for roti you want to continue cooking to reduce the water until your daals are the consistency of oatmeal. For rice, cook only 5-10 more minutes.
Step 4- The next step is called a tuRkha (there is a heavy emphasis on the r, it is a strange work that I can never pronounce right). In a a small frying pan on a medium heat, warm your ghee.
Step 5- Add your sliced lasaan(garlic), and fry until it starts to turn a very light brown.
Step 6-Add your zeera and fry for about 30 more seconds
Step 7-Place your daals in a serving dish, and then pour the tuRkha on the top and serve.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Aloo Salaan...Spicy Potato soup

Asalam Alaikum,
This dish is very easy to cook and doesn't take as long as a meat dish, so if you are in a rush this is the perfect meal. We are used to very spicy meals in my house, if you like a little less spice then cut the red chili powder to 1 tbsp or less and only use 2-3 green chilies.

Ingredients-
Starting from the top left and going counter clockwise
3-4 medium Aloo(potatoes), sliced into 1/4 inch chips
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4-5 hari mirch(green chilies)
1 small bunch fresh hara dhania(cilantro), roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp namak(salt)
2 tbsp lal mirch(red chili powder)
2-3 tbsp zeera(cumin seeds)
You will also need 2-3 tbsp ghee
and 1/4 c oil

Step 1-On a medium heat add your oil, and zeera to the pot, fry for about 30 seconds, until the zeera starts to release an appetizing smell.
Step 2-Add your aloo to the pot and stir well. Fry until the aloo starts to turn yellow/very light brown.

Step 3-Add the lal mirch and namak.
Step 4-Add the tomatoes, and stir well.
Fry, stirring often for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to breakdown and turn to a paste.
Step 5-Add the ghee and stir well
Step 6-Add the green chilies
Step 7-Add 6-8 cups water, stir well. Cover and cook on a medium heat, stirring often until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. If you like your soup a bit thicker add less water and continue to cook until it is the consistency desired.
Step 8-Pour into a serving dish and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve with plain boiled rice or Roti.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sooji Ka Halwa...Semolina Dessert

Asalam Alaikum,
This is a sweet dish that we sometimes make, especially on Fridays or holidays.

Ingredients
1/2 c Sooji(semolina)
1/4 c Ghee(this is the brand we
use, it is very tasty)
3-4 green Elichi(cardamoms)
3/4 c Cheeni(sugar)
2c Pani(water)
Optional -1-2 TBSP each of Kishmish(rasins) and sliced Badam(almonds)


Step 1-In a dry skillet on a medium heat dry roast the sooji, it will change color for a pale off white to almost brown. You must stir CONSTANTLY, otherwise the sooji will burn.


When it is about this color, it is finished and you should put the sooji on a plate to the side to cool while you start the next step.
This is a before and after of the roasted sooji-
Step 2 In the same pan put the ghee, then break open your elichi(cardamoms) and drop them in, fry for a minute until they release a pleasant scent.

Step3-Add the roasted sooji, the water and sugar. Stir well, cook for several minutes and then remove the elichi.
Step 4(optional)- Add the sliced Badam(almonds) and the kishmish(raisins)
Step 5-Continue cooking, stirring often so that it does not burn, until there are no more light colored grains of sooji and the whole thing thickens until it is(roughly) the consistency of peanut butter.
Step 6Your sooji is complete, pour into a serving dish and garnish with additional sliced Badam(almonds) if desired. You can eat it still warm(like a custard) or if you prefer you can wait until it cools, it will firm up sort of like jello and you can cut it into bars and eat it like a cookie.