Friday, 31 May 2013

Guest Hosting : Flavors of Cuisines - Middle Eastern

 This month I am guest hosting the flavors of cuisines event started by Julie of Eriyum Puliyum.
At present I am living in U.A.E, I have some knowledge about the Middle Eastern Cuisine, when she announced this event, I asked her  for hosting Middle Eastern Cuisines and she happily  accepted immediately.Thanks Julie for giving me the opportunity.

Introduction to Middle Eastern Food and Cooking:
The Middle East consists of: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Most regions in the Middle East use spices. Typically, a stew will include a small amount of cinnamonclovescumin, and corianderBlack pepper is common, and chilli peppers are used occasionally, especially as a separate sauce or as a pickle. Parsley and mint are commonly used in cooking and in salads. Varieties of thyme are common in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and a mixture of dried thyme and sumac (crushed sour berries) is a common breakfast item with oil and bread. Sumac is also sprinkled over grilled meat. Garlic is common to many dishes and salads.
Lamb and mutton have always been the favored meats of the region. Pork is prohibited in Islam and Judaism and is rarely eaten in the region. Prominent among the meat preparations were the grilled meats, or kebabs. There are a wide variety of these grills, with many regional specialties and styles. The most common are the cubed cuts on skewers, known as shish kebab in most places. Chicken may also be grilled in the same fashion.

Another common variety is kofta kebab, made from ground meat, sometimes with onions and spices, shaped around the skewer like a long sausage and grilled. Kebabs are typically a street or restaurant food, served with bread, salad, and pickles. It is not usually prepared in domestic kitchens.
Meat and vegetable stews, served with rice, bulgur, or bread, are another form of meat preparation in the region. Kibbeh is a pie or dumpling made with meat and cereal. 
Vegetables and pulses are the predominant everyday food of the great majority of the people of the Middle East. They are boiled, stewed, grilled, stuffed, and cooked with meat and with rice. Among the green leaf vegetables, many varieties of cabbage, spinach, and chard are widely used. Root and bulb vegetables, such as onions and garlic, as well as carrots, turnips, and beets are equally common. Squash, tomato, eggplants, and okra are distinctive elements in the cookery of the region. Eggplant is often fried in slices and dressed in yogurt and garlic, or roasted over an open fire, then pulped and dressed with tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, and cumin, a dish known as baba ghannoush. Tomato is the most ubiquitous ingredient in Middle Eastern cookery. It is used fresh in a variety of salads, cooked in almost every stew and broth, and grilled with kebab.
Beans and pulses are crucial to the diet of the region, second only to cereals. The fava beans are eaten green and dried. Dried, they are boiled in one of the most popular Egyptian foods of ful medames, a domestic and street food, eaten for breakfast or any other meal, mashed and dressed in oil, lemon, and chili.

The famous Falafel, now popular in Europe and America, was originally made from dried fava, crushed and formed into a rissole with herbs and spices, then fried. It is also made from chickpeas, or a mixture of the two. Green fava are cooked like other green beans, boiled and dressed in oil, or stewed with meat. The haricot beans and black-eyed beans are also common. Lentils, split peas, and chickpeas are widely used in soups, with rice, in salads, or with meat. Hummus, made from chickpeas and sesame paste, originated in Syria/Lebanon.

Stuffed vegetables are a dish most associated with the Middle East in the popular mind. They are commonly called dolma,the Turkish word meaning "stuffed," but also the Arabic mahshi. Grape leaves, chard, and cabbage are stuffed with rice, ground meat, pine nuts, and spices, and then stewed in oil and tomato. Many vegetables are similarly stuffed and stewed or baked, such as squash, onion, tomato, eggplant, peppers, and even carrots.
Arabs commonly consume milk, fresh or soured. Yogurt, a Turkish contribution, is commonly consumed plain, used in cooking, used in salad dressing, or diluted as a drink. White cheese, like the Greek feta and haloumi, are the most common in the region.
Meze is common throughout the Middle East. It consists of a number of small dishes that are picked at leisure: cheese, melon, nuts, various salads and dips, such as tabboule (chopped parsley, tomato, and a few grains of burghul), hummus and mutabbal, pickles, and also more substantial items, such as grilled meat, kibbeh, and sausage.

In some areas in the Middle East, especially in the Persian Gulf countries, it is common for people to take their food from a common plate in the center of the table. Rather than employing forks or spoons, people traditional dine without utensils; they scoop up food with their thumb and two fingers or pita bread.

Middle Eastern food first came became popular in the 1990s with the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet. Healthfulness and freshness are central to the Middle Eastern diet.
Check Middle Eastern Food at

The event rules are as follows-
1.The event runs for the period of one month( 1 st - 30th June '13)

2.The theme for each month is "Cuisine hosted ".It can vary from starter,main dish ,side dish,soup,dessert or any other recipes,sweet or savory anything but strictly from that particular cuisine with the same ingredients & spices.No modifications or fusions or alterations is accepted.

3.Bloggers and Non bloggers can participate.Bloggers can link their recipes using the linky tool.Bloggers who find it difficult or find some problem to link can also send &Non-bloggers can send in their recipes to my mail  with the following details-
Your Name-
Recipe Name-
Recipe Details-
Pic of the Dish

4.Recipe must be linked to (your announcement page) and to My Healthy Happy Kitchen /Julie's page) .

5.You can link  Veg recipes in Sandhya's My Cooking Journey & Non Veg recipes here.

6.Send in any number of entries.You can link in two old or archived posts.No need to re post the post just add the link & logo.

7.Usage of logo is appreciated for all entries as it would help spread the word.

Also,I would like to give the following awards to the eligible participants-Participation Award to all ,Best Non veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation),Best Veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation) & Top Contributor Award.

Friends Please link your recipes here.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

French Green Salad

shredded  lettuce - one cup
shredded cabbage - half - one cup
french dressing - 2 - 3 tbsp
sliced hard boiled egg  - 1-2 ( optional)

Needed ingredients for french dressing:
vinegar or lemon juice - 1 tbsp
1-2 tbsp - olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
dry mustard - a pinch
minced garlic clove - 1
chopped herb -  coriander or parsley - 2 tsp
 Mix salt pepper,mustard,garlic and vinegar or lime juice in a bowl till salt dissolves.
 Add oil and herb, beating briskly.Store in fridge and use.
 In a salad bowl add shredded lettuce and cabbage , pour dressing ,then toss thoroughly and serve fresh.
 Now fresh french green salad is ready to serve.Adding pieces of 1-2 hard boiled egg is optional.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Special Awards & Gift Vouchers

Hai Friends !
 It 's a great pleasure to receive awards and gifts  from my friends who are amazing bloggers. Heartfelt  thanks to them.

An Excellence Award and a book of Sanjeev kapoor from Esho-Bosho- Aahare for Home Made Spices - Store to bowl Event. Thanks a lot Nabanita.
An Achievement Award and Hudson Canola oil Gift Hamper from Vimitha's - My Culinary Trial Room - Hudson Canola Oil Giveaway Event.
 Thanks a lot Vimitha.

Gayathri's Walk through Memory Lane @ Hema's Adugemane- For  March Month  - Winner of one year subscription of Tarla Dalal's Cooking and More magazine.
Thanks a lot Gayathri.

Best Innovation Recipe Award & Judges  Award  from Viji 'SYS-W -Series 

Thanks a lot Viji.

Thanks a lot Meena.

Thanks a lot Julie.

Received an  E - Gift Voucher worth Rs 500/ from  Priya Suresh's Valentine's Day Recipe Event .Thanks a lot Priya.

Received an E - Gift Voucher worth Rs 1000/ from Bharathi's Spicy Chilly for My Spicy Recipe Event. Thanks a lot Bharathi.

Thanks once again friends !

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Thai Cucumber Salad

 Salads are an excellent choice to serve with any main meal.This salad tastes really awesome.
Cucumber (medium) - 1
red capsicum( small) - 1
chopped coriander - 2 tbsp
chopped green onion  - 1

 For dressing:
soy sauce - 1 tbsp
thai chilli sauce - 1 tbsp
chopped garlic - 1 tbsp
lime juice - 1 tbsp
roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp

Steps to follow:
Cut the cucumber,capsicum,onion  in thin lenghtwise size and finely chop the garlic cloves.
In a bowl mix all the veggies and chopped coriander.
In an another bowl take  soy sauce,thai red chilli sauce, minced garlic, lime juice and slightly roasted ground peanuts.Mix and keep aside.Now the dressing is ready.
Now pour the dressing to the veggies and mix well.
Serve immediately or cover and  store it  in the refrigerator  for few hours and serve.

Sending this to Eat vegetables and stay healthy @ Samayaldiary  & Justeat.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tomato Juice

roughly sliced tomatoes - 1 cup
sugar - 1 tbsp or to taste
salt - pinch
1/4-1/2 tsp - lemon juice to taste
1/2 cup - ice cold water.
for garnishing - a tomato slice & lemon slice or mint leaves.

Steps to follow:
Put tomato pieces with sugar and 1/4 cup ice water in a blender at speed 3 for 30 seconds.
Filter through a sieve.wash the pulp with again 1/4 cup ice water.Over pulping spoils the taste due to the seeds & skin getting extracted.
Transfer to a long glass tumbler, garnish and serve fresh.

Linking this recipe to Gayathri's Walk Through Memory Lane @ Manju's Kitchen.

Sending this to Guru's Cooking - Giveaway - Summer Event.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Dhokar Dalna - Traditional Bengali Dish - SNC - 8

This month in Divya Pramil's South Vs North Challenge,  Challenge for Southern Team is Nabanitha's - (Esho- Bosho Aahare ) -Dhokar Dalna  / Lentil Cakes Curry  and for the Northern Team Roha's (Hyderabadi Cuisine) Qubani ka Meetha .

I am a part of Southern Team and linking this recipe to Nabanitha;s Esho Bosho Aahare.

Now coming to the Delicious  Traditional Bengali Recipe - Dhokar Dalna. - Click here for the original recipe source.
According to my requirements here I adjust the ingredients and masalas.

For Lentil Cakes:
  • 1/2 Cups Bengal Gram Lentils / Chana Dal
  • 1/4 Cup Matar Dal/ Split Peas Dal
  • 2 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1/4 tsp  Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Onion Seeds 
  • 1-2 Green Chili Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  •  Salt to taste
  •  Oil to fry 

Steps to follow:
Soak the channa dal and mattar dal  for 4 hrs, then without water  coarsely grind it in a blender and keep aside.

  1. Mix all the dhoka spices into batter mix well.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a Kadai.
  3. Add asafoetida .
  4. Add batter, stir continuously until batter turns into a dough and leaves the bottom of the kadai. 

Then grease the plate with oil, spread the dough evenly on the plate and keep aside. After few minutes cut into Burfi Style.Then fry this and keep aside. I only shallow fried this.
Peel and Cut potato into cubes, Fry potato cubes with oil, little turmeric powder and salt, fry till golden brown  and keep aside.

For Curry:
  • Potato Medium size (cut into cubes)
  • Tomato(chopped)
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (lightly thicken)
  • 1/4Cup Grated Coconut
  • 2 tsp Ginger paste
  • a big pinch   Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Bay Leaf
  • Green Chilli Slit
  • 1-2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
  • half - 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tbsp Cashew Raisins Paste
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil for gravy(Mustard Oil preferable)
Steps to follow:

  1. Heat oil in kadai.add asofoetida,cumin seeds,bay leaves.
  2. Add slitted green chili to it.
  3. Add Ginger paste fry little.
  4. Add chopped tomato again fry.
  5. Add all dry spices like red chili powder,cumin powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder.
  6. Fry for a while until oil comes out.
  7. Add grated coconut and coconut milk mix them.
  8. Add cashew raisins paste and mix well. 
  9. Add fried potato cubes and mix well.
  10. Add warm water and adjust seasoning.Bring into boil. (curry will be little medium consistency)
  11. Add fried dhoka or lentil cakes.Here check the salt to taste.
  12. Sprinkle little garam masala powder,cover and switch off the gas.

Dhokar dalna is ready to serve. Serve with  plain steamed rice and hot rasam.

I am a part of Southern Team and linking this recipe to Nabanitha's Esho Bosho Aahare. Thanks Nabanitha for sharing your delicious traditional recipe.We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Wheat Flour Halwa

This wheat flour halwa is delicious and light and few saffron strands leaves a stunning aroma to this dish.
wheat flour - half cup
ghee - 2 tbsp
water - half - 1 cup
sugar - half cup (it depends)
few saffron strands
to garnish - chopped almonds / & or pistachios
and poppy seeds (optional)

Steps to follow:
Heat ghee in a non stick pan.

Add wheat flour and roast in low flame till become brown colour,be careful not burn the flour.

Add water, stir continuously so no  lumps formed.

Then add sugar according to your taste. Keep stirring till sugar dissolves.Adding poppy seeds is optional here.Switch off the stove.
If it is too dry add one more tsp ghee.

Transfer to a plate and sprinkle few saffron strands.
Garnish with chopped almonds and serve warm. Yummy halwa is ready to serve. Kids would like to have this..Thanks Meena for sharing.
Check here for the recipe source.

Sending this to Meena's Try My Recipes and Giveaway.