Recipes R Simple

Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat | Chickpeas and Potato Yoghurt Salad

Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat is another delicious and extra quick starter/salad, that can enhance any meal and dinner menu. Think of it as the Indian version of the Western potato salad, with the added goodness of chickpeas and crunchiness is supplied by the red onion and the tasty, crispy Aloo Bhujia.

Aloo Bhujia is crispy, tangy and spicy Potato Noodles, often available at your local Indian Grocers. I will add the link to the recipe for Homemade Aloo Bhujia soon.

Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat can be served as a light snack on its own or as a salad/ side dish along with the main meal. I love all types of Chaats. So refreshing and fulfilling. This chaat item makes a good side dish during Ramadan as well, where light refreshing starters are often needed.

 

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Thalassery Beef Biriyani | Malabar Biriyani

Thalassery Beef Biriyani has been a long requested recipe here on RAS. Those of you who frequently visit for my Malabar style recipes, I hope you will enjoy my recipe for a delicious Beef Biriyani.

Thalassery is truly a place represented by its hospitable locals, who are always happy to feed a hungry soul… The varieties of delicious Arab and Mughal influenced foods, as well as the vast array of sweet and savory snacks, makes any trip to this place undeniably ‘Unforgettable’!

Although famous for its endless list of tea time snacks, the Thalassery Biriyani is, without doubt, the most famous dish from the region.

Thalassery Biriyani is a cultural embodiment and is reminiscent of foreign influences in Malabar. It is a by-product of the Mughal-Arab cultural influence in North Kerala due to the trade that lasted for centuries before the 1900s and the emigration to the Middle East of locals from the 1970s onwards.

So here is my special recipe for Thalassery Beef Biriyani. I hope you will make it and send me a pic! This post has taken forever with getting all the ingredient measures to perfection. If you follow my recipe, I guarantee you success.

Buffalo meat is often used in this recipe, and I believe it tastes so much better. In fact, many delicious curries and fries that one mistakes to be beef throughout Kerala is actually Buffalo meat.

Another key ingredient in Thalassery Biriyani is the variety of fragrant rice used. Although Basmati is famous in Biriyani, Thalassery prides itself in using the indispensable Wayanadan Kaima/ Jeerakasala rice to make this authentic Biriyani. It is a very short delicate grain with a lovely fragrance that permeates throughout the popular rice dish. Since good quality Kaima rice is not always available, you may use Basmati if you can not find it.

The cooked rice and meat is layered in a sealed pot, in the ‘Dum’ method of sealed cooking which prevents any steam from escaping and enforces the flavors to marry well with each other.  The aroma throughout the house when the Dum (pronounced ‘DHuM’) is cut open is quite captivating.

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Punjabi Chole Bhature | Chickpeas with Fried Leavened Bread

 

Punjabi Chole Bhature – the ever popular street food, everyday food, snack and favorite of the young and old alike!  Chole(Cholay) is the Punjabi name of this curry made of chickpeas. It is also known in other regions as Chana Masala. Chana Masala and Chole are basically the same curried dish of chickpeas. It may be semi dry or have more gravy and the recipe varies from home to home and Dhaba to Dhaba (Punjabi roadside food stall)!

Bhature, (Bhatoora), is a soft, fluffy deep-fried leavened bread. It is similar to Puri which is its unleavened counterpart. Bhature is most often served with Chole, hence the name of the meal – ‘Chole Bhature’.

Chole is extremely simple to make. This easy recipe delivers a fast and so very yummy, semi dry gravy of chickpeas. Check out the stepwise pictures (slideshow) below.  The Bhature is quite simple to make as well (although it may require a little practice). I often make the chole on its own to serve along with salads too.

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Aloe Vera Salad

Fresh Aloe Vera Summer Salad

Aloe Vera Salad  – A cooling fresh salad for the hot summer days. This is my brunch after my long morning walk! This salad wakes you up, refreshes you and cools you down. It is a great picnic salad or post workout salad.

Aloe Vera facilitates digestion and helps to rid the body of toxins. It has cooling and soothing properties. It improves the functioning of the kidneys, liver and gall bladder. It is also good for the skin. Aloe is used widespread in topical treatments but is also good taken internally in juice and salads.
Important: Pregnant women and young children (below five) are advised against taking aloe internally. I am sure google has the explanations as to why.

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Chicken Changezi | An old Delhi Recipe

 

Chicken Changezi is an extremely popular dish in Delhi, that has been served for generations. It has a notoriously suspicious looking crimson color, due to the cooking down of the tomato gravy in ghee. The name ‘Changezi’  is due to the fact the the dish originated during the times of the fearsome Mongolian warrior and conquerer, Genghis(Changez)Khan. It was however, not made for him as been widely misconstrued.

In actuality, Genghis Khan never invaded Delhi. He in fact only went as far as the Indus and then turned back. The dish however must have been a hit, since it has prospered for so long, but in all likeliness the warrior himself would not have fancied the dish, with its typical Indian spices and richness, quite foreign to the Mongolian seasonal diet consisting mostly of meat and dairy, influenced by both China and Russia.

Chicken Changezi is rich, creamy, and quite delicious, served with flatbreads like Naan or Tandoori Roti. It is not so spicy, due to the addition of Kaju (Cashew) paste, milk and cream. Here is the recipe for this tangy, creamy and rich Restaurant style dish. Check out the Video below to see how to make it!!!

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Moroccan Baked Salmon

Moroccan Baked Salmon – to spice it up !

If you like a spicy baked Salmon, you will love this one. Salmon is a regular item in our house. Twice a week at least, I will prepare salmon. And you know I love variety… There are so many ways to make salmon delicious. This is my new favorite.  It’s quick and easy. Spiced and jazzed up with the flavors of Morocco. You might find it to be your new favorite too 😉

Of all the different fish varieties, salmon is held a step above when it comes to nutritional value. Salmon is also considered to be a ‘brain food’.  An excellent source of quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) but they are of course known for the content of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Kunafa | Middle Eastern Cheese filled Dessert Pastry

Kunafa – How can Ramadan be complete without making this warm melty cheese filled, crunchy and unique pastry?

I loved Kunafa when I lived in the Middle East. I haven’t been able to make it the same since I came to Singapore, because I couldn’t find the Kataifi Pastry. Well, I found it a long time ago and made it a few times, but I didn’t get the desired effect, from the memory I had.  I have changed the recipe a bit from the authentic one, I add a white sauce to the filling along with Mozzarella cheese. This time, it was pretty incredible tasting. My little one couldn’t stop moaning with delight. I must warn you that it is a sinful dessert if you are on a diet! Small Tiny portions are enough!

I also must emphasize that you must not leave that Kataifi pastry in the freezer too long before making this. It looses its freshness and you won’t get the crispy delicious flavor that you are after.

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Ramadan Porridge | Ramadan Kanji

 

Ramadan Porridge | Ramadan Kanji

Ramadan is almost over this year, but I thought it would be good to add a recipe, since so many have mailed/ messaged me requisitioning it. Ramadan Porridge is made so often during the month of Ramadan. It is a warm and comforting porridge that you can enjoy some time after breaking your fast. It is also a good item for the suhr meals.  I have a recipe for the basic Cumin Rice Porridge here :     (Jeeraka Kanji). This recipe adds to that some vegetables, a little meat and stock. This Ramadan Porridge,  makes it more savory and more filling, perfect for when you want to store that energy for the rest of the fasting period.

Here, I have added a little mutton that was removed from the precooked mutton for a Korma that I made. You need very little meat, so it’s a good idea to remove some when you are preparing for another dish, if you plan to make this. Chicken may be used as well.

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Orange Blossom Bellinis | Middle Eastern Cocktail

Orange Blossom Bellinis – The Exotic Mocktail.

I was introduced to this beautiful drink on my trip to Dubai. It’s been a staple at my dinner parties ever since. The perfect mocktail, if you ask me. The light scent of the Orange Blossom Water along with the addition of nibbles is  a combination of flavours to tease the senses.  No alcohol required! This recipe replaces the customary peach puree and prosecco with sparkling grape juice, cranberry and sometimes blood orange juice. Here, it is the exotic scent of Orange Blossom that makes it all the more special.

This recipe was one of my contributions to a wonderful project, a Christmas Recipe Book that I was part of along with some fabulous foodies. Foodies+ Christmas Cook Book.

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Njandu Chikkiyathu | Spicy Shredded Crab Meat with Coconut

Njandu Chikkiyathu | Spicy Shredded Crab Meat with Coconut.

Vacations to India are often filled with road trips.  Long scenic road trips, either for liesure or to visit relatives who are spread all over the place. It’s fun although the kids seem to spend more time playing games on their phones than looking out and experiencing the new sights. They don’t know life outside of Singapore. India is so very vast in it’s culture and traditions. Just looking out while driving, you can witness so much.

Last vacation we traveled through Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty and then headed to our state of Kerala. On the trips we like to stop at some great hotels but occasionally we also like to try those small off-the-road eateries. These are men and women who cook from their homes and turn part of their home into little tea shops or food shacks. We stopped at one place that looked pretty neat and the people were so friendly, with huge welcoming smiles. We washed up and asked what was on the menu. It was lunch time and they said the house special was their  ‘Njandu Chikkiyathu’. ‘Njandu’ is Crab and ‘Chikkiyathu’ means shredded or scrambled. Among some other staples and Rice, we ordered the Crab.

It was hot and spicy, but not too spicy and just awesomely tasty!  After the meal, my husband wandered off to take some pictures off a cliff nearby and I found it perfect opportunity to ask for the recipe. The lady was very kind, in that she not only shared this recipe in detail but also invited me into the kitchen while she was preparing another delicious looking shrimp curry. (Luck was on my side, as it was not a busy day for them, and we were the only customers) .

I wrote down the recipe in my travel book, as soon as we got back into the car. And I have made it a couple of times when I came back home. We cooked this once while camping out on the Beach and had many passers by attracted by the sweet roasting aromas. The addition of small bits of coconut flesh makes it extra tasty and adds a crunch! Cooked Crabmeat is added to a spicy tongue tickling masala and tossed to shreds, absorbing all the spicy and tangy  flavors. I find myself making this whenever I chance upon fresh live crabs at the market. Very easy recipe! I was holding it back till I go a better picture, but it being Ramadan and all, I dont think I will be making Crab this month.

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