Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bread pockets

Thinking about  blessed holy month of Ramadan already fills me with chills when people are so much around, mosques crowded, streets busy, everything seems so special. Especially being in an Islamic country like UAE, I enjoy the benefit of husband returning from work early, due to short working hours for all companies and then roads during night time is so lit up and busy, anybody can roam around safely no matter even if you are alone. Its definitely a month of devotion and religious commitment, which is only why you can still fast in full spirit no matter how long the fasting hours are and that too when summer is at its peak. Its a month when Quran was sent to our Messenger Muhammad S.A. and we give so much importance in spending our time in recitation of Quran and that is mostly how I spend my time of worship or Ibaadah apart from obligatory prayers during Ramadan.

Ofcourse apart from religious commitment, we are supposed to cook for the Iftar (fast breaking time) but taking care you do not get carried away and spend so much time in cooking.
Speaking of today's post, this is my third guest post and second guest post for Lubnas blog. When she requested to do a post for her Ramadan series, there was no thinking twice, it was definitely a yes from me. But as I mentioned earlier, I do not appreciate spending too much time in the kitchen during this blessed month as every moment is precious and should be carried in the remembrance of Allah, I was really scratching my head for me to come up with a recipe which was less time consuming  at the same time, I was stubborn it should be an Iftar special. Then did this recipe of Bread pockets clicked in my head. Its not my invention but I came out with my own filling. After all, I come from a place where people especially women are so obsessed and passionate about cooking and feasting
. I am talking about a coastal part of Kerala, the Malabar. Every Ramadan I come across some new recipes from family or friends, which would mainly serve as Iftar (fast breaking) snack during Ramadan. And so was this recipe. How people back home are so talented!
Its super easy to make.. all you need is ur filling ready. You can go free with your ideas and use any filling as simple as some mix of veggies or some shredded chicken alone or you can get a bit fancy like I did. The main part is the crunchy bread. To attain it, all you have to do is cut off the crust of Bread slices. Flatten 2 slices of bread together with one overlapping other, using a rolling pin. Then cut the bread into round shape  about 3 inches in diameter using any lid or cookie cutter. Then coat the circles in egg mix and then bread crumbs and deep fry by doing which it will puff up like pooris and cut into half to get half moon shapes and fill with your favorite filling. The bread turns so crunchy and yummy and the filing I used here turned out to be really yum that it reminded me of chilli chicken you get from restaurants. So if you find time, try this filling for sure.

  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. Tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Chicken, boiled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Green peas, i used frozen ones
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt
  • Heat a pan and heat a tablespoon of oil.
  • Saute onion in it. Add ginger garlic paste. Saute till onion turns golden brown.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, saute till tomatoes turns mushy.
  • Add Kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Add tomato ketchup and mayo. Mix.
  • Add frozen green peas and saute for few seconds.
  • Then add chicken. Mix till the masala coats well on the pieces of chicken and off the flame.
  • Keep the filling aside.
  • Take the bread slices. Cut off the crust.
  • With two slices, one on top of the other, using a rolling pin flatten the slices.
  • Using a cookie container or any lid big enough cut circles out of the bread slices.
  • Reserve the the remaining portion of bread to make bread crumbs.
  • Repeat the same with other slices. Approximately 10 slices will be required.
  • Dip the circles in beaten egg and coat in the bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Deep fry the circles till it puffs up and changes color to golden brown. Transfer the fried circles onto a paper towel.
  • Cut the circles from center to get pockets. Fill the pockets with filling.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Serve hot and enjoy.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Home made puffs with home made puff pastry sheets

This might sound long and difficult. But it isn't. I love the buttery flaky texture of puff pastry sheets and I always felt that making those at home are really not worth when lots of them are available in stores. But after having tried and failed a few times those store bought sheets, which I found hard to separate and did not puff up in the oven, I decided to give it a try at home. But it took me ages to find the courage to really give it a try. The steps are simple. U just to have fold it three or four times but keeping intervals and refrigerated between each folds which was the real annoying thing for me as I couldn't finish the work when my kids were fast asleep. But I was happy with the out come. It was really easy to make. Far better than I imagined. Tasted exactly like the bakery ones.
Over to the recipe

  • All purpose flour- 3 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup
  • Butter- 450 gms+ 100 gms
  • Cold water
  • salt 
  • Chicken filling of your choice

  • First mix 3 1/2 cups flour,salt and 100 gms butter.
  • Add just enough cold water and work the dough with your hands until a smooth dough is formed. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Once the dough is formed keep it refrigerated for about 20 minutes.
  • Be sure to cover rthe dough with a cling or plastic wrap
  • Now take the room temperature butter.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and little salt if the butter is unsalted. Mix well with hands.
  • Take a large plastic wrap, place the butter on it and flatten the butter to a square shape about 1/4 inch thickness, with your fingers.
  • Wrap the butter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20minutes, take out the dough and roll it to a rectangle with 1/4 inch thickness. Ensure that you use enough flour while rolling.
  • Unwrap the butter from fridge and place the butter square in the center of the dough.
  • Wrap the butter inside the dough from four sides and seal the edges well so that butter do not show out.
  • Roll it gently to form a rectangle and fold from both ends of long side of rectangle towards center.
  • Flip it and roll gently again to form a rectangle and fold from both ends again. Keep this refrigerated in  a plastic wrap again for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes again take the dough out roll, fold, flip, roll and fold.
  • Refrigerate once more and repeat roll, fold, flip, roll and fold.
  • Refrigerate for one last time and roll to get a rectangle and cut into squares. You will get about 16- 20 square sheets.
  • Use it immediately or store separated by plastic sheets in freezer for about 20-30 days or more.
  • To make chicken puffs:
  • place the squares on a cookie sheet or baking tray lined with wax or parchment paper. place the filling towards one half of the pastry sheet and fold the second half over it. Seal gently from the sides and bake for about 20 minutes in a medium oven till lightly golden brown. 
  • You can brush the puffs with butter or beaten egg before baking to get golden finish.

If you are using frozen sheets, place the sheets on baking tray and wait them to come to room temperature before you fill and fold. Or else while folding the sheet will break.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Blueberry Mojito

Oh berries! How much I love them. But  here in desert, we hardly get berries.. Now that's a false statement. You get berries here throughout the year but you need to pay twice as much as its quantity. I mean it. I am not boasting. Its about 15 Aed for a small pack of blueberry with only 10 or 15 of them. Every time I admiringly gaze at those beauties in super market, take them in my hand and then return them to fridge. This is the case with all the berries so buying a berry and having them is like my distant dream except for strawberries which are affordable at least during winter. And to take my cravings to extreme, my fellow bloggers in west have their blogs loaded with lots of berry recipes and without able to try them, I put my cravings to sleep. This one I found for pretty good deal. When i found those, though they were still quite expensive, there was no second thought and i bought those, calculating to try loads of berry recipes when i was still aware that i had only a few of them .. When I returned home, there were so many recipes in my mind and unaware of when I will be able to buy berries next and wanting to try something really worth, my mind failed to settle on any one particular recipe. Then, these berries saw days of boredom for next two days in the fridge and then still unable to figure out what to be done with it they were promoted to freezer. This is what happens when you over treasure something and finds them unexpectedly and you want to make best out of it.

Blueberry syrup with ice cubes without adding soda

That is when a strawberry mojito recipe on Internet came to rescue and it looked so refreshing that I wanted to try it for sure. So I decided to replace strawberries with my blueberries and give it a go. It tasted good, except that I wanted it bit more sweet. The mentioned quantity of sugar in the recipe is only approximate and please check to the sweetness before adding soda. Soda is unsweetened so be sure to add enough sweetness to the blueberry syrup.

  Over to the recipe.
  • Blueberry - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • Water- 1/4 cup
  • Mint- 1/4 bunch
  • Lime juice- 2 tbsp
  • Ice cubes
  • Club soda
  • Puree the blueberries, water and sugar together. Strain through fine sieve and keep aside.
  • In the bottom of a jar muddle mint leaves pour the blueberry syrup and lime juice and chill in refrigerator until required.
  • To serve. Pour the blueberry syrup upto 1/4 th of the glass. 
  • Put some ice cubes. And pour soda over it to fill the glass.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Idli Masala

This is a life saver and also saves your left over idlis. In my home, my daughter and me are great fans of Idli, but my hubby and son are the opposite. Usually I make Idlis for my daughter and me and with some batter, I prepare Dosas for Hubby and son. But when Idlis are left over, they are hardly used up just because I am lazy to prepare chutney to be eaten with, just for a few idlis or warming or heating it up. I'd rather stay hungry, so much is my laziness. But when it comes to feeding the family, its actually worth making something, if they are sure to enjoy it. So I transform the left over idlis this way and hubby happily eats all of it when served this way. Its quite easy to make and makes a good tea time snack or even breakfast
Over to the recipe.

  • Idli- 5 or 6 cut into 4
  • Butter- 2 tbsp
  • Garlic minced- 2 cloves
  • Onion chopped finely- 1
  • Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup- 1 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji Masala - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves- 1/2 cup chopped finely


  • Heat butter in a pan.
  • Add minced garlic. Saute for a while.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add all the spice powders and mix well. Add ketchup and mix.
  • Add lime juice and 2 tbsp water. 
  • Add coriander leaves and then add idlis.
  • Off the flame and serve hot.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Kerala Roast Chicken

Up on post today is a chicken roast. There are already many chicken roast on the blog.You can check it here and here. Its my kind of curry and also my hubby loves anything of that sort. Its best with Chapati, Nans etc. Or it is best accompanied as side dish with any other curry along with rice varieties as well. As the name, Kerala Roast chicken, it depicts Kerala's own taste with the coconut oil flavor and smell. Over to the recipe.
  • Chicken- 1 cut to medium peices
  • Lime juice- 1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Onion chopped-7 medium
  • Ginger chopped-2 1/2 tbsp
  • Garlic chopped- 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Tomato- 3 cut into slices
  • Tomato ketchup- 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves- a stem
  • Coconut oil for deep frying

  • Marinate chicken in pepper powder, lime juice and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix Chilli powder and Turmeric powder with very little water to form a paste.
  • Mix this paste onto marinated chicken and marinate the chicken well and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat oil for deep frying the chicken. Fry the chicken in two batches if required. The flame should be on medium to cook the inside of the chicken and not to burn outside. This takes about 10- 15 minutes. The outside of the chicken should turn golden brown. Once done, transfer the chicken onto a paper towel.
  • Meanwhile the chicken is frying, take another pan and add 2-3 tbsp of the frying oil from the wok, Heat it.
  • Add chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Saute till onion turns golden brown.
  • Add Turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, Coriander powder and Garam masala powder. Mix.
  • Add Tomatoes, curry leaves and mix
  • Add tomato ketchup and chicken. Mix all together and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Off the flame and serve hot with chapati, nan, ceylon parathabattoora etc.