Thursday, 30 June 2016

Znoud El Sit

Its almost to an end, the holy month. And I feel I haven't gained much this year. Nor have I cooked much. Reason being hectic schedule and in the end no energy. Alhamdulillah every year, somehow whenever I was pregnant or busy with kids for Ramadhan, I have been showered with Iftar snacks, by family or friends. This year Alhamdulillah I got regular parcels of Umma's goodness and I know she did all that to gain rewards you get while helping someone break fast, more than her love to her eldest daughter. That is what I love about her, she never fails to take maximum advantage of anything in front of her, to gain rewards. And that is the message every Ramadhan conveys, lots of giving, no matter even if it is half of a date.

Znoud El Sit was prepared by me while I was craving for some kind Arabic dessert, during my fast in the weekend. That is what happens when you fast for 15+ hours and you fantasize about all your favorite things and vanishes immediately once you break fast.
I love Arabic desserts, most of it having not much salty cheese filling, and then topped with sugar syrup that is rose scented and flavored with orange blossom water. I love it, that medley of cheese and that flavored sugar syrup. Same is what is in Kunafa, and then many other Arabic desserts that I enjoy having a lot but unaware of its name. :D

Znoud El Sit as complex it might sound, is as easy to prepare. It is surely an Arabic dessert, but unsure from which part of Arab nation. It has flaky outside filled with a creamy filling called somewhat Ashta cream. Finally it is topped with rose and orange scented sugar syrup, and then dusted with coarsely ground pistachios. To make a slight change, I added on saffron to the filling while preparation. Though you can use pastry sheets available in the market for better flaky texture, I used home-made flour dough.

Over to the recipe:
For the pastry:
All purpose flour- 1 1/2 cups
Butter melted- 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Water- just enough to knead
Ghee- as needed
Flour- for dusting

For the cream filling:
Milk- 1 1/2 cups
Corn flour- 4 tbsp.
Saffron- a pinch

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar- 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Lime juice- 1/2 tbsp.
Rose water- 1 tbsp.
Orange blossom water- 1 tbsp.
Cardamom- 3-4

For frying:

To garnish:
Pistachios (de shelled)- A few, coarsely ground

Cream filling:

First prepare the cream filling, By simply heating all the ingredients together and whisking till smooth. Do not walk away and keep stirring else the filling will clump up. Once the mixture thickens, Boil for two minutes and off the flame. Keep aside to cool.

For the pastry:
Knead flour, salt and melted butter together adding in just enough quantity of water required for kneading.
Keep aside for half an hour.

Take a lime sized ball,  roll it thin. Keep aside. Make 3 of such sheets.
Now lay one of those sheets on your counter top and brush some ghee, dust with flour.
Lay on top of another rolled out sheet and repeat the same. Again lay the third one on top and repeat brushing and dusting.
Now roll the three over lapped sheets into a log starting from one side.
Cut the log into half inch thick slices.
Roll each of the slice into thin strips of 3 inches width and 6 inches long.
Repeat with all slices.
Lay two of the strips in a cross.
Place a spoon full of filling in the center.
Fold the horizontal layer over the filling and then the vertical layer.
Seal the edge with flour paste (mix equal parts of flour and water to create a paste. A spoon of flour would be adequate to make required quantity of paste)

Process of wrapping the cream filling with store bought pastry sheets
Now heat a pan with oil.
The oil should be hot, but fry the rolls in low heat so as to obtain a flaky texture.
Fry till golden brown.

For making syrup:
Make the syrup by combining all the ingredients and let it boil. Once it starts boiling let it boil for 5 more minutes.

Drizzle on top of the rolls with sugar syrup.

Top the Znoud El Sit with ground pistachios. Serve hot.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Chicken Cutlets

Its Ramadhan and the schedule is hectic for me as I am into working too. But Alhamdulillah the less working hours in Ramadhan has helped a bit and no matter how tired I feel, I still feel the urge to blog and post all the snacks I make for Iftar. Chicken cutlet is one of the commonly made snacks at home and thus I never felt motivated to post such a common recipe. But I realized once again what seems common and normal for us is not always the same for others. At school I work, my colleagues and me were having casual chat about snacks and they were very keen to know how to make cutlet. As we belong to different parts of the country our food and tastes are pretty different.

Chicken cutlets are easy to make and is wonderful tea time snack. I love how the spice in it goes well with hot tea. I also love its mushy inside and crunchy outside when fried and served immediately. My kids love it and was demanded by my 6 year old for breaking her fast during Iftar.

Over to the recipe,
  • Chicken, boiled with salt and pepper- 200 gms shredded
  • Potato- 2 medium
  • Onion- 2 medium
  • Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tsp
  • Green chilli- 2 split lengthwise
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 stem
  • Coriander leaves- chopped finely- 2 tbsp.
  • egg- 1 mixed with little water
  • bread crumbs- as needed
  • salt- to taste
  • Cut potatoes into two. No need to peel.
  • In a pressure cooker, boil potatoes with turmeric and salt for three whistles on medium flame. Off the flame and keep aside till pressure dissipates.
  • In a pan, heat oil. Saute onion, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies. Add salt and cook till onions turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder and garam masala powder.
  • Add shredded chicken and coriander leaves and give one final mix.
  • Off flame.
  • Now take the potatoes from pressure cooker and peel the skin gently with your fingers. Add the potatoes to chicken mixture and mash well and mix everything together.
  • Now make a big lime size ball and press gently on the palm of your hands to form patties.
  • Dip this into egg and water mix, beaten thoroughly together. 
  • Coat it in bread crumbs.
  • Repeat the same with remaining cutlets.
  • In a big fry pan with oil in half inch depth, fry the cutlets on medium flame.
  • Serve hot with Tomato ketchup

  • NOTE:
  • Do not fry the cutlets for too long or on too low flame. This will cook the potatoes further and make them crack.
  • Serve hot to enjoy its crispiness.