Sunday, 24 November 2013

Mediterranean Roast Chicken

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There is something about that golden rustic colour of roast chicken and its hearty aroma that warms the soul. Roast chicken or roast anything is so versatile, you can mix together any ingredient and roast away! For this recipe I decided to go for some Mediterranean flavours, lemons, olives, garlic and rosemary. Giving this roast a tangy yet earthy flavour. Everything about this roast is perfect from the taste to its tenderness and crispy skin.
Give it a go and see for yourself!


1 whole chicken ( I used 2 as they were small in size )
1kg King Edward potatoes cut into a size that will roast well.
500g bag of mini sweet peppers
2 garlic bulbs
5 unwaxed lemon
4-5 sprigs of rosemary
Half cup chopped green olives
150g butter
Half cup extra Virgin Olive oil.
Salt and pepper


1. Wash chicken thoroughly and leave to dry.
2. Zest 4 lemons, and juice 2 of them.
3. Chop up rosemary finely, and crush 4-5 garlic cloves.
Place butter, Olive oil, lemon zest, chopped green olives, crushed garlic cloves, salt to taste and pepper and mix well.

4. Pay dry the chicken and gently begin removing skin from underneath with finger just separating it from the flesh, be careful not to rip the skin. When done take butter mixture and stuff under the skin and spread over the chicken. Take remainder and rub all over chicken on too of skin this time. Ensure all the chicken is covered. Leave to marinade for half hour.

5. Put half garlic bulb half a lemon and sprig of rosemary into the cavity of the chicken.
6. Drizzle extra virgin Olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. Place chicken on roasting tray. Add potatoes around the sides of chicken. ( I used my halogen oven which I set at 250 degrees Celsius ) for oven pre heat to about 425 degrees which is about gas mark 7. If you wish you may roast potatoes separately.

8. After about half hour add the peppers and cook for another 15 mins or until juices run clear from chicken and vegetable are cooked.

9. Turn off and leave chicken to rest for about 15-20 mins so that juices remain within the chicken.
10. Take the remaining juices at bottom of pan and cook down, to use as gravy, no extra seasoning is needed as it is already so flavourful.

Perfect roast chicken with roast potatoes and peppers :)    

Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

White Qorma

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

White Qorma is one of those dishes you wont be making on a regular basis due to how calorific it is! However when you do it will have both yourself and your guests salivating! It has no red chili powder so the only spiciness comes from the green chilies, garam masala and black pepper. Having said that this recipe is not about how hot it is on the tongue but rather how exquisitely different it is from the everyday red coloured curries. This very rich qorma consists of luxurious ingredients that are so flavourful yet subtly soothing on the palate. Give it try and see for yourself. :)

White Qorma


3lbs boneless chicken
2 cups of double cream
2 cups of Greek yoghurt
2 tbsn white poppy seeds
1/2 cup of almond blanched or already in slithers
1 cup of pine nuts
12 green cardamoms
8 cloves
7-8 greeen chilies or as desired
2 tspn salt
1 tbsn coarse black pepper
2 tspn garam masala
15 curry leaves
2 inch pice of ginger
one whole garlic bulb
2-3 medium onions
3-4 cups of milk
10 whole round dried red chilies
8 tbsn olive oil


We need to first make the paste.

1. Grind the poppy seeds and cloves until almost powder, set aside.
2. Add the nuts to a blender with 1/2 cup of milk and grind to a paste and transfer to plate, add the poppy seed and clove mixture to this paste and mix well.

3. Add the onions and one cup of milk to blender and blend to a paste. ( If need be cut onions into smaller pieces)
4. Mix this to the nut and poppy seed mixture and combine well.
5. Now blend the garlic, ginger and green chilies to blender with 1/2 cup of milk and blend to paste.
6. Now add this to rest of mixture and ix well. Set aside.

7. In pan heat about 10 tbsn of oil, add curry leave and fry for a few seconds on high heat, then add green cardamoms and fry for about a minute.
8. Add chicken and cook on high till chicken releases its own water, cook till all water dries and chicken is slightly golden.

9. Now add the onions and poppy seed paste and cook well until all the water has evaporated and paste is sticking to chicken.

10. Add the Greek yoghurt and cook again till water cooks out, keep hear medium high, keep stirring to avoid burning.
11. Now add cream and cook well for a 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat.
12. In a small frying pan add about 7 tbsn of olive oil, when it had heated through add the round red chilies and about 2 tbsn of pine nuts, fry until they are golden brown and oil is sizzling hot.

 13. Pour over the chicken and stir through.

14. If you wish to have the sauce more runny add some hot water and cook until it reaches desired consistency.

Serve with nan, roti or Basmati rice.


Sunday, 10 November 2013


 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Aşure, also known as Noah's pudding is as some say the oldest dessert known to mankind! It is a traditional dessert served in Turkey on the Tenth day of Muharram called Ashura ( Muharram is the 1st month in the Islamic Calender) The story told for centuries is that when the Ark of Prophet Nuh/Noah peace be upon him reached safety on mount Judi in Northeastern Turkey He asked for all the provision left on the Ark to be gathered and cooked so a prayer of thanks could be given. Since then it has been cooked in home and places of religious worship.
It was prepared in Tekkes in large cauldrons and each dervish took turns in stirring in the pot the Arabic letterـو and then distributed. It has long since been prepared Turkish households, and is made in celebration and remembrance of the souls lost during the Kerbala. May ALLAH bless the souls of the Martyr's of Kerbala.

Aşure is known as the dish of love and charity so is shared amongst family friends and neighbours. As it is not quite the 10th of Muharram I decided to post this recipe incase you wish to try it. 
It is not a dish that is familiar in the sub-continent so for me this is very new. But the symbolism of this dessert is what appeals to me so much.

 It is difficult to pin point the exact ingredients to this recipe as each region and household has their own versions, so I looked around and picked out main ingredients in each and added a few of my own. I do hope you will give it a go.



1 cup barley
1 cup white kidney beans
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup wheat
10 dried apricots
10 dried figs ( I used dark figs, but i was recently advised that it is better to use yellow or golden figs as they taste better and do not alter the colour of the Asure which dark figs can do )
6 Cloves
2 tspn of cinnamon powder
3/4 cup raisin
1/2 cup of currants
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 dried plums
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds
1/2 pine nuts
4 tbsn Rose water
2 1/2 cups of sugar
Zest of one lemon and orange
4 tbsn Cornflour
Orange peel


Sesame seeds
Desiccated coconut


1. Night before soak the chickpeas, white beans and wheat.
2. The following day put the beans into pot and boil until tender.
3. Put barley into pot cover with water and cook.
4. When beans and barley have cooked add to another pot and add 1.5 litres of water, bring to boil.
5. Add the cloves and cinnamon powder and orange peel ( this can be removed later, leaves a beautiful smell)
6. Now add the dried plums raisin, sultanas, figs, dates and cranberries, hazelnuts and cook for about 15 mins.
7. Now add sugar and stir well till it dissolves. Taste to see if more is needed. cook for a few mins.

Make sure to taste to see if more sugar is needed.

8. Now make a slurry of cornflour or rice flour with water and add to mixture and stir, this will help to thicken.

9. Cook until it reaches desired consistency and serve in dishes.
10. In a pan dry roast some sesame seeds until light golden. Garnish with chopped Pistachio's, desiccated coconut and pomegranate seeds.

Garnish as you desire

Enjoy. Endless peace and blessings upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad and His beloved Family, and upon all of the Prophets who came out of hardship on the day of Ashura.

 The month of Muharram is also know as the month of health, as Aşure is rich in vitamins, helping the immune system and good source of strength due to the pulses and grains used.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Chicken Manchurian

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Chicken Manchurian served with egg fried rice

Over the past few years the fusion of Chinese and Indian food has become very popular in homes and restaurants. Chicken Manchurian is one of the favoured dishes within the indo-Chinese category, the combination of  sweet and sour mixed with the fiery chilies makes this dish a delight on the palate.

NOTE: Normally this dish uses Ajinamoto. Ajino is also known as MSG- Mono sodium glutamate, basically a type of salt used to enhance the flavour of dishes, and if used regularly can be harmful to your health. Ajinomoto is actually a food and chemical cooperation. Hmmmm, chemical??!! I don't know about you, but something that is made by a chemical cooperation should ring some alarm bells! Secondly, as for enhancing flavour, I can tell you now there is no trace of this substance in this recipe and its was still flavourful. So I would definitely keep this product out of your kitchen cupboards.

Anyway here is my recipe for Chicken Manchurian, Ajinamoto free!!! :)


3lb boneless chicken
2 cups of ketchup
2 large eggs
2 cups cornflour/starch
3 green bell peppers cut into inch pieces chunks
2 onions cut into inch piece chunk and race layer separated (see picture below)
4 tbsn vinegar
4 tbsn dark soy sauce
4 tbsn Worcestershire sauce
2 tspn Chilli powder
3 small green chilies
small bunch of spring onions to serve
2tspn garam masala
2 tspn salt
2 tspn black pepper
1 tbsn sugar
One whole garlic bulb all crushed
2 inch piece of ginger grated or julienned.
5 Cups of warm water


1. Place chicken in large bowl, add black pepper, salt, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.

2. Add cornflour and eggs and mix till well combined. Leave to marinate for at least half hour.

3. Heat a pan of oil for deep frying (if you have a deep fat fryer this would be better ) Only add chicken pieces one by one, if you add more than one at a time the pieces will stick together. Fry till golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.

4. For the sauce heat oil on pan and add garlic and ginger till lightly brown and releasing smell. Add green chilies.

5. Add ketchup and mix well, cook for 2 minutes. In a small plate make a slurry mixing the vinegar with the chili powder and garam masala, mix well and add to ketchup, stir and add sugar. Now cook for at least five mins till sauce become thicker and of sticky consistency. Now add 5 cups of warm water, cook till it comes to a boil.

6. Now add the chicken to the sauce, stir well, then add the onions and bell peppers, cook for a few minutes and add water. Bring to the boil and then simmer till sauce reaches desired consistency. Bell peppers and onions must remain crunchy, do not over cook.

 7. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and serve with egg fried rice.