Sunday, 26 January 2014

Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحي

Layali Lubnan is a classic dessert of Lebanon. It is a Semolina pudding topped with delicious Astha and whipped cream, served with Atter, a simple sugar syrup. Ashta is a cream used in many other Middle Eastern sweet dishes, it can be eaten alone served with fruit or used to layer like in Layali Lubnan. This decadent sweet creamy pudding is Infused with the beautiful flavours and scents of Rose water and Orange Blossom water. It definitely is a perfect dessert to serve at dinner parties, just decorate as you wish, using nuts and fruit of your choice. Your time to get creative!


1/2 cup of fine Semolina
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
2tbsn cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup of water
2 Tbsn Rose Water
2 Tbsn Orange Blossom water
3 Cups of milk
Strawberries and Kiwis
300ml of whipped cream

For Ashta 

4 Cups of milk
1 cup of double cream
2 tbsn of sugar ( if you prefer sweeter you can add more sugar)
1/2 cup of cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup of water
6 pieces of White bread with crusts taken off
1 tbsn Rose water
1 tbsn Orange blossom

For Atter (Syrup)

1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsn rose water
1 tbsn orange blossom


1. In a pot add the milk and heat on medium till warm, then add the semolina and the sugar. Stir well for a few minutes until it begin to thicken.

2. The beat the egg and add, followed by the cornflour, cook again for about 5 minutes, keep stirring to avoid lumps.

3. When it has nicely thicken turn off heat and add the rose water and orange blossom.
4. Pour into a dish and leave to cool. ( You can if you wish pour into individual bowls)

5. Now to make the Ashta, in a pot add the milk, double cream, sugar and cornflour, stir well.
6. Take the bread and cut into small pieces.

7. Add the bread to the pot and stir.

8. Mix until it becomes thick. Turn off heat and add the Rose and orange blossom water. Set aside and allow to completely cool.

9. While that is cooling you can make the sugar syrup. Add water sugar and lemon juice to a pan and heat on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the Rose and Orange blossom water.
10. To assemble take the dish with semolina and top with the Ashta and then whipping cream.

11. Now adorn as you wish with fruit and nuts of your choice.

12. Drizzle over the sugar syrup and sprinkle with Pistachio nuts.

Serve with more fruit and another drizzle of Syrup

Bil-hana wa ash Shifa'a.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Shahi Lamb Qorma

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Shahi Lamb Qorma. Many dishes in the subcontinent are century old and were inspired buy cuisines from other counties. This Qorma owes it's ancestral inspiration to Persian food. It was a recipe cooked often in the Palaces of Mughal Kings. Shahi literally means Royal and with its rich creaminess and hearty flavours, this Mughlahi dish is definitely is a dish fit for a King!!
Shahi Lamb Qorma
What your beautiful selves will need:


2lbs boneless lamb
3 medium onions sliced
10 cloves of garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
8 green chilies
5 tbsn of slithered almonds
2 tbsn of pine nuts
1 tbsn of white poppy seeds.
2 cups of double cream
10 Cardamoms
6-7 cloves
2 inch piece Cinnamon stick
3 tspn of Ground Black cumin seeds (Shahi zeera)
2 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn garam masala
2 tspn of green chilies
Pinch of saffron
half cup of pine nuts
7 tbsn of ghee or sunflower oil
2 Cups of chopped Coriander


1. Put garlic and ginger into blender and add half cup of water, grind to a paste.
2. Next add into this paste the almonds, pine nuts and poppy seeds blend again to a paste, add a little more water to loosen up if needed.

Slithered Almonds, White Poppy Seeds and Pine Nuts.

3. In a heavy pan add 4 tbspn of ghee or oil and brown meat in batches. ( Do not add meat all at once or it will stew rather than brown) Once nicely browned remove and set aside.

4. In same pan add remaining ghee or oil and cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon, saute until they release an aroma, when this happens add the onions and cook till they are dark golden brown in colour.

Camera didn't pick up colour too well but onions were actually darker than this.

5. Now pour in the garlic, ginger and nut paste and mix well, cook for about 3 minutes and then add your spices and salt. Mix well.
6. When sauce is well combined and slightly dried add the browned meat and cook well so that all the meat is coated in the sauce. Turn heat down low and allow to cook for a few minutes.

7. Meanwhile in a pot add the double cream and heat up, then add the saffron and let it infuse for a few mins.

8. Pour the cream into the meat and mix well for about 3-5 minutes.

9. Now add a cup of warm water and combine, cover and leave to cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until meat is cooked. Keep checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes as creamy sauces burn easily. You will see by the end the fat will separate from the sauce. You may if you wish discard this, but I would recommend you leave it as it adds to the flavour of Qorma.

You can see fat separate from the sauce in above photo.
10. Qorma should be a thick creamy texture but if you wish for it to have more sauce then simply add water and cook to desired consistency. Add Coriander.

Serve with Chapatis or Basmati rice

Bil-hana wa ash shifa'a!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Zeera Aloo

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Zeera Aloo (Cumin infused Potatoes) is a perfect side dish, with its subtle flavour and simplicity. It is quick and easy to make needed very few ingredients. This dish can also be used to jazz up a other recipes such as fish pie or any kind of gratin.


8 medium Potatoes
2 tspn Cumin seeds
1 tspn cumin powder
1-2 tspn chilli flakes
2 tbsn ghee or sunflower oil
Half a cup of fresh coriander


1. Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Leave aside.
2. Heat ghee or oil in pan and add cumin seeds, cook till seeds release their aroma.

2. Add sliced potatoes to the pan and cook on high heat ensuring all the potatoes are coated in ghee and cumin seeds.

 3. Now add the cumin powder and chilli flakes and mix well.

4. Cook on high heat so that the potatoes begin to crisp slightly and brown at the edges. They will not take long to cook as they are thinly sliced. Sprinkle in the fresh coriander.


5. Serve warm with any meat or fish dish.

Bil-hana wa ash shifa'a! :)

Ginger Chicken

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ginger Chicken

This delicious Chicken recipe really packs a zingy punch, the intense flavour of ginger and green chillies compliment each other to give it a real kick! This recipe is my mothers and I know I say this all the time but this really is a simply recipe requiring minimal ingredients. You can make it either as a curry with sauce or even as a dry roast, either way it is one of those culinary delights that will have you oooooohhh'ing and aaaaaahhh'ing and mmmmmmm'ing right till the end! Give it a try and see for yourself :)


6 chicken legs (I asked butcher to cut mine to separate thigh from leg giving me 12 pieces)
12 inches of ginger
10-12 green chillies
Half a cup of yogurt
2 tspn of cumin powder
2 tspn of coriander powder
1 tspn of ginger powder
1 tspn of garam masala
half a tspn of cardamom powder
Salt to taste
4 tbsn of ghee
1 tspn cumin seeds


1. Blend together 10 inches of ginger (leaving rest of it for later) green chillies and yogurt to a paste and set aside.
2. Heat ghee in pan and add chicken, brown so that it seals.
3. Once brown pour in ginger paste.

4. Mix well and then add all the spices and salt, mix on high heat.

5. Cook on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, then cover and leave to simmer for another five minutes.
6. Remove lid and cook on high heat till all the liquid evaporates. Grate 1 inch of ginger into the pan and mix Add 1 cup of water and cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. When chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened turn off heat and set aside.

7. In a sauce pan heat 2 tbsn ghee or oil and add cumin seeds. With remaining ginger slice into thin strips to make juliennes. Add this to saucepan and cook till cumin seeds release an aroma and ginger is beginning to crisp on edges. 

8. Pour over the chicken and gently mix.

Delicious succulent and packed full of flavour, Ginger Chicken.
Serve with Zeera aloo (Cumin Potatoes) and Roti.
For Zeera Aloo recipe click the link below

Bil-hana wa ash shifa'a!