Monday, August 28, 2006

Chickpea Curry

I didn't remember to take a pic of this before we dug in and there just wasn't much left. After I made the Peshawari Chana a couple weeks ago, my husband told me to try using Shan's Murgh Chole seasoning mix and just don't add chicken the next time I made chickpeas. So today I picked up a box of the spice and then decided that I really wanted to do my own spices since I would have more control of the salt. It ended up really being good much to my surprise! I don't normally "make up" my own recipe but need to follow one for food to work, haha. I remembered from my nutrition course in college that ingredients are listed in the order of the highest amount so using the ingredient list on the box started adding my spices to my dish. My husband was impressed and that's hard to do!!! Here's the recipe and I'll try to remember to take pics the next time.

Chickpea Curry

1 ½ onions, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin seeds, ground
½ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp tumeric
1 tsp. whole cloves
2 brown cardamom
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 cans chickpeas
2 cups chickpeas, boiled
2-3 green chili peppers

Heat oil in large pan. Brown onion, adding garlic just as onion is turning brown on the edges. Once brown add tomato and salt, cover and let cook until mushy. Add spices then chickpeas. Cook until chickpeas are soft. Serve with rice or bread.

Monday, August 21, 2006


  Posted by Picasa
First, before the recipe, I wanted to add in some things I decided would help when making these. I wouldn't call them easy, maybe medium difficulty at least the first time. First you need a plastic squeeze bottle or a pastry bag with the piping attachment---this will save frustration when pouring the batter into the oil. I used a plastic bag with a small corner cut off but it also popped and batter went everywhere. Part of this needs to be made and to sit out overnight at room temperature. Okay, here we go.

2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups sugar
a pinch of saffron or orange food coloring (I used yellow and red)
2 Tbsp. ghee or melted butter
cardamom powder
powdered sugar

Mix together 1 cup of flour and one cup buttermilk. Stir to make a smooth batter, add a little water if necessary. Keep overnight at room temperature.

Next day mix remaining cup of flour and butter with the batter. Stir until smooth, you may need to add a little water again, you want a smooth, pourable batter. Add your saffron or food coloring, set aside.

In a saucepan mix 1 ½ cups sugar, and 2 cups water, bring to boil and keep it at a med-low heat. I used a candy thermometer and cooked it to the thread stage to make a syrup. Remove from heat and let cool.

Heat a large amount of oil in a heavy saucepan to the smoking point. Put batter into squeeze bottle or pasty bag and pipe it into the oil in concentric circles, overlapping batter (you will need to move pretty fast as it sinks then comes to the surface). Fry until crisp and golden. Remove from oil, drain then put in syrup for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Place on waxed paper and sprinkle with a mixture of powdered sugar and cardamom.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Peshawari Chana

This is a newer version of chickpeas I came across....have two other ways of making them that I will post in the future. First time I made this my hubby thought it was fabulous.

400 grams Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana)
1-2 Onions, chopped (I used 1 large and 1 small)
2 bay leaves (Tezz Patay)
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds, crushed (Zeera)
2 Tbsp. Coriander seeds, ground (Dhania)
1 tsp. Red Chili Powder (Pisi Lal Mirch)
Green Thai peppers, to taste
2 tsp. Pomegranate Seed Powder (Anardana Powder)
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
2 tsp. Garam Masala
Cooking oil
Cilantro, chopped

I put the dried Kabuli Chana in a pan with about 12 cups of water, a dash of baking soda and some salt. I brought them to a boil, reduced heat to simmer and let them cook about 3 hours until tender. Drain the Kabuli Chana but reserve the water.

In another large pan heat oil. Add bay leaves and onion, cook until onion is beginning to brown. Add garlic. Continue cooking until onion and garlic browned. Add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Cook until pasty. Add Kabuli Chana and about 1 cup of the reserved water, more if necessary. Add pomegranate seed powder and green peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, add garam masala. Cook for about 20 minutes, add cilantro before serving.

Serve with rice or bread.

Rhubarb Crunch

This is a yummy summer dessert. We always had a rhubarb patch to have fresh rhubarb pies and bars in the summer.

1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup oatmeal
4-5 cups rhubarb, diced
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup water

Mix together flour, brown sugar, butter, oatmeal and cinnamon. Press half the crumbs into well greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Cover with rhubarb. Combine sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla. Cook in saucepan until thick. Pour over rhubarb and top with remaining crumbs. Bake in 350۠۫ F oven for one hour.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sheer Kurma

This is a nice cool dessert. My Pakistani husband introduced me to it and when I first heard that it was vermicelli in milk and was sweet I didn't know if I wanted to try it. Now I'm happy that I did give it a whirl. This is something that is popular during the month of Ramadan.

Sheer Kurma

2 cups broken vermicelli*
2 Tbsp. butter
5 cups (32 oz) whole milk
½ cup sugar
Rose water
1 tsp. crushed cardamom--open green pods and remove black seeds, crush
Slivered almonds

Melt butter in large pan over med.-high heat and lightly brown vermicelli. Pour in milk and add sugar and cardamom. Boil until thickened. Add rose water and nuts. You can also add raisins if wanted.

I'll try to post a pic the next time I make this dish.

This is the kind of vermicelli I use, it can be found in halal markets and in Indian grocery stores. This is much thinner than the vermicelli found in supermarkets in the US.

Cardomom Buns

Cardamom Buns

These are yummy! I found the recipe on the Sons of Norway website and made them for a family reunion recently. The first recipe I have a picture to show you the final product!

Cardamom Buns (Kardemommeboller)

2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warm
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cardamom pods, remove seeds and crush
7 cup flour

Scald milk. Add butter and let stand until melted and milk is slightly cooled. Soften yeast in warm water with 1 Tbsp. sugar added. In a large bowl add remaining sugar, salt, and cardamom. Pour in lukewarm milk mixture. Add yeast and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Work thoroughly. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and shape into balls--the size of ping pong balls. Place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in bulk. Bake in 450 degree oven for 5 minutes (yes, only 5 min!) until lightly browned, and brush with butter while still hot.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I first had this at a Turkish restaurant my husband and I love to have dinner at now and then. It's a sweet dessert and it doesn't take much to get your fill. The shredded phyllo dough can be found in Turkish food stores or some halal markets.....if you can't find that the very fine vermicelli that's sold in Indian groceries works as well. I'll try to post pictures at a later date.

½ package kadayif* or vermicelli
8 Tbsp. melted butter
1 ½ Tbsp. milk
¼ pound fresh mozzarella, grated
12 oz. ricotta cheese
½ cup ground pistachios
2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1/8 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
3 cups water
1 ½ cup sugar
Rose water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In bottom of 8 or 9 inch glass baking dish put a layer of kadayif followed by mixture of butter and milk. Mix the cheese with the pistachios, confectioner’s sugar, and nutmeg. Spread on first layer of kadayif. Top with remaining kadayif. Bake for 45 minutes. Make a sugar syrup by boiling water with sugar. Cook until reduced by a third and is thick. Stir in rose water. When kunefe comes out of oven, pour the syrup over it and serve.

*Kadayif or Kataifi is shredded phyllo dough

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Welcome to my new blog! I'm an American girl married to a Pakistani. Along with learning all about his culture I've had to learn a whole new way to cook. I come from a meat and potato kind of family and using all these spices was/is a whole new world for me. I love to cook and love sharing recipes. If you use one and like it or don't like it, I'd love to hear your comments. I'm going to try to insert pics of each dish.

I do need to thank some fellow bloggers: first to Wayfarer In The Kitchen for the inspiration to do my own food blog. Next to Sobia's how to make a blog look fab , it only took me a couple hours to figure out and get this background looking great! So thanks ladies!

I will also be putting some of my family's tried and true recipes and some from my ethnic background---Norwegian, Czech, Moravian, Scot-Irish.