It makes me anxious. Well before the set date, I would have made four lists. A shopping one, the intended menu, preps to be done the day before and what needs to be finished on the day itself. All this time, I’ve only helped prepare the main course or casually looked after dessert. After our move to Dubai, I’ve entertained for my extended family thrice. I feel we don’t do the social house visits, even to the homes of close family, as much as it was done when I was a child. Our lives are just much more busier than what it used to be. However, gathering together for a meal is still a family affair. While preparing for it, I don’t know why I have an adrenaline rush that feels exactly like I am about to sit for an exam. The Math paper, for which I’m unprepared for, to be specific. It’s the nerves of the responsibility of having to do prepare everything solo. Coupled with my little one, it takes a bit longer considering his meals and acitivites are priority. Yet, I love entertaining. I relax once everyone arrives and the conversations overpower the nervous chattering in my head. Needless to say, dessert is the least stressful (and my favourite) course. This was dessert no.2 the night I made that simple Shahi Tukra. Considering how easy it comes together, it would be a wonderful addition to a dinner your’e hosting or even to take over for potluck.
When you are 7 years old and have just begun fasting, you’re constantly thinking about what Umma is preparing for Iftar. At that age, you don’t comprehend to the significance of fasting long hours. She would ask what my brother and I would like to eat to break our fast. These rolls were one of them. Sweet morsels of bread, a filling cutting through the sweetness with a lingering heat and the buttery crispness that is the start to this delightful bite.
Can you explain the appeal of Pizza? It took a whole new meaning after our honeymoon in Italy. Making pizza at home never really replicated the ones we had at the pizzerias. I tried buying a pizza stone for the oven but taking it out was always a mess without a peel. And then I found out that pizza can be made on the stovetop. All under 20 minutes! The weather in Dubai right now is pizza conducive. The heat will allow yeast to bloom and rise in no time. Considering Iftar is late into the day, I’m looking for options beyond the fried food platter. This recipe is going to help me on that front this month. More than a good dough recipe, mastering a few techniques promises rustic pizzas every single time. I’m sharing my tips and tricks so that you can perfect the stovetop pizza.
A morsel of royalty. The khansamas, the Royal chefs of the Mughal kitchen, are recognised for inventing this dessert. The key ingredient in this recipe is bread which, come to think of it, is a staple in a poor mans’ diet. On paper, it is quite simply put, a bread pudding.The nobility, perhaps, was achieved with the elaborate process of frying bread triangles in pure ghee. Further progressing its status was milk, sweetened and boiled till it thickens like cream. This Rabri was flavoured and perfumed with the crushed whole spices and saffron imparting its hue. Certainly not a dessert to be taken lightly (pun intended).
Earlier this year, as part of the first Abu Dhabi food festival, the Plaza of the Corniche was dotted with a bevy of food trucks. There was a nip in the air and we walked the grounds with Ali in his faux fur lined beanie cap. A little over a year old, the bustling crowds, live music and the string lights were all stimulus that he soaked in wide eyed. Amidst the trucks serving lamb raan curry wraps and grilled cheese, a line had formed that was getting longer by the minute. On my tip toes, I saw the source at end was the Churros truck. It was an hour after we had reached and Ali was beginning to squirm and whimper with restlessness, his cheeks, pink flushed, from the cool breeze. Within ten minutes, we were headed back to the car with a flustered-ready-to-wail Ali sans Churros.
The first time I ate a sweet strawberry was on a holiday in Aberdeen. They were picked up from Asda, the local supermarket, when I went grocery shopping with my cousins whom we were visiting. We were preparing breakfast in her kitchen the next day and I carelessly took a bite out of the fruit that I had just finished washing up. I came to a halt jolted by an explosion of sweetness. I couldn’t stop wondering if this is how strawberries really tasted. I sat at the kitchen table, eyes still wide and expressed my disbelief to my cousin. We were visiting in March and she tells me that strawberries taste much better (What?! Better than this?) when they are in season
After having parked right outside Azad Hotel, I followed my husband out into the bustling streets of Trivandrum. “I bet you haven’t had this before.” A polycarbonate sheet fogged up and I watched intently at the smoking iron plate sizzling furiously.. The man worked his way through a pile of ingredients, pounding at them with iron spatulas producing deafening clangs. He frees up a hand and cracks a couple of eggs a little away from the Turmeric stained shreds I still couldn’t identify. He quickly scrambles it and begins combining it with the rest of the ingredients. A few minutes later he scoops it into foil container and hands it over a man who has been watching this spectacle as long as I have. My husband comes with two containers and we are driving back home.
There is a reason why Nutella Day is held in February. You know, January with all its resolutions. And when you hear Nutella, you’re either cringing or craving it. No Nutella for you for guessing where my loyalties lie. To celebrate World Nutella Day, I’ve put together a few of my favourite Nutella recipes and a delicious No-bake Nutella Cheesecake. But first, a solution for the empty Nutella jar. A Nutella hot chocolate party.
The blessed month of Ramadan has is nearing to an end. It is a month of restraint, reflection and submission for one’s heart and soul. Being visited by the altering weather flu, coupled with a severe sprains, my wavering health had my blog going more quiet than usual. I started fasting at a young age.