The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra, is one of the most famous traditional dessert in Indian subcontinent.

BASMATI AND EXOTIC WILD RICE SALMON BIRYANIe

I am a big fan of biryani. I love the colour, the smell, the aroma, the flavour and the list goes on and on. I grown up eating biryanis.

MEDITERRANEAN TUNA TART

I know you cannot wait to read the recipe and see the pictures... let's get our hands dirty. To bake Mediterranean Tuna Tart you can use any vegetable you like.

CRÈME FRAÎCHE AND CHILLI EGG ROLL

I always wanted to do something special on valentine's day for my girlfriend. I know she loves cappuccino and chocolates. I can brew coffee but I don't have a coffee machine at home, so no cappuccino.

CHILLI CON CARNE WITH BASMATI RICEe

Whenever I buy minced beef, I think of either cooking my all time family favourite classic spaghetti bolognese or a spicy chilli con carne dish.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra - Melody of Cooking

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra, is one of the most famous traditional dessert in Indian subcontinent. Shahi Tukra is a simple and delicious rich sweet bread pudding. The word 'Shahi' means Royal, and the 'Tukra' means pieces. The Royal Mughal emperors used to love this rich dish because of its aroma and sweetness. It is usually prepared on special occasions. During the muslim holy month of ramadan, many muslim people love to break their fast with this aromatic sweet dessert. 

In my childhood, My younger brother and I used to love this bread pudding so much, that often after dinner, we used to annoy our mother by crying for this dessert. This year, in UK, we have been fasting for long 18 hours per day. It is a long summer day to pass without drinking and eating. During ramadan, I always choose one of my mother's special recipe to break my fast. I have been planning for a while to improvise her amazing Shahi Tukra recipe by baking with fresh sliced apricots and pistachios instead of soaking into milk mixture.

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra
The Mughal Pudding Bread - Shahi Tukra without Double Cream
The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra

What you need
8 slices of white bread
2 tbsp ghee/butter
400ml can light evaporated milk
1/2 cup (125ml) semi skimmed milk
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods, bruised
pinch saffron threads
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp pistachios
2 fresh apricots
4 tbsp double cream (optional)

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra: Cut bread slices into rounds, using a 9.5cm round cookie cutter
Cook bread rounds until browned on both sides

What to do
- Cut bread slices into rounds, using a 9.5cm round cookie cutter
- Heat half the ghee/butter in a large pan 
- Cook bread rounds until browned on both sides
- Arrange browned breads rounds, overlapping slightly, in an oven proof dish
- Mix evaporated milk, semi skimmed milk, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, saffron and caster sugar in large pan; stir continuously over low heat until sugar is dissolved then simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes 
- Now, pour milk and spice mixture over bread rounds, sprinkle with nuts and sliced apricots; stand for about 30 minutes; preheat an oven to 220°c
- Bake, in, a preheated oven about 15 minutes
- Best served chilled with double cream.

The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra: Arrange browned breads rounds, overlapping slightly, in an oven proof dish
The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra: pour milk and spice mixture over bread rounds, sprinkle with nuts and sliced
The Mughal Bread Pudding - Shahi Tukra: Bake, in, a preheated oven about 15 minutes



Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pain Perdu with Caramelised Banana and Honey

My mother always talked about savings, savings and savings. At that time, in my childhood, I was listening what my loving mother was trying to say in one year and out the other. Apart from the textbooks  the two things, I was most interested in my childhood was to play and watch cricket. Also, when I was a kid, I never understood why mother was keeping the stale bread. As I mentioned in my previous blog Basmati and Exotic Wild Rice Salmon Biryani, that according to my opinion my mother is the best chef in the world, she knew how to make scrumptiously sweet bread pudding using stale bread and keep us all singing and dancing. Last year I read and an article on BBC website, British household throw away around 4.4 million tonnes of edible food a year, and the bread is sitting at the top of the waste list. Like other British household, I was about to throw away few slices of bread, I know it might sound rather dramatic, but I remembered how my mother used to make bread pudding.


So, I decided to give it a go and surprise my mother for the first with my savvy food idea. To get started, all I needed  a dollop of butter, bananas and egg. I knew, I had everything on my kitchen stock, did a quick search on internet, came up with so many different ideas. Eventually, I fancied sweet French toast recipe Pain Perdu with Caramelised Banana and Honey.



What you need
4 thick slices of bread (i used granary wholemeal bread)
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp orange Juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
pinch salt
4 tbsp butter
2 ripe but firm bananas, sliced thick
4 tbsp brown sugarsprinkle of cinnamon (optional)


What to do
Preheat an oven to 220°c, to make the French toast
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange juice, sugar, salt and vanilla
Soak bread to the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture.
Place skillet on medium-high heat until hot. add 2 tbsp butter to melt. 
Remove the bread from the egg mixture, and place on the hot skillet. Cook both side until the bottoms are golden brown.
Place the bread on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but still moist, about 10/15 minutes.
Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and add the butter and brown sugar on medium high, use a spoon to combine the butter and sugar and let melt then add sliced bananas. Allow to bubble a bit then flip the banana slices. Cook until bananas are lightly brown.



Serve the Pain Perdu piping hot, topped with spoonfuls of the caramelised bananas and honey.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Chilli Con Carne with Basmati Rice

Whenever I buy minced beef, I think of either cooking my all time family favourite classic spaghetti bolognese or a spicy chilli con carne dish. These two dishes are too easy and quick to cook that even after a long hectic days at work, I am more than happy to get busy in my kitchen. I love my chilli con carne with a healthy side rocket and radish salad. Also, I prefer to have my chilli hot and spicy, so a good splash of tabasco does the job for me.



What you need
500g extra lean minced beef
1 tbsp sunflower/olive oil
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp chilli powder (or 1/2 tsp if you prefer mild)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 beef stock cube, crumble into 300ml hot water
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato purée
410g can red kidney beans
cooked basmati rice, to serve

For side salad
100g washed baby rocket
6 radishes washed and thinly sliced

What to do
Chop onion into small dice, peel and finely chop garlic cloves
cut red and green peppers in half lengthways, remove stalk, then chop
heat the pan over a medium heat and add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot
add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and slightly translucent. 
add the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, paprika and cumin
give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Turn the heat up a bit, add the minced beef to the pan and break it up with a spoon keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits.


Pour beef stock into the pan with the mince mixture. 


Add chopped tomatoes, marjoram and sugar, and add a good shake of salt and pepper. and tomato purée and stir the sauce well.


Bring the minced beef sauce to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. After simmering gently, the sauce should look thick, moist and juicy. 

Stir the kidney beans into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.


Cover the pan with a lid, turn off the heat and leave the chilli sauce to stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with boiled white basmati rice and a healthy rocket and radish salad.


Chilli con carne recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2002

Basmati and Exotic Wild Rice Salmon Biryani

I am a big fan of biryani. I love the colour, the smell, the aroma, the flavour and the list  goes on and on. I grown up eating biryanis. When I was a kid, I remember my mother used to cook biryani, spicy meat curry and her special rice pudding almost on every Friday night. It was like a tradition in the Rahman household. On schooldays, I used to dream about Friday nights dinner and the post dinner chit-chat with my family members. Now, we are all grown up and scattered around the world in pursuit of happiness, a better career and a prosperous life. We can find all the spices and all the ingredients we need to cook here in UK, far from home but still I feel something is missing. All I need is the magic of my mother's cooking. I dedicate this exotic biriyani to my mother who is the best chef in the world according to my opinion.



What you need
500g skinned salmon, cut into cubes
400g Basmati and Wild Rice, rinsed
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
2 green chillies, seeded & finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick, halved
6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
300g frozen peas, thawed
juice of 1 large lime
60g butter, cubed
salt and freshly ground pepper
saffron (optional)


What to do
Preheat the oven to 200°c/ Fan 200°c/ Gas 7
heat half the oil in a heavy based saucepan 
add the chopped onions, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods
fry for half to one minute until the onions are transparent
add the turmeric and the rice and fry for another minute
add the water and salt to taste
simmer for 10 minutes and  drain


In a separate frying pan heat the remaining oil and fry the onion until golden brown. Add ginger and garlic paste and garam masala, fry for one minute stirring so the spices do not stick, add Salmon cubes, lime juice and salt, fry until the fish is cooked  

In an ovenproof dish, arrange a layer of cooked basmati and exotic wild rice at the bottom. Over that arrange half the cooked salmon fish mixture followed by another layer of rice. Sprinkle half of the remaining garam masala powder and half the coriander leaves. Arrange the remaining salmon fish mixture followed by the remaining rice. Sprinkle saffron threads on top of the rice.

Cover the ovenproof dish with aluminium kitchen foil and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately. 



Saturday, 6 July 2013

Honey Lime and Chilli Chicken Kebab

Finally the most desired British summer is here, the smell of grilled meat is in the air. No more dark and gloomy days. Sunshine means happiness and time to enjoy our life. An ideal weather to go outside and have BBQ with friends and family. 

After work on weekdays, I am more than happy to cook dinner and happily do the washing up. Though, I am always tempted to call my local curry house for a chicken madras, pilau rice and a garlic naan bread takeaway. I have done this so many times. 

Last weekend, I bought 500g of chicken breast fillets which needed to be eaten because of the used by date. I really don't feel comfortable to use cooking ingredients after used by date. So, I opted for a rather simple, quick and mouth watering succulent honey lime and chilli chicken kebab recipe. I hope you will enjoy this kebab as much as I did.


What you need
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tsp honey 
1 tbsp olive/sunflower/vegetable oil
juice of one lime 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tsp paprika 
1 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 tsp tomato puree 
red chilli flakes, to taste 
2 tbsp coriander 


What to do
  • In a small bowl, combine your ingredients
  • mix thoroughly
  • pour marinade over chicken breasts and turn to coat. 
  • cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • grill on medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear
  • serve immediately 


Crème Fraîche and Chilli Egg Roll

Since I got up this morning, I didn't do anything apart from browsing internet and drinking coffee. I was just getting bored. Usually, I do my weekly grocery shopping on weekends, so by Saturday there are hardly any edible items left in my kitchen cupboards. I knew there were two 2-minutes instant noodle packets in my kitchen. I always keep  these noodle packets handy, as these can be a lifesaver when you starve to death. I was really disappointed to find out that these noodle packets were already expired by two months... ah what a shame! All most half of the world's food thrown away and I feel like a regular contributor to this stats. I always try to stick with my shopping list while I am at the superstore, but their marketing guys know how to convince you to spend your hard-earned cash on unnecessary items by displaying massive BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) posters. Never mind, I decided to fry two eggs and make a egg roll with paratha. If you never heard about Paratha, here is the wiki link for you.



What you need

2 Frozen Parathas (from any asian grocery shops or Tesco if you live in UK)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp Crème Fraîche (soured cream)
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
2 fresh green chili chopped
1 tsp Olive/Sunflower Oil 
salt
ground black pepper
chili Flakes
chili sauce (optional)




What to do
  • Fry frozen parathas as per package instructions
  • Combine eggs, crème fraîche, chopped green chili, chili flakes, ground black pepper and mix well
  • Pour all of the egg mixture into a heated oil pan
  • Fry it on a medium heat
  • Add the cooked eggs on top of the paratha
  • For more spicy roll add chili sauce or Tabasco
  • Serve immediately 











Friday, 5 July 2013

If this ain't love: Heart Toast Egg


I always wanted to do something special on valentine's day for my girlfriend. I know she loves cappuccino and chocolates. I can brew coffee but I don't have a coffee machine at home, so no cappuccino. I could have bought a box of her favourite chocolates but  I wanted to wake her up to a valentine's day surprise. I was kind of in a terribly indecisive mood for a day or two. Should I buy something or should I cook something or should I take her to somewhere nice for breakfast? Decision, Decision!!  I was even planning to wake her up by singing. I know I am only a great bathroom singer. I am really proud of my bathroom singing  talent.

Just two days before valentine's day, I had an idea to make a special valentine breakfast to surprise her. My confession: I am not very good with knives and food carving. Once, I tried to make a cherry tomato rose, after wasting half a box of tomatoes I gave up. I am really useless with knives.




I decided to prepare Heart Toast Egg breakfast for my girlfriend. As I said before, I am not very good with knives. My hands were literally shaking while I was trying to the cut a heart shape hole in the middle of the slice of bread. I know I could have used a heart shape cookie cutter, but I wanted to do it my way. Love is important here, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something amazing for my sweetheart.




What you need
1 Egg
1 tsp Sunflower Oil
1 Slice of Wholemeal Bread
Tomato Ketchup
Salt




What to do
  • Cut a heart shape hole in the middle of the slice of bread. You can use a heart shaped cookie cutter for perfect heart shape
  • Add the slice of the bread to the pan
  • Add oil to the pan in the heart shape hole
  • Crack the egg open and gently drop the egg in the hole.