Hawaiian Pasta

Running a Ramzan recipe streak on the blog without having a pasta recipe in it? How could I!😮

Pasta is the most eaten, loved, and yearned thing at my household. Every other aftari will see to a bowl of either spaghetti or penne.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

And if you follow me on Snapchat, then you won’t be surprised by how cray cray my family is over pasta.

This pasta is nothing like the others. As its name indicates, it’s Hawaiian! Albeit with a cheeky (cheesy) twist on it. The perfect mingle between spicy and sweet.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

And as you might have guessed, it has…pineapples in it!

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

It is SO simple. I know I say that every single time. But trust me. Just a handful of ingredients, and presto, you have an entire meal in front of you.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

 

Put your pasta on a boil, and start slicing them sausages. Make this pasta for aftari today. I know you’ll love it.😀

Hawaiian Pasta

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 packet uncooked pasta
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 chicken sausages, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt, leveled
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2.      In a large pan, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and fry until they start to soften and become transparent. Add the garlic and the sausages, cook till golden brown.
3.      Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, sugar, salt, ground black pepper, and red chili flakes. Stir. When it comes to a boil, add in the pasta and pineapple.
4.      Stir until incorporated. Top with cheese and cover with lid. Cook until the cheese melts.
5.      Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
6.      Serve immediately.
Notes:
Adjust the salt, black pepper, and chili flakes according to your taste.

Spicy chicken sausages paired with the sweet syrupy pineapples…makes for one delicious pasta.

Mini Pizza Pies

The recipe I am sharing today is a Family FAVORITE.

All families have certain dishes they love to cook and eat. Mine goes gaga for these mini pizza pockets! Put 12 dozen in front of them and they’ll still demand more.

I am sure you will face the same situation with your siblings, cousins, random guests when you try these magical pockets of dough and cheese and everything nice. (unless they are gluten intolerant. Oops)

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

 

This recipe is especially handy because it makes A LOT of mini pizzas pies (3 dozen to be exact). So they are the perfect, fuss-free party food. Easy to make, fun to eat.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

The chicken mixture is a scaled down version of the filling in the Chicken Bread I posted eons ago. A very simple, creamy chicken filling made with loads of butter, milk, and cheese. Divine. (calories, what calories?)

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

 

Also, these pies feature:

  • fresh bell pepper

  • sweet corn

  • tomato

You can customize the vegs according to your own taste. Leave out the corn if it makes you gag. Add mushrooms instead, or even olives would be lovely.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

The recipe is super fun to make. Get your kids or siblings involved and make a kitchen party out of it like we did!

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

 

I rolled out the dough, got my sisters to cut it out in circles, place them in the cupcake tray, and then fill em up.

First the pizza sauce or chili garlic sauce, then comes the chicken filling, then the vegetables, all topped with shredded mozzarella. Bake till the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly on top.

Dip into a bowl of this sweet and sour imli chutney and I dare you to stop at one.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

 

If making for a party, you can prepare them beforehand, cover the cupcake tray with foil, and keep refrigerated till you’re ready to bake them. They take literally less than 20 minutes to cook. They also freeze well. Line the unbaked versions in a airtight container or a ziplock bag and freeze for upto 3 months. The day you need to use them, leave to thaw till the oven gets preheated and then bake as you would normally.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

You’ll be the Queen/King of the household after you make these… Or their pizza pie slave forever.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

 

Try the recipe and let me know how they turn out by sharing a picture on Instagram with this hashtag #spatulainmypocket!

Happy baking!

Mini Pizza Pies

Yields: around 3 dozen
Ingredients:
Homemade pizza dough (for the recipe click HERE)
CHICKEN FILLING
1 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 Tablespoons flour, heaped
½ teaspoon salt, leveled
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
¼  cup whole milk
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 Tablespoons ketchup
2 green chilies, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Storebought pizza sauce
TOPPINGS
Tomato, chopped
Sweet corn
Green Bell Pepper, chopped
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:
Prepare the dough and allow it to rise according to the instructions mentioned HERE.
For the filling: In a pan melt the butter and add the onion. Fry till the onions become soft and transparent. Add the chicken, flour, salt, black pepper, and mustard powder. Mix till combined. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk. Turn on the heat again, at low to medium flame, and stir constantly with the help of a wooden spoon. Add the oregano leaves, ketchup, green chilies, and coriander. Allow to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and grease a cupcake tray lightly with cooking oil.
On a floured counter top, roll out half the dough in a rectangle. Cut out circles using a round cookie cutter.
Fix each round of dough in the cupcake tray. Add a dollop of pizza sauce in each, followed by a spoonful of the chicken filling, the vegetables. Top with cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes till its golden brown.
Repeat till all the dough and filling is used up.
Notes:
·         Best served fresh out of the oven. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave before serving.
·         You might end up with leftover dough. You can freeze it or use it to make pizza pockets filling them up with sausages and cheese.

Mini Pizza Pies. The perfect snack idea!

Karhai Qeema

This time around sehri is receiving the foodie-attention it deserves.

So I decided to add to the yumminess that is the early morn, sleep-eyed meal.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

 

Everyone can attest to the fact that it is very hard to eat anything at 3 am (esp if you have to be woken by a dozen alarms and missed bells like me). But sehri is an essential part of Ramadan and we all must do our part on the dining table.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

Here I am sharing one of my favorite things to eat at sehri… Qeema with hot, flaky parathas!

 

 

I know how much you guys love the Chicken Karhai recipe I posted a while ago, and so now I present to you, a spin-off on the traditional version!

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

 

This version is spicy, smoky, and very very yummy. The ground beef can be subbed with minced chicken too, if big animals eek you out.

You can make it before bed and then enjoy it in sehri the next morning.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

No paratha recipe though, I’m sorry. They are courtesy of my mom. (I’m hopeless when it comes to rotis or parathas.) You’ll have to rely on your respective mothers and cooks for those too.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

Hey hey. While you’re at it, make some mint chutney too.

Qeema Karhai + Parathas + Mint Chutney = Heavenlyyyy!

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Do something different for sehri this Ramzan. Try this Karhai.

Karhai Qeema

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                                   Serves 6-8
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:
¼ cup cooking oil
2 medium sized onions, sliced
1 Tablespoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
4 medium size fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly
½ kilo ground beef
2 teaspoon red chili powder, leveled
1 ½ teaspoon salt, leveled
2 teaspoon ground cumin (Zeera powder), leveled
2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (Dhunia powder), leveled
4-6 green chilies, sliced
Water
Fresh coriander leaves
Ginger, julienned
Directions:
In a pan heat the oil. Fry the onions till golden brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and the sliced tomatoes. Mix well.
When the oil appears on the surface, add the ground beef. Cook on high heat, mixing continuously till the beef changes color. Add a little water along with the salt, red chilli powder, ground cumin and coriander powder. Mix well. Add 1 cup water and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to cook on low heat till beef is fully cooked, around 45 minutes. If there is still a lot of water, crank up the heat, and cook uncovered till water dries.
Then add the green chilies, and mix.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and julienned ginger.
Serve hot with parathas.
Notes:
·         Giving this Qeema a smoke of coals in the end will take this Karhai to a whole new level.
·         For all those who don’t know, Qeema = Ground Beef

 

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Father’s Day is just two days away!

I get really ecstatic when such days come near… getting rolled up in their preparations and planning, coaxing my sisters into making beautiful cards and water paintings, getting my brother to go get flowers. Planning the perfect celebratory cake is my part, and obviously, the most fun part.

I had planned out what I’d make for Father’s Day 2016 ages ago!

Something seasonal. Something mango. First attempt. We’ll see how it turns out. You can keep me company and see it being created in all its(hopeful) glory on Snapchat. Follow me @noora559

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

When it comes to baking for my father, fruits are a must. No fancy schmancy, monstrous, chocolate dripping cakes for him. He’s more of a keep it light and simple type of person. His favorite creation of mine so far is this Strawberry and Cream Cake I made in March. Along with the cupcakes I am sharing today!

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

Black Forest Cupcakes is what we surprised our father with last year. He had bought in a box of black cherries and I had leaped at the chance to make something Black Forest.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

Sharing with you this year because every father deserves to be surprised with a batch of these stunning cupcakes. Just talking about them is making me want to grab some cherries and make them right away!

 

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

The intense chocolate flavor was perfectly balanced by the tart cherry compote and paired with the light and airy whipped cream frosting…they were divine.

You can obviously skip the cherry compote filling, but then they’ll just be plain dark chocolate cupcakes (delicious but not with the magic that is Black Forest).

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

I studded the tops with whole cherries, plucked in a Baba❤ topper, and voila! Ready to surprise the best man I know and love.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

They are quick and simple, and a perfect way to use fresh cherries.

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Make these and show your dad how much you love him.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Yields: 15 cupcakes
Ingredients:
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
8 Tbsp. (113g) unsalted butter, melted1
1 and ¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature2
½ cup hot coffee3
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING (for the recipe click here)
CHERRY COMPOTE FILLING
3/4 cup fresh cherries, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter and sugar till the sugar dissolves. Add oil and mix well. Now add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for a minute, scraping off the sides. Whisk in the in the buttermilk.
Fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients gently till just incorporated. Do not over mix. Add hot coffee to the batter and whisk well again.
Divide it into cupcake pan filled with cupcake liners till ¾ full.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely before filling.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make your cherry compote by combining the cherries, honey, and the lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until the cherries are soft and much of the liquid has evaporated. It will thicken as it cools.
Using a knife, remove a quarter size piece from the top of the cupcake. Don’t cut in too deep or the filling will ooze out the bottom..
Fill each cupcake with a tablespoon of the cherry filling, then pipe or spread the whipped cream over top.
Top with some whole cherries.
Notes
1.       If using salted butter, then omit the salt in the recipe
2.      DIY Buttermilk: ½ Tbsp. vinegar and enough milk to make ½ cup.
3.      Coffee just help intensify the chocolate flavor. You can sub with plain hot water. I used ¼ tsp instant coffee mixed in ½ cup boiling water.

 

 

 

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

Fettuccine Carbonara

So, how many of you can say that your summer 2016 is going according to plan?

NOT ME.

And it saddens me greatly (:().

Before the start of the holidays, I had this awesome schedule planned out; I was going to cook inventive new things, finally get a proper camera, improve my food photography skills and, most importantly, pay tons of attention to my sorely ignored blog. Remember the wonderful 3-recipes-a-week idea? I am lucky if I get to be in the kitchen for longer than the time it takes to fry pakoras.

What happened, you ask? (or maybe you don’t. I am going to tell you anyway)

Summer internship happened. A mandatory part of my college experience, it is now a thorn in my backside. (totally exaggerating, if my boss is reading by any chance! )

8 to 4 never felt so long and tiring before. An internship is hard, people! It is a strange new world. Very adult. With a lot of adults with their adult talk and adult issues. I feel like Alice in Wonderland after she is shrunken to pea size.

But at the same time, I am grateful for the experience because it is preparing for the real, adult world that I’ll be entering in an year’s time, InshaaAllah. Need to learn to handle the pressure and the people.

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Coming back to food! (did you skip through my hardship defining paragraphs, hmm?)

Here is today’s feature: One of all-time favorite things to make (and eat)… Fettuccine!

It’s Italian and yummy.

And its not just any plain ole Fettuccine. I am going to make the amplified up, spicy, feisty version of it.

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Being a true desi, I find Alfredo bland and one dimensional in taste. Carbonara on the other hand, welcomes a plethora of intermingling tastes. It’s got the spice with the creaminess.

Cheesy Jalapeno sausages together with freshly ground black pepper and red chili flakes adds depth to the classic fettuccine. And all that extra heat from the green chili sauce and the HP sauce… yes mama!

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Its super simple to make, and you don’t have to use special Fettuccine pasta for this. Any type of pasta would do.

Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.Fettuccine Carbonara! Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

Its creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious.

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You want this at your iftar table. Trust me.

Fettuccine Carbonara

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
1 pack Fettuccine noodles
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp minced garlic, heaped
3-4 chicken sausages, sliced thinly,
6 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, heaped
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder, leveled
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp chicken powder
1 Tbsp. HP sauce1
1 Tbsp. Green Chilli Sauce2
Fresh Coriander, for garnish
Directions:
Boil the fettuccine noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
In a pan, heat together the butter and the oil. Add in the garlic. When golden brown, add in the sliced sausages. Fry for a minute before adding in the mushrooms.
Cook till sausages get golden brown.
Remove pan from the heat, and then add in the cream and the milk. Mix. Add in all the seasonings; salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder, mustard power, and the chicken powder. Mix well.
Return back to the heat, and cook on low to medium heat till thick.
Fold in the fettuccine noodles. Add in the green chilli sauce and HP sauce. Toss well.
Sprinkle some chopped coriander on top,
Serve hot with a salad or some crusty garlic bread. Yum!
Notes:
1.       Can be substituted with a dash of soya sauce and ketchup. I do that when I’m out of HP😉
2.       I use the local Mitchell’s one. 

 

It’s creamy, it’s spicy, and it’s delicious. It’s Fettuccine Carbonara!

Peach Iced Tea

Lemonade. Diet Coke. Pina Colada. Icy Cold Water.

Thirst…

Thirst of them all hits me like an avalanche when I’m fasting. I’m sure, you all are familiar with this feeling too.

Its so refreshing, and light, and has just the right amount of sweetness to it.

 

It was only two days back, on the first roza, with just an hour to go before the magrib azaan, that I went pinterest-ing drinks.

..saw one delicious looking peach iced tea after another.

…one and a half day later, lo and behold, I had a pitcher full of Peach Iced Tea in my hands.

It’s icy cold, lemony and peachy, tart and sweet…it’s amazing!

It’s icy cold, lemony and peachy, tart and sweet…it’s amazing!

Its so refreshing, and light, and has just the right amount of sweetness to it.

You’ll be downing glass after glass. I promise you that.

It’s icy cold, lemony and peachy, tart and sweet…it’s amazing!

Made with real peaches, Peach Iced Tea is the ultimate Ramadhan drink. Make a pitcher a day before, and enjoy it on aftari later the next day.

There’s two parts to the recipe:

  1. The peach syrup

  2. The tea

The peach syrup is just water, sugar, and peaches all boiled together till the peaches are soft and mushy, and reduced.

The tea part is boiling water together with tea bags brewed till strong. The tea is your choice; what kind of tea you prefer. I used one part jasmine green tea, and one part normal tea leaves. You can go with all green tea, mint, jasmine, or just plain tea. Either way it’s delicious.

Peach Iced Tea

 

It’s icy cold, lemony and peachy, tart and sweet…it’s amazing!

Make it now. And have Roasters like Peach Iced Tea in no time.

Peach Iced Tea

Yields: 1 pitcher
Ingredients:
For the Syrup
3/4th cup water
 3/4th cup granulated sugar
2-3 fresh peaches, sliced
For the Tea
5 cups water
2 tea bags
Ice cubes
Mint leaves
Sliced lemon and peaches *optional
Directions:
Place all the syrup ingredients in a pan and boil for one minute, then let it simmer on a low heat till the peaches are soft. Crush the peaches up while stirring the syrup.
Set aside to cool, covered, till at room temperature.
Boil water, add the tea bags. Let it brew for 5 minutes, covered. Then remove the tea bags and let the tea cool in the refrigerator.
Pour both the tea and the syrup in a pitcher. Mix well.
Add in loads of crushed ice, lemon and peach slices, and mint leaves.
Serve cold.

Peach Iced Tea

Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

Happy Ramadan to you all! May this month be full of blessings, happiness, and peace for you and your family.

As soon as the holy month of Ramadan begins, I march towards the kitchen with all my cooking books in hand, ready to take on the kitchen by storm.

The first that I do make is this iridescent chutney.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies. Be it samosas, chaats, or just plain fries; this chutney goes with everything.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

 

It’s quick, easy and unbelievably yummy! No Ramadan is complete without this accompanying pakoras in my household.

It’s a Shireen Anwer recipe that I swear by. I first made it six years ago, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made it again since then.

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

 

It takes literally 10 minutes to make (not including the tamarind pulp part), and makes enough to last the whole of Ramadan.

Pop it into a jar and keep stored in a refrigerator.  Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.

Tamarind (Imli) Chutney

Yields 1 ½ cup
Ingredients:
250g tamarind
1 cup boiling water
½ cup shukr *brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
Directions:
For the Tamarind Pulp: Soak the tamarind seeds in the boiling water for over an hour. When cool to touch, squeeze the pulp and the juice out. Throw away the tamarind seeds.
You can now sieve the remaining tamarind pulp or carry on without sieving, it’s optional.
For the Chutney: Blend together the prepared tamarind pulp, brown sugar, red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and garlic. Blend till smooth.
Then transfer to a pan, and cook on a low heat for just a minute till it comes to gentle boil.
Cool, and store in airtight jar in the refrigerator for upto a month.
Notes:
Shukr is the raw unprocessed form of sugar. It can be substituted with brown sugar or even plain white sugar. Or even dates.

 

Sweet and tangy; this imli ki chutney is the perfect complement to all your iftari delicacies.