Baked Pasta

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy… the ultimate comfort food!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Stress is mounting high people. So much to do, so less time:

  • Looming college applications

  • Cursed personal statements

  • Corporate law stress

  • People problems

  • Diet fiascos

…amidst other stuff has me sleeping 8 hours straight, hoarding up on chocolate and peanuts, and procrastinating like it’s the end of the world!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

Times like these call for comfort food. And nothing can trump pasta when it comes to comfort food. Not in my house.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

Loaded with cheese and a rich sauce…this baked pasta is hearty and meaty and deliciously satisfying!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

It involves tossing pasta in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loading it up with béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topping the whole thing with loads of cheese.

Delicious, right?

I’ve made this pasta over a bazillion times now. At dinners and gatherings, whenever friends are over, or just on days like these…sad gloomy miserable days.

One pan makes about 8 servings, perfect for parties. You can prepare it ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to bake it.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

If you guys love this recipe as much as I do, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let me know. Take a picture and tag it #spatulainmypocket on Instagram. I’d love to see what you guys come up with!

 

Baked Pasta

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
Tomato-Meat Sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
1 carrot, chopped
½ kilo ground beef
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, leveled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, leveled
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup sliced mushrooms
White Sauce
2 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
The rest
1 packet of pasta, prepared according to package directions
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried Oregano

 

Directions:
1.       In a pan, heat oil. Fry the chopped onion till it changes color and becomes soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. Add in the carrot. Mix. Then add in the beef and mushrooms. Mix well on high heat for a few minutes. Then add in the; chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. Keep mixing till meat changes color. Then add in a cup of water along with tomato paste. Mix, cover, and leave to cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
2.      While sauce is simmering, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
3.      Add drained pasta to the meat sauce, mix and turn off heat. Put the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish and set aside.
4.      For the white sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Once melted, take the pan off the heat and add in the flour, salt, black pepper, and mustard powder. Mix well using a wooden spoon and bring back to heat. Cook for a minute before adding in the stock and milk. On low-medium heat, mix continuously till the sauce thickens. Remove off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese.
5.      Pour the entire sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and oregano on top.
6.      Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

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Sindhi Biryani

Biryani.

The mere name conjures up images of steaming piles of desi goodness, all yellow and white and heavenly. Your brain teases with memory of the spicy aroma and your heart leaps in anticipation.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Today I am going to share the recipe that’ll make you the master of biryani too.

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Over the years, I have tried more than 15 different biryani recipes with varying degrees of success.

This one is my baby. So read carefully and follow each step to the book.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

If it seems like too much work… Well then, you are simply not ready yet. You can start with the easy peasy chicken karahi :p

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

I’ve tried to explain each and every step in the recipe as clearly as I could but here are some extra tips that make all the difference:

  • Slice onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the onions, the crispier they’ll be. If your onions aren’t thin enough, they won’t brown evenly and will turn soggy. You want the onions to be nice and crunchy so that you crush them up easily and not have big onions bits in your biryani.

  • Don’t skimp on the whole spices. All the different spices that together make up what we call ‘garam masala’ are essential to the aroma and taste of agood biryani. It might be frustrating to collect and add all the bit (and you might hate biting onto a piece of illachi) but trust me when I tell that you it’ll be worth it!

  • The secret is in the masala. Use red, ripe tomatoes, ½ kilo of them which is around 4 large ones. The riper they are, the better the masala ends up being. Together with the green chilli paste and ginger garlic; MIX MIX MIX. Mix till oil appears on the surface

  • Have patience. Cook the chicken low and slow. Cook the rice till al-dente. This step is something which I always mess up and so get my mom to do it for me

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what mums are for

 

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So, one fine Sunday why not ditch the store-bought biryani masalas and make this delicious authentic Sindhi Biryani from scratch. Its rich and spicy and filled with herbs and succulent meat and potatoes. A family favorite at my house and will become your’s too InshaaAllah 💜

Sindhi Biryani

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                        Serves: 8
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ kg Basmati rice, soaked for 30-60 mins
6 +4 whole green chilies
4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves
½ cup cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp whole mix spices1
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, heaped
2 tsp chili powder, heaped
2 tsp salt, leveled
1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ tsp garam masala powder
10-12 dried plums soaked in warm water
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp yellow food color
Directions:
1.      Boil rice in water + 2 Tbsp salt + ½ tsp black cumin + a bay leaf. Cook till rice is 3/4th of the way done. Drain and set aside.
2.      Grind together 6 green chilies along with the fresh coriander. Add just a splash of water to help the grinder going. Set aside.
3.      In a pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, constantly mixing, till dark brown. Take out the fried onions and spread them on some paper towels. When dry, crush them coarsely with your hands.
4.      In the same pan used before, add the tomatoes, ginger garlic, the grinded chili coriander mix, the whole spices, red chili powder and salt. Constantly mix with a wooden spoon. When the tomatoes turn mushy and oil appears on the surface, add in the chicken pieces, potatoes, and half cup water. Mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on low heat.
5.      When the chicken is half done, add the yogurt, fried onions, garam masala powder, and the 4 whole green chilies. Mix well, cover and leave to cook till both chicken and potatoes are tender.
6.      Grease the bottom of a bigger pot with a spoon of oil. Transfer half of the boiled rice. Top with the entire chicken mix. Spread it. Sprinkle the fresh coriander and mint leaves + the dried plums. Top it off with the rest of the boiled rice. Spread it and press the rice with the back of your spoon.
7.      With the end of your wooden spoon, make holes in the rice, going ¾ of the way down. In these holes spoon in the yellow food color mixed in some water.2
8.      Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes to steam.
9.      Mix and serve immediately with mint raita and fresh cucumber salad.
10.  Enjoy!
Notes
1.      Whole spices include: 1 bay leaf (tayz pata), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6 black cloves, 4-6 black peppercorns, 3-5 green cardamom pods (hari illachi), 2 black cardamom pods (bhari illachi), 1 tsp cumin seeds (sabat zeera)
2.      This is optional, it’s the way I do it. Alternatively, you can just pour the food color mixed in little water, in just one go over the rice.
Recipe source: The amazing Shireen Anwer

 

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Dhaba Dal

Eating out is fun and adventurous. You get to try yummy new dishes without the hassle of cooking, table setting and washing up. It’s exciting to dress up and watch the waiter go by with trays laden with food that isn’t yours.

But sometimes the overpriced plates of pasta drowning in white sauce just don’t cut it. Sometimes what you need is good ol’ dal chawal.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

It’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters (especially after Bakra Eid) alike.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

 

 

If you’re a newbie to lentils, fear not. This was the first dal recipe I ever made, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s super easy to cook. It involves none of that pressure cooker hassle. I’ve never used a pressure cooker and never intend to use it in the future either. That thing gives me the jeepers! Its the fault of all the horror stories told about the pressure coolers exploding.

Lentils cook beautifully well by simply boiling them in spiced water.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

There’s two parts to this recipe: the cooking of the lentils and the tempering. I’ve tried to explain each one of the steps involved as clearly as I could.

It’s a classic Shireen Anwer recipe (bow down for the queen). So you can’t go wrong with that!

Do give this recipe a try. It’s spicy, creamy, and reminiscent of the dal you get served on the roadside restaurants.

Coupled with roti hot off the tandoor or plain boiled rice, this dhaba dal is sure to become a family favorite in your house.

Dhaba Dal

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
250 g chana dal/split chick peas
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
½ cup ghee or cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp garam masala (all spice powder)
Green chilies, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Directions:
Soak the dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash and place in a pan along with; 3 cups of water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium high flame till dal is soft and is cooked completely.
For the tempering/tarqa:
In a small pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till brown. Then add in the tomatoes, garlic and the chili flakes. Cook on high flame, mixing continuously, till tomatoes turn mushy and the oil comes on top of the surface. Add in the chopped green chilies, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
Pour the tarqa on top of the prepared dal and mix the two together.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with plain white rice.

 

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Stuffed Italian Pirazo Pie

Remember how I ranted on about college starting in my last post? Well, it did start and so much has been happening since then that I haven’t had the time to post anything. Group problems, project dilemmas, frenemies, general steering clear of some evil people, and what not.

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

If there’s any recipe fit for a mighty comeback it would be a pie. Nothing beats a good ole pie!

A savory pie to be exact. Made with meat and cheese and dough and carbs.

It is so so good! I kid you not.

This recipe consists of two separate recipes.

  • one is for the pie filling,

  • the second is for the base and top of the pie which is essentially a tweaked up recipe of my foolproof pizza dough

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

It makes for two pies. I made one with the beef filling, and stuffed the other one with a random shredded spicy chicken mix.

You can go wild with the filling;

  • sub the ground with chicken or sausages

  • add in corn, beans, mushrooms

  • drizzle in some Sriracha

  • or a dash of paprika

This is YOUR pie and the world is your pickle. Add in anything and everything your heart desires!

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

 

How this pie works?

You fit half of the dough onto a pie plate, spoon on the filling, and then top with another piece of rolled out dough; plain or go fancy like I did with some rusty lattice work.

If you want to learn how to do proper pie lattice, check out this tutorial.

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

This pie does take time to come together.

  1. Make the dough. Let it proof.

  2. Make the filling. Let it cool.

  3. Assemble the pie.

  4. Bake. Let it cool.

And THEN you get to dig in.

But it’s all well worth the time and effort…for this pie really is scrummy. You’ll find yourself going in for second And third helpings. Maybe more. :3

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

I’m sure you’ll love this Italian Pirazo Pie; it’s a twist on the classic meat pie, easy to make and deeply comforting.

If you have any questions or comments let me know in the comment box down below. 🙂

Stuffed Italian Pirazo Pie

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
For the Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 standard packet (1/4 ounce) or 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup whole milk
Lukewarm water, as needed
For the Filling
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
250g ground beef
½ tsp red chilli flakes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
¼ tsp garam masala (all-spice powder)
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sesame seeds
1 egg, for egg wash
Directions
DOUGH
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, the egg, oil, and the milk. Slowly mix in the water with your hands till all the ingredients are mixed well and dough starts to form.
Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes on a floured counter top till the dough becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Add more flour if it is still sticky.
Bang the dough on the counter top 7-8 times for elasticity.
Shape the dough in a ball and place in a greased bowl. Brush the top lightly with some oil. Cover with plastic or a kitchen cloth, and allow the dough to rise somewhere warm until doubled in size, around 2 hours. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
FILLING
Heat oil in a pan, and fry the ginger garlic paste till golden brown. Add in the ground beef. Cook till the beef changes color, stirring constantly, for around 3-4 minutes. Add in the red chilli flakes, salt, black pepper, cumin powder, chopped tomato, and the tomato paste along with a ¼ cup of water. Mix. Cover and let it simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
Then, increase the heat, and let excess water evaporate, stirring constantly. Add in the ketchup, bell pepper, coriander, garam masala, and the chopped green chilli. Mix well.
Set aside, and allow to cool.
ASSEMBLING
Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll both halves, onto a floured counter surface, in the shape of two circles around 10 inches wide or according to the size of your pie plate.
Place one half of the rolled out dough onto a greased pie dish. Spoon on the filling. Top with shredded cheese. Place the other rolled out half of the dough on top. Crimp the edges. Brush with a beaten egg. Sprinkle on a few sesame seeds.
Bake at 200 degrees C for 25-30 minutes till its golden brown.
Enjoy!

 

Italian Pirazo Pie; a twist on the classic meat pie.

Garlic Naan

What do you do when you find your favorite naan shop closed on a Sunday morning?

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You make your own naans!

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

The idea may seem daunting at first but I hope by now I’ve got you well acquainted with handling all sorts of dough. Be it: my foolproof recipe for pizza dough used to make not just this beautiful braided chicken bread but also these cute little mini pizza pies. Or this super easy and frugal recipe for flour tortillas which makes these BBQ taquitos all the more delicious. And how can we forget, my all-time favorite, the soft puffy puri…O’so good!

Homemade garlic naans are much easier than you think and irresistibly delicious! It’s the same foolproof pizza dough with certain key changes that makes it all the more yummy and garlicky.

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

The dough is incredibly forgiving. If it’s too dry, add more milk. If it’s too wet, add more flour. A soft dough is what you want in the end.

Softer the dough; softer and pillowy the naans are.

 

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

I cooked half of the naans on a grill pan, and the other half on a plain non-stick pan. It doesn’t matter whether or not you own a grill pan. Both result in gorgeous looking naans, and they taste just the same!

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

Cook for a minute or until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Brush with butter mixed with chopped coriander.

Place the naan in a kitchen towel and repeat with the rest of the naans.

Then serve warm, sprinkled with some fresh coriander or sesame seeds.

And get ready, because these garlic naans will blow your mind! Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets. 

You may never go back to buying store-bought naan again. 😉

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

Some of my favorite ways to enjoy these naans? Soaking up the masala from this Chicken Karhai or with this sumptuous kebab masala.

Garlic Naan

Serves: 8
Ingredients:
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 teaspoons salt
3 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
Additional 2 Tbsp. melted butter mixed with 2 Tbsp. fresh coriander leaves, chopped
(optional topping: sesame seed)
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together, by hand or with a stand mixer, all the ingredients except the milk. Add in the milk gradually, and mix till a ball of dough starts forming. If kneading by hand then take out the dough from the bowl and start kneading it on a floured counter-top till it becomes smooth but still slightly sticky.
  2. Grease the mixing bowl with oil, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel.  Place in a warm location (I place mine in the microwave) and let it rise for 1-2 hours or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
  3. Once doubled in size, punch it down and add in the minced garlic. Knead for a few more minute and then transfer it to a floured work surface.  Cut the dough into 8 large or 16 small separate pieces. Roll each into a ball with your hands, then place on the floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large circle) until the dough is a little less than 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Heat a large non-stick pan or grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle a bit of butter or oil.  Add a piece of the rolled-out dough to the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until the dough begins to bubble and the bottom turns lightly golden.  Flip the naan and cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. Brush naan lightly with the coriander-infused butter on both sides. Then transfer it to a separate plate, and cover with a towel.  Repeat with remaining dough until all of the naan pieces are cooked.
  5. Keep the naan covered with the towel until ready to serve, so that it doesn’t dry out.  Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, if desired.

 

 

Buttery and garlicky, these naan are incredibly soft with all those giant air pockets.

 

Kebab Masala with Homemade Puri

I’ve been meaning to make kebab masala for so long. I’d always liked the sound of it…soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

Easy, comforting, and packed with flavor!

Made using fresh herbs, garam masala, fenugreek leaves; this is a true South Eastern feast. And what’s better than to enjoy it with some good ole puris.

Soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

What I love most about this kebab masala is how quick it is to put together.

It has two steps to it;

  1. The kebabs

  2. The masala

Soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

You start off by making the kebab mix, shaping it, and then shallow frying till golden brown. Set aside.

Next you make the masala; everything cooked together till onions and tomatoes mush up. I did end up grinding the whole mixture just because I don’t like bits of onion in my gravy. It’s up to you though. You can leave it as it is or grind it till smooth like I did.

Lastly, add the fried kebabs to the masala and let it simmer on low heat till kebabs are cooked all the way through. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with puris, and voila, you’ve got a sumptuous dinner ready in no time!

Soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

And now the Puris.

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Would you believe me if I told you that these puris too take NO time at all to make and devour?

I got the idea of making them halfway through while I was frying the kebabs. I just mixed together all the dough ingredients, kneaded it for a few minutes and let the dough rest for round 20 minutes. Then made balls and rolled them till very thin, fried in very very hot oil.

A few tips to keep in mind while making puris:

  • The dough must be kneaded to a hard consistency. Don’t be tempted to add in more water

  • Yogurt helps in making soft puris, so don’t skip it

  • Oil for frying must be Hot. Very very hot

And that’s it! Soft, flaky homemade puris ready in no time at all.

Soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

This will make for a perfect Sunday brunch meal. Make this for your family tomorrow and remember me in your prayers. 🙂

Gola Kebab Masala with Homemade Puri

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
For Kebabs:
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 slice white bread soaked in milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 Tbsp. gram flour/ chickpea flour, roasted lightly
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. Shan Karhai Masala, optional
  • ½ tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
For Masala/Gravy:

 

  • 3 medium onions, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 5 small fresh tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Fresh coriander for garnishing
For Puris:
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. yoghurt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • a little bit of warm milk and water for kneading
  • oil for deep frying
Directions:
For the Kebabs
Place the onion, coriander, ginger, garlic and chillies in a grinder and grind until smooth.  Add this to the minced meat in a large bowl along with all the rest of the ingredients.
Mix well with your hands for about 3-5 minutes until everything is very well combined. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Shape the kebabs like small balls, make sure they are very smooth, and then lightly shallow fry, just for a couple of minutes on each side till golden brown. Drain and set aside.
For the Masala/Gravy
Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions till golden brown, then add the cumin seeds, cinnamon and cardamom. Fry. Then add the tomatoes and the ginger garlic paste. Mix well. Add in the tomato paste, a little bit of water, and the sugar, salt, cumin, chilli, turmeric and coriander powders Cook together until the oil is released from the sides. Then add the yogurt and the green chilli. Mix and let it cook on low heat until the gravy is thick.
Next, add ½ cup water and allow to simmer. Gently add in the kebabs and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Every once in a while, open the lid and gently swirl everything together so that the gravy coats the kebabs and they get turned over so that they may cook evenly on all sides.
Once the kebabs are fully cooked, add the garam masala and the dried fenugreek, garnish with coriander and serve hot puris!
For the puris
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, yogurt and oil. Gradually add in the warm water/milk mix and knead till a hard ball comes to form. Let it sit, covered with a kitchen towel, for about 20 minutes, and then divide the dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll each one out till thin.
Heat your oil, make sure it’s quite hot. Put in a puri in the hot oil and immediately start splashing hot oil over the top of it with a spoon.
Gently press down on the puri with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, and you will see it start to puff up. Flip the puri over and cook the other side until golden brown.

 

Notes:
For a smoother gravy, blend it before adding the water and kebabs. Make sure the masala is cool before you blend it.

 

Soft, succulent kebabs smothered in a rich spicy tomato gravy.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Taquitos

Remember that killer recipe for Homemade Tortillas that I posted earlier this week? Well, I have the perfect recipe to make using those very tortillas.

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HAWAIIAN BBQ TAQUITOS

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

I seem to be on a Hawaiian roll right now. Hawaiian pasta, now these taquitos.

What’s next?

Hawaiian pizza, maybe?

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

For those of you wondering what a Taquito is…it’s a tortilla filled, rolled and then baked to perfection.

They’re super easy, tender, and incredibly delicious!

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

You can go wild with the fillings.

I went for the classic Hawaiian flavors that I know and love…pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

I’ve used my own homemade tortillas, the recipe for which I posted yesterday. You can use store bought ones but trust me when I tell you that homemade ones are 100xxxx better.

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

These taquitos have become a family favorite at my place. I’m sure you’ll love them just as much. 🙂

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Taquitos

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 5 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoon oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, halved
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup diced pineapple
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
10-12 Flour Tortillas (recipe HERE), softened
Directions:
Marinate the chicken in black pepper, salt, paprika, cumin, and lemon juice. Leave for atleast half an hour or overnight. Then grill on medium heat till charred well on both sides. Allow to cool, then shred using a fork.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add onion and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In a large bowl, combine the onion, chicken, cheddar cheese, pineapple, BBQ sauce and coriander; season with salt and pepper; to taste.
Working one at a time, transfer a tortilla to a work surface; place BBQ chicken mixture in the center of each wrapper. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the tortilla is reached. Repeat with remaining tortilla and filling.
Place taquitos seam side down onto prepared baking sheet and bake until taquitos are crisp and cheese has melted, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with mango salsa.
Adapted from: Damn Delicious

Hawaiian BBQ Taquitos. Filled with pineapples and mangoes, paired with a spicy tangy BBQ chicken, caramelized onions, and loads of fresh cheddar cheese.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Don’t you just love Mexican food? Enchiladas, tostadas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, taquitos… the list is endless. Fresh, spicy, and tangy Mexican food. All of which require one essential ingredient…. tortillas!

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

 Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

The thing is, tortillas are a bit hard to find here in Pakistan. Supermarkets in Islamabad have only just recently started stocking the brand Old El Paso. And even if they are available, they can be quite expensive, a pack of 8 for Rs. 400 something.

 

Why not take some time out and make them yourself?

Trust me, they are way wayyy better than the lifeless store bought ones which you have to reheat again and again to make them soft enough to be edible.

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

 

Homemade tortillas require just a handful ingredients;

  • Flour

  • Baking Powder

  • Salt

  • Hot Water

  • Shortening

The term “shortening” in the recipe may raise a few eyebrows. But not to worry. Shortening is a saturated fat similar to butter but with a higher melting point. It makes for the most delicious and flaky pie crusts. And it makes for the softest pliable tortillas ever! But like tortillas, shortening too is hard to find here, I was lucky enough to buy it off from a friend who found Crisco in a small wholesale shop tucked away in the narrow alley of Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi. But it’s now available in large supermarkets like Al-Fatah or high-end stores like Essa Jees in Islamabad. You can sub with butter, but the result just won’t be the same.

 

These tortillas are literally SO easy to make.

  1. You make the dough using very very warm water.
  2. Let it rest.
  3. Form small ping pong sized balls.

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

4. Cover and let them rest.

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

5. Then roll out each ball as thin as possible. Thinner you roll= flakier the tortilla!

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

Roll out so thin that you can see the counter beneath

6. Then cook each tortilla on a hot griddle till light golden brown on both sides.

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

7. Wrap in a kitchen towel to keep them warm and retain moisture.

Then use them to make whatever crazy Mexican creation you have in mind. Or place in a disposable bag and freeze.

Soft, round flatbread, which when filled and baked turn into the most amazing, flakiest thing imaginable.

 

Once you try these homemade tortillas, trust me, there’s no going back.

Oh and check back here for a recipe using these tortillas! 😀

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Yields: 35-40 tortillas
Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup PLUS 2 Tablespoons (extra) vegetable shortening
1 cup hot water
Directions:
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large wooden bowl. Stir together.

Add spoonful’s of shortening, then use a fork or your fingers to combine the ingredients and cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Slowly pour in hot water, stirring to bring mixture together. Lightly knead dough until it becomes a ball of dough and is less sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow dough to rest for at least an hour.

Roll into small ping pong sized balls, place on a tray, cover, and allow to rest for another 30 minutes.

Heat a pan to medium-high heat. One by one, roll out balls of dough until very, very thin. Cook tortillas, 20 to 30 seconds on each side, till soft but slightly brown in spots. Remove and stack tortillas, and cover with a towel to keep warm. Use immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in a container.

Notes:
1.       Water used in the dough should be hot.
2.      Roll out each ball very very thin.
3.      To freeze: Store tortillas in a disposable bag and freeze for upto 2-3 months. When ready to use them, take out and heat in the microwave.
4.      To warm: heat in the microwave for a mere 10 seconds.
Recipe source: Pioneer Woman