Showing posts with label Middle Eastern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Eastern. Show all posts

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tamar Hindi/Tamar Al Hindi/Tamarind drink

I sure am a festival blogger who pops in times of Vishu and Onam. I took up a wobbly job and by no means it is stopping me from coming here and if you think I am not properly fed…. you are wrong guys! My blogger mamma is home and she is cooking up way more than I could eat …… and I am spoilt. Apart from that, I remain the same with constant itch for recipes, made new friends as passionate as I am for food, and now I am brimming with recipes.  I even leached out a recipe from my boss. I feel like I am on the verge of explosion with a world of recipes shared by like minded people who believes recipes are to be shared, so I thought to come back here and spit it all out. I have also got a new friend who reserves a seat for me our ride back home from office so we can talk about food and only food. Crazy it may seem, but you understand. Don’t you?

Tamar Hindi is a popular Ramadan drink, where tamarind is the main ingredient.  We usually use tamarind only for flavoring sambars, rasams, and theeyals in our house, so it came to me as a surprise to know how potent indian dates (that is what tamarind or puli is called) really are.

The drink by the very look is muddy, not at all appealing, and taste is a sour-sweet combination. Over here, arabs add a dash of rose syrup to make it look more adorable. Although I love all things sour, I was wrong here. It was not definitely my glass of drink, but my family loved it.  So can’t say it is an acquired taste.


Tamarind block –  50 gm
Sugar – ¾ cup
Ginger chopped – 1 tsp

Salt – a pinch


Soak tamarind in a cup of water for 1 hour. Squeeze out the pulp and discard the seeds and fibers.

To the tamarind pulp, add sugar and ginger. Stir well and once the sugar is dissolved, add 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Switch off the stove. When it is not hot anymore, add ice cubes and serve chilled. 

If you don't like ginger, before serving add cardamom powder. 

You can use dates syrup, honey, etc., as alternatives for sugar.  

Add rose syrup, if you are looking for a deep color. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nigella's Clementine Cake - Oh my darling, Clementine!

Oh my darling, Oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine.

My treasure chest is full of memories about the man who made my days bright by helping me see the world a bit differently, by sharing the knowledge beyond the textbooks. A treasure trove of knowledge, the man who once taught me the Clementine song - in fact, teacher to many. We all loved to sing along with him. Through his eyes, I have traveled around the world in a short time. One who taught me Mulligatawny is nothing more than our own "mulaku thanni."

Sir, to date, I take pride in the fact that I have shared the story of mulaku thanni with  many a Anglo-Indian including my husband and definitely Anglo-Indians can take full credit for teaching  me what steam cakes and salt mango tree are all about. I was in awe when I learned about this first. Hope you all know the recipes for polished steam cakes and salt mango tree.

Your undying passion to impart knowledge even at your old age - Salute you sir. The theory of love and life you shared have all stayed with us. Love you Menon Sir.

Nigella's Clementine cake is a sort of Middle Eastern Cake/dessert. This flourless dessert has a character of moist pudding to it, an orange lovers dream, tastes best the second day, aromatic, and if you are lucky enough you can even get Clementine without pips that make the road to orange heaven so simple. Do you know eating pith and all of orange is good for you. Read on here.

I was hesitant to try this because of the cooking time of oranges, which is 2 hrs  included in Nigella's recipe of a clementine cake. Instead, I tried to pressure cook, was worried about the end result, and cake turning bitter. Much to my amazement it was moist, sweet and orangey.

Clementines - 375 g
Eggs - 6 medium
White sugar - 225 g
Ground almonds - 250 g
Baking powder - 1 tsp

Pressure cook clementines for 20 minutes. Drain the water and let the clementines cool. Cut each clementine in half to remove any pips, if  any. (My Clementines lacked pips, so the job was done within minutes). In a blender, put the clementines and blend to make a paste (skins, pith, fruit and all). Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Beat the eggs by hand adding sugar, ground almonds, and baking powder. Mix well. Finally add pulped oranges.

Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. If your cake is not done in 40 minutes, cover with foil to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool the cake in the tin itself. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the tin.

We had the Clementine cake straight from the tin. Whatever remained the next day turned out to be very tasty.


1. This dessert can very well fall into the category of make ahead dessert as it tastes best the following day and the intensely orange flavor is reduced.

2. Try serving orange cake with a dollop of cream for not so orange lovers. I think they are in for a kick.

3. Drain all the water after pressure cooking and before blending the oranges.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fattoush salad

Memories came rushing as I chopped my way to Fattoush salad. This used to be a regular in our work canteen salad spreads. I used to eat this day in and day out so much so that  towards the end I couldn't stand the sight of it. But after a break, again I have fallen in love with the same. 

This bread salad is choke full of nutrients and much needed if you are looking for a veggie break.

Have you tried fried pita? It is really tasty with a hint of sumac, if you can get hold of one in Middle Eastern shops. 

Pita bread - 1 round
Lettuce - 7 big leaves
Cherry tomatoes - 6
Radishes - 6
Parsley - 1/2 cup
Mint - 1/4 cup
Cucumber - 1
Sumac - 1 tbsp or according to your taste.
Peppers (optional)

Garlic mashed - 1 clove
Olive oil - 3 tbsp or more 
Lemon juice - 1 small lime

Fry pita in olive oil. Alternatively you can toast. Set aside.
Chop all the veggies. Prepare the dressing. Now plate the salad and sprinkle over the fried pita breaking them into pieces and sumac. Pour the dressing and you are done with your peasant salad.   

Add fried pita before serving or they will go soggy. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jewelled Couscous

Couscous prep technique: A very dear friend of mine, Hamda
Recipe Source: Mine

Couscous - 2 1/2 cups
Water - 2 3/4 cups
Red pepper - 1, cut into 1.5 cm pieces
Yellow pepper - 1, cut into 1.5 cm pieces
Plum tomatoes, deseeded and cut into 1.5 cm pieces - 2 big
Zucchini - 3 small
Onion - 1
Coriander and mint chopped - 3 tbsp
Pepper powder as needed
Maggi chicken cubes - 1
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan, saute onion, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves. Add pepper powder as needed. Keep them aside. (Peppers and zucchini should be crisp).

Preparation of Couscous
Boil 2 3/4 cups of water in a pan along with a stock cube and 2 tbsp of olive oil, when it starts to boil, pour in the couscous and switch off the stove and close the pan with a lid. Let the steam help to cook the couscous. Leave untouched for 10-12 minutes. After the allowed time, fluff them up with a fork.

Now combine the cooked vegetables to the couscous. Sprinkle some coriander and mint leaves over the top and serve hot.

This is a quick fix breakfast and light dinner too.


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