Saturday, 10 September 2011

Om Ali - Middle Eastern Bread and Butter Pudding

One of the most famous pudding to have during the holy month of Ramadan. I cant think of anything that tastes similar to it in a way. Its very yummy and easy to make although i must warn you EXTREMELY high in calories LOL! But definitely worth every spoonful! As i don't live in the middle east and most of the ingredients are not available here this is not the authentic recipe. Still tastes very very similar maybe even better LOL!

The key ingredient to this recipe is that it should be served warm or it will get very soggy. Now in an authentic OM Ali is made with home made puff pastry. Which i'm sure certain no one has time to do. I thought of replacing it with one of life's best indulgence. Milk Brioche Rolls! Although I usually make my own

But not today :(
I used these from Asda

Broke them into bite size pieces and then toasted them in the oven for 15 mins at Gas Mark 7/ 200 Degrees  Celsius. So now we've got our Brioche ready lets get cooking.

Toasted Brioche rolls
Shredded Coconut
Double Cream

Hows it done:

Well as you've noticed i haven't mentioned any measurements because it all depends on what size your making it. I made this in a 9x13'' Pan before and I made it in individual ramekin's.

So firstly we boil some milk with sugar and touch of vanilla extract to taste. You need just enough to go 2/3 the way of the ramekin.  Whip up the double cream you might add teaspoon of icing sugar to make it nice and sweet.

Step 1: Put some toasted brioche into the ramekin
Step 2: Sprinkle some pistachio's on top
Step 3: Sprinkle some coconut and raisins
Step 4: Repeat step 1-3
Step 5: Pour the Milk 2/3 the way into the ramekin
Step 6: Spread some whipped double cream on top.

Then pop into a hot oven at gas mark 5 for approximately 20 minutes or until its golden and bubbly on top.

Isn't that delicious!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What's Everyone Growing?

So what is everyone growing this Summer?
Im growing Basil


And Lettuce for all those lovely salads

Next Summer i'd love to grow tomatoes and perhaps chili?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Barbie anyone?

Summer is finally around and the rain has stopped and the gorgeous sun is finally out! What comes up to your mind other than the beach? Barbecue!!!

I just love love barbecues! Always reminds me of the happy days when we we're younger and used to go to the country club on Wednesday Evenings. It was a weekly ritual, my little sister and I and all my class mates and friends. We'd arrive at 4pm go swimming up to 7pm. Then a barbecue at 7.30pm then go play by the beach and build sand castles. Then my dad would come and pick us up at 9pm. It was really something i'd look forward to every single week. I really miss that club! Now your probably wondering did she mean Friday evening? Well, No that wasn't a typo! lol! Back then where i grew up weekends we're on Thursday and Friday. That's why up to this date Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.

So lets get back to this

I made Minced Lamb Skewers or in Arabic there called Sheesh Kofta
Chicken Skewers or in Arabic Sheesh Djaj

Some Salmon with Piri Piri Sauce and home made flavored butter
That's just butter and parsley, black pepper, garlic and red chili flakes and salt
and an extra dash of pepper on top for luck!

This is a very traditional dish. Barbecued diced lamb with red onions and green pepper. I just tossed the lamb before putting em in the barbecue with a little bit of salt and pepper and mixed spice and garlic.

They flavor was amazing they we're still moist in the middle but i loved the charcoal flavor. And the green pepper was very crunchy absolutely adored it!

I served these with Aubergine Salad and Peanut Spicy Sauce.
These are also traditional dishes that i will blog about soon.

My Favorite barbecue dish was believe it or not jacket potatoes lol! Its just when i open that foil and the steams comes up and then put that small knob of butter and just watch it melt that was the best thing ever! Yum Yumm!

So whats your favorite barbecue dish?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Looking for a fab blueberry muffin recipe that would really blow me away i came across Chef John's from 

Here's the recipes:
Ingredients for about 16 muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter, softened
finely grated zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, optional
2 cups fresh blueberries

As i was out of Lemon's i used vanilla extract instead and i used homemade yogurt instead of the sour cream. And i can tell you ppl this is the most amazing blueberry muffins i have ever tried love love love love em!!

Monday, 13 June 2011

How to make Greek Yogurt!

I finally made Home made Yogurt!
Such a satisfying feeling i cant even put it into words.
To be honest this was my second attempt my first attempt didn't
really make it lol!

I guess it was a rather chilly night and i didn't wrap the pot in a rather
light cover so it was my bad. I have to admit i almost didn't want to give
it another try. But, fortunately enough i did! This time i wrapped my pot
in a plastic bag then wrapped a blanket around it then put two heavy
bath towels on top and put the pot next to the radiator lol!
Talk about precautions lol! Then again i really hate being disappointed lol!

Recipe is very simple.

1 Litre of Milk
1/2 Cup Store Bought Yogurt

and thats it!

Oh well there's a couple of things you have to keep in mind. For the first time you make yogurt you need to get a yogurt with live cultures or what we call here with active bacteria! Then after that make sure you keep some for next batch you make.

Step 1:
Pour Milk into slow cooker and switch it to low for 2 1/2 Hours

Step 2:
Switch Slow cooker off and let milk cool for 3 Hours

Step 3:
Take out 2 cups of milk and mix it with the store bought yogurt and then mix it up with all the yogurt you had.

Step 4:
Wrap the slow cooker in as many blankets as possible and put it somewhere warm. Leave it for atleast 8 hours. You can leave it overnight.

Step 5:
Wake up in the morning and enjoy some beautiful tangy yogurt for breakfast!

If like me you like rich thick yogurt all you got to do it strain it!

A lot of people online recommend the use of cheesecloth or a coffee strainer
As i 'cannot' find a cheesecloth anywhere near me or in any grocery store
I decided to use my clean cotton kitchen cloth. Worked great for me.

 So basically i got a strainer and a kitchen towel poured the yogurt on top and let it strain. As i wanted to know how much whey would come out i used a measuring
This is when i first poured some into i just never measured it out to be honest :s
And this is after a couple of hours on the strainer. You can notice that the yogurts level has gone down a bit.

Here's the whey.

That's almost 200ml of why i poured the Yogurt into the empty store bought Yogurt container which was originally 500ml.

Now don't throw that whey out! I used it to make bread. Yum Yum!

Btw, you don't need to make your own yogurt to make Greek Yogurt! You can use store bought yogurt!

So lets do the maths, 4 Pints of milk from Aldi cost me 74p and the 500g regular 
Yogurt costs around 55p
Store bought Greek yogurt costs between £1.50 - £2.20
So basically home made is cheaper tastier and healthier!
Watch ya waiting for?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Manakeesh (pronounced ‘m-naeesh’)

Is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can either be served for breakfast or lunch.

The Dough:

2 Cups of Flour
1 Cup Water
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar

Dead simple isn't it?

and this is how it ended up looking :

 As i cant be bothered to make sure if ive got equally
sized dough balls. I just cut the dough out as i would with slicing a pizza. And then i get 8 equal dough parts!

And Voila!

At this point i'd preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190C/375F

I had a couple of filling in hand

Feta with dried parsely


Take on dough and
Try to roll it into a perfect circle. If you couldn't, dont worry i couldnt either lol!

 I really felt like cheddar so i grated some sprinkled some parsley and
black pepper.

Look at that right out of the oven yum yum!
15 mins later

Bonne Apettite!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sheesh Chicken (Chicken Skewers)

I saw this recipe a couple of weeks ago on Syrian Foodie in London. I've always been for the look out for something tasty authentic and most importantly FAST!

This seemed to answer all what i asked for.

So what do we need?

Chicken breasts cubed i used around 500g
1 Onion
1 Red/Green Pepper

You need to marinade them for a wee while. Preferably, the night before if you couldn't 20 mins would do.
So for the Marinade you need.

2Tbs Yogurt
1tsp  Vinegar
1tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Salt to taste
2Tbs Olive Oil

Give them a little bit of color on the griddle

Then Pop em in the oven for 15-20 mins at Gas Mark 5/190C/375F

Then there ready

I've tried stir frying them after marinading them . And they turned out amaazing!
Served with some rice.

Bonne appetite!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Slow Cooked Chicken Wings

I finally got a Slow Cooker. I've heard soo much about them crockpots before but never really bought one. But i found this slow cooker at Sainsburry's at a 70% off so i just went for it.

Hmm, i looked and looked and looked but never found a crock pot chicken wings recipe online. So i took the plung and decided to just go for it. I marinated the chicken wings in tandoori paste and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Then to give it some colour i fried em on the griddle pan. Look at that gorgeous colour!

Then i popped em into the slow cooker put it on high for 4 hours.

And voila there ready! Love Love Loved them they we're sooo moist and just fell off the bone. Served that with some basmati rice.

Gotta Give em a try!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Date and Walnut Cake

Recently having discovered this cake i can really tell you one thing i absolutely love it!

I personally hate date just because growing up i hated the fact that it was really chewy and got stuck to my teeth especially the ones that had cavities. Not a nice feeling at all trust me :S

The other day i came across this cake at sainsbury's. 

So i had it with tea the next morning and not only did i not taste the dates at all, it had this wonderful crunch to it. I loved the walnuts on top. Ahh it was just heaven.

I decided to replicate it at home. Didn't exactly manage to but this is even better!

First, set your oven to Gas Mark 4/175C/350F 

So, Ingredients:

240g (1 1/2 cups) pitted dried dates, halved
310mls (1 1/4 cups) water
100g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
80g butter, cubed
Melted butter, for greasing
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 x 100g pkt walnut pieces

Mix everything up and keep some walnuts to sprinkle on top. Then Bake em in the oven for 50-60 mins.

Arent they gorgeous?

Pizza Time

Its the weekend and ideally you'd order a pizza.. Hmm, naah! Lets just make it at home! Nothing beats homemade pizza.

So what do we need?

300g Bread Flour
1    tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Yeast
170ml Water

I use a pizza stone nothing can get pizza base crispy in a couple of mins.

So right before you put the dough together just switch oven to Gas Mark 8/450F/230C 

When the dough is ready top with your favorite sauce topping and cheese. I usually top it with mixed herbs and cracked black pepper.

Remember in pizza less is more!  Don't top it with too many topping or you'll end up with a soggy base and thats not tasty at all!!

Yum Yum!

Bonne apettite!

P.S Give this post a thought the next time you want to order a pizza!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Hot Rolls from the Oven

Don't you just loved it when you wake up to hot rolls from the oven with a dollop  of butter.. Yum Yum!!

Nothing beats that:



1 tsp Yeast
450g Bread Flour
1/2tsp Sugar
25g Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
250ml Water (for a slightly denser roll try 125ml water and 125ml milk)

  • Divide roll into 8-10 pieces and shape into baps. 

  • Place on a greased baking tray and allow to prove at 40C/90F until it doubled in size (approx 20mins).

  • Dust with flour

  • Bake in a preheated oven at 220C/425F/Gas Mark7 for 15mins or until golden brown.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Sheesh Kofta and Rice


500g Minced Lamb
2 tbs Dried Parsely
1/2 tsp Sumac
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper

Mix these all up and shape into a kofta shape or into a Patty. And fry on a very hot griddle.

Serve immediately on some fragrant rice and a hummus or tahini.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Fennel Biscotti

Yeah you read it right! Dried Cake!
Love love love love these there a staple at our home
They smell lovely and taste amazing but very light and crunchy usually have
these with tea. Oh my what more can u ask for?

Hmm, the recipe?

Right lets get started,

Its has the same batter as a sponge cake just a bit heavier. This will turn out to be a bit dense.

Dry Ingredients:
675g   All-Purpose Flour
2 Tbs  Fennel Seeds
1 tsp   Baking Powder
375g   Icing Sugar
2 Tbs  Custard Sugar

Liquid Ingredients:
5 Large Eggs
1 Cup  Sunflower Oil
1 tsp    Vanilla Extract

Before doing  anything preheat the oven at Gas Mark 4/350F/176C Degrees

Then beat together the oil and sugar until creamy

Beat in one Egg at a time..

Nice and fluffy!

Then add the dry ingredients in batches:

Keep beating its going to feel very dry at first and you might think oh no its ruined
but keep beating and it will come together and look like this

I usually use a 9 Inch x 13 Inch pan lined with parchment paper. Then bake it for 40 - 45 mins until golden brown.

Once it looks like this, switch oven off and let it cool completely.

Then place on a cutting board and using a serrated knife cut into blocks
Place the blocks in a baking sheet and put em under the grill for another while until there golden on all sides.

And enjoy with a lovely cuppa tea!