Chicken Tagine

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

Alhamdulillah, I am back after a long hiatus. Interesting things happened during this long absence including travel, cooking experiments, family reunions etc.  Now that I am back, let us go straight to the amazing things I have cooked.

My family loves to eat Mediterranean food when possible. It includes a lot of  fresh fruits and vegetables, it uses healthy fats, a good amount of protein etc. However, it tends to be a little bland, as it is low on spices and pepper. Moroccan food, on the other hand, is along the same lines of Mediterranean food with the perfect blend of spices and bold  flavors, for an Indian palette.

I have adapted this recipe from my favorite Moroccan food channel, .

Tagine gets the name from the pot it is cooked in, called the "tagine". It is a two-piece glazed clay pot with a flat base of short sides, and a conical lid that fits snugly over the base and allows the moisture to be trapped inside while causing  the condensed moisture to trickle back to the food in the base and keeps the food uniquely moist and tender. Traditionally, the tagine is made over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the charcoal and the pot to avoid the temperatures to rise fast and prevent the pot from cracking. I have made the chicken tagine over medium heat with a heat diffuser plate right over the flame to avoid burning and for even distribution of heat. It took a little over two hours from start to finish. Serve it with crusty bread for an amazing dinner or late lunch.

Do tell me if you own a tagine pot and also if you have had the opportunity of eating any Moroccan food.


Chicken-1 lbs
Preserved lemon-1, (skin separated and cut into wedges, pulp chopped and set aside.)
Cilantro-2 tbs, finely chopped
Parsley- tbs, finely chopped
Garlic-1 tbs, crushed
Olive oil-4 tbs
Kashmiri Pepper Powder-2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Ground ginger-1 tsp
Ground Cumin -1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder-1tsp
Saffron Strands-a pinch, soaked in 2 tbs of hot water
Pickled olives-2-8
Onions-2 medium, grated


1. Make a marinade with preserved lemon pulp, cilantro, ground ginger, ground cumin, parsley, paprika, garlic, olive oil and mix well.

2. Rub the mixture into the pieces of Chicken  and  refrigerate for an hour.

3. Pour the olive oil into the tagine pot, spread the grated onion, sprinkle salt and turmeric evenly over the onions and place the pieces of chicken over the onion bed making sure they are not crowded.

4. Place the heat diffuser plate onto the stove and the tagine pot over the plate.

5. Cover the tagine pot with the lid and turn the stove to a medium heat and allow the chicken to cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. After 15 minutes, lower the heat to a low and cook for 30 more minutes.

7. After the 30 minutes, remove the lid, add the preserved lemon wedges, olives and increase the heat to a high and cook without the lid until the liquid evaporates and  separates itself from the oil.

8. Turn off the stove , serve the Chicken Tagine in the tagine plate itself along with some good bread.


Home Made Ginger Tea

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I can't believe I have not blogged for months. I am glad I am back to blogging. Like always, I am looking forward to reading all your amazing recipes and trying them out too, in sha Allah. I will go right ahead and share with you a recipe of an amazing drink I made yesterday.

Ginger root is a hot, fragrant spice widely used in Asia. It is used fresh in all almost all of Indian cooking and can be used in it's dry powdered form.  Apart from the ginger I use to make scrumptious curries, I like use it to make myself a hot cup of tea with just ginger. It does not require any special tools or skills. It is great in treating colds and is great for digestion too. I usually add ginger root to boiling water and allow it to simmer for sometime before I serve t. But, this specific recipe, needs no boiling or simmering, yet tastes great.  It will be my go-to drink during winters.

Ingredients :

1. Ginger- 1 cup, grated
2. Honey-1 cup
3. Water as needeed


1. Mix the grated ginger along with honey and set aside.

2. Bring the desired amount of water to a rolling boil.

3. Put two teaspoons of the ginger-honey mixture into a big coffee mug.

4. Pour the hot water over mixture, into the cup.

5. Stir well and sip hot.

6. Enjoy!

Note: I put the remaining ginger-mixture in a glass jar and save it int the refrigerator to be used for up to  a week.

No-Knead Bread

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I have been away for longer than I expected from my blog. I have been cooking, baking, taking pictures and all that stuff but just did not post the recipes. I  thank all the readers who have been commenting on the older recipes and also my friends and relatives who have been trying my recipes and enjoying them.

One winter afternoon, I was invited over for a quick brunch by my best friend. The company and food were both amazing. Time just flew amidst all the conversations and laughter and and we quickly went back to our daily activities, looking forward to meeting again. One thing I really enjoyed among many other things she served was the bread she baked, that was very moist, very dense and soft on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside.  It tasted great with a good slathering of butter. It looked like she had worked hard for hours to bake it. I was surprised when she told me she didn't even knead it and it was very easy to bake. A few days later I gave it a try and it disappeared while we were tasting it before we could sit at the table to eat.

There is no better aroma than that of freshly baking bread wafting out of the oven, making the kitchen smell like a bakery. If you always wanted to bake your own bread at home but were too intimidated with the whole process of making one, you must try this recipe. You cannot ask for an easier one. It takes only a few moments of mixing, about less than an hour to rise and about 30 minutes for baking. Read on ...


All Purpose Flour-4 cups
Water-2 cups (luke warm-110 deg F)
Salt-2 tsps
Active Dry Yeast-2 tsps
Butter: 2 tsps to grease the pans and to brush the top of the bread.


1. Pour the warm water into a small  bowl, add the sugar, sprinkle the yeast and leave it aside to activate.

2.  In a tall big bow, add the flour , salt, and mix well.

3. Pour the water mixture onto the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix the flour and the water well until just combined.

4. Use a plastic wrap to cover the bowl and set it to rise in a warm corner until it has doubled in size (approximately 20-30 mins).

5. Grease a round baking dish with butter and transfer the dough to the dish.

6. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow it to rest for another 20-30 minutes allowing it to rise a second time.

7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, remove the wrap and place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

8. Turn off the oven, remove the baking dish out and quickly brush it with the butter and allow it to cool slightly.

9. Remove from the bowl, cut into desired shapes and enjoy while it is still warm with lots of butter.

10 Enjoy!

Quick Pan-Roasted Chicken

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

You wanna cook like a pro and don't want to work too hard? You are not confident of the results yet have to make the table shine? Well then, this is the recipe you need in shaa Allah. This is a  very succulent and flavorful chicken with a crispy crust that can be made in a pan and does not require an oven.


Chicken Thighs- 4-6
Salt-to taste
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Red Pepper Powder-1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste-2 tsps
Water-1/2 cup
Corn Starch-4-6 tbs
Garam Masala-2 tsps
Coriander Powder-1 tsp
Ground Black Pepper-1 tsp
Oil-2-4 tbs


1. Mix the ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder to gether and rub the mixture on the Chicken thighs and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Place the marinated thighs in a pot and cover with a lid and pour the water and cook the chicken until just cooked and the water gets evaporated.

3. Turn off the stove and allow to cool.

4. Make a mixture with corn starch, garam masala, ground black pepper, coriander powder and sprinkle it all over the cooked chicken thighs.

5. Heat Oil in a wide pan, place each chicken thigh carefully into the pan, fry them while flipping them carefully until done on all sides.

6. Turn off the stove and transfer to a serving plate and enjoy!

Perfect Pancakes

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Pancakes are flat round cakes, cooked on a griddle and in North America served as a breakfast food. In the past have tried making them with the store-bought boxed mixes, at home from scratch, tried the gluten-free recipes. Nothing tasted like these ones that I made today for breakfast. Like many other recipes I have tried from myninjanaan's space, this one was a hit at home. They turned out fluffy, melt-in-the mouth and fabulous. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you Henna!


All purpose flour-2 cups
Sugar-3 tbs
Salt-1/2 tsp
Baking Powder-2 tsps
Baking Soda-1/2 tsp
Butter milk-2 cups (2 cups milk mixed with 2 tbs of vinegar)
Melted Butter- 3tbs
Blue berries-a cup
Oil- as needed to grease the pan
Powdered sugar- enough to garnish


1. In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix well.

2. Whisk together the butter, buttermilk, butter, egg and set aside.

3. Make a well in the flour mixture  and pour the liquid ingredients in and mix gently until the ingredients come together.

4. Set aside for ten minutes.

5. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and pour the batter with a 1/4 cup measure.

6. Cook until bubbles break the surface of the pancake.

7. Flip the pancake and cook until it gets browned on the other side too.

8. Remove with a spatula onto a serving plate.

9. Sprinkle some powdered sugar, top with a dollop of butter some blue berries and serve hot.

10. Enjoy!

Instant Lemon Pickle

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

As of the first week of March 2015, for the records in the past ten days we have had only 6 hours of sunshine and in between record- breaking ice rains, snowfalls and everything in between. We have had similar weather patterns in Dallas in the past during December-January time frame. Not in March! I am by no means comparing the weather with the folks that have to put up with incessant snowfalls for the whole of winter. But yeah, the weather in Dallas has been  pretty uncertain.

My Mom was very well known among her family and  friends for her lemon pickle. When I was younger, all I did was helped  her to wipe the lemons dry as it was made in stages. Mom took utmost care to choose the best lemons, washed them well, dried them well and made sure there was not a drop of moisture present at any stage. Then when all the spices were added, it was put into tall ceramic pickle jars tightly secured with a cloth, tied with a string and then the lid placed over the cloth  It was put away in a dark corner and mixed every couple days until the juice softened the flesh. After the pickle reached the right stage to be tempered, it was tempered and stored at room temperature for months.

For over a decade, Mom has made and sent her lemon pickle every time I have asked for it. Now, I have come up with my version for an instant pickle that allows me to skip all those stages of  patient waiting and  is so convenient that it can be made in less than an hour. The pickle has just the right amount of tang, is  super saucy and tastes fantastic and can be used in so many ways. However, it has to be stored in the refrigerator. I have even shared this recipe with my Mom and she has made it and was very proud of me:)


Lemons-5 ripe and juicy (washed and patted dry)
Water-a pot full
Salt-to taste
Turmeric Powder-1 tsp
Asafoetida -1/2 tsp(powdered)
Green Pepper-2-3 slit
Fresh Garlic-1 tbs, sliced

For tempering

Oil-2 tbs
Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves-8-10


1.Bring the water to a rolling boil in a stainless steel pot.

2. Carefully place the lemons into the pot and reduce the heat to a medium and allow them to cook for 10 minutes.

3. Turn the stove off and remove the lemons with a slotted spoon and allow them to cool completely.

4. Cut the lemons into small pieces and discard the seeds.

5. Sprinkle the salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and mix well.

6. Put  in the garlic and green peppers.

7. Heat oil and put in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and turn off the stove.

8. Put in the curry leaves and allow them to turn crispy.

9. Allow the tempering mixture to  cool completely.

10. Pour the oil mixture over the lemon pieces and give it gentle mix.

11. Transfer the lemon pickle into a clean glass jar and secure it with a lid and refrigerate it.

13. Enjoy!

Chia Seed Puding

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Have you been reading "raw", "vegan", "dairy free" and "super foods", a lot lately? This recipe has all of it. It  is definitely very healthy as it is sugar-free and I have also sneaked in a gorgeous vegetable., the beets. And if you are a person who enjoys sweet things for breakfast, this recipe is for you. And what's even more cool is you can actually make a big batch of it ahead of time and  refrigerate it  and eat it for breakfast or even dessert for the next couple days.

For those who are not aware of what chia seeds are, they are these tiny speckled seeds that are the cousins of the basil seeds used in making the poular ice-cream drink, falooda. They both swell up when soaked in a liquid and become gelatinous. They are very high in fiber, full of protein, are a great source of calcium....the list goes on. This recipe is just a basic one. The additions you can make to it are endless. Read on and figure out....


Chia Seeds-2-3 tbs
Almond Milk-2 cups
Honey-as needed
Salt-a pinch
Grated Coconut-for garnish

For the Beets version,

Steamed beet puree-as needed
Grated beets-for garnish


1. Into a tall cup, pour the almond milk and the chia seeds and give it a good stir.

2. Refrigerate it for atleast 4-5 hours.

3. When serving, add the honey and salt and stir once again.

4. Pour into serving bowls, garnish with grated coconut and enjoy.

For the beet version,

1. Mix in the beet puree into the almond milk and chia seeds and chill in the refrigerator over night.

2. Pour the pudding into serving bowls and garnish with shredded beets.

3. Enjoy!

Seviyan Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding )

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Kheer is a milk based dessert that is extremely delicious and can be a little tricky to make it taste great. It has to be silky smooth in texture, subtly fragrant and sweet. It is made with a lot of variations. It could be made with sago pearls, rice, vermicelli, corn starch etc. Today, I shall share with you my perfected version of the kheer which turns out just right, everytime.


Vermicelli-1/2 cup
Sugar-1/2 cup
Milk-7 cups
Cardamom powder-1 tsp
Almond powder-2 tbs
Saffron strands-1/2 tsp
Pistachios (chopped)-1 tbs


1. Put the vermicelli into a saute pan and dry roast them while stirring constantly until it changes color to a golden brown and set aside and allow it to cool.

2. In a heavy bottomed pot, add the milk along with the vermicelli and bring it to a boil on high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to a medium and place a lid just half way and allow it to simmer gently for 30 minutes and keep checking on the milk and stirring to make sure the milk is not burning at the bottom of the pot.

4. After 20 minutes, add the sugar, cardamom powder, almond powder, saffron strands and stir.

5. Reduce the heat to a low and let the kheer cook for 5 more minutes.

6. Turn off the stove and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

7.. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped pistachios and a few saffron strands and serve.

8. Enjoy!

Tuna Cutlets

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

These tuna cutlets are a perfect choice  to go with some plain white rice and some some tangy lentil soup on a grey winter afternoon. When served to guests over a dinner party, these would get a lot of attention, as they look cute and taste delicious.  Increase the spice level or or decrease it, add an ingredient in a bigger quantity or skip any completely.  However you choose to make it, you will love to make it over and over again.


Canned Tuna-3 smalls cans, drained
Salt- to taste
Red Pepper powder-to taste
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Garam Masala-1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste-1 tsp
Egg-1 whole
Cilantro-1 tbs, chopped
Mint leaves-1 tbs, chopped
Lemon Juice-2 tbs
Corn Starch-2 tbs
Sliced Onions- to garnish
Lemon wedges-to garnish
 Oil-A couple tablespoons


1, Put the all the ingredients in a bowl except the oil and give it a good mix.

2. Take a small portion  of  the tuna mixture and form a  firm patty between the  palms and set aside.

3.  Continue making the patties until all the mixture is over.

 4. Heat a pan on medium -high heat  and pour a tablespoon full of oil and use a spoon to coat  the pan with the oil.

5. Gently place each patty onto the pan and cook until it turns a crispy golden brown on the side it was cooked.

6. Drizzle a few drops on the uncooked side and flip it to the other side and cook to the same color and crispiness.

7. Transfer to a serving plate as they get done.

8. Garnish with sliced onions a lemon wedge and some fresh mint leaves.


Sardine Curry

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

 This is a recipe for those days when you don't want to cook, yet have no other choice:) I have used canned sardines that are wild caught, in olive oil. They are soft, yet firm and do not disintegrate while cooking. When cooked in a thick tomato gravy, turns out finger-licking good. Read on and make sure you cook them soon if you already have some sardines around.


Sardines in olive oil- 1 can
Tomatoes -4 medium, peeled and cubed
Salt- to taste
Kashmiri Pepper Powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Oil-as needed
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Onions-1 small, sliced
Cilantro- to garnish


1. Heat oil in a medium sized pot and add onions to it and fry them until they turn golden brown.

2. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for a brief minute.

3. Put in the tomatoes and fry until pulpy.

4. Add the salt, pepper powder, turmeric powder and allow the ingredients to come together and the oil separates itself from the tomatoes.

5. Add the sardines along with the oil and stir them around carefully and reduce the heat to a medium and cook for five minutes.

6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

7. Enjoy!