Sweet and Sour Date-Lemon Pickle

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This is the first pickle recipe in my blog, actually this is the first pickle i made ever. But i soo enjoyed making it and eating it, that i cant wait to try out many more pickle recipes. I have always been afraid to make any sort of Indian pickle. There is too much labor involved. No instant gratification as they take months to pickle. I usually get them made by my aunt, who makes the most amazing pickles. Or else i get it easily from stores, there is an entire aisle in the Indian store dedicated to all kinds of pickles.

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But i am glad that i made this at home because this pickle turned out to be really good. Whether you bite into the citrus lemon or the lusciously soft and sweet date, each is a treasure in spicy vinegary syrup. And moreover it was not as difficult to make as i thought it would be. So please do go ahead and give it a try. Im sure you will like it.

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Recipe courtesy: Maya Akhil of yummyoyummy.com

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1. Large lemon – 4 (If you are using small lemon / lime, use 8 – 10)
Sugar – 1.5 tsp
Salt – To taste

2. Gingelly oil / nallenna – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilies – 2 – 3
Ginger – 1/2 inch, thinly sliced
Garlic – 10 cloves, sliced or halved if large
Green chilies – 3 – 4, slit (optional)

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3. Dates – 20, finely chopped

4. Kashmiri chilly powder – 2 – 2.5 tbsp
Fenugreek powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafetida / hing – 2 pinches
Sugar – 1 tsp

5. Hot water – 1/2 cup
Vinegar – 2 tbsp

6. Salt – To taste

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1. Heat 1 tbsp gingelly oil in a pan. Add the lemons and stir until their skin becomes soft, turning them on all sides. It takes about 5 – 8 minutes. (Alternatively, you can steam the lemons for 8 – 10 minutes until they turn soft). Cool them completely. Cut into 8 pieces. Transfer into a glass jar or a bowl. Add enough salt and 1.5 tsp sugar to the lemon pieces. Mix well and set aside for 1 – 2 days or a minimum of 2 hours.

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2. Heat 2 tbsp gingelly oil in a deep pan. Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies. Add sliced ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry until lightly golden. Next add chopped dates. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. (Add 1 more tbsp gingelly oil, if required). Bring down the heat to low. Add chilly powder, fenugreek powder, hing and 1 tsp sugar. Saute for a minute. Next add hot water, salt and vinegar. Boil for 2 minutes until thick. Switch off. Set aside to cool. Add the lemon pieces. Combine well. Check for salt. Cool down and transfer to an airtight jar.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan. Cool completely. Pour the cooled oil on top of the pickle. You can have it after 2 – 3 days but it tastes best after 2 – 3 months. Keep refrigerated in order to increase its shelf-life.

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I am taking this pickle to Angie’s fun filled fiesta friday. :)

Spicy and Tangy Grilled Chutney sandwich

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I am posting a vegetarian recipe after a long, long time. I really suck big time at vegetarian dishes. But i was so happy with the results after making this spicy, tangy, sweet, cheesy vegetable grilled sandwich, that i couldn’t stop myself from posting it. Its too good.

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My sister, for whom the title of “sandwich queen” suits soo well had made this sandwich for me two months back. I was so very impressed with the taste that i had noted down the recipe from her the same day itself. But i was hesitant to make it at home because my husband is not a lover of vegetarian dishes much either. But then i finally made it yesterday, keeping my fingers crossed and yaaaay!! he loved it. :)

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This sandwich includes a spicy green coriander chutney and a tangy tamarind chutney, along with chilli mayo, sliced cheese, nandos sauce and veggies like cucumber, tomato, lettuce, capsicum and spicy fried potatoes. A good amount of chutney brings a lot of flavors to the sandwich. Then you just have to grill it on a grill pan, or in a panini press and there you have it, a super delicious sandwich.

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This can also be made for Iftar if you are tired of eating oily, fried food. Do try it and hope you all will like it. Enjoy!

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Recipe courtesy: Sabeena Mohamed (sis <3 )

Coriander chutney
Tamarind chutney
Nando's peri peri sauce
Chilly mayonnaise
Butter
Lettuce chopped
Cucumber chopped
Onion chopped
Coriander leaves chopped
Tomatoes (seeds removed) chopped
Potatoes (thinly sliced n shallow fried with salt n chilly powder)
Red capsicum (thinly sliced n shallow fried)
Sliced Cheese
Sliced bread
Butter

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Coriander chutney:
Coriander leaves- a bunch
Few Mint leaves
1-2 green chillies
5-6 pistachios
Garlic – 1 clove
Ginger- small piece
Sugar – a pinch
Salt

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Tamarind chutney:
Recipe here.

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Coriander Chutney:
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

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Assembly:
1. Take a slice of bread and spread coriander chutney generously.
2. On top of that place all the veggies one by one.
3. Sprinkle the coriander leaves, add Nando’s sauce, mayo, cheese and on top a generous amount of tamarind chutney. If you like spread coriander chutney on the other slice bread also. Close the sandwich.
4. Take a grill pan or a normal pan and add butter. Grill the sandwich on both sides till golden and crispy and the cheese slightly melted.

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Notes:

✔️ You can add chaat masala too to the sandwich, if you like it to be more piquant.
✔️ Use any sort of bread you like.
✔️ i didn’t make tamarind chutney at home. I got it readymade from a restaurant. You can make it at home and store it for about 2 months or so.

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Shahi Tukra

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Shahi tukra is a dish that is fit for a king. This dish actually belonged to the Nawabi food menu. This dessert is very famous in North India and is a closer cousin to the famous double ka meeta in Hyderabad. Double ka meeta is slightly different from shahi tukra. I will post the recipe of double ka meeta very soon.

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The traditional shahi tukra is served in a different way. Deep fried pieces of bread are placed on the serving dish and the thickened sweetened milk is poured over it and topped with nuts and served.

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Here i am arranging it in a way such that i can cut in squares and serve. Pieces of bread that have been deep fried till crisp and golden brown in fragrant ghee are tightly arranged on the bottom of the serving dish and are topped with the sweet saffron milk mixture. Now, next layer is my favorite part, where i add mawa sautéed in ghee with sugar and cardamom. Then a layer of fresh cream topped with lots of nuts. Chill it and dig in. Its awesome!

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Shahi tukra in no doubt, is a royal treat to the taste buds at anytime. This recipe was introduced to me by my bestie for life, Nimeena! Im sure my regular followers must be familiar with this name by now. :) Thank you darling!! <3

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Recipe courtesy: Nimeena Saleem

6 slices bread
Ghee to deep fry
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Sugar to taste

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Few strands Saffron
Few drops kewra essence or kewra water
150 gram mawa/khoya
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 cup fresh cream
Cashews, Pistachios, Almond to garnish

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1. Remove crust from the bread slices and cut each slice into two.
2. Heat ghee in a pan and deep fry the bread till golden brown and crispy.
3. Drain and arrange on a serving plate.
4. Heat milk and add the condensed milk along with saffron and few drops of essence. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes stirring at regular intervals.
5. Pour this milk mixture on top of the bread and let it soak up the milk.

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6. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and lightly fry the crushed mawa along with cardamom powder and a tablespoon of sugar. Spread this mawa layer on top of the bread.
7. Add a few drops of kewra essence to the cream. Spread this cream on top of the mawa.
8. Sprinkle chopped nuts. Chill for 4-5 hours. Serve.

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Notes:

✔️ If you don’t want to deep fry the bread in ghee, just shallow fry it in ghee till crispy.
✔️ Kewra water is an extract that is distilled from pandanus flowers. It is a transparent liquid, almost similar to rose water. I got it from an Indian store. If you cant find it, replace it with rose water.
✔️ Khoya or mawa is basically dried milk used for making most sweet dishes. You can get khoya from indian sweet stores. If not you can prepare it at home, but it is quite a cumbersome process. If you don’t find it in stores and don’t want to make it, just replace it with paneer. You might want to add more sugar if using paneer. Just check and add. The taste will be slightly different but that works well too. Mawa recipe is here.

Its been very long since i went for the fun filled Friday Fiesta. I am definitely going this time with this dessert. :) check out Angie’s blog for fun things and amazing recipes.

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Sesame Prawn Toast

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Today I am in the mood for a quick and easy snack. It is one of those dishes you can find in many Chinese restaurants. I am sharing the recipe of the simple, yet delicious sesame prawn toast.

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Fresh prawns are minced with spring onion, garlic and other spices and spread on sliced bread, covered liberally with sesame seeds and deep fried to crispy golden perfection. Just try to keep them as a treat, rather than an every day dish as they are quite oily. For a healthier version, you could bake the toasts in the oven instead of frying them.

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The combination of the minced prawns with spices and bread works well. The addition of sesame seeds gives a mild nutty taste along with extra crunchiness. This toast tastes great with sweet chilly sauce.

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You can serve it as a starter with a fresh salad on the side and with a dipping Sauce, with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. But more ideal they are the perfect finger food at a party. But the toasts need to be eaten immediately after frying, when they are still crispy and piping hot! Im sure you all will enjoy it.

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Serves 4-5
Recipe and notes courtesy: Maria of Marias Menu

1 cup Cleaned prawns
1 tsp Minced/grated garlic
1 Egg white
¼ cup Chopped spring onion
½ tsp Pepper powder
½ – 1 tsp Soya sauce
½ tbsp Cornflour
1-2 tbsp Sesame seeds
4-6 Regular white bread slices
Salt
Oil for deep frying

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1. Combine prawns, egg white, minced garlic, chopped spring onion, pepper powder, soya sauce, cornflour and salt. Blend this in a food processor till it becomes a paste (refer notes).
2. Trim the edges of the bread. Cut each slice of bread into 4 triangles. Spread the paste on 1 side of the bread & try & press down as much as possible. Sprinkle on sesame seeds on top of the paste.
3. Heat oil in a deep and wide pan, till hot but not smoking, place your toasts (paste side down) into the oil & fry for approx 30-50 seconds each side or as desired.
Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

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Notes:

✔️If the shrimp paste becomes too watery or loose add a bit more cornflour and blend for a few seconds.
✔️ If you want to avoid deep frying, you can shallow fry or bake the toasts. But I’m not sure, if how the outcome would be, as i have not tried it myself.
✔️ Be careful while adding salt since soya sauce is also used.
✔️ I think you can make the shrimp paste one day in advance and store it in fridge.
✔️ The frying part is a bit tricky. You’ve to be careful about the oil temperature. Since the prawns isn’t cooked, you need it to be cooked completely but at the same time you don’t want to burn the bread. Once the oil is hot enough, bring down the flame to low and fry.
✔️ For that extra crunch you can add panko bread crumbs along with sesame seeds on top of the bread.

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Schezwan Style Chicken Lollipop

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Helloooo people! Nice to see you all after a long long time. Hope you guys didn’t forget me. Where have I been? A combination of personal issues, laziness, and technical issues that have resulted in this blogging lapse. I am so sorry i couldn’t keep my word last time and post regularly. This time i am not promising anything, but i will definitely try to post more regularly. I swear!

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With the Holy month of Ramadan upon us, we, like many other Muslims around the world, have already begun preparations in our homes. During Ramadan, Muslims are obliged to fast during daylight hours from sunrise to sunset. This year, Ramadan has arrived in the peak of summer, meaning the days are going to be longer and much hotter than many of us are accustomed to. But regardless, Muslims all around the world have looked forward to this blessed month all year long in anticipation of the spiritual benefits…as well as the delicious, and plentiful meals that bring family and friends together.

There are usually two meals every day during Ramadan, one before the fast commences (known as Suhoor) and another to break the fast at sunset (known as Iftar/futoor).

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Usually in most households, there will be iftar parties, where family and friends gather. I am sure most of you are prepping yourself for an Iftar party. If you’ve got your samosas, pizzas and kebab ready to entertain, but are still looking for that perfect appetizer that will appeal to all your guests, then you have definitely got to try this Chicken Lollipop recipe. Bite-size finger foods are always a hit at any gathering. Yet the result is so scrumptious, flavorful and has a cool name like Chicken Lollipop.

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The basic idea of the chicken lollipop is to cut the meat around the base of the chicken wing drummette and pull it towards the top so it’s shaped like a lollipop. The great thing about it is the many ways that you can choose to prepare it. You can fry it with marination,bake it, mix it in sauce after frying, bread it, or even stuff it before frying. And the choices of dipping sauces are practically limitless.

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Lemme tell you, these lollipops are CRAZY good, I might just have to make these for all occasions, not just for any party. I’m sure I can find some appropriate moments that could include these delicious bites of juicy, spicy goodness. Enjoyy!

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Serves 5

10-15 Chicken lollipops
( just check out this video for a detailed explanation of how to prepare a lollipop from chicken wings)

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For the Schezwan sauce:

Recipe courtesy: sanjeevkapoorkhazana

2 tbsp oil
20 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger finely chopped
3 tbsp red chilli paste
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp chilli sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar

1.Heat up a non stick pan. When pan is hot add the oil.
2. Add in garlic and ginger. Saute very well till it is nice and brown till the rawness of the garlic is gone.
3. Add the red chilli paste. You can adjust the amount depending upon the level of spiciness you want. Sauté for sometime till the oil separates. Add in salt and pepper. Saute very well.
4. Add in soya sauce and chilly sauce. Till now you wouldn’t have got the saucy look to the sauce. So at this stage add few tablespoons of water till you get that perfect sauce like consistency.
5. Add sugar n vinegar.

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For the marination:
4 tbsp maida/ all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
2 tbsp red chili powder or red chili paste
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
Juice of 1 limes (or to taste)
3 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp soya sauce
1/4 tsp red food color,optional
Salt to taste

1. In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients from maida to salt. Add a few extra drops of water if the batter is very thick.
2. Add the chicken pieces and mix to coat well. Let it marinate, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
3. Heat oil on high heat, in a deep vessel. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chicken pieces, a few pieces at a time.
4. Fry for 3-4 mins turning the pieces occasionally. If you fry it further, the color of the coating will change from red to brown, if you used food color.
5. Keep this aside

Finally mix the fried chicken pieces in the Schezwan sauce.

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Notes:

✔️ To make red chilli paste, soak the dry red chillies in very hot water for an hour, remove the seeds and grind it to a fine paste in the mixer.

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Check out other iftar items:
Pizza Style Mini Chicken Baguettes
Chicken Pinwheel Puffs
Chilly Chicken Puff Tart
Chicken Sliders
Grilled Vegetable and Cheese Sandwich

Kataif Asaferi
Arabic Bread Pudding
Umm-Ali
Knafe Naame

and many more

Chicken Nachos

Chicken nachos- a super fun appetizer, or a perfect first course for any party or like how we have it – the main course. Im sure most of you have tried this before, but if you haven’t, i swear this is going to be your new favorite.

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Actually there are just three serious ingredients to consider when creating the perfect plate of nachos and those are chips, cheese, and the toppings. Chips, of course tortilla chips (you can use either flavored or plain), cheese – you will need both cheddar and mozzarella and toppings is the fun part, you can use whatever you wish to use. There is a wide choice for toppings, like salsa, beans, capsicum, store bought chicken, corn, tomatoes, olives etc etc and list can go on.

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In addition to these ingredients, what makes this chicken nachos so special is this delicious spicy sauce which we drizzle on top of the chips. The flavor of that sauce is just out of this world.

These chicken nachos are absolutely delicious – don’t count on having any leftovers.

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The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that, you shouldn’t make this beforehand. The last thing you want is a soggy nacho without any CRUNCH! So bake it just before serving and enjoy.

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Recipe courtesy: Dairy Goodness
Serves 4

1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cups Milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

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1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
8 oz (240 g) baked corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup Jalapeño
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup slices olives
Spring onion greens chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C). Butter a large rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

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2. In a small saucepan, combine flour, chili powder and oregano. Whisk in Milk and garlic; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, whisking, for about 2 min or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in tomato paste and cheddar cheese.

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3. Spread tortilla chips on baking sheet. Drizzle sauce over chips and top with chicken, tomatoes, jalapeño, olives, spring onion and corn; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 10 min or until chicken is hot and cheese is melted.

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Notes:

✔️ Add hot pepper sauce to taste, and 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro to sauce with cheese.
✔️ Bake it just before serving.
✔️ You can either use store bought chicken or make it by your own. This is how i made it.
🔹 Cut the boneless chicken into strips. Marinate it with paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin powder and salt. Then shallow fry it till nicely done.

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