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On Tuesday we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. It is a unique festival as it is not connected in any way to any worldly affair. It is the day when Muslims celebrate and thank Allah for having given them the will, strength, and the endurance, to observe the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The day is observed by first attending mosque for Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, then families get together and share a delicious feast. Traditionally, sewine is the sweet which is served and this is enjoyed from as early as breakfast time in some homes. Lunch is typically a wonderful assortment of Eastern dishes, and desserts comprise irresistible Indian sweets. Eid Mubarak!
Traditional Tandoori chicken is cooked in a tandoor, which is a clay oven and imparts a delicious smoky flavour, however it can be done in the oven and can be just as delicious. The red colour that is often associated with tandoori chicken comes from using red and yellow food colouring, however I found paprika imparts the same colour instead of using food colouring.
1 3 lb chicken, cut into parts
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups unflavoured yogurt
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cubed
1/2 Congo pepper, seeded and chopped, or to taste
2 tsp garam massala
1 tsp paprika
• In a small bowl combine juice of the lime and salt, rub this mixture into chicken parts and let marinate for 20 minutes.
• Meanwhile in the bowl of a food processor process yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, pepper, paprika, and garam masala. Blend until you have a smooth paste.
• Rub the spice paste into the chicken and marinate for six to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
• Preheat oven to 450F. Take the chicken pieces out of the bowl and shake off any extra marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large shallow baking tray and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until cooked.
• Serves 4 to 6.
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 ozs vermicelli sewine
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
11/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 cup regular milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp crushed cardamon pods
Raisins and toasted almonds to garnish
• Melt butter in a large frying pan, break the vermicelli and add to pan, turn frequently until the vermicelli is quite brown, remove.
• Bring water to a boil add sugar and cinnamon stick, add vermicelli and cook until tender about 5 to 7 minutes.
• Meanwhile in a heavy saucepan place all the milk, add the spices and bring to a boil.
• Combine sewine with milk and serve garnished with almonds and raisins.
• Serves 6 to 8.
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 ozs butter
1 large onion, minced
1, 3 inch stick of cinnamon
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 tsp salt
3 tsp paprika
1/2 cup cream
• Combine chicken with ginger, garlic, coriander, chili powder, vinegar, tomato paste and yogurt. Refrigerate overnight.
• Heat butter in sauté pan, add onion, cinnamon, cardamom cook until onion is slightly browned.
• Add chicken and stir and fry for a few minutes.
• Add salt, paprika and stir well. cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, of you need to add a little water.
• Chicken should have a thick sauce, stir in cream heat for a few mins, serve hot with basmati rice or roti.
• Serves 4.
MINCED LAMB KOFTAS
These are delicious served as an appetiser.
1 lb minced lamb
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground, roasted cumin or geera
1 tsp ground coriander, roasted
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp unflavoured yogurt
1 tbsp finely chopped chadon beni or fresh coriander
Vegetable oil for frying
• In a large bowl combine the minced lamb, salt, pepper, geera, coriander, mint, garlic, yogurt and chadon beni.
• Form into small meat balls about 1 inch in diameter.
• Heat oil in frying pan and fry meatballs until brown and cooked through. Drain and serve with tamarind chutney.
• Makes about 30 meatballs.
GOOLAB JAMON IN SYRUP
1 cup flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup full cream milk powder
2-3 tbs water
Vegetable oil to deep fry
• Place all dry ingredients into a bowl, rub in butter to fine crumb stage.
• Stir in yogurt.
• Add water and knead to a soft dough.
• Form into 20 small balls.
• Heat oil and fry goolab jamon until golden, do not overheat oil. Remove and drain.
To make syrup
• Combine 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water, add 6 bruised cardamom pods
Boil until sugar is dissolved, five minutes.
• Add 1 tsp rose water pour onto gulab jamon and let sit until ready to serve.
• Serves 10.