Category Archives: Ramadan

Lentil soup

Basmala

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
  • 100g orange lentil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 1.5 litres water

Saut the onion until soft and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

I like to blend the soup quickly for a smoother consistency.

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Chocolate Sundaes

Basmala

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After a full day of fasting I find I can really get a huge chocolate craving. Need that sugar rush and some oh-so-creamy chocolate. My eldest daughter loves the chocolate sundaes that you can buy in the yogurt aisle of the supermarket and I was craving something rich so I decided to try making my own.

I decided on a layer of chocolate fudge brownie, some raspberries, whipped cream, chocolate mousse and chocolate sauce.

For the chocolate fudge brownie I used my wholemeal brownie recipe with half wholemeal flour and half white.

Chocolate mousse

2 medium eggs
60g chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)

Break the chocolate into pieces and microwave gently until melted.

Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, add the sugar, and whisk briefly.

Mix the egg yolks quickly into the melted chocolate and then whisk in a third of the egg white. Fold the rest very gently into the mixture until just combined.

Refrigerate until the brownie in the glasses has cooled sufficiently so as not to melt the mousse.

Chocolate sauce

80g dark chocolate
80ml cream

Melt chocolate and cream together and stir until smooth and well combined. Make sure that it cools before drizzling over the cream at the final stage. It doesn’t matter if it’s still warm when you drizzle it over the raspberries and brownie though.

Cream

Whip 1 x 200ml tub of whipping cream

Assembly

Place 1 square of brownie in to each glass (6 glasses)

Add a few frozen raspberries on top of the brownie and a spoonful of the chocolate sauce.

Add a dollop of whipped cream then even divide the chocolate mousse between the 6 glasses. Top with the remaining whipped cream and a drizzle of the chocolate sauce.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Verdict:  The dessert was absolutely beautiful. All of the kids gave it the thumbs up. The raspberries were wonderful combined with the rich chocolate and mousse was heavenly. Te only thing I would do differently would be to use something else apart from chocolate brownie as this did make it a bit heavy towards the bottom of the glass. The brownie soaked up juices from the raspberries and the sauce and became a little stodgy. I think crumbled digestive at the bottom would make a lighter base.

Ramadan Day 4

Basmala

Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.

Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄

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Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!

Ramadan essentials – Samosas

Basmala

Samosas, samboosa, samboosak, spring rolls, borek, borega as they are variously called in different countries are all a variation on a similar theme. They generally consist of a paper thin pastry filled with meat or vegetables, rolled into triangles or logs and deep fried. They feature on iftar tables during Ramadan worldwide in some form or other.

I have no set recipe for these and will generally fill them with whatever ingredients I have on hand, favourites include spiced mixed vegetables (as below), minced meat, onions and scrambled egg (Algerian style) and mashed potato/ Cheddar cheese. I have also tried filling them with Pakistani chicken kebab mixture and they were a hit.

One thing I love to do, whatever the filling, is to quickly dip each rolled samosa into egg wash and then in breadcrumbs before frying.

The prepared, uncooked samosas can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days or they can be frozen and thawed as needed.

Today’s recipes consisted of:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup petits pois
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt and chilli to taste
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Place the potato, carrots, sweetcorn and peas into boiling water and cook until soft.
Drain the vegetables and then very quickly give them a little mash – mainly just to break up the potato cubes a bit.
Fry the onion until soft and then add the mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, chilli and salt and stir on a medium to high heat for one minute before adding the cooked vegetables. Stir fry for a minute and finally add the squeeze of lemon juice.
Allow to cool before filling the samosa pastry. Fold into triangles, dip in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs if desired.
Fry in hot oil until golden and crispy.

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Ramadan Day 2 – Couscous Salad, Tuna Rolls

Basmala

Day 2 of Ramadan went well alhamdu Lillah with four of my children fasting: 15, 13, 10 and 7 year olds. My 4 year old decided at 11:30 to fast and she held out for two whole hours!  I opted for a finger foods theme today.  There was shorba already prepared that just needed to be reheated and to accompany, there were shop bought veggie samosas and shop bought onion bhajis (wasn’t able to buy samosa pastry to make my own samosa and borek until this afternoon), tuna rolls and cheese rolls, chicken nuggets and cous cous salad. No dessert today but there is always plenty of ice cream in the freezer for whoever has a sweet tooth!

For the cous cous salad, I cooked 1 cup of cous cous according to the microwave method mentioned here but omiting the final stage of adding ghee or butter.  I left to cool and then added a good glug of Hellman’s French salad dressing then added chopped cherry tomatoes, olives, diced cucumber and 1 package of  Apetina feta with garlic and green olives. (I normally add chopped sundried tomatoes too but have run out.) I mixed well and refrigerated.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry cous cous
  • 2 tbsp salad dressing
  • 2 inches cucumber, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced or a few cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • sundried tomatoes if you have them
  • a few olives, sliced
  • 1 package Apetina feta cubes or similar

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For the little tuna rolls and cheese rolls – I drained 1 can of tuna in brine and set aside; beat 2 eggs with a splash of milk and set aside.

Next I took 10 slices of white bread, removed the crusts and rolled out flat with a rolling pin. I sprinkled the tuna over the bread, rolled up tightly and then dipped in the egg. The egg dipped rolls were then shallow fried in a few spoons of hot oil until crispy and golden. I made a further 4 slices of bread filled with cubed cheddar.

Ingredients:

  • 10 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 tin tuna chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk

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Ramadan – Day 1

Basmala

Day 1 of Ramadan went smoothly alhamdu Lillah and I had minimal cooking to do since I had prepared nearly everything the night before. My 13, 10 and 7 year old children were fasting so I had to make something they would enjoy breaking their fast on on and I also kept it simple. Nothing greasy that would upset tummies on the very first day!

I made Algerian Shorba but I didn’t use any meat and instead of burghul (cracked wheat) I used a handful of broken vermicelli.

For main course I marinaded some chicken drumsticks in Nando’s garlic Peri-Peri sauce overnight and then grilled them for about 40 minutes just before iftar. These were served with shop bought coleslaw and potato salad and potato wedges with their skins left on and rubbed with olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and sea salt – they were baked in the oven on 190C for about 45 minutes.

All I managed to prepare for dessert was orange Jello! Hopefully, I will make some better desserts as the month progresses!