Festival Eats, Dubai 

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The entrance looks majestic right?!

Its that time of the year again when its the season finale of the world famous Global Village. Since today is the last day of this amazing experience, we decided to take a dig at its food offerings yesterday before we would again start waiting for it in desperation.

We reached there in the afternoon and were ready to start digging out everything possible food place that could please our taste buds (not in the literal sense of-course!). So to start this journey we first landed in America to have their fresh mango juice and pomegranate juice (not pictured here). Well, this was not to quench our thirst or beat the heat but mainly just to feel good about ourselves that we DID start our food-ing with something healthy (rest all goes down in the guilty pleasures list). The juices tasted particularly good!

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After roaming around a bit we then headed towards the Pakistani pavilion and of-course when you are in Pakistan, you do it like the Pakistanis do it! And we Pakistanis eat, eat and eat a lot! So we head to a mini kiosk to grab some Kulfi ice-creams and a dessert called Kesari Firni. Kesar means saffron and Firni is a sweet dish made with finely grated rice and milk and lots of love.

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I didn’t really like the lighting done here but I got to keep this clay pot which I love!

We had to stand in a long queue just to get to these but we didn’t hesitate a bit because after all Kulfi and Firni are the topmost favorite among my family and after trying these, what little tiredness we had by standing in that queue also vanished. These were just amazing and made just in the right way! Both the ice-cream and the dessert tasted so heavenly rich and creamy that we wanted to eat a couple more of both but we had to keep space for other stuff on our list too.

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Our third stop was at a kiosk right in front of the Pakistani pavilion named as Yahya Tom Yam Kung. I knew I wanted to try it the minute I saw it so we ordered shrimps and noodles tom yum soup. It had an option of your choice of either rice or indomie noodles and I went for the rice noodles. Also, the amount of heat was upon us to choose and I selected mine as medium spicy.

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My sister trying to show off about that perfectly cooked shrimp from her soup.

The soup was simply amazing! It had the perfect broth, the perfect sourness to it and the amount of heat was just right too. The shrimps were cooked to perfection and thankfully not overdone. The best part was the fresh coriander that came in its every spoonful.

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Love how they made this Indian food kiosk! The man on the top depicts the traditional way of cooking food in India which caught the attention of many. We didn’t try anything from here because we wanted to head to the Bosnian Kebab House to try their famous Kebabs.

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The super crowded food street

Unfortunately, this was the crowd that we had to go in to locate the Kebab House but our hopes and spirits were high so we took a deep breath and moved in. We did finally found the place but it wasn’t located in this area. We had to cross it, yeah!

At this point, we were all tired of being pushed and pulled and making our ways out of the huge crowd so we wanted the Kebabs to taste good or else we would not be able to come out of that shock haha! And guess what? they didn’t let us down.

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The famous Bosnian Kebabs

On reaching the restaurant, we were first made to stand in a queue. Thankfully the queue was not too long and the service was excellent so we were seated in about 10 or 15 minutes. The Kebabs looked pretty small at first but they were quite big on the taste. Not heavily spiced at all which kept the flavor of the meat intact.

Although I wouldn’t say that these would be on my favorites’ list because I do like some sort of spices or herbs or something with my Kebabs but these were pretty good too.

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Loving the decor of this particular food street!

This was our final stop before we called it a day. Our final food stop of the season finale of the Global Village, 2017. And what’s better than to end it with some local food?!

There were many kiosks offering many stuff but we had our eyes stuck on this particular one serving a type of Arabic bread known as Khubz Raqaq with a twist. Its like a savory and much thinner version of crepe. Absolutely delicious in its actual way of making that is with cheese and egg but what caught our attention here was the new twist they were adding to theirs.

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Yes! Add that cheese!

They had plenty of new, never-heard-before varieties of Khubz Raqaq like Caesar salad raqaq, etc. but I ordered an American Philly Steak with Mushrooms and Cheese Raqaq for me. I was not sure about this huge transformation done to the bread but as soon as it came hot on the plate, the fragrance of it got me.

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This was an absolute delight to end our day with. Lots of cheese and the perfect amount of freshly prepared meat, absolutely a must try.

Overall, I loved visiting all the kiosks and restaurants and stalls because of the amazing food and if you haven’t yet been to Global Village, today is your last chance for the season. Go there for the food like me if not for shopping. Its an amazing experience but mostly with your family or friends.

Kabab Karhai

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Hello everybody! Yeah I know that it has been way too long than my previous long break from blogging but this time also, trust me it wasn’t a planned break. I was kept busy by the many things going on at the same time specially attending guests, taking my cats for operations, following up with many personal things (the list doesn’t end here…) and then when I thought everything was finally on place and I can get back to you guys, my wifi router broke down all thanks to my feline babies.

So now that I have my internet connection back (feels like ages into stone age) I am back into my blogging routine although I still have guests to attend and give my cats a bath (I have 34 cats ahem), etc.

Now lets talk about this recipe! Kabab Karhai is a Pakistani new-take on the usual chicken karhai, mutton karhai, etc. which is a curry made in a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking-pot (similar in shape to a wok) that originated in the Indian subcontinent. So basically, Kabab Karhai is a Kabab based curry made in a deep cooking pot. Its absolutely delicious and ah! there is something fancy about this whole dish.

This dish is prepared by a type of kabab known as Seekh kabab or otherwise known as the ‘Kababs of Pakistan’ which are prepared with minced meat with spices and grilled on skewers. These are later added in a tomato and onion based curry (for my recipe).

Remember to add a little bit of water if the gravy is too thick. I like mine loose too! And keep the tomatoes and onions chunky as well. Its a really good combination with the kababs. Had a good idea about the recipe? Lets move to the ingredients and method now.

Ingredients:

For the Seekh Kabab:

Minced beef: 1 kilogram
Onion, chopped: 1 medium
Coriander, fresh, chopped: 1/2 cup
Ginger paste: 1 tablespoon
Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon
Green chillies, chopped: 2
Red chilly powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala: 1 tablespoon
Gram flour: 2 tablespoons
Salt: to taste

Wooden skewers: greased well

For the curry:

Onions, chopped: 2, medium
Tomatoes, chopped: 2, large
Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon
Ginger paste: 1 tablespoon
Red chilly powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala powder: 2 teaspoons
Salt: to taste
Cooking oil: 2 tablespoons
Ginger julienne: for garnishing

Method:

For the Seekh kabab:

Before starting off with the kabab mixture, let me remind you that these are going in a curry which would contain salt so please keep the salt low in the kabab mix so that you don’t end up with an extremely salty curry.

Mix together all the ingredients of the Seekh kababs in a large bowl except the gram flour. Combine everything together and set aside. Now heat a pan to medium high and roast the gram flour on the stove without any oil. When it turns slightly golden in color, add this to the meat mix and combine everything well together again.

Now start processing this meat mixture in a food processor taking little portions at a time. Don’t over-process the mix but just say about 3 to 4 pulses. You can see the mixture coming together without turning it into a complete paste but just a rough mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After refrigerating, take out this kabab mixture and start shaping them by grabbing a small handful of the mince mixture and shaping it over the wooden sticks/ skewers.

After you are done shaping the kababs on skewers, you can either grill them in the oven/ cook them in a pan over stove on medium low heat/ barbecue them on coal until well done.

Although my favorite part is to barbecue them on coals but if you don’t have the time and you want to cook them on stove but still want the barbecue fragrance in it, just heat a coal and drop few cooking oil drops on top of the coal. Place this coal (carefully) in the pan for around 5 to 6 minutes when the kababs are cooked.

For the curry:

Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the chopped onions to it. Saute the onions until light golden and then add the tomatoes, ginger paste, garlic paste and cook until everything is fragrant. To this add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt and cook for around 10 minutes. Do a taste-check at this stage!!

When this curry is fully cooked, add the kababs to it and give it a mix for about a minute only and remove from heat. Garnish with the julienne ginger. Serve hot with preferably Naan bread.

South Asian Tuna Patties

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Tuna fish brings back all the memories from my childhood days as we used to eat this a lot but only the canned version which was turned into bite-size balls and deep fried. Its weird how we have never had fresh tuna as its not our favorite kind of fresh food item but this canned goodness is everything. My cats love it and we love it too so its all a happy ending with tuna always.

Now South Asian flavors are very bold and you have to get each and every ingredient just right so that you don’t overpower anything. Hence its the most complicated yet simple cuisine with bang-on flavors. And there is just no better tuna patty to me than the one flavored in this way since it takes this humble ingredient to another level. The way all the spices marry together is beyond tasty.

Coming to the recipe, you guys will find out that I have added a ready-made green chilly sauce to the patties which I use only of a specific brand. It is called Ahmed’s Green Chilly sauce and its easily available here in all the hypermarkets (specially the Pakistani groceries since its a Pakistani brand). It gives the patties good heat as well as a light citrus touch. Don’t panic if you can’t find the same brand. Simply make your own by adding 4 green chilies, 1 clove of garlic and fresh lemon juice of half a lemon in a blender and blend everything to a fine paste.

Now that everything is clear, let’s head to the recipe.

Yield: 13 patties

Ingredients:

Tuna fish cans, in oil: 240 grams (2 cans, 120 grams each)
Potatoes: 5 medium
Red chilly flakes: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 2 1/2 teaspoons
Garam Masala powder: 2 heaped or 3 leveled teaspoons
Ginger paste: 2 teaspoons
Garlic paste: 4 teaspoons
Green chilly sauce, ready-made: 2 1/2 tablespoons
Fresh Coriander, chopped: 2 tablespoons
Salt: to taste
Eggs, beaten: 2
Breadcrumbs: 1 cup for the patties and 2 cups or more for coating
Oil: for frying

Method:

Start by boiling your potatoes until well done and very soft. Drain the boiling water (carefully) and shock them in a cold water bowl. After a while, remove the skins from all the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Now mash them slightly and set the bowl aside.

We are looking for a chunky mash here and not the smooth one so don’t over-mash your potatoes.

Drain half the oil from the tuna fish cans and add the fish to the mashed potatoes. To this, add all your spices along with the green chilly sauce, fresh coriander, garlic paste, ginger paste as well as 1 cup of breadcrumbs . Mix all of this well using your hands and if you think that your mixture is very soft at this point then add more breadcrumbs to it.

You can taste the mixture at this stage and adjust any of the above ingredients according to your preference.

Now in two separate deep dishes, add your breadcrumbs in one and your beaten eggs in another. Start making patties out of the tuna mix and dip each individual patty in the beaten eggs first and then coat them with the breadcrumbs. When you are done with making all of the patties in this way its time to heat your oil for frying.

Remember to make your oil super hot before you fry these patties since everything is already cooked and we are just looking for a crispy outer crust here. Also, its upto you whether to deep fry them or shallow fry them. I opted for a shallow-fried version.

Serve hot!

Margherita Quesadillas

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Aren’t there a lot of quesadilla recipes on the internet already? Aren’t you confused about which one to make? Do you want something easy or do you want to follow the rest and die from hunger by grabbing a bunch of ingredients? Well worry not because I have a perfect answer to all your questions. Cheesy Margherita Quesadillas!

These quesadillas are lightly grilled flour tortilla breads filled with lots of mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a spread of marinara sauce and an optional sprinkle of dried basil powder (you can also use pizza sauce instead of marinara sauce). Nothing fancy as I promised you see and it literally takes just a few minutes to make this recipe if you already have the ingredients in hand so this is the real hunger quick-fix.

I make these so often when I am hungry and craving both pizza and quesadilla at the same time because this has become a family-favorite snack I tell you.

Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients:

Flour tortilla breads: 8 pieces
Mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced: do we have a measure for ‘lots of’?
Cheddar cheese, grated or sliced: again, do we have a measure for ‘lots of’?
Marinara sauce/ pizza sauce: 8 tablespoons
Dry basil powder: 1 teaspoon (optional)
Cooking oil: 2 teaspoons

Method:

Take a tortilla bread and spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce/ pizza sauce. Top with lots of mozzarella and cheddar cheese and sprinkle with dry basil powder. Now take another tortilla bread, preferably of the same size or closer and lay it flat above the first tortilla bread. Basically we are sandwiching the ingredients between the two breads.

Repeat this with the rest of the ingredients.

Now heat a grilling pan with 1/2 a teaspoon of oil and carefully grill your tortilla sandwich. Repeat this using 1/2 a teaspoon of oil each time until all your tortillas are done. Keep pressing the top of the bread lightly with a flat cooking spoon so that the cheese melts evenly. Turn it once and when all of the cheese is melted, dish it out.

Slice each of the tortilla sandwich into 4 wedges just like a pizza and serve hot.

Elevation Burger, Sharjah

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I opted to visit this branch mainly because of the location with that beautiful waterfront view and secondly due to the hype it was gaining on almost all platforms for its burgers. To my utter disappointment its not even worth to eat for free. I ordered a cheeseburger combo for myself as its my favorite but this one was so tasteless and bland that all I could taste was the sauce. Although all the ingredients are organic but just the ‘healthy’ quotient doesn’t matter when you taste nothing.

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At the end of the meal we were given a form to fill our suggestions on which I was glad about because I want them to improve (or rather add) the taste of their burgers since the place is really peaceful and beautiful as well as the quality of food.

Can’t comment about the service since there were only two families present at the time. The staff is very friendly. They also clicked our picture (with our consent) but I am still wondering what was that for lol.

Elevation Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Barbecued Quails with Herbs

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Winter season means barbecue for us and to many living in this part of the world for sure. Being crazy barbecue lovers, me and family are always experimenting with different recipes to go on to our barbecue grill hence the recipe.

Ah! can’t tell you how much I wait for these days when I can just head over to some beautiful mountain area when the sun is down and I get to eat my favorite kind of food. Its not just the view or the location that counts but also the food. Infact, mainly the food haha!

Now without taking much of your time here people let’s just move on the recipe.

Ingredients:

Quails: 6
Dry Oregano: 1/2 teaspoon
Dry Rosemary: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Red chilly powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt: to taste

Method:

Marinate the quails with all the above mentioned ingredients for around 2 to 3 hours then barbecue them on coals until done to your choice. Serve hot with mash potatoes and barbecued onions.

Halloumi cheese Deviled Eggs

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Winter vibes

Deviled Eggs or as commonly known as Stuffed Eggs are hard-boiled eggs that have been shelled, cut in half and filled with a paste made from the egg yolks mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard. They are generally served cold as a side dish, appetizer or a main course, often for holidays or parties. Why are these named as deviled eggs is due to the zesty or spicy nature of the filling that is mainly made.

If you are looking forward to throw a brunch party then these stuffed eggs would not just look cute and appealing on the table but would surely impress your guests with its egglicious taste.

Coming to my recipe for these eggs I would say that this is not a usual take. Adding Halloumi cheese is completely my own touch to them because why not. I live in the Middle-eastern world where this cheese is one of the favorites so I surely have to add that touch. But what is Halloumi anyways? Well, it is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk (sometimes also from cow’s milk).

It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. It is a traditional component of the Arab breakfast, eaten either fresh or fried along with other Arab dishes such as hummus, falafel, and khubz.

Now that you have a pretty good detail about this recipe, let’s move ahead and start making it!

Serving: 6

Ingredients:

Eggs: 6
Mayonnaise: 1 tablespoon
Yellow Mustard paste: 1/2 teaspoon
Halloumi cheese: 1 slice
Jalapeno sauce: 2 teaspoons (or depending on your choice of heat)
Capers: to decorate
Brine from the Capers: 2 teaspoons
Black pepper: a light drizzle
Salt: a pinch

Be careful while adding salt! Taste the mixture before and while adding salt since it would already be slightly salty due to Halloumi cheese, mustard paste and the brine from capers.

Method:

Hard boil the eggs, remove the shell and set aside to cool down. Once the eggs are cold enough to handle, start by carefully separating the egg yolks in a different bowl. To this add the mayonnaise, yellow mustard paste, jalapeno sauce, brine from the capers, black pepper and salt. Incorporate everything well and set aside.

Meanwhile grill the Halloumi cheese slice and then chop it into fine pieces. Add this to the yolk mix and mix everything well. Now scoop this mixture into the egg whites and decorate each with a caper. Serve cold and enjoy!