Friday, October 31, 2008

Southern-style Spicy Fried Wings


Spicy Chicken Seasoning Ingredients:

-1 tbs. seasoning salt
-1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
-2 tsp. black pepper
-2 tsp. cayenne pepper
-2 tsp. poultry seasoning
-1 tsp. lemon-pepper
-12 whole chicken wings, cut in 1/2 at the joint

Spicy Chicken Batter:

-2 eggs
-2 tbs. hot sauce
-1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
-1 tsp. black pepper
-1 tsp. cayenne pepper
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-vegetable oil, to fry

Spicy Dipping Sauce:

-1 cup sour cream
-2 tbs. horseradish
-1/4 tbs. chili sauce
-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.


*In a small bowl whisk together seasoning salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cayenne pepper, poultry seasoning, and lemon pepper.
*Reserve 2 tablespoons in a separate bowl.

*Rinse chicken wings in cold water and place into a shallow baking dish.
*Sprinkle the wings evenly with the seasoning, and let them marinate, covered and chilled, for 1 hour.

*Whisk eggs, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into a medium size mixing bowl.
*Set aside.
*Put the flour into a shallow dish or pie plate.

*In a large deep-fryer or large Dutch oven, heat oil to 350° on a deep-fat thermometer.

*Dip chicken wings into the egg mixture then into the flour.
*Place wings 3 at a time into the hot oil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through and golden brown.
*Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray.
*Make sure oil returns to temperature before adding the next batch.
*Sprinkle the wings with the reserved seasoning for extra hot wings.

Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saag Paneer


-1 large onion
-6 cloves garlic
-1 oz. fresh ginger
-1 lb. thawed, frozen spinach (be sure to use frozen spinach)
-1 cup plain yogurt
-4 oz. buttermilk ( I love how it makes it taste)
-2 tsp. red chili powder
-2 tsp. garam masala (available at your local Indian/Pakistani grocer)
-1 cup Half and Half milk
-6 oz. paneer (type of cheese) (available at your local Indian/Pakistani grocer)
-1 tsp. salt to taste
-1 cup green peas

*Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger into a paste.

In a medium saucepan, combine paste, spinach, yogurt, buttermilk, chili powder, and garam masala.
*Simmer at medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes.
*Mash the ingredients with a potato masher.
*Add the Half and Half.
*Simmer until the mixture has a creamy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.
*Add the cheese and simmer 5 minutes.
*You can season it with salt if you want.
*Serve it with white rice or eat it alone like I do! :)

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is one the simplest and most satisfying comfort foods you can make. It's great for breakfast, as a snack, or if you want something that's sweet, without being overpoweringly sweet for dessert. It's also a fun way to get people to eat vegetables without force! ;)


-1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-2 eggs
-2 cups flour
-3/4 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped zucchini
-3/4 cup walnut pieces

*Preheat oven to 350°
*Combine sugars, oil, and eggs, and mix together.
*In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon.
*Add to sugar/oil/egg mixture to moisten.
*Carefully fold in zucchini and walnuts.
*Divide mixture into 2 greased loaf pans.
*Bake for 55 minutes or until done.

Khaliat Nahal

Making the dough

-4 cups flour

-1 and 1/2 tbs. yeast

-4 tbs. powdered milk

-1/4 tsp. salt

-2 eggs

-1/8 cup ghee, butter, or vegetable oil

-1 and1/2 cups water

*Knead this dough and leave it to rise.


-1 cup water

-1 cup sugar

-A few drops of lemon juice

*Cook on stove for 15-20 minutes on low heat.

How to put it together:

*Once dough has risen and been kneaded down, form little balls.

*Put in a small piece of cream cheese or kiri cheese (available at your local Arab store)

*Tightly close each little ball with your fingers, making sure no cheese is sticking it.

*Place on a lightly greased pan close together and mix one egg yolk and pour it over the top

of the bread.

*Place tray in oven and bake at 350° until bottom of balls are yellowish.

*when they're done baking, drizzle sweet topping over top.

Persian Kabobs

My husband and I are meat lovers so I make a lot of kabob-type dishes. This recipe is super quick, very easy, and absolutely delicious. It is also ideal if you want that grilled taste, but don't have a grill.


-2 lbs. ground meat (beef, lamb, veal or venison)
-1 packet Sadaf Ground Kabob seasoning (available at your local Indian/Pakistani/Persian/Arab grocer)
-1/3 cup water
-1/4 cup olive oil

*Combine and dissolve seasoning in a bowl with water.
*Let stand for 10 minutes.
*Add ground meat to water and spice mixture and knead in well with hands.
*Add olive oil to meat and work in well.
*Shape kabobs to your liking and place on a metal or glass baking tray that has been lightly greased with olive oil. (Exercise caution if using wooden skewers in the oven as they may trigger you smoke alarm)
*Kabobs may be grilled or broiled by being placed on the middle rack of your oven.
*Turn once after 10 minutes and then remove tray from oven after another 10 minutes.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Arabic Fuul Mudammas

Fuul mudammas is one of the national dishes of Sudan and Egypt, often eaten at breakfast. Though originally a peasant food, it has long been part of the daily Egyptians' diet. It is particularly renowned for being a very filling dish, with many describing it as being 'like a stone in the stomach'. This has led to it being consumed by many in the Middle East in the early morning meal to prepare for a day of fasting during Ramadan. The dish's name derives from the Egyptian language: ful is derived from the Egyptian word for fava beans, and mudammas is a Coptic word meaning "buried." The second word hints at the original cooking method, which involved burying a sealed pot of water and beans under hot coals. Thankfully, you won't have to bury anything to enjoy this flavorful dish! Bon appetit!


-1 whole onion
-2 Maggi chicken
bouillon cubes (available at any Indian, Pakistani, or Arabic grocer. If you don't want to use these, you may substitute one cup of chicken broth instead.)
-1/4 cup vegetable oil, ghee, or butter
-2 cans fava beans
-1 tbsp. salt
-1 small can tomato paste
-2 limes
-5 boiled eggs
-2 tbsp. garlic

*Heat the ghee/vegetable oil/butter and sauté the onion.

*Cover and leave it for at least 3 minutes.

*When the onion becomes red and close to dark red, add the chicken bouillon cubes and stir for 1 minute.

*Add the garlic and cover pan for 2 minutes.

*Make sure your stove is not too high but on medium heat.

*Add the tomato paste and a little water and leave it for at least 30 minutes on medium heat.

*After the tomato and everything is cooked well, add the fava beans after straining excess liquid from the cans.

*Cover and leave it for another 20 minutes and it's ready to eat!

(Note: Although fuul mudammas may be eaten with any kind of bread, it is best with chapati or Arabic breads.)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I got this recipe from my friend Jackie's mother's cook book and it is by far my favorite cookie recipe ever. I've always loved sugar cookies, but this recipe won me over with it's classic, creamy taste. I also love this recipe because it's just so much fun to make with family and friends. and the perfect project to do with children. The last time I used this recipe, I stayed up all night baking the cookies with my husband who doesn't cook or bake whatsoever, but just wanted to have some fun baking with me. :) I'm so excited for you all to try this one!


-1 cup margarine
-1 and 1/2 cups sugar
-2 eggs
-1 cup sour cream
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. baking powder
-5 cups flour

*Mix butter and sugar together using hand mixer (or by hand).
*Beat eggs and add to butter and sugar mixture.
*Mix in sour cream and additional ingredients (except flour).
*Mix in flour.

*For best results, chill overnight (although you don't have to).

*Preheat oven to 375°
*Cover rolling surface with flour.
*Roll out dough using a rolling pin (Cover rolling pin in flour every now and then to prevent sticking.)
*Cut out shapes using your favorite cookie cutters.
*Grease baking tray using baking spray or butter.
*Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, depending size of the cookies and your particular oven.

*Decorate with colored sugar or by dipping top of cookies in melted icing, then covering with sprinkles.


Chapati is a type of roti made in East Africa, North India, and Western India. You can find my recipe below. Enjoy! =)


- 3 cups of flour
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of lukewarm water

Making the dough:

* Pour the flour, water, sugar, and salt into a bowl and begin to mix with your hand.
* Keep on mixing until it turns into a dough- like form.
* Mix for about 5-10 minutes (depending on your speed) until the dough sticks to itself and no longer sticks to your fingers.
*Divide the dough in 4-6 pieces.
*Flatten each piece out using a rolling pin until desired shape is formed.

*Heat up a non-stick frying pan and grease it using either olive oil or butter.
*When the pan is hot enough (you can test it by throwing drops of water on it), place one chapati on the pan
*Wait around one minute (or longer depending on preference) and turn it around, giving each side equal exposure to the heat.
*Pour drops of olive oil or butter on the top, then flip it over.
*When the bottom is crisp or golden brown, you may take it off or keep it longer if you prefer a crispier chapati.

Let me know how it turns out :D

Fish Biryani

Being Indian, I've always been a huge fan of rice dishes--biryani, to be more specific. I've tasted lamb biryani, goat biryani, chicken biryani, vegetable biryani, shrimp biryani, Mughlai Biryani, and probably more that I can't recall at the moment. But I was always curious about fish biryani because I am a HUGE fan of fish. I was looking through my endless spices/masala cabinet a few weeks ago and came across a box of Shan Fish Biryani mix and thought, "why not?!" As it turns out, fish biryani is now one of my favorite kinds of biryani. Hence, the reason why I have decided to share this recipe with all of you. Bon appetit! :)


-5 or 6 pre-cut and cleaned fillets of your favorite fish (I prefer tilapia with this dish)
-4 cups of basmati rice
-2 or 3 medium onions, finely sliced (most ethnic food stores also sell bags of pre-sliced and fried onions. It is a very inexpensive way to save you tons of time and keep your house from stinking up and one bag goes a long way! Use about 1 and 1/2 cups of fried onions)
-2 cups all natural plain yogurt
-3 tablespoons ginger/garlic paste
-2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
-5 or 6 small green chillies (only if you like some extra spice)
-5 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil
-2 tablespoons ghee ( also known as clarified butter)
-Shan Fish Biryani mix (The more of the powder you use, the spicier it will be.)
-A good handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped.

*Begin by mixing lemon juice, Shan Fish Biryani mix (if you don't want it too spicy, only use about half or so of the packet), sour cream, ginger/garlic paste, and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Apply the mixture to the fish. Cover and set aside to marinate for half an hour.
*Slice all of onions.
*Next, heat vegetable oil and ghee in a skillet and fry onions for a few minutes until golden brown.
*Then add marinated fish and green chillies and fry until the oil separates from the masala (or sauce).
*Add 2 cups of yogurt and mix in well.
*Fry mixture until fish is firm, but not overcooked.

*At this time, preheat your oven to 375°

*In a pot, bring to boil 10 to 12 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
*In a separate pot or bowl, wash (or rinse) rice thoroughly 3 times to remove any excess starch or debris.
*Add rice to boiling water and let cook until rice is 3/4 of the way done. (You can test this by taking a grain of rice from the pot and splitting it with your fingers. If it easily breaks into two without much effort, then it is done.)
* Drain rice and spread it evenly in a 18" x 18" aluminum foil tray (or one about that size).
*Then spread fish and masala evenly over rice.
*Cover tightly with foil and place it on the lowest rack in your oven for 45 minutes.
*Be careful when taking foil off of the tray because it will be VERY hot!



Malawah is a food known to many Somali families. Most families cook it regularly during Ramadan and consider it an important part of iftar. It is sometimes compared to the French crêpe, or a buttermilk pancake. Whatever you want to call it, it's delicious!


- 3 cups of flour
- 1/4 cup of sugar (depending on preference)
- 2 eggs
- salt
- 2 cups of milk (or water, I prefer milk)
- butter

* Mix the flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and milk in a bowl using an electric hand mixer.
*When the mix is free of clumps, the malawah is ready to be made.
*Pour 1/4 cup of the batter on a hot pan (medium-heat) and spread using a ladle in a circular motion.
*When the bottom turns golden brown, spread 1 teaspoon of butter on the top of the malawah.
*Flip it over.
*When the top is golden brown, the malawah is ready to be eaten!


Classic Crème brûlée

I had crème brûlée for the first time a couple of years back at this quaint little eatery in Columbus called the Worthington Inn. It's actually an old inn that was built in 1816 that someone cleverly turned into a restaurant while maintaining all of the charm and decor. The first time I tasted crème brûlée, I realized it was very similar to something I had eaten before. It's kind of a cross between custard and flan if you've ever had those. My favorite part of this rich dessert is the crispy, sugary crust on top. Hubby and I absolutely love this dessert and we hope you will too! Enjoy!

(Hint: To make Chocolate crème brûlée, follow the recipe below, but add 2 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate finely chopped to the hot cream mixture on the stove)

What You Will Need:

-1 cup heavy cream
-2 tablespoons sugar plus 1/3 cup sugar
-2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks (I like to use all of the egg so it doesn't go to waste)
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use a little more, but you can add to your liking)
-professional cooking torch (Also known as a blow torch. This can be bought anywhere that sells kitchen/cooking supplies. I bought mine from Bed, Bath, & Beyond)

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Prepare some boiling water.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5-6 minutres. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light. Pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, a little at a time, beating continuously until well blended. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins.

Arrange ramekins in a baking pan with raised sides and place on middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill pan with boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until custard is set, about 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Chill for 2-3 hours.

Sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over top of cooled custards. With the cooking torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins, in a circular motion until sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately surrounded by fresh berries or cut-up fruit or refrigerate for later use.