Farzi Cafe- Iftaar Menu Review

As soon as the month of Ramadhan sets in, the Atmosphere in Dubai changes. The city develops a sense of calm and homes are filled with the light of the new month. Ramadhan in Dubai is about sharing and celebrating with friends and family and is centered around togetherness. One of the most popular activities during this month are suhoor and futoor gatherings. These gatherings are either hosted at home, in a majlis or at restaurants. What I love about Dubai is that the restaurants cater

What I love about Dubai is that the restaurants cater for their clientele and create menus that are more suitable for the month of Ramadhan. This is known as glocalization what this means is that international products or services are adapted to suit the social and cultural norms of a local society. (your first lesson in economics lol)

 

Last week I was invited to Farzi Café for an exclusive tasting of their new Ramadhan menu. Which includes a futoor and suhoor set menu. As most of the restaurants only open after sunset, the restaurant has adapted their menu to cater for the flavors that are popular during Ramadhan. I for one do not like buffets so I rarely venture out during the month of Ramadhan. However, Farzi is my favorite restaurant in Dubai and I was really excited to see what they had prepared for us + NO BUFFET.

 

Farzi café is a concept that focuses on preparing/serving their food with touches of molecular gastronomy. It is a fine dining experience that is seasoned well for the Indian palette or for those that enjoy Indian food. The price of the Futoor set menu is 125 dhs per person. Which Is absolutely amazing considering the amount of food that is on the menu, we were utterly impressed by the selection of the dishes.

 

We started our meal with a yogurt based drink that consisted of dates and nuts. It was extremely refreshing and delicious. It was the perfect start to our meal as the menu ahead involved a few spicy dishes, as our host explained further the drink is also a nutritional starter which provides energy and vitality when breaking the fast.

 

We were then given an amuse bouche which is translated to “a mouth full”, which was the Farzi signature yogurt-based mango sphere, which also serves as a palette cleanser. We were treated to a selection of dates this is customary during the month of ramdhaan. The date selection included a sunset date macaron with a cream cheese filling which was absolutely to die for. As well a micro popcorn coated date and a kunefa date.

 

Next up were the the Pre-starters: The Bombay Bhel with Yogurt Spheres. This dish was an awesome modern rendition of a popular Indian street food, glamourized into a sophisticated starter. The concept and flavors of the dish were executed extremely well and if you caught my live video on snapchat, our host explained that the individual elements of the dish contributed to the experience and sensation you feel when eating it.

 

Starters

The starters included the popular Dhal Chawal Arancini and The Beef Boti Hash. The Beef Boti Hash is a dish that has been adapted from the breakfast menu , I found the beef succulent and well seasoned and thoroughly enjoyed it. Its coupled with a potato hash (obvs) and reminds me of an alternative to a curry and potato’s.

 

Mains

For the mains we had Rawa Uttapam with Curry leaf pepper prawns this was an exceptional dish that I felt made the entire experience so worth it! The flavor combinations on this one were exceptional, it truly reminded me of Keralan food. (forgive me if I am wrong) The lamb Seekh Nihari was so flavourful, the seekh is cooked around a bone and then served with a pool of thick, rich and aromatic Indian gravy. The Farzi shawarma biryani were great options for the mains and by the time we got through all of these items we were absolutely stuffed!

 

Our waiter gave us a few minutes and offered us a refreshing green tea to helps us to our next course which is obviously the best. DESSERT!

 

I always look forward to Farzi desserts, they’re so unique and the chef has flavor palate that is very similar to mine. I am a huge fan of their Phirni oxide and I document it every time I visit (I’m shameless). Their iftaar menu  has introduced 2 new desserts which are the “Turkish Coffee Kunefa with a Rabri cloud” and the “Gulab Jamun with frozen rose and Crunchy Rabri”. Both of these desserts were phenomenal! My favorite was the Gulab Jamun however, Raeesah preferred the Turkish Coffee Kunefa. I found them both to have the perfect balance of flavors and not overly sweet. It was the perfect end to a glorious meal and a great evening of fun with the girls.

 

Thank you to the Farzi team, Shivankit and our Host Clinton for the exceptional service! Tell them I sent you, they’ll make sure your experience is EXTRA special.

To Vegan or Not To Vegan?

This post was meant to be up 2 days ago but I’ve been down with the cold and mostly too drowsy to remember the recipe. I feel that this flu came at the wrong time, just as I was getting into my healthy vibe, I now find myself drinking sugary drinks and ghee laden soups to get my energy levels up.

 

I spent the last week reflecting on my health and body image. Many women, like myself, are always striving for more. We all face different issues with our bodies, some of us want to be thinner and some of us want to be fatter. I’ve spent most of my life afraid of the “FAT” word, I’ve done some pretty weird and extreme things to stay in shape, as society molded me to believe that thin is beautiful. But eventually, when you’re scanning the barcode of everything you eat, it takes the fun out of life. For this very reason I’ve decided to STOP being so obsessive of how others see me, and rather try and better my health rather than my weight.

 

This is why I started to explore the diet of veganism. It’s basically a plant-based diet which seems daunting at first. In this day and age, we have access to so many alternatives that it’s actually super easy to become a vegan. More than being vegan, my aim is to get rid of refined sugars in my daily lifestyle. don’t get me wrong a cheat meal here and there will be necessary. A friend of mine Justine Dampt of ENCAS Sweet Escapes taught me the 80/20 rule. Which entails living 5 days a week under a controlled and healthy diet (whatever that may be to you). And 2 days of the week indulge in the things you love. (obviously within your limits).  I think while I’m starting out, it might be 20/80 but the 20% I do spend eating a plant based diet I feel lighter, healthier and more energetic.

 

There are two versions of this recipe below, one for the vegans and one for the rest of you!

VEGAN CHIA SEED PUDDING PARFAIT (serves 1 big portion or 2 small portions)

Ingredients

Chia Pudding

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Caramel

  • 100g maple syrup
  • 75g coconut butter
  • 75ml coconut cream

extras

  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp. granola
  • optional: vegan yogurt

 

Method

  1. soak the chia seeds in boiling water until it has soaked up the water
  2. in a saucepan combine the coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup bring to a boil
  3. add the chia seeds and cook the mixture until it has thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool
  5. To prepare your salted caramel, warm the maple syrup up in a heavy bottom saucepan.
  6. When the maple syrup has thickened slightly add the coconut butter and stir it in.
  7. Then add the coconut cream, a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. (it should be as thick as golden syrup.)
  8. To prepare your parfait create layers of solids and liquids in a 2:1 ratio. So for every 1-part yogurt and chia pudding there should be 2 parts muesli. Alternate with chopped bananas and a drizzle of caramel over the top.

 

NORMAL CHIA SEED PUDDING PARFAIT

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup milk
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp honey

Caramel

  • 100 g golden syrup
  • 75g salted butter
  • 75ml heavy cream

extras

  • 1 banana
  • granola
  • yogurt (preferably Greek or vanilla)

 

follow the method as mentioned above, just substitute the ingredients where applicable.

 

Enjoy and Stay Happy and Healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Mafia

TBH I have a lot of work that needs to be done but here’s the thing with me. I would rather do anything than work. I am generally a very “laxed” person. At this current point in time, there’s a 5000-word essay that requires my immediate attention, so I sincerely hope my lecturer doesn’t follow my blog. That being said I cook as a form of procrastination, so I have lots lined up for you all. The first being this new and improved version of my Pasta Sauce/Bolognese. There is a simple and quick recipe here, this version is a tad more complicated and builds a flavor gradient. It’s by no means authentically Italian as I am not Italian, so please just enjoy the fusion of the flavors.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • a handful of pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 green chili, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

sauce

  • 1-liter Pomi tomato passata sauce.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp. sugar
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, diced
  • red chili flakes (optional)

 

method

  1. in a pot warm up the olive oil and gently sauté the onion, carrot, green chili and garlic until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Then add the beef mince along with all the spices and cook until done. mash up the mince as you go along to avoid the formation of big lumps
  3. Once the beef has cooked add the olives.
  4. In a separate pot add 2tbps of olive oil along with the crushed garlic, allow the oil and garlic to infuse.
  5. Then add the Pomi tomato sauce along with the above-mentioned spices and herbs.
  6. Boil this sauce for at least 20 minutes on a low-medium heat so that all the flavors are infused into the sauce.
  7. Then add the cooked beef mince to the sauce (for Bolognese) and boil for another 10 minutes on a medium heat until the sauce and the beef become homogenous.
  8. If you wish to not make a Bolognese, boil the pasta sauce for 30 minutes on a low-medium heat then open it and boil on a higher heat for 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly.
  9. Serve with parmesan, fresh basil and extra chili if you feel necessary.

 

This recipe serves 4 generously. 1 packet of spaghetti should suffice for 4 people. We use quinoa or gluten-free pasta, as we have a complex family comprised of herbivores, multiple food-intolerant individuals and gluten-free/sugar-free/everything free-individuals .

 

This same recipe can be adapted to serve for smaller kids from age 12 months up. All you have to do is remove the

  1. Red chili flakes
  2. Green chili
  3. Reduce the salt quantity
  4. Reduce/remove the sugar

Before serving to your kids consult with your pediatrician first.

 

hasta la Pasta !

Rizwaana

 

The Papaya Sundae

 

Brunches are meant for Sundays ,  it’s like a match made in heaven. My Blog has become a curation of all the breakfasts I make, I seem to be a lot more willing to prepare breakfast than any other meal in the day.  My breakfasts always seem to include eggs but this week I was feeling for something lighter and fruitier. And so, I introduce to you my Papaya Sundae.

it’s almost a mix breed between two of Tashas breakfast meals. PS if you haven’t had a Tashas breakfast in South Africa (or Dubai), you’re not winning at life. (sorry).

There are hints of rose in between the sweetness of the papaya that is perfectly matched to the slight tang of wholesome Greek Yogurt.  This is a great healthy alternative as well as an option for the upcoming month of Ramadhaan. If You’re not a Papaya fan, swap it for some berries or bananas which are equally good! slightly sweetened with some Fynbos Honey all the way from South Africa , its low cal, low carb and just good for you!

Recipe (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 papaya
  • 4 tbsp Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp toasted almond flakes
  • 1 tsp sliced pistachio

Method

  1. Peel the papaya and slice it in half. remove the center bits and give it a rinse.
  2. pat dry and cut into 1cm slices
  3. lay the papaya in the center of your plate and set aside
  4. in a small mixing bowl combine the yogurt, honey and rose water. whisk together until the mixture is homogeneous.
  5. pour the yogurt over the papaya. then top with the nuts and optional drop or two of rose syrup and rose petals.
  6. add more honey if you require

serve and enjoy!

Happy Sundae Brunching

Bad and Breakfast

I’ve promised (for a while now) that I will post some content on the blog, however, I never get down to it. I started a new job, my child is older and requires a lot more of MY energy and I’m STILL studying. It’s almost March and I still haven’t even attempted to begin to pursue my news years’ resolution. You can say it’s been hectic, I will second that.

On a lighter note, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I make a point of never skipping it. They say you can lose weight by eating breakfast daily , LOL. Have THEY seen my breakfasts? Carbs, cholesterol fat-laden recipes are sure to brighten up your day…. Your new year’s resolution? I’m not too sure about that one.

So if you’re one in a million, and have no resolution to drop “those last few kg’s” before summer/winter/autumn/your cousin’s wedding, go ahead and indulge in some delicious breakfasts.

 

Baked beans Shakshouka (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 cans baked beans
  • 1 tbsp. ghee/ olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes’, cubed
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • mustard seeds (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • coriander leaf for garnish

 

Method

  1. in a wide, flat pot. Warm up the ghee/olive oil on a medium heat
  2. add the cumin seeds and curry leaves and allow them to braise for a minute (if you opt for the mustard seeds add them here)
  3. then add the onions, place the lid over and allow the onions to soften.
  4. Once the onions are translucent, add the cubed tomatoes along with the red chili powder, turmeric , salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down.
  6. Add the baked beans and mix all together, cook for about 10 minutes. Leave enough sauce in the pan for the eggs to cook in
  7. Crack the eggs into little wells in the baked beans, splash a tiny bit of water over the eggs then cover and allow the eggs to cook to your liking.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaf and serve

 

Hint.

When I am catering for a lot of people, I prepare a large amount of baked beans. I then use individual pans to cook the shakshouka as the guests arrive. I just ladle the bean mixture into individual pots rather than serving them in one pot.

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Herby Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs or 1 whole egg + 2 whites of an egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • half an onion, cut in rings
  • 1 tbsp. chopped green onion {spring onion)
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1  green chili sliced finely
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 slice of rye toast
  1. in a bowl, combine the milk and eggs. Whisk together. DO NOT ADD SALT
  2. warm up the olive oil on a medium heat, then add the cumin seeds, onion and chili. Sauté until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the green onion and coriander to the pot, then add the egg mixture
  4. Lower the heat slightly, then cook the eggs slowly. Gently fold the egg from the edges inwards.
  5. When the eggs have cooked through, add salt and pepper.
  6. Place over toasted rye bread and enjoy!

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Poached Egg on Greens

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ½ an avocado
  • red chili flakes
  • 1 ½ cup spinach
  • 1 slice of rye bread
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

 

method

  1. in a pan sauté the spinach in olive oil with salt and pepper. Then set aside
  2. poach an egg using this simple method. place about 3 cm of water in a frying pan with a tsp of vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer then crack the egg in gently. Spoon the water over the egg to cook it to your liking. Remove from the water and dab it dry with a paper towel
  3. on the rye toast place your wilted spinach on first.
  4. Next , add smashed avocado that has been lightly seasoned with red chili flakes and rough salt.
  5. Squeeze over some lemon juice and finally top with the poached egg
  6. For an even better end product, slather your bread with butter.

Green Shakshouka

To be very honest, I was almost over shakshouka. Until I realized that I am an Indian and masala eggs are my thing. The good old fashioned red shakshouka is fine, but get a hold of this one, GREEN shakshouka. While recipe testing, I burnt my onions twice (these Turkish pots HEAT UP FAST) and hubby preferred diced capsicum instead of slices (which I prefer). I needed a whole lot of green stuff that would create the perfect marriage, and that suited my palate. And then my green shakshouka was born. With a little trial and error along the way, I am almost certain that I’m done testing this one. Unless I add an avocado next time… we’ll see.

Obviously, I needed capsicum and onion, the foundation of a great shakshouka. I opted to use minimal spices (for an Indian) and went with my favorites, turmeric and cumin. The heat from the diced chili and garlic was just enough to perfectly coat all those fresh green leafs of spinach. But the actual star of this dish, Tomatillos. I needed to omit the red and get a green tomato in there. Luckily for me, the tomatillo did exactly what I wanted. It is of Mexican origin and is smaller in size than a regular tomato and much more firm. It’s slightly tangy but sweetens up a bit in this dish. I decided to blitz it together with the coriander, that way I have the base that would form my thick sauce. It is a MUST to top it off with a creamy mild feta, it adds that finishing touch, that all perfect things need.

 

Have a go (P.S here’s a short video to help you out)

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Ghee and a drizzle of olive oil
  • ¼ tsp Cumin seeds
  • 4 curry leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 small chili, diced finely
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a regular onion, sliced
  • ¼ of a capsicum, sliced or diced
  • 2 handfuls of baby leaf spinach
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander leafs
  • 2 eggs
  • feta cheese
  • spring onion

 

Method

  1. in a frying pan, preferably one with a lid. Warm up your olive oil and ghee
  2. then add the cumin seeds and curry leaf and braise for a few seconds
  3. add the chili and garlic and braise for a few seconds
  4. first, add the capsicum, cover the pan to allow the capsicum to soften.
  5. Once the capsicum has softened add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft. Mix at intervals to prevent the garlic from burning
  6. Add the spinach and cover the pan to allow it to wilt.
  7. When the spinach has wilted, add the cumin powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well
  8. Blitz together your tomatillos and coriander to form a liquid mixture
  9. Add this mixture to your pan and mix well
  10. Cover and allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
  11. Make two wells in your sauce and place the eggs in them
  12. Splash a little water over the eggs and cover, steam until the eggs are cooked to your liking
  13. Garnish with crumbs of feta cheese and spring onion
  14. Season with salt and pepper

 

Troubleshooting

  1. This dish needs to be kept on a low or medium heat depending on your pot and flame. The reason for this is you don’t want any element of the dish to burn, or you will be left with an undesirable bitter aftertaste.
  2. Allow the sauce to thicken well, don’t leave too much water in the pan if you want soft yolks.
  3. The sauce needs to be thick, but careful not to burn the bottom.
  4. The longer you keep your eggs covered, the harder your yolk will become, so watch them closely and serve immediately.

hope you all enjoy and if you’re making them , please tag me on instagram! i’d love to see your versions!

 

enjoy and have an eventful week!

Rizwaana

 

Strawberries and Cream Swiss Roll

I don’t have much to say today, mostly because its Monday and the blues are REAL. Besides I’ll give you a break and just serve you some sweetness this Monday morning, in the form of my strawberries and cream Swiss roll.

When I started, it was meant to be a caramel and cream Swiss roll but yet again something else we don’t find easily in Dubai. So I worked with what I had and I was elated by how amazing it turned out.

Strawberries and Cream Swiss roll
Ingredients
• 100g flour
• 4 eggs
• 100g castor sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 1 tsp rose syrup
• 5 strawberries- chopped in small pieces
• 4 tbsp. strawberry jam
• 1 cup nestle cream- sweetened with sugar

method
1. combine the eggs, rose syrup and vanilla essence and whip until light and fluff
2. once the eggs are fluffy, add the sugar in stages, a little at a time until it falls from the beater like a thick ribbon.
3. Sift in the flour, then fold it in gently until the batter is uniform is consistency.
4. On a greased baking sheet or silicon mat, spread the mixture out evenly to about 1-1.5cm thick
5. Bake on 180° C, until light and spongy or until a skewer comes out clean in the center (about 15 to 20 mins)
6. Turn the cake over onto another baking tray lined with baking paper and trim the hard edges. then roll into a swissroll shape.
7. Once the cake has cooled, spread a thin layer of strawberry jam over the sponge cake.
8. Then spread over a layer of nestle cream and top with the cubed strawberries
9. Gently begin to roll your Swiss roll
10. Finish with a coat of nestle cream on top and garnish with fresh strawberries

Troubleshooting
1. The first thing to remember when making a Swiss roll is that it will bake relatively quickly due to it being quite thin. So monitor your oven carefully.
2. Its essential to trim the hard edges to get a good roll.
3. The easiest way to roll your cake is to use a silicon mat or a piece of baking paper. heres  a video tutorial
4. This cake is best when prepared on the day you wish to serve it. It doesn’t taste as good the next day because of the fresh strawberries. So if you’re a delayed human like myself I suggest prepping everything in advance and assemble the day you need it. If you’re doing this make sure to keep the cake in an airtight container so it stays moist. A hard sponge will tend to crack when rolling
Its really simple to make, just say your prayers before you begin rolling. That’s the best advice I can give you lol.

 

p.s if your cake gets too hard to roll, slice them into rectangles and bake a little longer, sprinkle over some sugar and it tastes just like boudoir biscuits. you can even use it in a tiramisu.

 

Have a great week

Rizwaana

 

*base recipe for sponge adapted from ICCA Course Material.

Saffron and Cardamom Tea Cake

A few months back I came across a page on Instagram that belonged to Faaiza Omar. A multi-talented young woman with a magnificent hand in patisserie. Faaiza creates magic in her kitchen, every single pastry she produces is absolutely gorgeous. She has a gift for combining unusual flavors that create the most sophisticated pastries. Probably some of the best that you will ever come across. I am fascinated by her work and the patience that she has to create such marvelous pieces of art. She doesn’t simply “bake”, she creates and inspires. Her love for all things French patisserie is reflected in her work, and the best part about it, is that she does everything selflessly. Faaiza is a member of the Soul Sisters Society, who have been actively involved in fundraising initiatives. She also is one the of creative contributors behind two of the initiative’s successful recipe collections (both of which I use). I commend her for the things that she has done, and the sheer perfection of her creations.

 

She recently decided to start a company that specialized in importing all the best materials and ingredients that you need to become a French pastry chef like herself. I am often in awe over how simple she makes the complex techniques look. And now thanks to her, you have access to all the goodies you need to create your own masterpieces via the stylish baker.

 

Even though I did a pastry course, it’s literally one of the things I hate to do, I lack the patience necessary to create pieces of art like Faaiza does. However, her blissful talent rubbed off on me as she inspired me to create this beautiful cake. I hardly ever bake, but when I do I make it worth the time and effort. Faaiza and I telepathically decided to use the same ingredients in a pastry on the same day, only after we were both done ,did we realize we were venturing into the same waters.

 

I created this recipe because I knew I wanted to infuse saffron and cardamom into a cake, and what goes best with those two flavors? Rose Petal of course, and so the creation of my Saffron and Cardamom cake with a rose petal butter icing came about. Very middle eastern if you ask me, but I’m into it.

 

 

 

Base recipe adapted from ‘Bake’ the recipe book.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 250g cake flour
  • 250 g castor sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 225 ml fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ – ½ tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp crushed/ground cardamom

 

Icing

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fresh cream
  • 2 tsp rose essence
  • pink food color

 

Method

  1. preheat your oven to 180° on the bake setting
  2. line your rectangular baking tray with wax paper then grease with butter or “spray and cook”
  3. crush your saffron in a mortar and pestle, then add some of the cream to it. This way you can easily pour it out.
  4. combine all the ingredients into your mixer and beat until well combined. Pour into your greased tray and tap the tray to even out the batter
  5. bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center.
  6. Set the cake aside to cool and prepare your icing
  7. For the icing, ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
  8. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy, then add the rose essence.
  9. Add the sifted icing sugar a little bit at a time
  10. Then add the remaining fresh cream, according to your preference. at the same time add the food color to create the beautiful pale pink color.
  11. Once the cake is completely cooled, ice it however you prefer and top with chopped pistachio nuts and edible roses.

 

A few key points to remember when making this cake

  1. Saffron is a key component in this cake, so don’t skimp on it. However, you don’t want to add too much as to overpower the cardamom. There needs to be a balance.
  2. Using rose essence is essential and not rose water. The rose water doesn’t have enough flavor in it, adding too much will make your icing too watery and it won’t come together well.
  3. make sure to bake your cake in the center of the oven, on the middle shelf. so that it bakes equally on all sides and doesn’t brown unevenly.

happy baking. tag me in your pictures if you’re making it. I promise it’s so yummy, I wouldn’t lie.

 

rizwaana

 

Irish Stew-By Farnaaz.B

I’m on fire this week in terms of blog posts. Nope exams are not over yet, just particularly poor planning on behalf of the exam administrator if you ask me. 2 exam papers over a month, don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about all the free time, but I feel like I have a dark cloud of Environmental science hovering above me. Talking about the dark cloud, after this week’s exam, I was done for. I had no energy left in me to sing one more verse of “old McDonalds farm” (mums, you know what I’m talking about). And for some  reason my creative flair, had completely left me. I literally could not decide what to cook for dinner, I stood in front of the produce aisle in the supermarket for 15 minutes until the shop assistant asked if I was ok. I knew I wanted stew, I also wanted Greek food (thanks to safeera kaka). So I made everything, nothing made sense or maintained a theme, but my tummy was happy.

The stew recipe I used has been attracting a lot of attention on the gram. It’s no surprise that it was shared with me by one of the most amazing homechefs I know. If you follow my feed you will know that I am obsessed with my neighbor, she is literally wife goals. One of my favorite dishes of hers would be her Irish stew. I have no idea why they call it Irish stew, but hey its pretty damn good. unfortunately living in another hemisphere doesn’t make it easy when you’re craving your neighbor’s food. But luckily for me , Farnaaz likes to share her recipes.

She told me what to buy and what to do over the phone, while I stared at the chicken and beef. And I must admit, it came in close second to hers!

So thanks Far for sharing, next time, post some.

Ingredients
• 1 kg Beef cubes (she uses mutton)
• 1 onion, sliced
• 5 curry leaves
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 star anise
• 2 tsp coriander powder
• 2 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp red chili powder
• ½ tsp turmeric
• 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste (adjust according to the flavor of your ginger garlic masala)
• 2 carrots, cut into thick rings
• 2 cups green beans, cut in segments
• 2 potatoes’, cut in quarters
• baby onions
• 1 packet vegetable soup (particles drained, keep the water)
• 2 tomato’s grated
• 1 recipe of dumpling dough (you can get the recipe here)
• ghee
• salt and pepper

method
1. in a deep stew pot, sauté your onions, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and star anise in ghee. Sauté until the onions are soft
2. thereafter add the meat and the spices highlighted in bold. Cook for about 10 minutes then add the vegetable soup water
3. add the carrots and potato’s and bring to a boil
4. after 10 minutes add the green beans and baby onions, as well as the grated tomatoes. Mix well and cover. season with salt and pepper.
5. cook the curry for about 5 minutes before adding the dumplings. prepare your dumpling dough ahead of time, then blob pieces of round dough balls in the stew pot.
6. Reduce the heat to a simmering boil and allow the dumplings to steam until cooked through.
7. Turn the dumplings over, half way through
8. When the tomato has reduced, and the stew has a thick consistency you’re ready to go
9. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve HOT.

This recipe serves 4 people generously and is quite filling with all the gorgeous ingredients used. make sure there’s enough liquid in the pot when you’re adding the dumplings, so that they steam well. you also need enough water so that the stew doesn’t burn at the bottom while your dumplings are steaming. i
Recipe adapted from Farnaaz Badroodeen.

 

 

 

Mitts and Trays- Dubai

Mitts & Trays Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Let me begin by telling you all that I am stuffing my face and risking every chance i had of being skinny again just for YOU! Why? You ask. Well, December is approaching and I know how much you guys LOVE Dubai. I constantly get emails and messages about where to eat and what to do in Dubai. The “what to do part”, I can’t help with.My mother literally calls me a hobbit because I never leave home to do anything “fun”. However, the what to eat part is right up my alley.

I’ve decided to blog about my favorite restaurants so that you all have access to them without scrolling through my feed looking for food (haha). You can also find a few other suggestions here.

A few weeks ago my friend Fatima hosted a party for my sister in law at Mitts and Trays. We were treated to a fabulous lunch, of which Fatima hand picked the menu. On the menu was a refreshing watermelon salad, stuffed with soft cheese and a tangy olive tapenade. Mac and Cheese that was perfectly seasoned and had a lingering chivy taste that I was obsessed with. Saffron spiced risotto which was literally THE BEST THING EVER. And a luxuriously creamy burrata served with their in-house milk bread and basil butter. To be honest I couldn’t have picked a better menu myself.

Shortly after our lunch date, the establishment had introduced their new breakfast menu. Can you imagine my excitement when they invited us to come in to try it? The menu itself is perfect. There are enough items on the menu for you to choose from, ranging from simple scrambled eggs to sophisticated Turkish eggs and shakshouka. And they didn’t forget about the health conscious or the sweet tooth either, there’s something for everyone.

We opted for the eggs benedict served on a bed of wilted spinach, that was accompanied by a smooth and silky hollandaise sauce. The eggs were cooked perfectly just as we asked for them. Fatima wanted a hard yolk and I wanted a runny yolk, they gladly did both for us in one portion so we didn’t have to compromise. We decided on the smashed berry and clotted cream French toast, the portion was perfect for the 2 of us to share. I was tempted to try the hazelnut ganache and caramelized banana French toast as well. but I needed space in my tummy for the finale.

To finish off what was already a heavenly meal,  we were treated  to a saffron infused cold cheesecake. I have heard so much about this cheesecake that I HAD to have it. I immediately fell in love with it , to say the least , and we left nothing on the plate. A clean plate is the sign of happy tummies.

I literally could not have asked for a more blissful morning, filled with great company and even better food. The restaurant setting reminded me of being in a sophisticated yet comforting space, almost as if I’m right at home. our waiter Abdur Rahman was extraordinary, he suggested the best cappuccino I’ve had all week and ensured that I had the best lighting for my pictures. Such a gem!

I highly recommend Mitts and Trays for any meal of the day at any time of the week. Their menu is well thought-out and is inspired by global influences. The owners have channeled their love for food and travel into this establishment and have really outdone themselves.  Whether you’re just in the mood for a good cappuccino or ready to indulge in a fat slice of cheesecake. This is probably the right place to do it.

Have a great weekend , and I hope to see your Dubai food journeys on Instagram. Tag me in your pictures if you’re eating at any restaurants that I recommend, I might have a surprise for you all!

Mitts and Trays are located in City Walk Phase 2,  near the exit of Mattel Play Town. breakfast is served until 11.30 am

Rizwaana