Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Chana Chaat (Spicy Chickpea Salad)

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Chana Chaat which is a spicy Pakistani chickpea salad. 

It is usually served during Ramadan, but is also enjoyed throughout the rest of the year too. You can have it for a light lunch, as a side dish or as a snack.

 A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Tomatoes

2. Green Chillies
3. Tinned Chickpeas
4. Red Chilli Powder
5. Salt
6. Ground Cumin
7. Chaat Masala
8. Caster Sugar
9. Potatoes
10. Lemon Juice
11. Fresh Coriander
12. Plain Yoghurt
13. Tamarind Chutney (Imli Chutney)
14. Any Bombay Mix

Bismillah, let's begin!

Take two cans of chickpeas.

Drain them and place into a large mixing bowl.

Take one tomato, and three green chillies. You can add more chillies depending on how spicy you want it.

Finely slice the tomato and add to the chickpeas.

Finely slice the chillies, and add them too.

Next, take two potatoes. Peel them, cube them and then boil them. Add to the bowl.

Update: I have also tried this same recipe with half potato and half sweet potato. I really recommend it because the sweet potato compliments the spice very well.

Throw in a handful of chopped fresh coriander.

Next, the spices:
One teaspoon red chilli powder
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon chaat masala
One tablespoon ground cumin
Three tablespoons caster sugar

Add the spices to the bowl.

Finally, add 4 tablespoons lemon juice.

Stir well to combine.

To serve, place some of the chickpea mixture into a bowl.

Dollop on some plain yoghurt.

Sprinkle with a little chaat masala.

Next, take my tamarind chutney. You can also use tamarind sauce that you get in bottles in Asian supermarkets.

Drizzle as much of it as you like onto the chickpeas.

Finally, for some crunch, I used these Thick Savian, but you could use any kind of Bombay mix
You can also use poppadums, crushed as seen here.

Garnish with the Bombay mix, and serve immediately!


Monday, 23 September 2013

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Chutney)

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Tamarind Chutney, commonly known in Pakistan as Imli Chutney. It is a sour, sweet, spicy and salty dipping sauce that can be eaten with most foods. There are many ways to make it, and the end product is usually the result of a persons own taste. Tamarind itself is extremely sour, so has to be sweetened in many ways. 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Wet Tamarind
2. Caster Sugar
3. Salt
4. Red Chilli Powder
5. Water
6. Tinned Tomatoes
7. Ground Cumin
8. Tomato Ketchup
9. Mint Sauce

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, take a 400 gram block of wet tamarind. We will only be using half of this.

So, slice the tamarind block in half. It will be quite tough so be careful.

We only need half of the block - 200 grams of wet tamarind.

Place 1 and 1/2 pints water into a large saucepan.

Place the wet tamarind into the water. Allow to soak for about 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the tamarind with your hand in the water.

Squeeze the tamarind until it breaks up into small pieces.

Next, take 4 ounces (1/2 cup) caster sugar.

Along with the sugar, also take one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon red chilli powder.

Place the saucepan onto a high heat, and add the sugar, salt and chilli powder.

Bring the mixture to the boil.

Then, turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then strain into a large bowl.

Next, add two teaspoons ground cumin.

Add two tablespoons mint sauce.

Squeeze in 1/2 cup tomato ketchup.

Next, take a tin of tomatoes, and blend until smooth. Then, add it to the chutney, and stir to combine. 
Place the chutney back into the saucepan.

Bring the chutney to the boil once again, and cook for 2 minutes. 
Now, the most important point, is to TASTE the chutney. You may need to add more salt or sugar or any of the other ingredients. But, remember, that this chutney should be a balance of all the flavours - sour, sweet, salty and spicy.

Once the right flavour has been found, cool the chutney completely, and serve! Imli chutney is great with chips, samosas, pakoras - anything really! Store in the fridge.


Thursday, 19 September 2013


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Gingerbread, which is a sponge flavoured with ginger and treacle. The treacle is what makes it wonderful and dark brown. A piece of this will make a warm and comforting treat along with a cup of tea on a windy autumn afternoon.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Butter
2. Dark Brown Sugar
3. Black Treacle
4. Plain Flour
5. Ground Ginger
6. Ground Cinnamon
7. Eggs
8. Stem Ginger in Syrup
9. Milk
10. Bicarbonate of Soda

Bismillah, let's bake!

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3.

Grease and line a square tin with baking paper. You can use another shaped tin too.

Place eight ounces butter into a saucepan.

Add eight ounces dark brown sugar.

Next, take black treacle.

Add four tablespoons black treacle. Be careful, as it's very sticky!

Place the pan onto the heat, and heat until smooth. Make sure to stir constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Sift twelve ounces plain flour into a large mixing bowl.

Sift in five teaspoons ground ginger.

Sift in two teaspoons ground cinnamon.

Mix well.

Crack two eggs into a separate bowl.

Beat the eggs with a fork.

Add to the dry ingredients.

Next, take a jar of stem ginger in syrup.

We will need three pieces of stem ginger.

Roughly chop the ginger. You can leave this out but it does add an extra ginger flavour to the gingerbread.

Add the chopped ginger to the bowl.

Stir well.

Pour in the treacle mixture.

Mix well.

Warm 1/2 pint milk in a saucepan, and add two teaspoons bicarbonate of soda to it. Mix well.

Pour the milk mixture into the mixing bowl.

Stir gently until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

 Wrap the bottom of the tin with foil in case anything spills because the mixture is quite runny.

Bake for about one hour at Gas Mark 3.

Bake until well risen and springy to touch.

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes ..

.. and then slice.

Allow to cool, and then serve. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days - the flavour of this gingerbread improves the longer you keep it.


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