Meat Love: Seekh Kabab, Gola Kabab & Kofte

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Meat kabab is a very much loved food item in Pakistan. No dinner or tea party is complete without a platter of yummy kabab. There are so many varieties of kabab and a hundred different ways to make and present them!

We Pakistanis are meat lovers and there are no second opinions about it! And to make things easier, many food businesses have introduced readymade frozen kababs that you just have to fry at home and you are done! From local to nationwide brand there are endless choices. Having said that, nothing beats homemade food!

My mom used to make kababs at home when we were kids. I still remember the aroma and taste of those delicious kababs. But then with passing times we got switced to frozen meat items because we thought that we had better things to do then spend time in the kitchen 🙂 Ever since I started writing this blog I had kababs on top of my cooking list. And finally, I have accomplished the task and I present to you some yummy kabab recipes!

I started with a basic mince and then with a few variations I ended up with three different kababs. You can get creative and add your own twist as well! I like simple and tasty with minimum ingredients so here is my recipe for seekh kabab, gola kabab and kofta.

Basic mince ingredients:

Any minced meat with some fat (lamb/mutton/beef) 1.5 kg

Salt 3 tsp salt

Red chilli powder 3.5 tsp

Ground zeera 4 tsp

Garam masala powder 3 tsp,

Ginger garlic chopped 4 tbs

Bread slices 1.5 crumbed in processor

Eggs 2

Mix these ingredients well. Your basic mince is ready to be made into three different types of kabab!

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Kofta/Meatballs

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  1. Separate about 1/3 part mince and put 2 tbs sesame seeds.
  2. Mix and make balls. Place on a plastic sheet. Your koftas are done!

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Seekh kabab

 

  1. Put about a cup of the mince in processor together with 4 green chillies, chunks of 2 medium onions, half a slice of bread and coarse grind. IMG-20151110-WA0024
  2. Mix this back to the spiced mince alongwith 1/3 cup fresh coriander. Your seekh kabab mince is ready. Use half of it to make seekh kabab and half to make gola kabab. IMG-20151120-WA0035
  3. Take a hand full of mince and make an elongated kabab. Insert a metal skewer or if u don’t have that u can use a pencil too. kb1
  4. Use your hands to shape it like seekh kabab. kb2
  5. When done slide it off the skewer gently onto a plate with plastic sheet. Seekh kababs ready! kb3

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Gola Kabab

These are also called as kafta kabab. Recipe is exactly the same as that of seekh kabab. Difference is in size only. They are half the size of seekh kabab and you can make these without a skewer. Just take a handful of mince and shape them as elongated balls. Done!

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Tip:

Its better to freeze the kababs before frying because fresh ones are soft and a little difficult to handle. If you are an expert you can fry the fresh ones as well 🙂

Kofta & Egg Curry

Okay! I am going to take this opportunity to share a curry recipe for the koftas I just made! Its an easy and simple version. Hope you would like it!

  1. Shallow fry koftas from all sides in a non stick pan and leave aside.

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  1. Fry sliced onions until light golden brown. Then add some ginger garlic chopped and fry for a minute. Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add a little water and put the lid on over low heat. Cook until onions get soft and mashed up.

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  1. Now add some yogurt and fried koftas. Cook for a few minutes. Then add some water depending on how much you want your gravy. Leave to simmer on low heat for a few minutes until the oil comes on top.

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  1. Boil eggs and add the halves after puting kofta curry in the serving dish. Garnish with fresh coriander. Enjoy with chapati or rice! IMG-20151123-WA0007
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Stove top cake baking

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Would it be surprising if I tell you that I prefer my stove top baked cakes over the oven baked ones?! I have been baking cakes in a saucepan for years now. They have got a different or might I say better taste, texture and appearance. But then that is my own opinion and I may be a ‘little’ biased about it! I am so used to saucepan cakes’ soft and smooth appearance that I find oven cakes to be a little dry and crumbly. My preference aside I have been asked about the procedure by so many of my Instagram friends who want to learn the old-school style cake baking that I had to do a detailed post about stove top baking!

I have baked numerous different cakes in saucepan and they have all come out brilliantly. Today I am sharing recipe of a simple walnut cake. You can use any recipe to bake a cake in saucepan. Just remember to follow a few tips and you can become an expert stove top baker!

So, lets begin!

Things you need:

  1. A round or ring shaped cake pan. An important tip for first time stove top bakers is to use a ring pan. Your cake will never burn at the bottom in a ring pan because these pans have a hole in the middle where cakes normally burn!
  2. A thick bottom saucepan with lid which can fit your cake pan without touching sides and has enough space at the top to let the cake rise. Saucepans with glass lids are not suitable for this baking. IMG_20160120_170244
  3. A heavy object like the marble mortar that you can see in the picture to be placed on top of the saucepan to prevent the steam from escaping

Optional:

A pan heat diffuser or a thin old ‘tawa’ (you would have one if you are a desi!). You can skip on this if your stove heat can be adjusted really low or you are using a thick bottom saucepan. Not using a diffuser can reduce your cooking time so just be vigilant. Also, baking cakes for too long tend to make them dry so normally I don’t use anything under my saucepan. This cake was a little bigger than what I usually bake so I decided to put a tawa underneath. It took me an hour to bake this cake which is double than that of my normal baking time. So, I would rather not use anything underneath my saucepan. You can decide using or not using one after your first attempt.

Ingredients:

Eggs 2

Sugar powdered ½ cup

Cooking oil ½ cup

All purpose flour (maida) 1 cup

Baking powder 2 tsp

Crushed walnuts ½ cup

Method:

  1. Put the saucepan without lid on low heat before you start mixing the batter.
  2. Beat egg whites until they are foamy and form soft peaks.
  3. Add sugar and mix. Then add cooking oil. Then egg yolks. Finally, add sifted flour and baking powder.
  4. Add crushed walnuts with soft hand using a spatula or wooden spoon
  5. Put the batter in a greased and floured cake pan. Tap the pan on work surface a few times so that any air bubbles trapped inside come to the surface.
  6. Put the pan inside the saucepan. Be sure to wear oven gloves as the saucepan will be hot. Close the lid and put a heavy object on top
  7. Keep the flame to the lowest. Check after 20—25 minutes. If needed bake for more time. Cake will be firm on top and will leave the edges of the pan when ready. Insert a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean your cake is ready.
  8. Leave cake pan on wire rack. Take out the cake when cooled. Enjoy! IMG_20160120_190042

Walnut & Raisin Bread

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What Can I say about this recipe?! Well, it is actually a banana bread recipe that I have already shared on this blog! I just substituted a few ingredients and voila! I got a beautiful walnut & raisin bread (with apple & cinnamon as secret ingredients) which looks and tastes nothing remotely like a banana bread! I would actually call it a cake because it tasted gorgeous on its own and without any toasting!

So, without further adieu let us get to the recipe!

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter ½ cup

Powdered sugar ½ cup

Eggs 2

Yogurt 2 tbs

Apples (grated) 1 cup

All purpose flour 1 cup

Wheat flour 2/3 cup

Baking soda 1 tsp

Salt 1/4 tsp

Cinnamon powder 1 tsp

Walnuts (chopped) ½ cup

Raisins ¼ cup (dusted with flour – it helps prevent sinking at bottom)

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Recipe:

  1. Cream butter and sugar at low speed.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and keep beating.
  3. Add yogurt.
  4. Mix grated apple with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Sift together dry ingredients and add to the apple mixture in three parts. Mix well with spatula. When mixed, add walnuts and raisins. Transfer the batter to greased and floured loaf pan. Or line the pan with greased butter paper.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Rest the pan on wire cooling rack for 10 minutes then take out and leave the bread on the wire rack until completely cooled down.
  7. Keep the bread refrigerated and use within 4-5 days.

Croissants from Homemade Puff Pastry

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Hello everyone!

Normally I start a post by writing a little background story about the shared recipe but today I will not say much! Puff pastry is something I thought I would never be able to make, as it looks pretty much impossible to be recreated by someone as inexperienced as I am! I had put puff pastry at the very bottom of my to-do recipe list (if I have one!) until I saw a couple of fellow Instagramers make croissants using homemade puff pastry from scratch. This was a huge inspiration and I decided to make some myself!

Living in hot weather for 8-9 months, it is always difficult to work with butter. So, taking advantage of the winters I decided not to put making puff pastry off until next year! I feel very happy to share a recipe for puff pastry which can be used to make a lot of different yummy pastries. You can make sweet as well as savory fillings whatever you fancy! I am making croissants this time around!

As I was researching the internet for some easy recipes I realized that all of them were making huge batches and then freezing 2/3 of the pastry for future use. As it was my first attempt so I didn’t want to waste huge quantities of  ingredients if something was to go wrong with the recipe. Being the one to rely on my instincts, I made up my own recipe with the basic ingredients that go into a puff pastry. So, I will suggest a few changes to the quantities as I explain the process. The pictures will be a little different than the written process because I don’t want you to make the mistakes that I did! By this explanation I don’t mean to say that it is a very technical recipe but it is as easy as it can get!

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So lets start!

 

Ingredients for pastry dough:

All purpose flour 2 cups & some for dusting

Salt ¼ tsp

Sugar 1 ½ tbs

Instant dry yeast 1 tbs

Unsalted butter 2 tbs

Chilled water ½ cup or as needed

Other Ingredients:

Unsalted butter 180 grams to go in dough while layering

1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg wash

Method:

Select a cold day for making puff pastry otherwise the butter will be runny and will get absorbed by the dough instead of giving the pastry flaky layers. The key is keeping the butter solid all the time.

  1. Mix all dry ingredients for the pastry dough. Add butter and mix in with fingers so it gets incorporated in the flour. Now add chilled water a little at a time until a pliable dough is formed. Give a knead at the work surface until smooth. Add a sprinkle of dry flour if needed. Don’t over-work the dough. Make a rectangular slab instead of a ball as it will make it easier to roll it out to a rectangular shape. Now wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight preferably. (yep I made a ball!)

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  1. Press 180 gms butter into a half an inch thick roughly 5″x8″ rectangle shape and put it the freezer covered with cling film. Or even better to flatten the butter in a rectangular zip lock bag and freeze. Then cut the bag and you get a butter slab!

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  1. Now take out chilled dough and roll out to a 10″x12″ dimension. Take out butter slab from freezer and place on one side of the rolled out dough. Fold the other half over the butter. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for 20 minutes. I put the butter in the middle and pulled the sides over one another but its better to do the above process as it gives the butter even layers on both sides.

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  1. Take out the dough after 20 minutes and roll out into a rectangle about a quarter of an inch thick. Try to keep even thickness throughout without compromising the shape much. I trimmed the edges to make it look perfect but I don’t think it was needed! Fold just like in the picture. Wrap and refrigerate for 20 mins. Repeat this procedure 4 more times while resting the dough in fridge for 20 min in between.

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  1. On the last roll out make the rectangle into 3 mm thick and 14″x24″ approx. Using a chef’s knife or pizza roller cutter, cut just like in the picture making wider end of triangles about 5″ wide. I made 4″ wide and found them out to be smaller than what I would have liked. It will make about 10-12 croissants.

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  1. Roll them up by keeping the wide side towards you and rolling away from you. Place the croissants on lined baking sheet keeping 2 inch distance in between them.

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  1. Give an egg wash with soft brush and keep it on kitchen counter (away from heat and air) for proofing for at least 2 hrs or until you see that they are puffed up a little. These won’t double in size but you will be able to see the puffiness at the edges.

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  1. Give a second egg wash just before you place these in oven. Bake at 200 degree C for 10 minutes and then at 180 degrees for another 12-15 minutes or until you see the desired colour at the edges.

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  1. Keep the croissants on wire cooling rack until cooled. Eat right away or keep in an air tight jar and consume within 2-3 days.20160113_221924

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

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I have always been a huge fan of chicken pot pie. It is the simplest yet a very delicious food. The first pot pie that I ate was quite some years ago. It had layers of potato cubes, peas & chicken with white sauce in between and then topped with cheese and baked to a light golden colour. It was made by my khala. After that my elder sister replicated that dish quite a few times with an occasional treat of my khala’s own pie a few times. And then we forgot about the dish until recently when my sister mentioned the sublime taste of this pie. With that came all those forgotten memories and it got stuck in my head that I just have to make chicken pot and relish that lovely taste once again. And as you know I had to give it my own touch and make it super easy as well. I have to confess that even though I love to cook I just don’t like over-complicated and lengthy procedures.

So here is my version of easy peasy chicken pot pie! Instead of that cheesy top layer I have used a crust on top as it is originally done. Also instead of layering I have done a mixed filling because my serving was very small. It can easily be eaten by two!

Lets begin!

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Ingredients:

Chicken cubes (boiled) 1 cup (I used shredded chicken form my freezer but cubes make a nice appearance)

Onion 1 small cut into squares

Carrot chunks 1/3 cup

Potato 1 small cubed

Peas 1/3 cup

Butter 3 tbs

All purpose flour 3 tbs

Milk ½ cup

Salt & black pepper to taste

Dried thyme ½ tsp

Method:

For filling:

  1. Half boil peas, carrot and potato cubes and leave aside.

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  1. Fry onions in butter on medium heat until translucent.

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  1. Add boiled peas, carrots and potato and sauté quickly.

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  1. Add chicken and all purpose flour and cook for 2 minutes.

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  1. Add milk & seasonings and cook until everything combines. Your chicken and veggie filling is ready. Let it cool before putting the crust otherwise the crust will sink because of the steam.

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For pie crust:

You can use puff pastry sheets for the pie crust. I didn’t have that so I grabbed the next best thing which is spring roll wraps. Or you can make own pie crust from scratch which I didn’t want to make at this moment but will share with you next time!

I just put the roll wraps over one another in tree layers with a brushing of cooking oil in between. And then cut according to my pie dish size and slashed a few cuts to help steam escape while baking. As these wraps are already cooked so they won’t puff up like puff pastry does but the crust would be really crispy and crunchy nonetheless!

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Assembling the pie:

Put the filling in a baking dish or pie dish whatever you have available. Secure the crust over the dish with the help of flour and water mixture and give an egg wash with the help of a soft brush (egg & water).

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Baking:

Bake the pie for 10-15 minutes at 200 degree C until the crust is crispy brown and the filling is bubbling. Wait for 5 minutes and then serve hot as pies are best eaten fresh and crispy!

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