5 Best Recipes for Ramadan

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 11:11 AM

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Ramadan is well-known for its spiritual and festive spirit. We present you some of the delicacies that make this holy month an extra-special affair.
In this article, we give you the top five recipes to try out during Ramadan.
 
Spicy Pakistani Zucchini
Ingredients:
Cooking oil—¼ cup
 Onion—1, thinly sliced
Zucchini (small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow)—6; peeled, seeded, and cut into semicircles
Salt—½ teaspoon
Water—2 cups
Chilli powder—2 teaspoons
 Turmeric—½ teaspoon, grounded
Garlic powder—½ teaspoon
Coriander seed—1 teaspoon, grounded
3 whole cloves
Whole peppercorns—6 or 7
Tomatoes—4, chopped
Plain yogurt—2 ½ tablespoons

How to make:
1) Peel the zucchini, take the seeds out, and cut into semicircular pieces.
2) Pour oil into a skillet and heat it at medium temperature. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes golden.
3) Pour in all the other ingredients and stir with a ladle. Turn down heat to LOW and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.  
 
Fig and Lemon Chicken
Ingredients:
12 chicken thighs
2 lemons: 1 sliced, 1 halved
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
pounds dried figs
salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


How to make:
1. Preheat the chicken thighs in oven.
2. Squeeze juice from halved lemon into a small bowl, then stir in brown sugar, vinegar, and water, and keep it aside to set.
3. Place figs and sliced lemon segments in the bottom of an 11x16 inch baking/roasting dish. Arrange chicken thighs on top and pour vinegar mixture over them. Sprinkle salt and dried parsley to taste. Bake/roast for 50 minutes, basting frequently (turn figs if they begin to brown).
4. With a sautéing spoon, remove the chicken, figs, and lemon slices from the baking dish and place them on a warm platter. Skim fat from cooking juices and then pour over chicken as sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
 
Beef Meatballs
Ingredients:
½ lb ground beef
¼ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons grated  Italian cheese (Parmesan and/or Romano)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
¼ cup cool milk
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs

How to make:
1.  Mix ingredients in the given order, one by one. Thoroughly mix them with your hands, and let the mixture stand for at least 20 minutes.
2.  Form meatballs (golf-size balls) and shallow-fry each ball slowly in a non-stick pan until it becomes golden brown. Do not turn the ball until it is completely done on one side. Also, do not crowd the pan with too many balls. If you are not using a Teflon-coated pan, use about 2 tablespoons of oil.
3.  Serve hot.

Chicken Biryani
Ingredients:      
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces cut into chunks
 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pinch powdered saffron
5 pods cardamom
3 whole cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1½ teaspoons salt

How to make:
1. In a large skillet, take 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee) and fry potatoes until they become brown. Drain and reserve the potatoes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and fry onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion becomes soft and golden. Add chili, pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt, and the tomatoes. Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add yogurt, mint, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. It may be necessary to add a little hot water, if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.
2. When the mixture is thick and smooth, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture. Cover and cook over very low heat until the chicken is tender. This may take 35 to 45 minutes approximately. Very little, thick gravy should be left when the chicken is finished cooking. If necessary, cook uncovered for a few minutes to further reduce the gravy.
3. Wash rice well and leave it to drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes.
4.In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil and fry the onions until they become golden. Add saffron, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.
5.In a medium-size pot, heat the chicken stock and salt. When the mixture is hot pour it over the rice and stir well. Add the chicken mixture and the potatoes; gently mix them into the rice. Bring to boil. Cover the saucepan tightly, turn heat to very low and steam for 20 minutes. Do not lift lid or stir while cooking.
 
Harira
Ingredients:
1 pound cubed lamb meat
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons margarine
¾ cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
7 cups water
¾ cup green lentils
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
4 ounces vermicelli pasta
2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon, juiced

How to make:
1. Place the lamb, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion, and cilantro into a large soup pot over low heat. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Pour tomatoes into the mixture and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Pour tomato juice from the can, 7 cups water, and the lentils into the pot. Bring the mixture to boil and then reduce the heat. For 2 hours, let the soup simmer, covered.
3.About 10 minutes before serving, turn the heat to medium-high, place chickpeas and noodles into the soup, and let them cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon and eggs, and let the eggs cook for 1 minute.

You have a delicious Harira ready for everybody to savor.
 

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