April 27, 2012

Bukhari Rice

Hi again, am back in my active cooking mode and am about to share a new recipe with you. Bukhari rice is a Saudi Arabian speciality but also cooked in the UAE, and Pakistan. But before I do so, you know what to do ---> read my welcome note.

There are several versions to the Bukhari rice, and as usual am going to give you the simpler one. But the spices are a must, because this is what makes Bukhari rice. The Bukhari spice mix can be found in any Middle Eastern or Indian shop, otherwise you will have to make your own and you shall not regret it. It keeps for 2 years in a tight jar.

Bukhari mix spices basically consists of the following : Fennel, cloves, cardamon, Anise, Cinnamon all grounded. If you are going to prepare your own, use equal parts of each spice and grind until powder like. Or you can buy the ground spices individually and mix them into equal parts (which is easier)

Ingredients for  Bukhari Rice.

for 2 persons you will need

- 1 and half standard cup of BASMATI rice (para boiled is FORBIDDEN)
- 1 full tbs of tomato paste
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- about 2 flat tbs of sultanas (dried raisins) optional but necessary if you are to serve the rice with something spicy
- 1 and half cup of boiling water
- 1 tbs of vegetable oil
- 1 and half FLAT tsp of bukhari spice mix
- 1/2 cube of chicken stock if you are serving with chicken or beef stock if serving with meat or vegetable stock if you are a vegetarian but the cube stock does give it extra flavor.
- salt to taste ( I don't use salt as the chicken stock is quite salty as is)
- extra option --- some people add some cooked about 2 tbs (tinned, washed and drained) chickpeas, I don't. but you can if you want to.


- wash thoroughly the rice and let is soak for about 10 mn in cold water.
- in a  medium saucepan (rice needs to breathe) (preferably non stick), heat oil
- add chopped onions and stir fry them until tender and light brown
- add the Bukhari mix, the tomato paste, the sultanas and mix well, on a medium fire for a 2 minutes
- drain your rice and add to the paste mixing it well
- now pour the boiling water on top, give it one last mix, let it boil once and then leave it to simmer on a very low heat until all liquid is fully absorbed.

Serve with meat or chicken. Stay tuned as my next recipe will go perfectly well with the Bukhari Rice.

Enjoy !

April 23, 2012

Pickles in a hot Sandwich

Been so lazy with cooking lately, but that did not stop me from eating. I believe you can still manage a tasty meal without too much elaborate cooking during lazy times. But, but, but, before I give you today's real simple recipes (plural because am giving 2), you are to read my Welcome Note, for those of you who are new to my blog and for those who are cheating on the blog's condition.

Recipe Number 1.

Am not so sure you can call that a recipe because it's a sandwich. It is in fact an Iraqi type of sandwich that we call "abiad wi bedh". The sandwich basically consists of :

- Iraqi samoon - the closet equivalent  to Samoon is Italian Ciabatta bread. If you can't find Ciabatta use French baguette
- hard boiled eggs
- boiled potatoes
- watercress or chopped fresh parsley (if you can't find watercress)
- the special extra which is ESSENTIAL - Spicy or mild mango pickles which we call in Iraq "Amba". Can be found in any Indian or large surface supermarket.

Preparation :

Slice boiled eggs, potatoes add the watercress and the mango pickles (I like the spicy type) place in a HOT Ciabatta or Baguette and eat...it's delicious and filling.

Recipe no.2

This one is slightly more elaborate, but still qualifies as a lazy recipe.

For 2 persons you will need :

- 4 to 5 eggs
- 1 spring onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper bell cut in small pieces
- a large handful of chopped fresh parsley - if you are too lazy to chop parsley use dried mixed herbs, but fresh parsley is much nicer.
- salt
- pepper
- a good pinch of sweet paprika
- 1/2 small tsp of ground cumin
- 1/2 small tsp of turmeric.
- 1tbs of vegetable oil.
- Arabic/ Lebanese bread or pitta - must be HOT

Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the chopped spring onion, pepper bell, parsley, plus spices and salt, stir fry for 3 minutes on medium fire.

Add your eggs and scramble them until cooked.

Slice the arabic/pitta bread down the middle (the bread should be hot), place your scrambled egg mix inside the bread to which you will add your mango pickles.

Bon appétit