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Hello fellow Bloggers,

The non-profit I work for is asking all cooks and amateur cooks to help them raise funds to feed 5000 additional meals to the homeless & hungry all over the country. All winners will receive a Hunger Van t-shirt along with a chance to broadcast their winning recipe on Hunger Van’s blog.  The cook-off can be held as a small scale potluck event or at a large company/group picnic or bbq. It is totally based on your preference and availability. All donation’s/entry fee’s/tasting fee’s will go towards our Have a Heart – Feed the Homeless campaign. Please join in by having fun while doing a good deed. Host your very own cook-off for the homeless today! Hunger Van Cook-Off. 


Than you!


Thank you everyone for your support! 

I am so proud of the views on my blog! Alhamdullilah! I have the world covered… well mostly 🙂 

Teaching and food… Lots and lots of food :)

So I moved to Chicago around 6-7 month ago and I got a sweet job teaching immigrants and refugee’s (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, etc) U.S. History and Civics at Arab American Family Services*. I swear my students are the best cooks and they are the most loving bunch… if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been blogging much it’s because of this! Its something new every week! I am stuffed and probably have gained over 10 pounds! Love it and love my students!!! p.s. I am in love with Maqluba, Mansaf, and Baklava (so many new dishes I am learning about Alhamdullilah) now to learn these recipes  and share them with y’all.


This was the course and desert I received today… Homemade Pasta and homemade cookies. IMG_1605IMG_1606

*Arab American Family Services is a non-political, non-religious organization that focuses on building respect and understanding between Arab-Americans and the mainstream-American culture. For more information about AAFS please click here. If you’d like to make a donation to help them achieve their mission donate here. Thanks!

Lucknowi Katte Masalay ka Kheema


So this is my mom’s recipe and she was kind enough to share it with me 😉 Alhamdullilah.

Be aware that this recipe is for the brave heart only and is absolutely delicious if you like a bit of spice in your life. The reasons why this recipe is called Katte Masala (meaning cut up or broken spices is because the garam masala spices are used as whole or broken rather than in the powdered form).

2 medium sized onions – Preferably in the same proportion of the Kheema you are using – Chopped
1 pound kheema (I used chicken) – Note this recipe can be made with chicken pieces or mutton pieces as well.
4-5 large pieces of dried red chillies
6-8 pieces of whole black pepper
2 pieces of the cinnamon stick
½ a piece of star anise
4 pieces of green cardamom (it is better to use the badi elaichi – the black cardamom, in which case use 2).
2-3 Bay leaves
¼ tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of coriander powder
1-1/2 tsp of ginger paste ( I don’t like pieces hence i use the paste for both ginger and garlic but it is preferred to use whole)
1-1/2 tsp of garlic paste
4-5 tbs of yogurt – whipped
1 tbs of fried onion – crushed
Oil as per discretion
Salt as per taste
Handful of cilantro leaves – chopped

In a heavy bottomed pan add the oil and the onions and start to fry on medium-high heat.
Add the whole spices separately in each quadrant and let it soak in for a minute before mixing the ingredients up.
Once the onions turn translucent add the kheema.


Add the cumin and coriander powder to the kheema mix
Add the ginger and garlic paste to the kheema.
Water will start to leave the kheema and will be used to cook the dish so no more water will be added to this recipe.
Add salt and mix well.


Whip up the yogurt and add it to semi cooked kheema mix.
Mix well and cover and set of medium heat for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile crush up the fried onions and set aside.


Once the water is almost dried up add the crushed onions and mix well.
Add cilantro leaves in the very end when the water is almost gone.
Mix well and serve hot with roti or rice.


Enjoy yummy deliciousness 🙂

If you don’t like whole spices you can use the same recipe with powdered spices the taste may vary a bit but I am sure it will still be delicious 🙂

Mozzarella String Cheese Pakoras


Oil to fry – I shallow fry.
Shan Special Pakora Mix 1 packet
1 Green chili medium (chopped)
1 Onion medium (sliced)
1 tbs of Cilantro leaves (chopped)
Sprinkle of black pepper
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 Mozzarella string cheese stick (cut up) – I used Weight Watchers as it is a harder mozzarella string cheese stick than others.



Mix the Shan pakora mix with one cup water.
Add the green chili, sliced onion and cilantro leaves with the pakora mix.
Add the chopped mozzarella stick in the batter and mix well.
Leave for 15-20 minutes.


Heat oil.
Pour a spoon of mixture in hot oil and fry the pakora until golden brown.

Serve hot mozzarella pakoras with mint chutney.

Nutella & Apple Jelly Cream Cheese Puff Pastries

Something yum and easy for Ramadan.



1 Puff Pastry sheet
Apple Jelly
Cream Cheese
1 egg

Defrost the puff pastry sheet for 40 minutes
Roll out the dough
Cut it into 4 pieces


Apply the Apple Jelly and Cream Cheese on 2 pastry sheets and fold one on top of the other like a sandwich.
Apply the Nutella on the other half and make a sandwich.
Cut the wrap into 4 more pieces and twist or fold based on your preference (I twisted the apply jelly pastry and folded the Nutella one).
Apply the egg lightly on the wrapped pieces (not too much as you don’t want to make it taste eggy) just for color.


Place in the oven at 375 deg and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Some of the jelly or cream cheese may leak out but it is all good. It tastes really good (I preferred this to the Nutella as it wasn’t overly sweet).

You can even add chocolate chips to the Nutella spread (I forgot in the last minute, oops).

Enjoy with tea.

Poached eggs Seviyan (Vermicelli Upma)

This is my mum’s recipe 🙂 I love eggs and I love vermicelli upma & so does my father-in-law, so when I saw my mom-in-law (aka mum) combine the two I was extremely thrilled. I saw her make this once or twice and decided to try it on my own. My father-in-law doesn’t like a runny yolk so she keeps it on for longer till the egg is hardened all over, I however let it poach.


1-1/2 cup roasted vermicelli
3 cups water
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green chili
1 chopped tomato
Handful of chopped baby spinach
½ tsp Ginger and Garlic paste
Salt to taste
Black pepper and Cayenne pepper to sprinkle on egg (optional)
Oil as per desired (3 tbs of oil)

In a large wok add oil and cumin seeds.
Let the seeds sputter.
Add the onions and cook till translucent.
Add the tomato and green chili and cook till tomato pieces are soft.
Add the chopped spinach.
Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears.
Add the remaining spices except the black pepper and cayenne pepper.


Add the water and bring it to a boil.
Add salt as per desired. Mix well.
Add the vermicelli and cook for a minute stirring well.
Add the egg without beating.
Let it simmer in the hot water for 8-10 minutes under medium-low flame.
Sprinkle the egg with black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Flip the egg if desired → I flipped it once in between the 8-10 minutes (carefully).
Use your spoon to clean the edges of the wok so the vermicelli doesn’t burn (carefully).


Serve hot. The yolk will be runny and the white edges hard.


Related Recipe: Yogurt and Beet Greens Poached eggs:

Pani Puri flavored – Tofu Cutlets


1 pack extra firm Tofu
2 tbs Coriander paste
2 tbs Pani Puri paste
½ tsp Black pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
½ a cup Fried onions
2 Eggs
1 tbs Parmesan Cheese
1 tbs Green Onions – chopped
1 Green Chili – diced
1 tsp Red Chili powder
Salt to taste
Pam Olive Oil to fry


Mix the above ingredients except the oil and form cutlets.
Let the cutlets sit for a few minutes to harden up a bit.
If the Tofu feels to soft add some extra bread crumbs or even a piece of bread.


Heat a nonstick pan with Olive oil and add the cutlets slowly.
Use a spoon to keep the cutlets intact.
Be careful not to break the cutlets (gentle is good, esp while flipping)
Brown on either side and your cutlets are ready.


I tried a second batch with regular vegetable oil – shallow fry.
This was harder to flip than the Olive oil spray but they both tasted pretty good.

Tasted even better the next day when the ingredients completely took in all the flavors.

Breakfast for Champions

Black beans, Cottage Cheese and Eggs.


½ an Onion – chopped
1 large tomato – chopped
1 Green pepper (Capsicum) – diced
Handful of Baby Spinach
½ a cup of Green Onions – diced
1 Green Chili – diced
1 can of Black Beans with Lime & Jalapenos
2 tbs of Fat free Cottage Cheese
4 – 5 Eggs – beaten
2 Slice of Whole Wheat bread – toasted
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red chili to taste
¼ tsp of Turmeric powder
¼ tsp of Cumin powder
¼ tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp of Ginger paste
1 tsp of Garlic paste



In a heated pan add oil and stir fry all the vegetables.


Add the can of beans cook for a few minutes
Add the spices, salt and pepper, ginger and garlic paste and cook for a few minutes.
Add the Cottage cheese and cook for another couple minutes.
Add the egg, cover and cook till egg starts to settle.


Scramble the eggs well and serve on whole wheat toast or eat plain ☺


Spicy Egg salad without Mayo

So this is a quick option for lunch and my version of a spicy egg salad sandwich without Mayo.

2 hard boiled eggs
1 tbs of chopped Onion
1 tbs of chopped spinach
1 tbs of chopped green onions
1/2 tsp of chopped green chilly
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

For one sandwhich:
2 slices of bread or an English muffin
1/2 tsp of butter or margarine
1 slice of cheese


Crush and mix the above ingredients well.
Place on toast or English Muffin. (You can apply butter or margarine on the toast for more flavor).
Add a slice of cheese if desired.
Melt the cheese by placing the sandwich in the microwave for less than 20 seconds.
Slice in half and eat 🙂

Note: you can add lettuce as well if desired to the sandwich.

I had leftover egg salad for later. You can probably make 2 sandwiches with toast and 3 with English Muffins with the above ingredients and 2 hard boiled eggs.

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