Lemonade Concentrate

 Summer has started .. which means lemonade .. now and then.. though personally I love lemonade i hate dissolving the sugar in lemon juice every time I have to make lemonade.. Stumbled upon this recipe long time back ( forgot the website coz its really long time back.. sorry) and made this concentrate for the first time and I loved it .. and I have been making them year after year .. making lemonade became so easy.. then why it took so long to come up in blog ..  i never took a decent photo so never had the guts to put it up on blog.. 
     so without beating around the bush lets stick to the lemonade .. this concentrate is so versatile u can make lots of juices, mock-tails and sherbet.  imagination is the limit.

  let me share u some juices u can make :
          make variations in  lemonade ..add flavour and fruits
          nannari sharbat ( sarsaparilla sharbat)
          Add plain soda or 7 up or Sprite
          combine orange , mozambi juice with lemonade
         etc... etc... etc..
      A special summer surprise.. pour them in ice cube trays and freeze them.. bite size tangy lemon ice to enjoy anytime.
With Ramadan coming in less than a month.. prepare this concentrate and making any juice during ramadan becomes a breeze.. So why wait..when life gives you lemons make lemonade ..

                                               Nannari Sharbat made with lemonade concentrate

You need:
 Freshly squeezed lemon juice                       1 1/2 cup
Sugar                                                              1 1/2 cup
Water                                                              1 cup

 Prepare a simple syrup by adding the sugar and water in a pan .. cook  for about 5-7  minutes.. the sugar should have dissolved completely. Allow it to cool completely.
To it add the lemon juice and mix well.
Pour them in sterilized glass bottle and store it in the refrigerator..
keeps well for about 2 weeks.

When you want to make lemonade .. pour required quantity of lemonade concentrate in a tall glass.. add water and ice cubes.. enjoy.

Share me ur ideas on the variations of lemonade u make..


Bubur Pulut Hitam / Black Glutinous rice sweet porridge

Time for the next MFBC  aka Muslim Food Bloggers Challenge.... this is one challenge which pull me to blog... missed it last month due to my super hectic schedule... but when rafeedha gave us the theme BREAKFAST the first recipe that came to my mind is Bubur Pulut Hitam does it sound Greek and Latin . let me clear it.. Its Black Glutinous Rice Porridge...  This recipe always brings back my childhood memories... sunday mornings the house would be filled with the aroma of the porridge..a blissful day it would be..  The combination of sweet porridge with salty coconut milk .. nothing could beat this .. I could have them everyday.. This is also a hot dessert but we always had it for breakfast...

                   Malay food has always been in regular in our menu.. infact I always stock this black glutinous rice ... so what is this rice... if you are familiar with the Thai sticky rice then this is the unpolished wholegrain version of it..though its called black rice . the cooked product has a deep dark purple..the rice is loaded with nutrients and is rich in antioxidants..  this rice is usually made into sweet ..there is even a pudding recipe in sha allah will post in the future.. you can find this rice in Asian grocery store.. or in the asian aisle in supermarket...

                                                          Black Glutinous Rice

   This recipe needs a little preparation before hand.. u need to soak this rice .. the longer u soak it will cook faster.. The porridge takes minimum 1 1/2 hrs to cook.. you can use sugar or palm jaggery to sweeten it.. Pandan or screwpine leaves imparts a beautiful flavour to this porridge so  don't miss it. Thick Coconut milk is used as topping .. fresh milk is needed.. but if its not available you can you canned ones.. but dont use thin milk.    I have tried making it in Pressure Cooker but the taste is not good as the slow cooked ones..  so lets move to the recipe..

You Need:
   Black Glutinous rice    1 cup
  Water                            5-6 cups
  Palm jaggery                175 gms
 Pandan leaves                2 nos
Thick Coconut Milk       3/4  cup

                                                             The right consistency

Wash and soak the rice for preferably overnight.
In a heavy bottomed pan add the rice 5 cups water  .. palm jaggery , pandan leaves and a pinch of salt. When the water starts to boil simmer and cook for an hour and a half.. stirring in between.
You can add a cup of water more if you feel the there is less water in the porridge..  the rice should have been completely cooked and opened up with a sticky liquid.
Cook for more time if the rice is not cooked..
Remove from heat and discard the leaf.
Add a pinch of salt to the coconut milk and keep it aside.
Spoon them in individual bowls and top it with coconut milk.. Serve Hot  . Enjoy

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Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken

It's 10th of the month and time for MFB challenge.. couldn't participate last month due to my super packed hectic schedule.. but this month I wanted to participate without fail.. and Alhamdulillah I was able to cook for this months  challenge..
......  this month challenge cooking with OLIVES..usually I add olives in my pasta or pizza other wise it's usually had  as an accompaniment.. when I saw olives the first thing that came in my mind was foccasia.. but then thought of searching the Google dear for more options and my eyes fell on the Moroccan tray bakes and Tagines..

        After days of searching and thinking I finalised these Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken... from here    I 've never made a tray bake and this was my first .. after I made I was thinking why I have not tried tray bakes till now.. such an easy way to make dinner or lunch... you just have to arrange them on a pan and put them in the oven to cook.. job done..
...... let's come back to this recipe.. the recipe speaks for itself.. it shouts Morocco.. juicy chicken with caramelized onions and sweet lemons and tangy olives.. it was yummy..
Actually the recipe calls for 3 pieces of chicken .. but I made for 4 by just adjusting a little spice here and there..  In an hour a hassle free dinner is made..
....... if I added anything to the recipe.. at last I spruced the oven to max and grilled it for 5 more minutes for the skin to get extra crispy.. other than that it's the same...
          Serve this tray bake on a bed of couscous with  a side of bread.. I served it with garlic bread for my family but personally I would advice to have it along with some carbs like mashed potato or thick soups... as the way I served turned out as a light meal and we were hungry ....
so without delay lets move to how to do this recipe..

You Need:

For The Spice Mixture:

Salt                                            3/4 tsp
Ground Cumin                          1/4tsp
Paprika                                      3/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper                        1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder                      3/4tsp
Olive Oil                                   1 1/4 tbsp.
Balck Pepper powder               1/4tsp
Melted Butter                           1 1/4 tbsp.
Garlic cloves (grated)               4 nos

For the Sheet Pan :

Lemon big                                2 nos
White Onions                           2 nos
Extra virgin Olive Oil              2 tsp
Salt                                           1/4tsp
Turmeric powder                     1 tsp
Skin on Chicken Quarters        4 nos
Olives(pitted n sliced)              1 cup
Coriander leaves chopped         2 tbsp.


Preheat the Oven at 220*C
Mix everything under the spice mixture...
Clean and wash the chicken.. Dry the chicken well with a paper towel.
Rub the chicken well with the spice mixture.
Slice 1 lemon into thin slices. Arrange them in a single layer in a sheet pan... juice the other lemon
Cut the onion into 12 wedges each. Scatter them over the lemons..
Sprinkle the salt, olive oil, turmeric powder, over the onions.
Place the chicken over the onions and drizzle the rest of the spice over it.
Keep them in the oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. the juices should run clear from the chicken.
If you want the skin to be little crispier increase the oven to max and grill for 5-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and drizzle around 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice.. scatter the olives and coriander leaves..
Serve them with couscous and bread.                  


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One Pot Mutton Biryani - a perfect biryani for beginners

Winters... for many reasons I like it💕.. and for many reasons I hate it😣.. tend to get  more sick  in this cold weather🤒... the icy cold wind has never been my friend and my lungs hate them😑... Under the weather since two days and since today is weekend wanted to make something spicy but easy to cook.. to open my taste buds which I feel are dead..
  Had mutton in my freezer and I thought why not make biryani .... you must be wondering making biryani when sick?🤔..
Gone are the days when biryani s were made for special occasions.. for me if u want to cook something special  but not so elaborate I make biryani🤗.. with a boiled egg and a raita lunch is served..

   When biryani is put in dum.. the flavours develop you get an amazing biryani... which from start to finish will take you an hour and a half minimum .. If I say you can make a biryani with full of flavour that too under 30 minutes will you believe me?
    I made this biryani for the first time  four years back.. when i had shoulder injury.. My right hand was in  sling for 2 months... At that time I managed to find so many tips n tricks to make easy recipes.. and pressure cooker was my saviour..  on one such event I made this biryani with the help of my son who was 6 .. was quite amazed coz the biryani tasted just like regular dum biryani.. 💕💕... now I have made them many times when I am time pressed..  
...... no elaborate sauteing... no elaborate vessels.. just one pressure cooker and you are done... sound so easy right.. who wouldn't want it.. a yummy one pot meal.. ❤... now let's move to the recipe



Basmati rice                   2 cups
Mutton                             400gms
Onion (medium)            2 nos 
Tomato (medium)          1 1/2 nos
Ginger Garlic paste        1 heaped tblsp
Coriander leaves             A small handful
Mint leaves                 7-8 leaves
Green chilli                      4-5 now
Lemon juice                   
Yoghurt                             1/4 cup 
Oil                                       2 tbsp
Ghee                                   1 tbsp
Bay leaf                              2 nos
Cinnamon                          1" piece
Cardamom                         4 nos
Cloves                                  4 nos
Red chilli powder              1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder               1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder        1/4 tsp
Garam Masala                     1/2 tsp 


Clean and wash the mutton.. 
Thinly slice the onions.. chop the tomatoes 
Roughly chop the coriander and mint leaves
Wash the rice and soak it for 15 minutes..
Meanwhile place your 5 litre pressure cooker on the stove and heat it..
Pour the oil and ghee and  when it starts to become hot add the bay leaves , cinnamon , cardamom, clove .. saute for few seconds
Add the onions and fry till they turn translucent .. in the oil that has separated add the red chilli powder and fry for fee seconds.. immediately add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.. 
Add the mutton , coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chilli , salt..and sauce for 2-3 minutes.. add the tomatoes , turmeric powder , pepper , Garam Masala and the yoghurt.. mix them well and add about 100 ml water.. 
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 5-6whistles in medium heat
After the pressure has come down... open the cooker ... you will see around 2 cups of liquid in the Masala ... 
So add the water around 2 cups of water... (you will need totally 4 cups of water / liquid to make this biryani)
Check the gravy for salt and add lemon juice around 1tsp .. bring to boil and add the soaked rice alone .... give a gentle mix taking are not to break the rice  
Close the pressure cooker.. and cook  for 2 whistles in medium heat.. then lower the flame to Simmer and cook in sim for 10 minutes..
Switch off the flame and allow the pressure  to come down .. 
Open.. fluff the biryani. With a slotted spoon  or fork. serve with raita ... Enjoy!!

1) The cup I used is the measuring cup that comes with rice cooker..  so 1 cup measures 150 gms rice and 160 ml water
2) the ratio of rice to water is 1:2
3) if you are using  extra long basmati rice add quater cup of water extra so ratio is 
1: 2 1/4
4) if you have doubt on the amount of liquid in the gravy .. strain the gravy .. measure the amount of liquid and then calculate and add the amount of water.. for eg: if there is only 1 3/4 cup of liquid  add 2 1/4 cup of water to the gravy... totalling 4 cups
5) never miss the simmer part . After two whistles reduce the flame and keep it in simmer for 10 minutes.. 
6) never force open the pressure cooker .. if you are in a hurry .. always place the cooker under running water for few minutes.. the pressure will reduce fast and then it's safe to open
7) you can substitute the mutton with chicken .. but pressure cook them for 3 whistles not 5 while making the gravy.. rest is the same


Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomorrow December 18 is Qatar National Day... a day filled with joy the whole country both expats n citizens gear up to celebrate QND every year and this year too you can see the corniche is decked up with lights of the National flag.. All the Malls... shops.. cars.. buildings... all decked up for celebrating QND.. Its festive mood everywhere.. Last year I posted this recipe on QND and it was a traditional recipe..

        This year wanted to do something colorful and I think with going for Cake Decorating Classes my mind got fixed in baking and cake decorating.... Found cupcake liners in LuLu Hypermarket that matched the festive mood.. then with lots of browsing   settled down for Red Velvet Cupcake...
thought the color would match the QND... I ve followed  Nigella's recipe which turned out great..
I made only  half the recipe as for the past two weeks Ive been baking ..baking.. and baking only..
and also limit the consumption..hehehe....
    I got 6 overfilled delicious cupcakes.... (my mistake... didnt know the batter would rise so high)..
The cupcakes were soo moist n was not too sweet  and the sweet cream cheese Icing complemented it perfectly... if you are not fond of icing then sprinkle them with icing sugar...
I colored half the icing in Burgundy to match the qatar flag color.. the final product turned out how I wanted alhamdulillah.. and I am happy I could make something special to join the festive mood here in this beautiful country..

I am sharing the recipe for making 24 cupcakes you can always half the quantity to make them 12..
now off to the recipe..

You Need:

Makes 24 cupcakes

All purpose Flour                               250 gms
Cocoa Powder                                    2 tbsp
Baking Powder                                   2 tsp
Bi carbonate of Soda                          1/2tsp
Unsalted Butter                                   100gms
Castor Sugar                                       200 gms
Red Gel color                                     1/2 heaped tsp
Vanilla essence                                   2 tsp
Large Eggs                                          2 nos
Buttermilk                                         175 ml
Cider Vinegar                                    1 tsp


Icing Sugar                                       500gms
Butter                                                125 gms
Cream Cheese (room temp)              125 gms
Cider Vinegar                                    1 tsp
red sprinkles for decorating



Preheat oven @170* C .
Place cup cake liners in two regular Muffin tins ( 1 muffin tin can make 12 cupcakes/muffins)
Shift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda together
Cream the butter and sugar  well.. when the mixture becomes soft and looks pale in color add the food coloring and vanilla essence and mix well.
Now while mixing add half the dry ingredients and 1 egg.. mix well.. then add the remaining dry ingredients and one more egg..
At last add the buttermilk and cider vinegar and mix well..
Divide the mixture into the cup cake liners... fill only half the liner.. do not over fill
Bake them for about 20 minutes. insert a toothpick to test.. if it comes out clean then it is done.
After 10 minutes remove them from the tin and allow them to cool completely


Shift the icing sugar ..
Beat the icing sugar, cream cheese, butter and cider vinegar  for about 5 minutes.. it would have formed a smooth and luscious icing ..

Ice each cupcake with a spoon or spatula and decorate with sprinkles.

1.coloring the icing is completely optional.
2. If you plan to frost the cupcakes with rosettes or swirl you will need more icing
3. you can make the cup cakes a day before .. cool and put in an air tight box and place it in the refrigerator
4. It tastes best when iced and eaten on the same day.. but store if any leftover in an air tight box and place it in the refrigerator.