Monthly Archives: September 2011

Indian Chai Cupcakes

Let me tell you I have been in a cupcake making mood this week. I really have wanted to incorporate some of the things that my family and I enjoy into a cupcake form instead of the usual everyday flavors. I have made a few successful batches and plan to make more lucky for me my husband even surprised me with a fabulous new cupcake pan. I have been making small batch sizes because that just suits my small family better and I can experiment with more taste instead of having massive amounts of cupcakes everywhere. I incorporated the main spices of the famous Indian chai into this cupcake for a perfect, flavorful and moist sweet treat. And please do not forget the most important rule of baking cupcakes and that is placing a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven while they bake.

2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 cup cream cheese (I use Kiri cheese)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add butter and sugar, with a hand mixer beat until fluffy. Add egg, mix. Add vanilla, flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, cardamom, cinnamon, close and allspice, mix well.

2. Place baking cups into 6 cupcake tins. Place 1 tablespoon of batter evenly into cupcake tins. Bake for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, make frosting. In a large mixing bowl add cheese, cardamom, cloves and butter, with a hand mixer beat until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and combine. Place in refrigerator until needed.

4. When cupcakes are cool pipe frosting on top and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Yields: 6

Saleeq Dajaj

I first published this recipe a few years ago but I made a few updates and decided to re-post it. Running right behind kabsa saleeq is Saudis most popular dish. As you may have guessed it, dajaj means chicken in Arabic. My husband and son will not drink milk but yet they love this dish so I try to make it when I can. As you may have noticed Arabic cuisine incorporates a lot of dairy into recipes. You will find two versions of saleeq around, the lamb and the chicken. When making saleeq you want the extra juice in the dish so do not think you did it wrong! Saleeq should not be dry what so ever. You can easily double this recipe for larger families.

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces or 6 skinless, chicken breast
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 bay leaf
1 fresh cilantro sprig
1 onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed and soaked
2 tablespoons butter (optional)

1. In an 8-quart saucepan on high heat, add chicken pieces and enough water to cover chicken. Add cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamom, bay leaf, cilantro and onion. After full boil, reduce heat to low, cook covered for 45 minutes.

2. Remove cooked chicken from pan, sit aside. Pour half of chicken broth out (reserve for later usage) and reserve the other half in the same pan. Add salt and rice. Raise heat to high and allow a full boil, reduce heat to low, add milk and cover pot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken from bone.

3. Add chicken and cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Place on serving dish and drizzle melted butter on top.

Yields: 3 servings

Happy Birthday Saudi

{cupcakes from Cupcake in Riyadh}
{why does this always happen to your favorite one}

Today is Saudi Arabia’s 81st birthday and man do Saudis love to celebrate. Just think of the traffic at the White house in DC on the 4th (yes, I have been in it woo fun) yet that kind of traffic every inch of almost every city in the country. If you’re brave enough to venture out then you will be stuck for hours. My family and I had to go out this evening to look for something’s and thought we could beat traffic but yea right we were stuck for hours and it was pretty horrible. We finally made it a short distance in hours and it was only around 9pm which for Saudi is early. People do not get out until around 9 here and usually stay out all night. The city gets crazy around this time every year with traffic, guys dancing in the street and LOTS of flags and green.

On the way home we passed a new little store called “Cupcake” and of course we had to stop. Cupcake stores are pretty popular back home but here they are just starting open. This one is the first one I have saw and a few more are about to open any day now. The store had regular sized or mini cupcakes and quite a few selections to choose from. Of course all the patriotic ones were popular today. Cupcakes always seem to make me smile, what about you?

Glazed Doughnuts

These glazed doughnuts are awesome and taste just like Dunkin Doughnuts. They will rock your world when they are hot and fresh so be careful. I was telling my grandma back home today about this recipe and how the secret ingredient was a potato. She was not surprised what so ever and told me that is how she always did hers as well. Man, the things I am finding out as I get older! My son helped me mix, roll and cut these out and he defiantly ate them. We made plenty of doughnut holes with the leftover dough and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. If you have sprinkles add some on top as soon as you glaze them. Remember not to get the milk too hot or it will kill the yeast and too cold will not allow it to grow. If you own a candy thermometer that will work great. Myself I have personally never used one. I just let it heat it and test it with a small piece of dough, when it floats the oil is perfect.

Sunflower oil
1 small potato
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup warm milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
Drop of vanilla extract

1. Pierce potato with fork and place in microwave for approximately 5 minutes. Warm milk about 45 seconds, it should not get hot.

2. In a small bowl add yeast, a pinch of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk. Allow to sit until frothy, about 5 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl add potato and milk, with a hand mixer beat until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons oil, salt, flour and yeast mixture, mix until well combined.

4. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat add enough oil to fry doughnuts, about 1-1/2 inches. Allow oil to heat up approximately 375F.

5. On a non-stick baking mat roll dough out until 1/2 inch thick. Cut doughnuts with a glass and middle with a small round object. I used a medicine cup). When oil is hot carefully place doughnuts and fry until golden, flip and do the same. Drain on a paper towel.

6. In a small bowl add powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk, add another if needed and vanilla. Mix well. Carefully place half of doughnut into glaze and serve.

Yields: 9