Garam Masala Murghi

Garam Masala Murghi is one of the most popular Indian dishes and well with its bursting flavors it very well should be. Cream is an important staple when making curries as it is the base of a good creamy curry. This bright dish is perfect served over a bed of rice and with fresh hot nann bread. By the way do not forget the World Nutella day is coming up here soon. I just finished making my entry and I can not wait to see all of yours. 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves 4 green cardamom pods 2 dried bay leaves 2 cinnamon sticks 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 (2 inch)ginger pieces, finely chopped 1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 teaspoon sea salt 5 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves sliced almonds for garnishing 1. In a saute pan on high heat add oil. Add cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and cinnamon, cook until they sizzle 10-15 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger, stir fry until tender. 1-2 minutes. 2. Quickly add the tomato to the pan and then sprinkle in the garam masala and salt. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes softens a bit but is still firm, 3 to 5 minutes. 3. Stir in the chicken and pour in the broth. Bring the curry to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally , until the meat is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes. 4. Fold the cream and allow it to warm, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 2-4 minutes. 5. Remove the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle cilantro and almonds over the curry and serve. Yields: 6 servings

Shrimp Alfredo

This is actually the first time I have made homemade Alfredo sauce and now after I have made and ate it I am not quite sure what I was thinking all those years buying the jarred stuff. I mean this is an extremely easy sauce to prepare and hands down the best tasting one. You can easily substitute chicken for the shrimp if you would prefer. And what else would pair well with this pasta? Well, a crunchy green salad and a side of garlic bread of course. 7 tablespoons butter 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups heavy cream 1 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 3/4 cup mozzarella-cheddar mixed cheese 12 ounces of farfalle pasta, cooked per package directions 1 pound shrimp, cleaned 1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 garlic clove. Add shrimp cooking until no long pink, about 5 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, in a saute pan on medium heat add remaining butter and garlic. Cook until melted then add pepper, Parmesan and cream, mix well. Mix until thickened about 3 minutes then add shredded cheese. Mix until melted then remove from heat. 3. In a large bowl or serving platter toss pasta, shrimp and sauce together until well combined. Serve. Yields: 4-6 servings

Mirage Restaurant

{Al-Takhassosi Rd, North West Riyadh (west of Kingdom Tower), ☎ +966-1-4834127.} You may remember my post about Diamond Restaurant awhile back. Well, a friend of mind recommended Mirage telling me that they are sister restaurants and that it was just as amazing as Diamond. My family and I decided to go tonight to check it out and what can I say we were impressed. They are both Asian fusion with amazing deco, service and food. However, mirage does not offer sushi like Diamond. When you walk into the restaurant again your immediately transported out of Saudi or so you feel like anyway. The lights are dim with beautiful fish tanks and fountains filled with fish, Chinese furniture and cute little lights on the ceiling that remind you of rainbow stars. This is one of the nicer upscale places in Riyadh and I defiantly suggest you check it out for a fun and enjoyable evening.

Salmon the Arab way

A juicy fresh piece of salmon drenched in Arabic spices and fresh lemon pair well with a blended rice. In Saudi we use Maggi bullion religiously and the popular one for preparing rice is the white Maggi. I do know this is something not obtainable to most people so a chicken bullion will work great in its place. If you are not able to find sultanas the golden raisins then just use regular raisins as a substitute. I large salmon fillet 2 tablespoons olive oil juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons Arabic spice mix 2 cups rice 3 cups water 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 chicken or rice bullion cube 1 tomato, diced 1/4 pine nuts, toasted 1/4 cup sultanas 1. In a 1-quart saucepan add sunflower oil, rice, bullion and water. Bring to a full boil, add tomatoes, pine nuts and sultanas. Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook not uncovering for 15-20 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, In a small bowl add lemon juice and Arabic spice mix. Mix well then rub completely over salmon fillet. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add olive oil. Add salmon fillet and remaining mixture juices. Cover and allow to cook until half way through about 10 minutes. Carefully flipping cooking until salmon is completely cooked thoroughly. 3. On a serving platter add rice, fluffing with fork. Place salmon fillet on top and serve. Yields: 4 servings

Aashe Maste

As I sat in my living room reading a book all I could hear was the drops of rain hitting the pavement something which is very rare for Riyadh, so I was enjoying the moment. Not only is it wet but it is also cold and that combination had me craving an exotic soup that I have not had in some years now. Aashe Maste is Iranian soup but the Afghans also have a very similar version as well. This Middle Eastern soup is thick and filling and perfect with a dollop of yogurt and fresh naan bread.

2 onions, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Arabic spice mix
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup yellow split peas
5 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
8 ounces ground beef
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 chicken bulloin cube
3 garlic cloves, diced
pinch saffron strands dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
yogurt, to serve

1. In a 4-quart pan on medium heat add olive oil, garlic and one onion. Cook until tender. Add turmeric, split peas and water, Bring to a full boil then reduce to low. Cook for 20 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl add beef, Arabic spice mix and other onion. Mix well and shape into small balls the size of jaw breakers.

3. Carefully place meatballs into soup. Add chicken bullion, parsley, mint, cilantro, salt, pepper, butter and rice. Bring to a full boil, reduce to low and cover. Allow to cook until rice is tender about 30 minutes.

4. Pour saffron water into soup, mix. Place soup into serving bowls and add a dollop of yogurt into each one.

Yields: 6 servings

Hungarian Goulash Soup

I joined a new cooking club this week called Gutsy Cooks. As you all know I love experiencing new recipes. Hungarian goulash has been a recipe I have had on my to-do list this month and I was ecstatic when I saw it as one of the recipes this week for Gutsy Cooks. The Gutsy Cooks prepare recipes from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible. The original recipe we were told to follow can be found here. I made quite a few changes to suit my own taste buds. First, I changed the traditional beef in this recipe to lamb. Overall my family and I prefer the smoother taste of lamb over beef. Secondly, I know caraway seeds are a very popular European spice however I did not have any on hand so I made a substitute and used ground cumin, oregano and nigella to try to keep the robust flavor or the caraway seeds intact. I also chose to make dumplings for this meal to give it more and really make it a meal. I have never tried dumplings in anything but chicken and dumplings so I was extremely curious to try it. I have to admit I was skeptical at first. Finally it was time to serve this gorgeous red stew and soon we would know if it was a hit or a miss. You see my husband is not much of a soup or stew person. We both really enjoyed this soup down to the last drop. The flavors were flawless together; the lamb was as soft as butter and the dumplings really brought this meal together. 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, diced 1 large onion, sliced 1 lb boneless lamb, cubed salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon oregano 5 whole cloves 1 bay leaf 4 tablespoons tomato paste 1 quart (1 liter) beef stock dumplings: 2 cups flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2-3/4 cup water 1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cool until tender. Add lamb, salt, pepper, paprika, nigella, cumin, oregano and cloves. Mix well and allow meat to brown on all sides. About 5 minutes. 2. Add tomato paste and beef stock, mixing. Add bay leaf. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 2 hours. 3. 20 minutes before stew has finished get a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Add water a small amount at a time until dough consistency has formed. 5. Form dough into 12 golf ball sizes balls. Carefully place into soup, do not mix. Raise heat to medium-high, cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, carefully mix and allow to cook for another 10 minutes with lid partially on. Serve. Yields: 6-8 servings Gutsy Cooks menu 16

Chicken Stir-Fry Noodles

I love using the pre-packaged instant noodles when cooking Asian. Not only are they easy to cook but they also taste great and even come with seasoning. This is a very fresh tasting meal that allows the natural flavors to burst through your palate. You could easily substitute any meat in the place of chicken that you may prefer. 3 packs in instant noodles, cooked per package directions & drained (reserve noodle spices) 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cubed 2 scallions, diced (separate white and green parts) 2 garlic cloves, diced 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 cup frozen vegetables 1. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. In a bowl add rice vinegar and chicken. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes. Add chicken into pan allowing to brown on all sides. 2. Add noodle spices, white scallions, vegetables and garlic. Cook until chicken is white all the way through and vegetables are cooked. About 10 minutes. 3. Add noodles and soy sauce, mix well. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Place in serving platter and garnish with green scallions. Yields: 4 servings

Ooo la la

The other night my family and I went to the mall and we had decided to grab some food as well. Granada mall has a new stand called 'Crepe World'. I am a huge lover of all crepes from savoury to sweet so once I saw the stand I knew right away what I wanted. The small store looked extremely clean which is a huge factor when I choose food. Of course the strawberry crepe drenched in chocolate was screaming my name so what’s a girl to do but order it? My husband had been going on and on that he could not believe I wanted a stupid crepe for dinner but as he brought it to me all I heard was how astounding the food, store and workers were. As I looked over my freshly made crepe I had to admire the workmanship. I mean after all not just anyone can make a crepe. The crepe was perfectly round, thin and golden. The strawberries were large and bright red. The chocolate was freshly warmed milk chocolate drizzled over the crepe with powder sugar that looked like dusted snow. And the taste oh my just took me to another world. This crepe was perfect in every way just like its home base Crepe World.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli casserole is an old Southern favorite that you will find at most holiday and potluck settings. The smooth and flavorful taste of the cream of chicken and mushroom soup give this casserole a delightful mix. If your a vegetarian you can easily substitute the soup for a full can of cream of mushroom and serve this dish as the main show. 1 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom and chicken soup 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup crushed crackers 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned. Yields: 8 servings

Blackened Honey Mustard Salmon

A sweet and light taste of honey mixed with sharp and grainy mustard makes a mouthwatering combination for this stunning golden salmon fillet. The classic salmon is a fish that can simply hold it’s on not needing any over powering flavors to contribute to its uniqueness. You get a mix of all the best flavors when you bite into this blackened beauty. Serve crisp green asparagus and a light salad alongside this dish. 1 salmon fillet 4 tablespoons mustard 3 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 3 tablespoons olive oil 1. In a small bowl add seasoning, mustard and honey, mix well. Brush the mixture all over meat side of fillet. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to marinate. 2. In a saute pan on medium heat add olive oil, allow to get hot. Place fillet into pan skin side down. Allow to cook until half way done approximately 10-15 minutes. With a spatula carefully flip salmon. Cook until thoroughly done, about 10 minutes. Place fillet onto serving plate. Yields: 2-3 servings

Chicken Parmigiana

Have you ever wanted to go it Italy? Why not take a quick trip there tonight by serving this Italian favorite Chicken Parmigiana. This classic dish has crunchy, golden chicken breast with bright red and flavorful sauce and cheese sprinkled on top. Every time I have this meal it takes me back to my days when I was studying in Chicago. Chicago has many fine Italian restaurants and my friends and I used to love to dine during the weekends and this was one of the recipes I would regularly order. That is the beauty of food it can always take you back to a fond time you previously had. 1 small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon butter 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt dash of pepper 1 teaspoon dried basil 5 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1/3 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 1 beaten egg 2 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil 1/4 cup shredded cheese 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese 1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until onion is tender. Carefully stir in the undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil. Keep warm. 2. Meanwhile, with a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. 3. In a shallow dish stir together bread crumbs, the 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and oregano. In another bowl stir together the egg and milk. Dip chicken breast halves in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture to coat. In a 12-inch skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. 4. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Makes 4 servings. Yields: 4 servings

Tuna Pasta Toss

I love pasta oh yes I do and this combination here is cheap, fast and appealing in every way. You can serve this as the main dish or as a side because trust me it is extremely filling. I really should experiment cooking with tuna more often because the few times I have the dishes have come out just wonderful. Of course you need to be a tuna lover (and I am). Pair this with some fresh hot bread and a crisp green salad and you have a perfect Italian meal. . 4 ounces Penne pasta 2 garlic cloves, diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 can tuna in oil 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/3 cup chicken broth 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1 scallion, chopped salt and pepper to taste 1. Cook pasta per package directions, drain. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add olive oil and garlic. Add tuna with oil, saute for 1 minute. 2. Add basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth, mix well. Carefully add pasta into pan, combine. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook until thoroughly heated about 5 minutes. Yields: 6 servings

Buttermilk Pancakes

I have been making this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for as long as I can remember. The pancakes are fluffy, sweet and golden. All things that a perfect pancake should be. Add any syrup or fruit you may want on yours here at my house we like butter and good old fashioned Log Cabin syrup. And I do have to admit that we love pancakes and other breakfast dishes so much that we sometimes make a big dinner out of it all. 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg, slightly beaten 1-1/2 cups buttermilk 3 tablespoons cooking oil 1. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl use a fork to combine egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). If desired, stir in desired fruit. 2. For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, spreading batter if necessary. For dollar-size pancakes, use about 1 tablespoon batter. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm. If desired, top with syrup. Yields: 12 standard-size pancakes or 40 dollar-size pancakes. Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture. Creole Jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the original European sector. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish. In modern Louisiana, the dish has evolved along a variety of different lines. Creole Jambalaya, or red Jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as "Jambalaya." Creole Jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun Jambalaya does not. There are many myths about the origin of the name "jambalaya." The most commonly repeated folklore is that the word derives from the combination of the French "jambon" meaning ham, the French article "à la" a contraction of "à la manière de" meaning "in the style of", and "ya", thought to be of West African origin meaning rice.[citation needed] Hence, the dish was named jamb à la ya. European explorers had imported rice from Asia and Africa. Enslaved Africans already had a native name for this crop; they called it "ya". As Europeans learned the term "ya" for rice, it became included in the name of the dish. However, this theory is largely discredited. Ham is not the signature element of the dish, so there is no reason why it would be featured in the name. Furthermore, there is no known African language in which "ya" means "rice." There are two African languages (Mambila and Grusi-Lyela) in which "ya", or a variant on "ya," refers to the grain sorghum. "Rice" is virtually always some form of "riz" or "arroz." 1 onion, diced 3 celery stalks, diced 3 garlic cloves, diced 1 green pepper, diced 1/4 cup butter, cubed 3 cups chicken stock 1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tomatoes, diced 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup frozen peas 1 scallion, chopped 1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add onion, green pepper, garlic and celery. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes continuously mixing. 2. In a 4-quart saucepan add rice, broth, Creole seasoning, tomatoes. Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, peas and shrimp mixture. Raise heat to high and allow to come to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. DO NOT uncover even once during cooking time. 3. Cook for 45 minutes. Place Jambalaya onto a serving platter then sprinkle with scallions. Yields: 8 servings


{You can be naughty like me and add powdered sugar. You can even add sugar syrup or honey} 

{Have them the traditional way}
Mandazi is a form of fried bread that originates in Eastern Africa in the Swahili coastal areas of Kenya and Tanzania. Mandazi is similar to doughnuts, having a little bit of a sweet taste which can be differentiated with the addition of different ingredients. After being cooked, they can be eaten warm or left to cool down. Mandazi is popular, as it can be eaten in accompaniment with many things. Mandazi is commonly made in the morning or the night before, eaten with breakfast, then re-heated in the evening for dinner.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7/8 cups milk or water
sunflower oil for frying

1. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, cardamom, vanilla and sugar, mix. Add eggs and butter mixing with hands until mixture is course.

2. Add milk or water a little at a time until non-sticky dough consistency has formed. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

3. Roll out dough until 1/4 inch thick and cut circles with a glass. In a 9-inch skillet add enough oil for frying. When oil is hot carefully add enough mandazis until pan is filled. Continually flip for 4-5 minutes until dough is golden on both sides.

4. Drain on a paper towel.

Yields: 50

World Nutella Day : February 5, 2011!

Check out the action at the World Nutella Day Fan Page on Facebook! Follow Twitter stream @nutelladay for updates Get creative with more than 400 Nutella recipes Drool at Nutella food eye candy in the World Nutella Day Flickr Pool New to Nutella? Learn what the fuss is about
How to Participate in World Nutella Day

How To Participate in World Nutella Day

Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso solemnly declare Friday, February 5th “World Nutella Day 2011″ – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

It’s Easy!

Make a recipe using Nutella. Eat Nutella with a spoon. A big one. Make art with Nutella. Wax poetic about Nutella. Cuddle with Nutella. Strike a pose with Nutella. Re-live your first experience eating Nutella. Offer Nutella as a sacrifice. Have a Nutella-eating contest or a Nutella party!

  1. Do something, anything with Nutella. Make a recipe, take a picture of yourself eating it with a BIG spoon, make art, wax poetic, re-live your first experience eating Nutella. Have a Nutella-eating contest or even a Nutella party!
  2. Take pictures and/or upload a video then blog about it ON February 5th, 2011. In your blog post, include links to Ms Adventures in Italy, Bleeding Espresso, and World Nutella Day as well as the World Nutella Day badge/button (below – right mouse click, Save image…). Please try to post ON FEBRUARY 5 so that we can create a true chocolaty hazelnut wave across the blogosphere on World Nutella Day!
  3. Email nutelladay [at] nutelladay [dot] com with the subject “Nutella Day Entry” and include:
  • Your Name
  • Your Blog’s Name
  • Your Blog’s URL
  • Your Post URL/Permalink
  • One 150×150 pixel photo


Georgian cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Georgia and prepared by Georgian people around the world. The Georgian cuisine is very specific to the country, but also contains some influences from the Middle Eastern and European culinary traditions. The cuisine offers a variety of dishes, high in various herbs and spices. 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1 small onion, diced 6 small tomatoes, diced 2 garlic cloves, smashed 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 tablespoon tomato paste salt and pepper to taste 1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions, garlic and chick. Cook until chicken is brown on all sides. 2. Add tomatoes cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. 3. On top of mixture add mint, cilantro, parsley, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Yields: 4-6 servings