Chicken with Tomato and Cilantro



The traditional name for this North Indian dish is Murgh ka Bharta. You will want to use the ripest tomatoes available for taste and color. When dishes have a great mix of fresh vegetables and spices you really do not need a lot of ingredients. I always serve this with plain white rice and a cucumber salad.

3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, stem removed and split lengthwise
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
Fresh cilantro

1. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. Fry the onion until soft and then add ginger-garlic paste and green chili.

2. Add the tomatoes and any juices and cook, stirring frequently until soft. Add turmeric and salt. Add the shredded chicken, mix and cook until warm. Place on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

Yields: 3 servings

Ramadan Decorating


I had planned to really go all out this year with the decorating but then we decided to go to Dubai for Eid so I thought I would rather DIY this Ramadan. A few days ago Talal and I were sitting around deciding what we would do for decorations and I really had no idea. I had some colored tissue paper and some old decorations and that was pretty much it. I took some of the old decorations from his grade K graduation and cut some hats off and added some tissue paper that I fringed and cut some stars from other areas to make a little set up in the hall. It is all really simple but we were happy with the results plus Talal had a lot of fun helping. He was in charge of decorating the refrigerator and he drew us all sorts of pretty pictures about Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak everyone inshAllah you have a blessed month.



Qursan is a popular Saudi dish of meat and vegetables and of course Qursan bread. Qursan bread is a flat rectangle shaped bread sold in the Middle East. If it is not available where you’re at then go ahead and substitute pita. I forgot to take a picture and when I was able to the above one was the best I could do as you see its mostly just the sauce and bread. A lot of the restaurants here serve this as a side to most dishes but without the meat. In the end the bread will soak a lot of the juice but you want to serve the dish with some juices left so you may need to add some water while cooking.

Qursan bread
1 white onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 dried lime
1 kg lamb, chopped into small cubes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 meat boullion cube
4 zucchinis, peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. Add half of the onion and allow to cook until gold. Add the meat, tomato paste, salt, pepper, dried lime, cumin, coriander and cardamom. Add water (enough to cover), bring to a full boil and cook until meat is thoroughly done.

2. Add the zucchini and tomatoes cooking until tender. Add water and bouillon cube if needed there should be some liquid in the pan.

3. In a small saute pan add 1 tablespoon of oil and the other half of the onion. Cook until golden. In a casserole dish add a layer of Qursan, then meat, vegetables and onion mixture. Repeat and place in oven for 15 minutes.

Yields: 6 servings

Walnut Scones



These were the most delicious little treats. They are buttery and flaky just the way a perfect scone should be. A few months ago I ordered a non-stick scone pan and after I had it I really was not sure about how they would turn out but I have to admit that I doubt I will ever make scones without it again. For you Americans out there you can also make biscuits in the pan as well. I am always afraid to over handle the dough (like when you make Southern biscuits) but I really do not think that applies to this recipe because I surely over handeled the dough and they came out so risen and fluffy. If you want your scones to be nice and flaky then make sure your butter is cold before using. Of course you need a nice cup of hot tea on the side.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup buttermilk (I used laban)

1. Preheat your oven to 425F and lightly grease the scone pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly. Fold in walnuts.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and liquid. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

3. Add about 2 tablespoons of mixture into each scone pan wedge. Bake the scones in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove them from the oven and let them sit for 4 to 5 minutes to firm before removing them from the pan.

Yields: 18 scones

slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour