Oriyarasoi is on twitter !

Showing posts with label Middle Easten recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Easten recipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aish-el-saraya ( A Luscious Lebanese Pudding for Ramadan )

Orange blossoms. Rose water. Toasted pistachios. Some of these heavenly ingredients they put in the Middle Eastern desserts just makes me wonder if any of those aromas would be still be lingering in the air after nightfall and adding to the magic of the Arabian nights. Just the vast expanse of white sand, the deep blue canopy of the sky punctuated with a million twinkling stars and the air smelling of roses. Quite the setting to imagine the legendary romance of Alladin and Jasmine.

That bring me to another kind of love. The love for good food. And Ramzan is quite the right time for spreading some foodie love. 'Aish-el-saraya' is one of those luscious middle eastern desserts that can make one forget all about keeping a tab on the calories. It glides like velvet in the tongue and bombards the senses with a zillion delicious sensations that cannot be called anything unlike an orgasm. Yeah, it's that sinful and addictive too. But the good part is that it is quite easy to whip up. Sadly, it takes a while to set.

There are quite a few recipes for 'Aish-el-saraya' floating about on the net. I got mine from Youtube channel 'Heghineh Cooking Show'. It is run by an Armenian Youtuber who makes these really nice real-time videos and is also a mum with a kid running amok in the kitchen. No surprise that she has all my sympathy and support too. Have put the video at the bottom of this page.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40 mins ( plus loads of standby time )

Ingredients -

  • 1 packet of rusk 
  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water or syrup ( I could not find it hence skipped )
  • sliced/crushed pistachios for the garnishing 

For the syrup -

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • juice of 1 lemon

Preparation - Take the bread rusk in a food processor. Pulverize into a fine powder.

For making syrup, take 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 4-5 mins.

Remove from heat and them add the rose water, orange blossom water and lemon juice.

For making the custard, take 1 cup milk and dissolve the cornflour in it. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil, add the cornflour paste and whisk it till it becomes thick. Dissolve the condensed milk and remove from the flame.

Add the rose water and orange blossom water to the custard and mix it in.

Finally when it cools down somewhat, add the whipped cream to it and fold it in.

For the layering - Take a deep glass dish ( 1.2 lt capacity ).

Mix the powdered rusk with just enough sugar syrup in a mixing bowl. Transfer to the deep dish.

Spread into a uniform layer and tap it all over with the bottom surface of a bowl to pack it tightly.

Pour the custard and whipped cream mixture over it.

Sprinkle the pistachios all over the cream mixture. Put it in the fridge and let it set for 6-7 hours.

Just before serving, remove it from the fridge. Cut it carefully and drizzle some over the remaining syrup over the slices.

Enjoy this delectable dessert for Ramadan !!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Made falafels for the first time yesterday using one of the All-stars recipe from Foodnetwork.com. As I scanned the ingredients list, I could vaguely recollect having made something similar but could not put my finger on it. However once the fritters were ready, I took one bite and the truth dawned upon me. Nothing short of a bollywood potboiler from the 70's, it was a long separated sibling of our very own 'piaji'. The cliched story of two brothers one of whom grows up to be an upright police officer while his good-at-heart sibling lurks on the fringes of the underworld flashed in front of my eyes. Made with garbanzo beans/, the Falafel is spiced with ingredients that are indigenous to the Middle east while our Piaji is made with gram dal and used local spices. Check the recipe for Piaji (here).

While opinions vary on the texture of Falafel, it is agreed upon that it should have a crunchy exterior while retaining a moist and fluffy core. The texture of the chickpeas paste plays an important role in this. Too coarse and it falls apart while too fine a paste makes the falafels dense. To achieve the right texture I made a fine paste out of half of the beans while leaving the other half coarse. The baking powder should always be added just before frying as it gets activated as soon as it comes in contact with water. The refrigeration time is also crucial as it allows the flavours to blend in. 

It is served with tahini sauce, a sesame-olive oil paste with lots of lime added for tang.

Read on for my recipe -

Preparation Time - 30-35 mins 

Ingredients - 

For the Falafel -
  • 1 cup dry garbanzo beans/kabuli chana
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely grounded pepper 
  • 1-2 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley (use the fresh flat-leaf parsley if you get it)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour/maida
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
For the Tahini sauce -

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • salt to taste
  • a dash of pepper (optional)
  • a bit of minced garlic (optional)

For making the Falafels -

Preparation - Soak the beans for 12-15 hours. Drain all the water and dry with paper towel before transferring to a food processor.

Pulse 2-3 times and remove half of the still coarse paste. Add all the remaining ingredients except baking powder and oil to the food processor. Pulse till everything is incorporated into a smooth paste. Add the coarse paste removed earlier and mix thoroughly using a spatula.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (atleast) before using ( can be kept upto 48 hours ). Remove and add the baking powder.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok. Once it reaches optimal temperature (not too hot nor too cold), make small balls out of the mixture and flatten them slightly. 

Let them into the oil, 3-4 nos at a time and fry till they turn brown on both sides. It usually takes about 6-7 minutes per lot. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

To make the Tahini sauce

Roast the sesame seeds on a low flame till they start to pop. Keep aside to cool down.

Transfer to a food processor and blitz to powder them. Add the olive oil, cool water, lemon juice and salt. Buzz to get a smooth sauce. Add more water if the consistency is still thick. If it is too thin, stir in some hung curd.

Serve with the Falafels.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Happy Diwali to All.

The blogosphere has been bombarded with traditional Diwali recipes. While I do not hold anything against following our customs, I simply did not want to ruin my vacation slaving over those laddoos/kalakand or even kheer. That is when I zeroed in on Mahalabia. Also known as Muhellabia, this is one light milk and easy pudding recipe from the Middle East . The first time I read about it in a travel magazine, I was bowled over by the ease and simplicity of this dish. While it does remind me of another Indian dessert (Phirni), this one makes use of cornflour rather than rice flour. It has a light custard or thick yogurt like texture.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15-10 mins

Ingredients - 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup milk powder, 3 tbs corn flour, 1/2 cup sugar ( or less as per preference ), 3 tbs rose water, 2 whole cardamoms, nuts for garnishing.

Cooking - Bring the milk & milk powder to a boil. Allow to boil for 7-8 minutes. Dissolve in the sugar.

Dissolve the corn flour in a little milk. Add slowly to the boiling milk and stir continuously till it thickens to a custard consistency. Add the rose water and cardamon at this point and mix in.

Pour in glasses & put into the refrigerator.

Garnish with chopped pistachios & almonds. Serve chilled.

Featured Post

Green Papaya Laddoos (SugarFree recipe)

Mom is undoubtedly the dessert specialist at home. God forbid, if she takes to blogging, she could give a lot of folks a run for their mone...