This week in our cooking series, we’re featuring two sumptuous recipes to prepare at home. First up, a recipe fit for royalty by the talented Ayesha Ali plus a tried and tested family favourite by our youngest featured home cook yet – Yusuf Sheikh.
Our cooking series features Qatar’s diverse and talented home chefs with a passion for food. If you’d like to be featured in our series please share your food photo on Instagram and tag @ilqlive @mama_baba_ganoush plus the hashtag #qatarhomecooks
How long have you lived in Qatar? 10 years
Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? I have always been interested in cooking especially after my dad opened a restaurant called Kebabbq. Before Covid19, I would go there to watch him cook and return home to copy his meals (with the help of my mum). My grandad used to be a chef and I watched him cook too. He becomes really happy when I show him the meals I have prepared. Now, due to Covid19, I show him the meals via Zoom. Being in quarantine has made it easy for me to watch lots of different cooking programmes and try out my own recipes. I enjoy surprising my family with new dishes every day. I want to get as much practise as possible so I can make everything taste perfect - just like my grandad. I want to be a chef one day and work with my dad in Kebabbq.
What is your dish? Chicken Karahi – a popular Pakistani dish. The recipe is made by frying onions on low heat in a bit of oil until golden brown. Then I add some garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Once this is done, I add all the spices and tomatoes. This has to cook well so all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. I prefer to blend it all with a hand blender so the gravy is smooth. I add some water and let the gravy cook for a few minutes and add cut chicken pieces (on the bone). When the chicken is half cooked, I add yoghurt and stir well. Before serving, I like to garnish it with fresh finely chopped coriander and thin slices of ginger.
Why have you chosen this dish? It is my grandad’s favourite! I love it too! We both enjoying preparing this recipe. I could eat it every day!
250g onion - chopped
1 ½ tsp fresh garlic and ginger - crushed
400g tomato - diced
1½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ turmeric powder
1 cup of water
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
½ tsp garam masala (mixed spices)
1 whole chicken (with bone) cut up into pieces (weight approx. 1kg)
To garnish: a handful of freshly chopped coriander and thin strips of fresh ginger
How long have you lived in Qatar? 6 years
Occupation: Housewife and full-time mother of two beautiful kids (boy aged 6 years and girl aged 2 years)
Has Covid-19 changed the way you cook at home? Yes. The biggest change - I am cooking a lot more. We stopped ordering takeaway meals and eliminated all junk food from our diet. Now I try to ensure that our meals are healthy, tasty and made from organic ingredients (whenever possible). In fact, contrary to putting on the ''pandemic-pounds'' - my husband has lost over 10 kgs in the past 3 months - all credit to healthy, home-cooked meals.
What is your dish? Royal walnut halwa - an absolutely mouth-watering recipe with a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Made with crushed walnuts, simmered in melted butter, flavoured with cardamom and topped with saffron which gives a ''melt-in-the-mouth'' texture. A nutritious, luscious and rich dessert, fit for royalty, which can easily be made in your home kitchen to share with your dear ones.
Why have you chosen this dish? It's the perfect dessert for any celebration. It has a universal appeal and caters to the taste buds of all people around the world. This recipe perfectly represents Qatar - a home to multiple nationalities living in perfect harmony. With its buttery, nutty, sweet and savoury flavours, this dessert is enjoyed by adults and kids alike! Everyone will definitely ask for a second helping!
Social Media: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClo8nM6TiqMq63LoDbH32vA
2 cups walnuts (unsalted) - crushed
1/3 cup dry milk powder (Nido)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter (Lurpak)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 cups FULL FAT fresh milk at room temperature
½ tsp saffron
To garnish: pistachios, rose petals, saffron
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