Sign in Register
Posted On: 15 July 2020 09:30 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:30 am

Qatar Home Cook Series COVID-19 special- Deepak Gandhi and Samiha Reza

Kim Wyatt
Kim Wyatt
Discuss here!
Start a discussion

Welcome back for two new delicious recipes from our Qatar’s Home Cooks series. This week, we’re featuring a twist on the classic biryani from Deepak Gandhi plus a sweet treat from Samiha Reza.

Whether you’re new to cooking or super experienced, we hope these recipes from our global community in Qatar inspires you to get creative in the kitchen.

If you’d like to be featured please get in touch. We’re looking for home cooks based in Qatar with a passion for food!

Tag your food photos with @mama_baba_ganoush and @ilqlive plus the hashtag #qatarhomecooks and we will repost your pics. Happy cooking everyone!

Name: Deepak Gandhi

Country: India

Occupation Digital Marketing Consultant

Instagram: @dgtize

Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Covid19 has made me realise I’m a fairly good cook. That’s thanks to my sister and parents whom I constantly bug to do a video call and help me experiment with food. I’ve started experimenting a lot with veggies and I’ve mastered a couple of instant secret recipes that I use to cook in between my back to back zoom calls.

What’s your dish? Sindhi Chicken Biryani. This biryani is a delicious combination of layered aromatic basmati rice and chicken, cooked in select spices, garnished with caramelised onions and served with ‘raita’, gravy & Sindhi papad.

Why did you choose this dish? I’m a big-time foodie and a great fan of biryani. I’ve tried biryani at several restaurants in Doha and while I have a few favourites, my biryani style of cooking is completely off-beat. After extensive experimenting, I’ve come up with my own recipe which is my version of a Sindhi biryani with a twist. This is one of the best I’ve had so far and it won’t be available elsewhere because of its unique recipe. I crave for it so much that I practically end up making this almost every weekend. It does consume a lot of time, patience & love but it’s all worth it.

Deepak's Sindhi Chicken Biryani

Servings: 2-3 people


Ghee (100-150 ml)

Onions (2 big) finely sliced

Yoghurt (full fat, 300-350 ml)

Turmeric (1/2 tbsp)

Chicken masala (1 tbsp)

Salt (to taste)

Black pepper, freshly ground (1 tbsp)

Red chilli powder (1 tbsp)

Sindhi biryani masala (50 gms) containing: cumin, plum, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, ginger, garlic, red chilli, turmeric

Chicken x 750 gms

Tomatoes X 3 big

Garlic paste (1 tbsp)

Ginger paste (1 tbsp)

Red chillies x 3

Green chillies x 2



a. Marinade:

  1. Clean and deskin the chicken. In a large pot, add water and boil the chicken for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade paste: Mix the following items in 300-350 ml of yoghurt: a pinch of turmeric, 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder, 2 tbsp ginger- garlic paste, 1 tbsp chicken masala powder, black pepper (freshly ground).
  3. Remove the chicken from the boiling water. Add to the marinade paste. Coat thoroughly.
  4. Pierce the chicken with a knife or fork to ensure the marinade soaks in.
  5. Set aside in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.

b. Base:

  1. In a frying pan, add ghee and fry the finely sliced onions until golden brown and crisp. Keep them aside on a paper towel.
  2. Blend the tomatoes along with 1-2 green chillies (if you like it spicy).
  3. Prepare the rice until semi-cooked. If you like to have colourful rice - add a little orange or green natural food colour.

c. Gravy:

  1. In the same ghee add the chicken (after it’s been kept at room temperature for around half an hour) with the yoghurt marinade,
  2. Heat chicken on high flame for 5-7 minutes and then reduce heat
  3. Cook for around 20-30 minutes on low flame with the lid closed.
  4. Add fresh tomato puree and continue to cook on low flame for another 5-10 minutes. Add salt to taste at this stage.
  5. Add Sindhi biryani masala. Stir well and continue cooking on low flame until the gravy becomes thick (approx. 20-30 minutes). You may add 1-2 tbsp of cornflour paste to make the gravy thicker. I usually avoid this.

d. Rice & garnishing:

1. Layer the semi-cooked rice in the same pan, over the chicken, and close the lid. (You may put a piece or two of sizzling hot charcoal in a tiny bowl, pour some ghee over it and keep this bowl on top of the rice before closing the lid. Optional: You may seal the lid with wheat flour dough flour. Cook on very slow fire for about 45 minutes to an hour so the rice absorbs the flavour as well.

2. Serve with a smile :)

Name: Samiha Reza

Country: Bangladesh

Occupation: Student

Instagram: @zeecooks_ Youtube: ZeeCooks

Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Yes COVID-19 has majorly affected the way I cook at home. As a student, I barely get any time to practice and improve my cooking skills. However, due to the pandemic and quarantine, I have a lot more time on my hands to try new recipes and enjoy what I love.

What is your dish? Chocolate and Caramel Dessert Cup – a decadent sweet treat

Why have you chosen this dish? I personally have a sweet tooth and love the combination of chocolate and caramel together. I wanted to make something that was easy to recreate, requires little effort and tastes great. This is one of my go-to dessert recipes that satisfies sweet cravings.

Samiha's Chocolate and Caramel Dessert Cups

Servings: 2 to 3

Ingredients: For the chocolate layer

2 tbsp cornflour

4 tbsp Sugar

1/8 tsp Salt

1 cup milk

¼ cup chocolate chips


  1. In a bowl add the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Transfer to a medium-sized pan on medium heat.
  3. Cook the mixture until it thickens. Stir constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Place the mixture in a glass cup and refrigerate.

Ingredients: For the caramel layer

1 cup milk

2 tbsp cornflour

¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp butter


  1. In a medium bowl, add the milk and cornflour. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a saucepan, add the sugar and heat on medium flame. Caramelize until golden brown.
  3. Add the butter and mix well.
  4. Slowly add the milk and cornflour mixture. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Remove the glass cups (with chocolate layer) from the fridge. Add the caramel layer to the top of the chocolate layer.
  7. Refrigerate the dessert cups for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Decorate with desired toppings such as whipped cream, crushed biscuits or sprinkles for extra texture!

What have you been cooking at home? Let us know in the comments section below!