Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to prepare and use saffron for cooking Plus a giveaway

As promised her's a quick guide on how to use and take care of your delicate and expensive spice.








Buying:

Before you bring it home make sure to always buy the best quality saffron you can afford. Buy it in threads not powder to ensure quality and that you are not cheated upon. Iranian and Spanish saffron are the most well known for their quality.





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Back from vacation, lessons learnt and future plans


Greetings my dear readers. It’s been a while since I last posted here and I am glad I’m back.

The last time I posted was just before we left on a three week trip to Iran. A trip that’s probably the greatest disappointment in my life but one with great life-long lessons.



I’ll be honest; I tend to over plan things sometimes. I am a big dreamer and sometimes I plan for things that I have no control over.




I have left Kuwait with the great expectation that I’ll be back with all those stunning pictures of all the exotic places that I'll be visiting and  that I can show on the blog. Of all the  delicious and authentic food that I'll be enjoying which  I can  share pictures of later on my Instagram feed.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ramadan Special Series- Week Four : Cream Cheese and Walnuts Dates from Faaiza ( Modest Munchies)

It's time for another guest post on this last week of Ramadan. I hope you have enjoyed reading these guest posts so far and meeting the beautiful talented ladies behind them. 

For this week we have Faaiza from modestmunchies.com. Faaiza is another friend that I met through Instagram.Originally from South Africa but now residing in Australia, her blog is warm and sincere like she is,  full of family activities, crafts, kids approved recipes and everything else mommy related. 

And now I'll give the space to  Faaiza...

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Asalaamu Alaikum, my name is Faaiza, a South African born Muslim (of Indian heritage) living in Australia, and has been for the last 12 years. I live in the city of Brisbane with my husband and 2 children.  

Australia is a very multicultural country, being home to people of many diverse backgrounds and different walks of life. I moved here as a teenager with my family and I found many similarities between Australia and South Africa, the Ramadan experience however, required a few adjustments. Ramadan back home was family centred, big family Iftar’s and get togethers were a major part of our tradition. As new migrants in this land, new traditions had to be created.  

Many Mosques and Islamic Centres would host Iftar dinners particularly on the weekends and Ramadan fundraising BBQ’s became very common after Taraweeh. As a teenager I recall attending and supporting many of these initiatives which was a good way of learning and experiencing the great diversity of Brisbane Muslims. Over the years, the community has grown and despite not being able to share Ramadan and Eid with our extended families in South Africa, we have new traditions we share with new friends and a growing family right here in Brisbane. Alhamdulillah. 

As a mother, my focus for Ramadan is now my kids. I want them to be as excited about the Blessed month as I was growing up and I believe Ramadan is a great opportunity to create lasting memories. My son is now 3 years old and is very alert and aware of the things we do. I do my best to make Ramadan fun and exciting so he can learn to appreciate the virtue of the month while doing what kids do best. I share some of these ideas on my blog for other mums or parents in the same position. I think it’s important to create such memories and experiences for children to give them a sense of appreciation towards our beautiful faith. This year we’ve made a Ramadan advent calendar, a Ramadan poster and In shaa Allah I’m planning a few more Ramadan Crafts and activities for the rest of the month.  

This year Ramadan falls in the midst of our winter giving us long nights to pray in and shorter days to fast in. Ramadan also coincides with the winter school break which is an excellent opportunity to get the kids involved in Ramadan activities as well as encouraging older children to fast. 

One of our favourite Ramadan snacks is cream cheese and walnut dates. It is a wholesome and satisfying treat that curbs cravings and nourishes at the same time. I’m sharing the recipe for this easy, tasty snack below.






Cream cheese and walnut Dates

Medjool dates
½ tsp cream cheese per date
1 walnut per date

Slit the date on one side and remove the pit. Fill the cream cheese into the cavity. Roughly chop your walnuts and place them into the cream cheese.



Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ramadan Special Series - Week Three: Mix Vegetable Pokra from Lail (With a spin)

Half of Ramadan have already passed and the other half remains. I hope you have enjoyed this holy month so far like I did.

This week we meet again for another Ramadan special guest post. This week we have Lail from withaspin.com. Lail is a wonderful person and a terrific blogger. Aside from being a mom, a housewife and a tech management professional she also manages to have a successful blog with lots of delicious recipes, DIYs, crafts, kitchen tips , travel journeys and gorgeous photography.
Originally from Bangladesh but now living in the U.S, she shares mostly Bangladeshi food recipes along with other recipes from around the world with her spin on it.

Let's all welcome Lail to the blog today...



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Pakora | Copyright © With A Spin   
Assalamu alaikum(may the peace be upon you), hi, hello! Ramadan Kareem from my family to yours!   First of all, I would like to thank Fatemah for inviting me to do a guest post on her delicious space. I recently met Fatemah in the virtual world and let me tell you that I absolutely love her mesmerizing story telling writing talent. When she reached out with her invite, it didn’t take much time for me to decide. Without a second thought I accepted her invitation. I admire her posts and truly appreciate her hard work on her blog and photography.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rangeenak ( traditional fresh dates and caramelized flour and butter dessert) : Guest Post on Gheza-e-shiriin




Rangeenak (رنگینک) is a popular dish among communities of Iranian descents here in Kuwait, and is often prepared especially  in Ramadan. Not sure where the name came from. Though I know "Rang "(رنگ) means color in Farsi, so it could have came from the fact that the flour is caramelized (colored) before topping the dates. But whatever the name means it really is a rich, nutty and fulfilling dessert to dive into. To see the full post and get the recipe, head over to Gheze-e-shiriin website. My post is live right now. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ramadan Special Series- Week Two - Sulemani Halwa By Huma from Gheza-e-Shirin

It's another week of Ramadan's special guest post series.This week we're having Huma from Gheza-e-Shirin, who was so nice and considerate to do this guest post for me despite her mother's being sick and hopitized. Please keep her in your prayers. I am sure she'll appreciate it.

I became aquantinced with Huma when I received an email from her asking me to guest post for her blog  a few months ago ( which is coming in a few days). I checked her blog and of course I asked her to do the same for me.

Originally from India, and  now living in the UAE Huma's blog is all about  Indian- home cooked meals, the ones that are passed from generation to the other . Check out her blog to see more comfy homy dishes that will make your mind - and mouth-  drool!

And now, let me leave you with the beautiful lady Huma..



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Hello to reader s of saffronpudding I am Huma Kalim  blogger  at Gheza – E - Shiriin, entrepreneur and wife , to a wonderful husband who is my always there to inspire and back me up with loads of ideas. Blogging has introduced me to many people of different cultures with common passion that is cooking. Made many good friends and sometimes amazed to see some recipes are same but with different name. And how particular region has adopted it in their food. 



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By the figs and the olives”: Ramadan Bread & Pink Sweet Hummus - (Guest Post) : Ramadan Weekly Special Series

As promised,  this Wednesday I'll kick start the Ramadan special weekly series. This is my first time hosting guest bloggers and I am so excited about it.

I have asked four different Muslim bloggers from around the world and from different nationalities and backgrounds to share their own unique experience with Ramadan.

Ramadan is a very dear holy month to all Muslims and one that associates with many different traditions and customs. It's so owing to see how these traditions are very different and unique to each ethnic and nationally yet they are all similar in that they share the same spirit of sharing, generosity and family gathering.

So our special guest this week is Nisreen from mosnterscallmemama.com. She is a Palestinian living in the U.A.E. I first got aquantinced with Nisreen through Instagram. Nisreen is a former interior designer and the mom of three little "misters". I love her gorgeous food photography, simple recipes and her bold high spirit personally. Read her beautiful post then head over to her wonderful space to see more of her food photography and delicious recipes.

So, without any further a do let's warmly welcome Nisreen to the blog.




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It’s amazing how food has its impact upon us! A simple bite can take you back in time! Senses are memories… Ramadan is here, and I bet every single woman I know is now at the kitchen preparing good tasty food :) as a Palestinian living in the UAE, I pamper my family the way my mom pampered us during the holy month. Living the expat life takes away the magical time of the whole family gathering around the table and waiting for the Maghreb prayer… when I was little I remember having iftar with the big family members, grandparents, uncle, aunts, and friends who became family! 







Dates, soup, fattoush salad, hummus, sambousik, tamarind juice, hibiscus iced tea, special Ramadan bread, are the basic of everyday Iftar, no matter what the main course is, those are always waiting and welcoming:) of course after that there is the Arabic coffee, Arabic sweets, qatayef, tamrieh… in short it’s gaining the extra pounds month :)


Saab El-Gaf'sha : A Traditional Kuwaiti Dessert - Guest Post for "With A Spin"



Ramadan Kareem everyone. The beautiful Lail behind withaspin.com had generously asked me to guest post on her blog for the holy month of Ramadan. And I have created this delicious traditional Kuwaiti dessert that is often prepared in Ramadan. It is called (Sab El-Gaf'sha) referring to the way the batter is poured into the hot oil with a spoon. 'Sab' means 'pour', 'El-Gaf'sha) means 'the spoon'. To read the whole post and get the recipe head over to her wonderful space.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aab Talebi : Refreshing melon milk with rose water


In the middest of a hot  summer day, hurdling along the busy,  worn down Mash'had, Iran streets, I spot a "shirini" shop with a big sign that says (آب طالبي) Aab Talebi. I hurry over to catch my dad who is a bit ahead of me ; " Can I have some?" I ask. 




If we're not trying to catch a taxi, or late for a prayer, he will usually agree.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

M'sakhan (Arabic chicken rolls) : A crowd favorite


    " Tahera.., come and finish the salad"

    " Haider, check if the driver has brought the soft drinks"

     " Fatemah, take the plates to the men's reception room"


             You can tell there is a gathering in our house by the smell of incense, the tucked away toys and furniture and the streams of orders going in every direction.



My mom is like a bee flying from the kitchen to the outside frying area to the prayer room. She is crazy busy cooking, chopping, finishing her prayers and giving orders.




It's about 1:30 p.m , the smell of Marag (stew) is now filling the kitchen, people are starting to arrive and my mom is panicking by all the the little tasks yet to be completed. But not for long. For the the greetings, the little chats with my aunts, and the fun making takes away the pressure and returns her to her sanity.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top 5 Middle Eastern Food Blogs





I first started blogging in 2012. At that time I would just post whatever recipes I have tried, and whatever dish I made that day. I soon realized that the internet is full of kitchen/food wandering posts and I needed to bring something unique to the blogging world. And it was then also that I realized that the middle eastern cuisine is under represented among the food blogs/ websites and magazines especially those written in English. ( I keep my kitchen wanderings post for Instagram now).

So it was my mission to blog about authentic middle eastern food, the ones I grew up with and the ones we eat everyday and occasionally the modern twist on those old recipes. Because I assume that you have come here because you are interested in middle eastern food and ingredients, I made this list of what I think are the top five middle eastern food and cooking blogs on the internet.

My criteria for choosing those blogs was that I wanted a blog with a sense of a real person behind it. I found lots of blogs that contained lots of recipes , but they were just recipes, no explanation, no stories and for me that is not what a food blog is all about.

So without further a do, let's introduce those who made it to the list:


Monday, April 28, 2014

Iranian Saffron Pudding : The big reveal

Ok..so now you can finally know the recipe behind the blog's name. As I mentioned in the About me page, saffron pudding is actually  rice saffron pudding which is often (in my community) served in commemorations and consolations. It is also a "blessed" food as we say, because you start with only one cup of rice and you end up with about 8 cups of pudding.



To tell the truth, I disliked this dessert for most of my life. My mom would bring those little covered plastic cups filled with "shullah zard"  from consolations and I remember me thinking " who would ever think of cooking such a dessert and passing it on to people".  I was disgusted with its babyfood/iesh texture,  and its complex flavors didn't suit my child's tongue that was accustomed to chocolate and ice-cream.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Mach'boos recipe : a collaboration with IngredientMatcher

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Karl Soderman the founder of IngredientMatcher a new app that shows recipes from around the world with ingredients you have at home.  They wanted a recipe for a national dish to represent my country Kuwait. We agreed on Mach'boos. Which is a popular dish here in Kuwait made traditionally with lamb cubes, basmati rice split peas and golden raisins.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Honey Sweetened Greek Yogurt with Saffron and Pistachios

Some couples fight about money, kids, and other important life issues, we fight about food!

It's usually a back and forth argument deciding what to have for breakfast or what restaurant to go to on the weekend.



I like the all in one approach for breakfast; smoothies, muffins porridge and the like. He likes to have a table spread with all kinds of cheeses, bread and condiments.




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Carrots Blood Orange Preserves


As much as I hate waking up very early in the morning, getting the kids ready, keeping up with Mariam's homework and the tidious "it's time for bed" reminder ...I Do love school days. 


I love it when the kids are asleep by 9 p.m, hubby is either working or out with friends  and the house is completely silent and all mine.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bread Making with Bibi : A visit to grandpa's house


Let me start by saying that these pictures are about a year old. Last February we went to my grandparents' house and Bibi was making kiln flat bread and I took these images. I waited that long because I wanted to get the recipe from her and try a home-oven version of the bread to post on the blog but I gave up on that. It's just not going to be as good.




Still, I wanted to share with you a part of me, my culture and my past.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Classic Lentil Soup

Winter  still lingering in the air. Days are getting longer, but clouds are still filling the sky leaving little spots for the sun to fully shine. While I don't prefer this kind of weather, winter is positively embraced here in Kuwait for it is sure a short visitor.



People go out camping, wear their heaviest clothes and don't turn on the heaters so they can enjoy these cold days before the not so awaited summer arrives.







Personally I don't like it when I can't tell 11 a.m from 5 p.m. I lose my sense of timing and schedule and it gives me a feeling of frustration and depression.