Thursday 25 February 2010

Short break from blogging

Dear friends,
I am taking a short break of 1 month from Blogging as I am going on a vacation to my homeland INDIA :) I am so excited coz I am going after a long gap of 2 years...never stayed away from my country and my family for soooo long.. I had been very busy with shopping and packing and sorting things out for past few weeks and thus was not able to blog hop and I know I have missed many yummy recipes of my fellow bloggers :-(
Will miss all my lovely friends here while I am away and also the yummy and delicious posts...but will be back to blogging with many recipes as soon as I return from India.


Wednesday 10 February 2010

Classic Carrot Cake / My blog turns 1

YES!!!I am soo soo excited to say that my blog has turned 1 year old today... it all started when I started taking food photos of the new recipes I tried to show it to my mom, who lives far away from me. And then, one fine day my husband suggested that I should start a blog, to store all the food snaps with the recipes, which would make it easier for me to refer in future and thus my blog 'Faiza Ali's Kitchen' was born.Firstly I want to thank my husband for introducing me to this blogging world and helping me through it. And my sincere thanks my Mom and Mom-In-Law from whom, I have learned most of my cooking. And Also I would like to thank Lubna baaji of Yummy Food for taking out her precious time for helping me to create a menu bar for my blog..Thanks a lot dear.
Through blogging I made so many friends from around the globe, who visit my blog regularly and encourage me with their kind and lovely comments. I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that in 1 year I will have 135 readers/ followers. I am really thankful to all my fellow bloggers and friends who encourage me, it is the love and kindness you all shower on my blog that keeps it going. Thank you friends :-)
Now coming to today's recipe, I baked this classic carrot cake, which I learned from the book ''cakes and cake decorating ''. Last month my fellow blogger and friend Shabs of Shab's Cuisine had mailed to inform me that there is a huge sale on recipe books at WHSmith. I went to the store the very next day to grab some recipe books. And among the books, that I bought was this book''Cakes and cake decorating'' by Angela Nilson, Sarah Maxwell and Janice Murfitt. I never get tied of looking at those lovely cakes in my book everyday :D it has 200 recipes for beautiful cakes and the best part is the price I bought the book for. The original price of this book is £14.99 and I payed only £ 3.50 for this brand new book which was on a sale(smiles).
There are so many beautiful cakes to bake in this book, but I decided to start with a simple carrot cake and I decorated it with cute lil carrots made using the marzipan.And Yes, this is the first time, I was trying my hands on marzipan. And Voila !!1 here are the results. So, without further ado here is the recipe for the carrot cake.

225 grams / 1 cup of caster sugar,
20 ml /1 scant cup of vegetable oil,
225 grams / 2 cups of self-rising wholemeal flour,
1 tsp ground cinnamon,
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg,1 cup ground walnuts,
grated zest and juice of 1 orange,
3-4 finely grated carrot- squeezed dry,
4 eggs and
1/2 tsp of salt

For the Frosting:
225 grams / 1 cup of cream cheese,
30 ml /2 tbsp of clear honey,1 tbsp of orange juice,
50 grams of marzipan,
orange food colouring,
angel hair spaghetti and
green food colouring.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease a 8 inch round cake tin, line the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. Beat the sugar, eggs, oil, orange zest and orange juice together until light and frothy. Sift the dry ingredients- flour, salt and spices in another bowl and add to the frothy egg mixture and beat for a further minute. Stir in the carrots and the groud walnuts and spon the mixture into the prepared tin. bake for 50-60 minutes or until risen and a toothpick or a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile make the icing. to make the icing, beat the cheese, honey and 1 tbsp of orange juice together until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up.Break the angel hair spaghetti into 2 1 inch pieces and soak in green food colouring for 5-10 minutes. dry them on a paper towel until ready to use.Tint the marzipan with orange food colouring to resemble the colour of carrots. Break small pieces and roll between your palms to form small carrot shapes.using a small knife, press marks around the sides and stick 2 small pieces if the spaghetti in the top of each one to resemble the stalks.
Spread the icing over the top of the cooled cake. Arrange the carrots around the cake or in a bunch, in the centre of the cake.

Note:This cake can be served with a simple dusting of icing sugar on the top if one doesn't like like cream cheese icing. Also the recipe asked for Angelica as stalk for the carrot, which i could find here, So, i used the spaghetti as stalk.

Thursday 4 February 2010

Sesame Naans

In my previous post, I had promised to post the Sesame naan recipe , which I learned from my friend. After tasting her naan I wanted to learn how to make it, and till then I had not baked any naans at home. I had always thought that making naan at home was impossible...Naan for me was something, which can be baked only by professionals. So, this this the first naan I learned, while living in the States. And I was very delighted to see the results..I was soo happy to bake my first naan and I immediately took the naans to her house, to ask if they have turned out good . And I was over the moon, when she complimented me by saying that they were not like her naans, but better than hers(blush)..I am really grateful to her that she gave me this recipe and encouraged me to try them. It is time consuming but is its all worth it because these special beauties are baked only once in while and on special occasions. So, here goes the recipe.....


3 cups maida /all purpose flour,
1 tsp of dry active yeast,
1 tsp of salt,
1 tsp of sugar,
1 cup of milk,
1/4 cup vegetable oil,
1 tbsp of yogurt and
2-3 tbsp of white sesame seeds.

Soak the sesame seeds in 1/2 cup of milk. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients-flour, salt, sugar and yeast . now add the oil, 1/2 cup of milk and yogurt and make a soft dough using some water if needed. Knead well, cover with a damp cloth and keep aside in a warm place for 2-3 hours. After 2-3 hours, make 4-5 balls with the dough, cover withe cloth/ with a cling wrap and let rest for 5 more minutes. Heat a tawa/ griddle and also the oven to broil, strain the soaked sesame seeds in a strainer to use it on the naan. Roll each ball a little bit, just the size of a small poori, top it with some sesame seeds and make holes on it, with your finger ('YES' with your finger). pat this between your palms to stretch and to make it larger. Cook one side on the flat griddle ( not the side topped with sesame seeds, but the other plain side) Cook on low flame until the base turns light brown in colour. take from the griddle and place on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven and cook till the naan turns light golden in colour. Remove it from the oven, and immediately, brush it with some butter and wrap in an aluminum foil (to keep it hot). Do the same with the rest of the dough and serve hot with Achari gosht or any vegetarian or meat curry.

The thicker the naan, the more softer it will turn out. So, make sure not to make it too thin because it will become very crispy.

I am sending this to Priya's Cooking with seeds-Sesame seeds event.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Achari Gosht

Achari gosht is a an aromatic and flavorful meat curry prepared with roasted seeds. The first time I tasted this was more than 2 years back when one day, my friend and neighbor in Buffalo, NY sent me this delicious curry with some freshly baked sesame naans. I have fallen in love with this curry since then and I started searching for its recipe and also came across many recipes for Achari gosht on the web, but the one that I found exactly like my friend's curry was at . And I have cooked this curry many times since past 2 years...and yes, I never fail to cook the sesame naans ( that my friend had sent) every time I cook this delicious curry....Achari gosht and sesame naans are a like a perfect combination for me. I will be posting the recipe for the naans in my nest post...So, keep an eye for the next post :)


2 lbs mutton /mutton chops,
1 finely chopped medium onion,
2 tbsp of vegetable oil,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste,
1 tbsp of coriander powder,
1/2 tbsp of red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds,
1/2 tbsp of mustard seeds,
1 tbsp of cumin seeds,
1 tbsp of nigella/ kalonji seeds,
1/4 tbsp of aniseeds / saunf,
2 tbsp of chironji nuts,
1 tbsp of sesame seeds,
1/2 cup yogurt,
1 green chilli- julienne cut,
a small piece of ginger-julienne cut,
juice of 1 lime/ lemon and
salt to taste.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker, add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook till the onions turn light brown in colour. Add turmeric paste and ginger-garlic paste and saute for few minutes. Add the mutton to the pressure cooker and mix well. Add around 1/2 cup of water too the meat and now add the coriander powder and red chilli powder, mix well and close the pressure cooker and cook till the meat is tender.
In another pan, dry roast the the seeds- half of fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, 1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds, 1/2 tbsp of kalonji, saunf, Chironji nuts and sesame seeds. after they are roasted, cool them for 5 minutes and blend in a blender to make a smooth paste, keep aside.
In a pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, add the remaining fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and kalonji and when they splutter, add the paste to the pan and cook till oil separates from the pan. Open the pressure cooker and if there is any stock in there, add it to the pan and bring to boil and cook till it slightly thickens. Add the mutton to the pan add salt if needed. Add the yogurt and mix well. Cover and cook again till the oil separates from the pan. Finally add the julienne cut chilli, ginger and the lemon juice. Serve hot with Plain naan or Sesame naan.

I am sending this to CWS- Sesame seeds event by Priya of Priya's Easy n Tasty Recipes.


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