The month of Ramadan is a few days away and I am sure plans are on their way in many households for Sehri and Iftari meals. Last week I told you about Iftari Inspirations my partnership with Asda, where I curated three special menus that can be easily recreated at home this Ramadan with ingredients that could be picked up at an Asda store for iftari.
This week I will be sharing with you the Fusion menu, this menu is perfect for food enthusiast looking for a blend of South Asian and British cuisine.
Desi flavours with a British twist
This menu is perfect for women who are trying to balance work and home simultaneously during Ramadan. While these dishes can be prepared from scratch on the day, there are opportunities to break the recipe into steps and prepare in advance to save time in the kitchen. These recipes are steeped in tradition and are perfect for larger groups as well as when friends and family are visiting. I personally feel that this menu is a perfect fusion of Pakistani and Western flavours and kids will enjoy it equally. You can manage the spice levels in the dishes based on your family’s taste.
Balochi Chicken: Piquant Spiced Roast Chicken with Anardana Spiced Sweet Potato Mash
Tip: Save on time by preparing your Sajji in advance.
For the sajji masala, grind together:
- 2 tbsp. cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
- ½ tsp each kalanamak (black salt), optional, and sea salt
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tbsp. amchoor (dried mango powder, if available)
- 1 tbsp. whole fennel seeds
For the chicken:
- 5kg/3¼lb whole chicken, with skin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. sajji masala (as above)
For the mash, combine:
- 3 sweet potatoes, cooked in an oven until soft, peeled and mashed
- 2 tsp chaat masala
- 1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
- 10 mint leaves, chopped
- 1 green chili, chopped
- squeeze of ½ lime
- Rub the whole chicken with the salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. of sajji masala and crushed garlic.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Put the chicken into a roasting tin and loosely cover with foil. Roast in the oven, basting the chicken with the oil until it is cooked through, the top is golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a skewer.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes then cut into quarters. Sprinkle leftover ground sajji and lemon juice over the chicken and serve with the spiced sweet potato mash.
Swat Valley Varjaley: Wild Garlic, Dill and Spinach Rice
Tip: You can replace wild garlic with finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 ½ tbsp. ghee or 1 tbsp. unsalted butter and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black cumin seeds or cumin seeds
- ½ large red onion, chopped finely
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 2 sprigs of fresh dill
- 1 large handful of ramson/wild garlic
- 200g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in tap water for 1 hour
- 100 g natural full fat yoghurt
- Rinse and soak the basmati rice in water for about 1 hour maximum and drain.
- Heat a saucepan (lidded). Once hot add ghee (or butter and oil). When melted, add cumin. Allow it to pop and add the red onions.
- Chop the greens, (if using garlic instead of wild garlic leaves chop finely).
- When the onions are light brown from the edges add all the greens (or garlic with greens) and toss until wilted. Add the drained rice and stir through until all combined.
- Top with a little water (enough to lightly cover the rice, but not cover it totally). Place the lid on and turn the heat to low. Cook for 5-7 minutes, check if rice had absorbed the liquid, if still raw, add a few more splashes of water, cover and cook until done. Puff up the rice using a fork. There should be no liquid remaining.
- Serve with plain natural full fat yogurt.
Roasted Vermicelli Laddus with Cardamom and Coconut
Tip: Perfect recipe to prepare with your kids
Makes: 38 – 40 laddus
- 1 packet roasted vermicelli (seviyan), crushed finely
- 2 heaped tbsp. ghee
- ½ tsp crushed green cardamom seeds
- 5 tbsp. finely ground unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1 ½ cans of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp. finely crushed pistachio, as garnish
- Heat a shallow pan and melt the ghee. Add crushed cardamom and stir until fragrant. Add the crushed roasted vermicelli. Cook, stirring constantly, until they turn a medium brown.
- Add 3-tbsp. desiccated coconut, stir through and now add the condensed milk and cook until the mixture becomes thick and milk is absorbed.
- Place the cooked roasted vermicelli on a dish, once warm but not cool (enough to handle), take 1 tbsp. each and roll into a ball and then roll the ball into the remaining coconut and sprinkle with ground pistachio.
- Place on a dish, and enjoy within 2 days. (store in fridge but bring to room temperature before eating).
T’s& C’s: selected stores, Subject to availability