Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style

There's a little bit of cheating involved in this recipe. Basically, I didn't make it. Mom made it, but it is so simple & it turned out so amazing that not sharing it with you would have been sacrilegious. Plus I was responsible for the final baking - so I get a little bit of credit here. Mom makes a Desi-style gravy to serve on the side using up the remaining marinade juices. Serve with potato gratin, mashed potatoes, baked potato or baked vegetables. 

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style


Ingredients:


For the Chicken:

  • 4 large Chicken Tikka Pieces with bone (used all breast pieces, but you can substitute leg pieces or a combination of both)
  • 8 to 10 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Chicken Tandoori Masala (Used Shan)
  • 250 grams yoghurt (drain yoghurt in a muslin cloth for an hour so it becomes thick or use Greek yoghurt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoon oil

Gravy:

  • Remainder juices from chicken
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon worcheshire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Cornflour dissolved in water (optional to thicken if required)

Directions:


For the Chicken

  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients well.
  2. Make slits in the chicken pieces, and then marinate overnight.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  4. Line a roasting tray with aluminum foil and then put chicken as well as the marinade into the tray.
  5. Cover the chicken & tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. After chicken has baked for 30 minutes, take off the foil, and drain about 80-90% of the marinade juices into a separate container. 
  7. Lower heat to 120 degrees celsius and bake chicken uncovered for 15 - 30 minutes till the marinade dries up.
  8. Use the leftover marinade juices to make gravy on the side.
Desi-style Gravy
  1. Heat oil and fry garlic till light brown. 
  2. Add onion & saute for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add gravy juices, and capsicum and remaining seasoning ingredients.
  4. Taste & adjust seasoning if required.
  5. Thicken with cornflour.
  6. Serve with chicken tikka on the side. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

I just had a minor epiphany right now - I write VERY long recipes and I am just wondering if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Most people look at a long recipe & go like oh, forget it, I am not making it because it's complicated. But the reason I write detailed recipes is because I want to make sure that none of the steps are missed and you can adjust if required. 

This particular recipe here for white sauce spaghetti has a total of four components - white sauce, grilled chicken, mushrooms & boiled pasta. Sounds long, doesn't it? BUT the chicken recipe I doubled and used for three other dishes (sandwiches, potato skins & this pasta).  That's one component done. The second & third (mushrooms & white sauce) sound long, but they are one pot recipes which can be made in advance. For this particular recipe, I boiled the noodles, made the mushrooms, chicken & white sauce at Iftar (around 7 pm). When it was dinner time (8:30 pm), I warmed everything and then mixed it together. 

So a long recipe does not necessarily mean complicated. But small 'rule of thumb' for whatever recipe you are making: read it at least 2-3 times, make a note of the ingredients you already have & the ones you need, and then plan steps in advance keeping a 15-20 minute buffer margin. This is even more important during Ramadan when you have a strict timeline so its always best to prepare in advance.

Spicy White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

Spicy White Sauce Spaghetti with Garlic Mushrooms, Chicken & Olives


Ingredients

Serves 4-5 people
  • 450 grams egg noodles (spaghetti can be substituted) 
  • Olives for garnish
  • Garlic Mushrooms

    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1 can of button mushrooms, sliced 
  • Peri Peri Grilled Chicken 
    • 200 grams boneless chicken, cubed 
    • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar 
    • 1 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavored) - Substitute with the one you prefer
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • Cheesy White Sauce
    • 3 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
    • 2 tablespoon flour
    • 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups milk
    • 1 Knorr chicken cube
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want the sauce to be spicy)
    • 1 teaspoon paprika (can be substituted with 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder)
    • 200 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 3 tablespoon cream
    • 4 tablespoon black olives 

Directions:

For Garlic mushrooms

  1. Melt butter. Add garlic paste & saute for a minute. Add salt & red chilli flakes, if using.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes till they are just light brown and you can smell the delicious garlic aroma. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

For Peri Peri Grilled Chicken:
  1. Marinate chicken with rest of ingredients and keep in fridge for about 30 minute. 
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken.
  3. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries. 
  4. Slice chicken into small chunks.  
  5. When I initially made this chicken, I doubled the chicken quantity and used about half of it in this pasta, and the rest of it in Cheesy Potato Skins and Chicken Sandwiches. It's a versatile recipe which can be used for other dishes. 
For Cheesy White Sauce:
  1. Melt butter & add garlic paste. Saute for about half a minute till the raw smell finishes. Add flour and stir for at least 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw taste of the flour. 
  2. Pour in about 1 cup of milk, and stir with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps in the white sauce. 
  3. Keep heating the white sauce on medium heat till you can see small bubbles on the side after which it should start thickening. Use a whisk to mix the white sauce properly. Add chicken cube & rest of spices. 
  4. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and let the cheese melt in the sauce. The sauce will be thick, so add about 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup milk and whisk to get to the right consistency. Add cream & mix in the end.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if required. 
  6. Add black olives in the white sauce.
  7. If the white sauce is made in advance, the cheese will thicken & solidify into strands. Just add a little milk and reheat on low flame till cheese is melted and it reaches liquid consistency. 
Assembly:
  1. Boil noodles as per packet directions and set aside. 
  2. Make garlic mushrooms, grilled chicken & white sauce as per above recipes.
  3. Mix the garlic mushrooms & the grilled chicken into the noodles & toss to mix together. Keep a few pieces of mushrooms & chicken aside for garnish.
  4. Take noodles out into a big dish.
  5. Pour half the white sauce over the noodles and toss lightly. Pour the remaining white sauce over the noodles and make sure they are mixed properly. 
  6. Garnish with leftover grilled chicken, mushrooms, olives & a sprinkling of paprika/red chilli powder. 
Spicy White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peri Peri Chicken Sandwich with Cheese & Olives

Another experiment this Ramadan which Alhamdullilah turned out really well. I was planning to make grilled chicken & cheese subway style sandwiches using French bread but the store near my place was out of it. Since I really couldn't change recipes at that time, I decided to just buy multi-grain bread and proceed from there. I was expecting these to just taste like typical sandwiches but baking them in the oven instead of in the toaster oven individually just made them taste so amazing! Not only did the sandwiches stay crisp till dinner-time, but it also saved me the time of toasting them individually. I can so see myself using the same technique and experimenting with the fillings in the future.

The ingredient list is a bit long, but its simply grilled chicken, cheese & vegetables with mayo & butter as condiments. You can easily substitute leftover chicken if you don't have boneless chicken, or add other vegetables but do make sure you add the cheese. Having this sandwich without melted cheese will just not be the same! I made another version using Paneer & Sweet corn which I will post separately. 


Peri Peri Grilled Sandwich - the sandwich platter

Peri Peri Chicken Sandwich with Cheese & Olives 


Ingredients:

Serves 3-4 people (4 sandwiches)
  • 8 slices bread (I used multi-grain bread for added texture/crunch)
  • 3-4 tablespoon garlic butter (normal butter can be substituted)
    • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Paste/Finely Minced garlic 
    • 3-4 tablespoon butter
  • Peri Peri Grilled Chicken 
    • 400 grams boneless chicken, cubed 
    • 1 teaspoon vinegar 
    • 2 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavored) - Substitute with the one you prefer
    • 1 teaspoon salt  
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper 
    • 1 teaspoon paprika 
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder 
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes 
    • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • Peri Peri Mayo
    • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce (Garlic flavored)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes 
  • 3-4 tablespoon sweet corn
  • 200 grams shredded cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or mix of both)
  • 3 tablespoon black olives
  • 1-2 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavor) 
Other filling suggestions: Caramelized onions, sliced Jalapeno's, Sun-dried tomatoes, Deli Meat, Minced Chicken etc.


Peri Peri Grilled Chicken Sandwich - the filling on display

Directions:


For Garlic Butter:
  1. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add garlic paste/finely minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes so that the raw flavor vanishes. Take out garlic butter in a small container and keep aside. 
For Peri Peri Grilled Chicken:
  1. Marinate chicken with rest of ingredients and keep in fridge for about 30 minute. 
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken.
  3. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries. 
  4. Slice chicken into small chunks.  
  5. This was actually quite a lot of chicken - I made about 3 sandwiches, used about 1/2 cup in Cheesy Potato Skins and I had about 1 cup of sliced chicken leftover that I used in white sauce pasta (recipe pending).
For Peri Peri Mayo Dip: 
  1. Mix together mayonnaise, Peri Peri sauce, salt & red chilli flakes.
  2. Taste & adjust if necessary.
Assembly:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
  3. Spread garlic butter on the bottom slices of the bread. 
  4. Put 4 bread slices on the foil with butter side down. Spread Peri mayo dip on the slices. 
  5. Add grilled chicken then shredded cheese, then black olives. Top with a little bit of the garlic Peri Peri sauce. Top with bread slices.
  6. Brush the top slice of the bread with garlic butter.
  7. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes till toasted & cheese melts.Cut into triangles & serve with french fries or salad.
Peri Peri Grilled Chicken Sandwich - right out of the oven

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cheesy Potato Skins

I decided to make potato skins today - I made them at 7:30 pm for Iftar and I am now typing the recipe at 1:49 am in the morning.  This is probably the first time I have typed out a recipe this quickly but I did not anticipate the amount of requests I would get for this recipe. 

Of course, the fact that I shared it on my own Facebook page, on other Facebook forums, Instagram & Twitter might have contributed to the amount of likes & "recipe please's" I got. But basically long story short, I am staying up tonight so I can finish this recipe in time for you to make it at Iftar tomorrow! 
Cheesy Potato Skins

Cheesy Potato Skins


Ingredients:

  • 5 medium potatoes, washed & scrubbed
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper 
  • 1/2 cup grilled chicken, sliced into small chunks (any cooked/grilled chicken can be used as well as leftover chicken). The recipe I used is shared below out of which I used about 1/2 cup chicken for these potato skins
  • 3-4 tablespoon sweet corn 
  • 2-3 tablespoon green olives (I used green olives but black olives can also be used)
  • 200-250 grams cheese, shredded (I used ~ 150 grams mozzarella + ~50 grams chilli cheese but you can use whatever mixture of cheese you prefer, as long as it melts)
Peri Mayo Dip - Mix together 4 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes. 

Other Filling Suggestions: Sliced Jalapeno's, Sliced chicken sausages, Sauteed Peppers (Green, Red or Yellow), Pepperoni. 
Other Garnish Options: Sour Cream, Sliced Green Onions, Caramelized Onions, BBQ sauce.

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Prick potatoes with a fork all around. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Brush the potatoes with olive oil, salt & black pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes - 1 hour till cooked through. Once you can easily pass a knife through the potatoes, they are done. 
  3. Take the potatoes out of the oven, cut them in half and then set aside to cool. 
  4. Take grilled chicken (sliced in chunks) & combine with sweet corn and green olives. Season with salt  (1 tsp) & white pepper (1 tsp) and mix it altogether. Set aside.
  5. Take the potatoes & scoop out the insides leaving about 1/4 inch layer of potato. Make sure you do this very carefully because if you remove too much, they won't stand up on their own. However, if you don't take out enough flesh, then there won't be enough space for the topping. The leftover potato flesh can be used to make mashed potatoes
  6. Stuff the potato skins with some of the chicken + corn mixture, then the shredded cheese. Top with just a little bit of the chicken + corn mixture so that it looks good. 
  7. Turn the oven to 200 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes till the cheese is melted and the skins are crispy. 
  8. Top with Peri Mayo dip.

Grilled Chicken:

Marinate 400 grams boneless chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 2 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon red chilli pepper & 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. 
Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries.
Slice chicken into small chunks. Use about 1/2 cup of cooked chicken for the potato skins and reserve the rest to use in some other recipe (pasta, sandwiches, etc).  

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Onion Rings

I have such a backlog of recipes & reviews to put up on this blog and I am just not getting the time to do it all. It's Ramadan and even though we technically have to work shorter hours, there's just so much to do - managing office work & house chores & taking out as much time as possible for prayers & spiritual reflection.
This time, I am just going to proceed with the recipe directly - no introductions :). More time for that after Eid inshAllah! 

Onion Rings

Crispy Fried Onion Rings


Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/old-fashioned-onion-rings/

Ingredients
Makes 3-4 servings
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups flour/maida
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes 
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup milk 
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I use panko-style bread crumbs as they absorb less oil & are crisper)
  • salt for sprinkling in the end 
  • oil for frying
  • Chilli Mayo Dip (Recipe in the end)

Directions


  1. Heat the oil in a karhai/wok/deep pan once the onion rings preparation has been completed and you are ready to fry.
  2. Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt & spices.
  3. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork or whisk. 
  4. Spread the bread crumbs in a large plate or tray. 
  5. Create an assembly line with one container holding the onion rings, the second containing the flour batter, with the breadcrumbs in a plate/tray. 
  6. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, hold them up so that the batter can drip away. I was in a hurry so I just added all the onion rings to the batter, covered it with a big plate and then shook so that it can mix properly.
  7. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.
  8. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. 
  9. Season with salt, and serve with Chilli Mayo dip.
Note: In order to avoid the dipping & coating mess, make the batter (flour + egg + milk) in ziplock bag. Once properly mixed, add the onion rings, close the bag and shake to coat properly. Add the bread crumbs in another ziplock and add the batter coated onion rings a few at a time shaking to coat again. 

Chilli Mayo Dip

Mix 4 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tsp chilli garlic sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Taste & adjust if required. Serve with onion rings, or french fries.

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Burger King - Wild West Hangout

Burger King - Wild West Range (Picture from BK Facebook page)
Recently Burger King invited me to what I can term as a social media brand discussion/hangout, with various bloggers & twitterati. Titled ‘Wild West’ the objective of the hangout was to discuss their brand & the Steakhouse Range that they recently introduced.

Even though almost everyone knows about Burger King, its only been 9 months since they launched making it a relatively new entrant into the Karachi fast food scene. With this kind of brand comes a lot of high expectations, and in the case of Karachiites, the excitement of being the first to try out the brand. I personally don’t believe in going to a restaurant in the first week but I clearly remember how excited everyone was at Burger King finally opening up in Karachi, and the long queues that I heard about, noticed via Facebook check-in’s and saw pictures of online. The brand team themselves were sharing their experiences of how crazy things were when they opened.

By now things have settled down - they have launched quite a few items from their international menu, started delivery service with some innovative technology that ensures burgers & fries are delivered fresh (definitely need to check this out); and they just launched a new addition to their main menu. Titled the ‘Wild West’ range, it was the theme of the event I am writing about; a new range of burgers available in both beef & chicken, with a regular version and a hot & spicy version.

The event was at the Burger King seaview branch on the 2nd floor and I am going to go off-topic (obviously) but woahhh, the view is amazing! There are quite a few tables set-up on all the corners, and if burgers were easy to eat, this would be like a great place to bring a book to relax & read or just hang out with friends.

And getting back on track ..

So yes, what greeted us when I reached the floor (other than the brand team) were lots of balloons, ice-cold bottles of water (desperately needed), burger king crowns and product pamphlets with pictures of the new range of burgers.
1. Chicken Steakhouse - Flame-grilled chicken patty served with BBQ sauce & Turkey strips.
2. Hot & Spicy Chicken Steakhouse - Flame-grilled chicken patty served with a spicy sauce & jalapenos.
3. Beef Steakhouse - Flame-grilled beef patty served with BBQ sauce & Turkey strips
4. Hot & Spicy Beef Steakhouse - Flame-grilled beef patty served with a spicy sauce & jalapenos.
Price: Rs. 550 for a regular meal (including regular fries + drink) and Rs. 580 for a large meal.

I ordered the Hot & Spicy Chicken Steakhouse with fries. I know the most important part of the burger is supposed to be the filling, but the bun is just as essential. If it’s not fresh & the right size, then be prepared to have your clothes ruined. I am glad to say that my clothes were not ruined. The burger itself was pretty good - I loved the flamed grilled chicken, the hot sauce & the jalapeno’s with just the right amount of kick. It did have some crispy onions in it which I wasn't crazy about. However, the size of the meal with respect to the price is really good! They give a proper amount of french fries (major pet peeve against fast food restaurants that give kid sized fries), thick cut not thinly sliced, so a large meal at Rs. 580 would be good enough for 1 very hungry guy & 2 dainty ladies. Tried the Apple Pie, but found it to be okay - a little too much cinnamon & I prefer the pastry to be more flaky.

Burger King - Thick Cut Fries 
Burger King - Hot & Spicy Chicken Steakhouse

Overall, it was a fun event with great food & interesting conversations. The ‘Wild West’ range looks to be an exciting addition to their current menu. Both variants offered are not the typical chicken/beef burger - they offer a different flavor profile with the BBQ sauce & turkey strips of the regular version & the jalapeno’s & crispy onions in the hot & spicy version. Thus they may not appeal to all the consumers, but they will definitely appeal to people looking for something different which is available conveniently and at a relatively affordable price.

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Preparing for Ramadan - Meal Organization & Healthy Eating Tips

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

It's going to be Ramazan in about a week Alhamdulillah! 

For my readers who are non-Muslims, Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. Everyday during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast by abstaining from food & drink from sunrise (suhoor/sehri) to sunset (iftar). Not only do Muslims have to fast, but they also have to stay away from any sinful behavior or speech and spend more time in prayer. Ramadan teaches Muslims to practise self-discipline & develop empathy for those who are less unfortunate. 

Unfortunately, we are so focused on cooking in this month & the preparation of lavish meals for Sehri & Iftar that we forget about the real objective of this month - pray, ask for forgiveness and trying to do good deeds.What I am going to be doing is sharing some tips that will help you make the most of this month - healthy eating tips so that you remain fresh & organizing tips so you spend less time in kitchen and more time in prayer.

1. Meal Planning
Don't wait for the first roza to start your meal organization. First of all, make a list
 of all the dishes that you want to make during Ramadan, dividing it into Sehri, Iftar & Dinner options. Include your favourite tried & tested recipes, along with any other recipes that you want to try this year. The second step is to organize the list into a weekly or fortnightly plan, noting down the meals that you plan to make daily. There will be unexpected surprises or changes in whatever plan you are making, but at least it will help you prepare in advance. The third step is to organize your grocery list - whatever staples & produce is required. If you are ordering food from outside (especially frozen items), make a note of the quantity required.
Menu Planners available here for your reference:
http://ramadhanplanner.wordpress.com/printable-organizers/menu-planners/

2. Storing Food in the Freezer
Prepare meals in advance for Sehri, Iftar & Dinner. This way you can ensure your
family is eating healthy home-made food, but you will all also save time by cooking & storing in bulk. Secondly, food stored in the freezer will always be a good back-up options for days when you are running late and don't have time to make a meal from scratch.
P.s. I will be doing a separate post on freezer cooking (recipes & methods to freeze) in detail.

3. Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is even more essential during Ramadan. We are fasting from sunrise to sunset, and it is necessary to refrain from over-indulging and eat food that will give us much needed nutrition. Feeling weak the next day after having a heavy iftar & skipping dinner is not because you are fasting but because you haven't eaten properly!

Our diet should include food from all major food groups - bread or cereals, milk & dairy products, meat, fish or other protein, fruits and vegetables and fat & sugars. It is okay to indulge once in a while but food with high sugar content or fatty food should be avoided as it digests slowly and makes one feel thirsty during the day. 

Eating fibre-rich food or complex carbohydrates is recommended especially during Sehri as they are digested slowly and provide much needed energy during the day. This includes food like oats, bread (wholewheat or bran/multi-grain preferred), beans (chickpeas, red beans/rajma, black eyed peas/lobia) & fruits and vegetables (especially green vegetables). It is customary to break the fast with dates not only because it is Sunnah but also because it provides instant energy. 

4. Keeping Your Body Hydrated

Almost all of us are guilty of drinking 3-4 glasses of water, juices or carbonated drinks at Iftar then feeling way too bloated to have anything else! In actuality we should consume 8-10 glasses of liquid from iftar to sehri properly spaced out so our body is hydrated.


Secondly, the Rs. 5 off carbonated drink advertisements that are oh so tempting during Ramadan - ignore them! Carbonated drinks are high in sugar & caffeine content and will not provide the hydration our body requires. Instead make smoothies/milkshakes/lassis for Sehri & Iftar. Eat fresh fruit or vegetables with high water content like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, melons & oranges. Let's also not forget 'Laal Sherbet' which is a must in every household at Iftar time. While it is considered to healthy, try to avoid adding sugar, or drink with milk.




5. Healthy Cooking Methods

I will be the first to admit it here - while I might talk all about eating healthy, but I love having fried items in Ramadan. I also know that for a lot of people, it isn't considered a proper iftar if there are no pakora's on the table!

BUT there are ways to have the food you enjoy and still maintain a good diet (albeit slightly less nutritious).
  1. Use healthy cooking methods like shallow frying, grilling or baking. Shallow-fry pakora's & bake/grill samosa's & rolls.
  2. Don't eat fried items from outside - there is no guarantee about the kind of oil used so its ALWAYS best to fry at home
  3. Use kitchen towel/tissue paper for soaking up excess oil - do not use newspaper as the ink contains lead which is toxic.
  4. Limit the amount of fried items at Iftar; only keep 1-2 items at a time so the cravings are indulged without going over-board
  5. Organize the rest of the meal in reference to the items served at iftar. If serving a heavy iftar with fried items, make sure that the rest of the items are healthy like salads, fruit chat (no sugar), beans (cholay, lobia or rajmah), dahi baray etc. Alternatively, serve a light iftar with 2-3 basic items and then a family style dinner meal like Pizza, Singaporean Rice, Biryani, or similar one-pot/casserole style dish. 
6. Eating Out
One week before Ramadan and you will start getting flooded with all the Sehri & Iftar deals.  I personally have a major grudge against the 'all you can eat' deals because there is SO much food wasted by people, and they all start during Ramadan when we should be most careful about food wastage. So go out or order food from outside but make sure that it does not promote negative behaviour - make sure you don't neglect your prayers outside; don't get upset if the waiter/server is rushed or there is a slight delay as he is also probably fasting; in fact, giving him additional tip will only make the extra effort that he's putting in during this month worth it; and most importantly don't waste food! 

O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.
Reference: Surah al-A’araaf 7:31
Sayyidina Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, “When one of you eats his meal and a morsel falls down, he must pick it up and remove the doubtful portion and eat the rest. He must not leave it for the devil.”
Reference: Jami’ Tirmidhi, authenticated by al-Albani