Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pound Cake

The first ever thing I baked and that also at the tender age of 10 years was a pound cake. My younger sister and I did it together in fact with the help of our mom. She gave us all the ingredients along with the measurements and there we go, both of us got busy on one long hot day of our summer vacations and thoroughly enjoyed that activity :) My sister measured out all the ingredients under my Mom's supervision and I was the incharge of the mixing department; I was operating the stand mixer. She brought all the ingredients to me one by one and I mixed the batter with the help of that machine. The batter was poured into a greased loaf tin and in it went to the oven to get baked and both of us waited anxiously till its done and couldn't wait it to be ready :) My Mom obviously was doing that step and the moment it came out of the oven, looking fluffy and spongy, both my sister and I exclaimed with joy and wanted to decorate it right away. My Mom then gave us some grated chocolate to sprinkle it on top of the warm cake and I remember, both of us said that we won't cut it till our Dad comes back home from work and look at our piece of art :) My Dad has always been a person who compliments genuinely and always appreciates and encourages; whether it is on our achievements, dresses or cooking, he'd always tell us that you did or look best. So how could he not liked the cake that my sister and I baked for the first time :) He generously praised our attempt and enjoyed a slice of it with a cup of his evening tea :) I wish my Mom took a photo of that cake with the camera as there were no mobile phones back in the day or else I would have taken it myself and would have posted it on the social media like the kids now-a-days do :P But considering the strictness of my Mom, no way I would have owned an iPhone if I was 10 today and Facebook would have been a far-fetched idea! I am honestly glad about that. I really am quite happy about my childhood and all the fun we used to have back then :) But times change and so does the behaviors and parenting styles too maybe. I will know that once I become a parent in future, In Sha Allah (God willing) :)

So back to the cake. From that day onward, my sister and I have made cake together a number of times but she being the studious one and although has a little interest in baking but has never been passionate about it the way that I have been. She's into a medical profession now so, do not get time to even go into the kitchen and I took hold of that department entirely as I am the baker at the house :) Whether its a plain pound cake or a fancy birthday cake, I'm the one who makes it at home oh, and I still use those same loaf pans that my Mom owns and I baked my first cake in :) I shall be sharing more of my cakes in the future posts but I have already posted a recipe of my Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake that you can find the recipe of here.
Pound cake, which is often referred to as plain cake, has gotten it's name cause of all the main ingredients used in making this cake weighing 1 pound. The cake recipe that is of my Mom's was in tablespoons instead of the cups and she used butter. Now, I converted them into the cup measurement and replaced butter with the oil as I got more into practice of baking and got familiar with the right texture of the perfect pound cake. You can use any oil such as corn, sunflower, canola, coconut and even light olive oil. Oil makes the cake moist and light and the texture doesn't come out dense also but if you want, you can use butter by all means; no hard and fast rule but a personal preference mainly :) I've tried using all of them at different times. We never buy a cake from the bakery unless it was extremely necessary or I was not around to bake one :D I even use a homemade pound cake in the desserts such as Trifle and feel that the texture and flavor of the homemade is always better than the store bought one. Check the recipe of this classic English dessert, Trifle here.

Let's get some baking Unleashed today! :D

Pound Cake (Plain Cake)


Plain Flour: 1 1/2 cups 
Eggs: 3 medium sized (at room temp)
Caster Sugar: 1 cup 
Oil: 1 Cup (you can use butter if you like but I use oil in my cakes)
Baking Powder: 2 tsp 
Salt: 1/4 tsp.
Vanilla Extract or Essence: 1 tsp.
Milk: 1/4 cup


  1. Preheat the oven at 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease and flour a 9 x 4 1/2" loaf tin/mold. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together and put aside.
  4. In a stand mixer's mixing bowl or any other regular medium sized mixing bowl, beat together sugar, oil, salt and vanilla essence with the help of an electric beater on a medium speed.
  5. Once mixed well, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  6. Now add milk and flour and beat on slow speed till all of the flour is incorporated. Do not over beat.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased mold and bake into a preheated oven for 30 mins or till the cake tester/skewer/knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let it cool down a bit before taking it out from the mold and cooling it completely on a wire rack. 
  9. Cut into slices once cools down and serve.
  10. Keep it in an airtight box. Will stay well up to 2,3 days.
Makes 1 cake

That's all bakers! :) Baking time can always be adjusted according to the type of your ovens. I hope you enjoy making and eating them. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you! 

Friday, September 11, 2015


Trifle is an English dessert made by layering cake, custard, fruits, cream and jelly/jello. It is one of the easiest and commonly prepared desserts, not just in this region but all over the world. Trifle is also served at different celebratory and religious occasions along with the other traditional sweet dishes like Gajjer ka Halwa and Zerda. A great choice to have it anytime of the year, I must say and its a family favorite as well. My mother has always prepared it not just for us over the weekend but even for the dinner parties we'd have at home for friends and family. Growing up, whenever we had Chicken Biryani for dinner, she used to make Trifle for dessert on the weekends. Later I started helping with the preps and loved setting the layers. She'd do the basic preparations and the rest was my job :D We always use homemade Pound Cake in this gorgeous dessert and I took on the task of baking it when I grew a little older. I have shared the recipe of it in my next post. Please click on the highlighted text.
The best thing about this dessert is that it is visually very attractive cause of the different colors of the layers showing through the transparent glass bowls/dishes and for that reason also it is a favorite of almost everyone and is a center of attention at your dinner table :) 

I am a dessert lover and I love and enjoy making desserts too. I've learnt making it from my Mom but she has taken a backseat and I make it now :) The first time I prepared it on my own was for a dinner we organised for my newly wed aunt and her husband and I remember being too happy and proud of my creation that I was not able to wait till the dessert would be served and that happiness and pride was doubled when I received so many compliments from everyone esp. the guests of honor! :D

I like using seasonal fresh fruits in it rather than the canned mix fruit as the fresh fruit really enhances the flavors of this refreshing dessert. It's quite pleasant and thoroughly enjoyed during the hot weather and for that very reason, I prefer making it when it's hot here. Last time when I made it for my family, I used fresh cherries and kiwis along with bananas and some canned pineapple chunks; that's the only canned fruit I use since, fresh pineapples are not that easily available here. I also like to make individual servings of Trifle as its more convenient and looks pretty too. Cake and custard both can be used store bought but I'll also be sharing how to make custard at home by using custard powder. Its a quite diverse dessert so feel free to use whatever fruits custard flavor you want and treat your family and friends with some prettiest and tastiest desserts :)

Let's get some sweet-tooth Unleashed today! :D



Milk: 1 liter+1/4 cup
Custard Powder: 2,3 tbsp 
Sugar: 4,5 tbsp.
Pound Cake: 1 (sliced)
Mixed Fruit: 2 cups (pineapple, bananas, kiwi, pitted cherries or any other of your choice, cut into pieces)
Heavy Cream: 250 ml
Jelly/Jello: 2 packs (green and red prepared according to the instructions on the pack and cut into cubes)
Pitted Fresh Cherries , Kiwi Slices and Jelly/Jello Cubes: for garnishing.


  1. Boil milk and sugar together in a heavy-bottomed pot. Dissolve the custard powder in the 1/4 cup of the milk and slowly pour it into the boiling milk. Let it thicken over medium flame. Take off the stove, cover with the lid and let it cool down before using.
  2. Mix all the cut fruit with the cream in another bowl and keep it aside.
  3. Take a large and tall walled glass bowl and pour some custard into the base of it.
  4. Now place some cake slices over the custard in a way that they make a second layer by covering it completely.
  5. Next, put some of the fruits mixed with the cream over the top of the cake layer and spread it evenly.
  6. Now put some green and red jelly over the fruit and cream layer.
  7. Repeat the layers according to the height of your serving bowl.
  8. Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate to chill it completely.
  9. Garnish with some fresh cherries, kiwi slices and jelly/jello cubes before serving.
  10. The same method can be followed in preparing individual servings.
  11. Serve chilled.
Serves 6

That's all dessert fans! :) The amount of ingredients can always be adjusted according to your taste and desire. I hope you enjoy making and having it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chicken Biryani With Raitha

Biryani is a favorite dish of this region and it won't be wrong if I'd say, that it's the national dish of Pakistan! You'd find different types of 'Chicken Biryani' just in one town alone so imagine, what diversity this delicious dish holds in itself that you would find a different flavor, look and recipe of Biryani if you travel from one corner to the other of the same city! This dish of cooked meat and rice layered and simmered together was known as a meal of royals as it is a Mughali dish and was made for the kings but as the time passed on, it became a common man's food too. It is served at weddings and special occasions and religious festivities for its extravagance yet, for it being a complete meal, is prepared specially for the weekend dinner as well as during the weekdays. There are different types of Biryani that are prepared in every household and includes not just the different kinds of Chicken Biryani but Biryani made with lamb/mutton/beef, fish, mix vegetables, chickpeas/garbanzo beans as well that I shall share the recipes of all in my future posts, In Sha Allah (God Willing)
Growing up, I remember that Chicken Biryani was one of the family favorite meals prepared by my mother over the weekends but sometimes she even used to surprise us by making it for lunch during the weekdays. I remember feeling so happy after coming back home from school and discovering that we're having Chicken Biryani for dinner :D Oh, the little joys of life! Whenever we had Biryani on a weekend, for dessert it was always the classic Trifle that later I started helping my mother to prepare. I will share the recipe of that Trifle in my next post, In Sha Allah (God willing).
Raitha- a yogurt and vegetables dip is a must with Biryani as it's cooling characteristics really pairs well with the spiciness of this dish and enhances it's flavors too. It is something that we have a special taste preference for at my home so, I thought to share the recipe of it too along with this Biryani I'm sharing with you today. This meal i.e Biryani, Raitha and then Trifle for dessert is still continued to be prepared at ours and we all happily enjoy it with big smiles on our faces :D My Dad is not fond of chicken but likes Chicken Biryani for its delicious combinations of flavors and aromas. We sometimes pair Shaami Kebabs (lentils and meat kebabs) with Biryani to make it a perfect meal :)

The first Biryani I ever cooked was by using a spice mix available in the stores. My parents were out of country a couple of years back and we siblings were feeling quite low and sad missing them esp, our Mom and her presence. She had already cooked some meals for us and stored them in the freezer and the only thing we had to do was to reheat it after coming back from school but over one weekend, we terribly craved for Chicken Biryani and I decided to make it by using the mix as for the time zone difference, I couldn't ask my Mom the recipe of her special Chicken Biryani. The instructions were already printed on the Masala pack and by following them, I managed to make an acceptable yet palatable version of Chicken Biryani the recipe of which also called for adding some potatoes in it. I then regularly carried on with making Biryani by using the Masala (spice mix) pack even after my mother arrived back but as I got hold of the entire procedure of the Biryani making, I started adding the spices myself instead of using the pack. I modified the recipe too and totally made it my own which is entirely different from both my mom's and the classic way or the one I learnt by using the pack. I like to do things quickly and and try to make the procedures easy too. Time consuming recipes do not fancy me and the time constraints I face, doesn't leave me with the patience to stand in the kitchen for long and to go through the tedious methods of cooking classic dishes. The recipe of Biryani that I'm going to share with you is quite lengthy and uses loads of ingredients but believe me, its all worth it and much quicker than the regular recipe! It's my very own yet has all the flavors spices and aroma of the classic Chicken Biryani :)

Let's get some Biryani love Unleashed today, shall we? :D 

Chicken Biryani with Raitha


For Chicken Masala

Chicken: 1 kg/2.20 lbs (skinless and cut into 12 pieces)
Yogurt: 2 1/2 cups
Onions: 5 medium sized (thinly sliced)
Tomatoes: 4 medium sized (chopped)
Ginger & Garlic Paste: 2 tbsp.
Green Chillies: 2 (finely chopped)
Salt: 2 tbsp.
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp.
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder: 1/2 tsp.
Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Cinnamon Stick: 1 
Black Peppercorns: 6
Cloves: 4
Nutmeg: 1/4 tsp. (freshly ground)
Mace: 1/4 tsp. (freshly ground)
Black Cardamom: 1 
Green Cardamom: 2
Star anise: 1
Dried Plums: 10-12
Potatoes: 3 medium sized (cut into thick wedges and soaked into some water with a pinch of Saffron yellow food coloring)
Fresh Coriander/Cilantro Leaves: 1/4 cup (chopped)
Fresh Mint Leave: 1/4 cup (chopped)
Oil: 1 cup

For the Rice

Basmati Rice: 4 cups (soaked in plenty of water for at least an hr before cooking) 
Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Cinnamon Stick: 1
Black Peppercorns: 6
Cloves: 4
Black Cardamom: 1
Green Cardamom: 2
Star anise: 1
Green Chilli: 1
Fresh Mint Leaves: 1/4 cup
Oil: 2 tbsp.
Lemon: 1 small sized (cut into slices)
Salt: 1 tbsp.
Water: 8-10 cups (to boil the rice)

To go between the layers

Ginger: 1 inch piece (jullienned)
Tomato: 1 medium sized (cut into slices)
Green Chillies: 2 (jullienned)
Lemon: 1 small sized (cut into slices)
FreshCoriander/Cilantro Leaves: 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
Fresh Mint Leaves: 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
Yellow/Saffron Food Color: 1/4 tsp.
Kewra Water/Essence: 2 tbsp water/2,3 drops essence
Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp.


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl and marinate it with the beaten yogurt, ginger and garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, Garam Masala powder and all the other whole spices. Cover it with a cling wrap and let it marinate for an hour in the fridge.
  2. Heat the one cup of oil in a large, heavy based pot. Take out the potato pieces from the water, pat them dry with a kitchen towel and fry till they are cooked and are of pleasant yellowish golden color. Take them out on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
  3. Now fry the sliced onions in the same oil till they are golden. Take out half of them and spread on an absorbent paper.
  4. Put the marinated chicken in the remaining oil and the fried onions in the pot along with all of it's yogurt marinade and add the chopped tomatoes to it too. Cover with the lid and cook over medium flame till the chicken is cooked and onions, yogurt  and tomatoes forms a thick, sort of dry masala/gravy and oil is separated. Use water if the chicken is not cooked and cook till its done.
  5. Now add the chopped mint and cilantro/coriander leaves, dry plums, fried potatoes and sprinkle some more Garam Masala over the chicken gravy and mix everything together.
  6. Boil 8-10 cups of water with the whole spices listed under the rice ingredients along with the green chilli, mint leaves, salt, the lemon slices and oil.
  7. Once the water starts boiling, add the pre-soaked and drained rice into it and boil till they are half done. Drain out in a colander and keep aside but reserve 1/4 cup of water from the rice. 
  8. Grease a heavy based pot, preferably the same in which you boiled the rice, with some oil taken out from the chicken masala and pour the reserved water from the rice into the pot before adding the first layer of rice to it. This will prevent the rice from sticking at the base while the Biryani simmers.
  9. Spread one layer of rice in the bottom of the pot and top with the chicken gravy, some tomato slices, lemon slices, green chillies, mint and cilantro and some fried onions, repeat the layers (I normally make 5 layers; 3 layers of rice and 2 layers of chicken)
  10. On the final layer, drizzle some yellow food color dissolved into a little Kewra water or dissolve the food coloring into some plain water and add the essence to it and mix well before using.
  11. Sprinkle some Garam Masala on top and cover the lid with a damp tea towel and place it tightly on the pot. Place it over high flame for a min and then simmer for 20-25 mins. You can simply put the pot into a preheated oven (200 C/392 F/Gas Mark 6) instead for that final step but cover the lid with some aluminium foil instead of a damp tea towel. The pot should be oven proof otherwise you can spread the layers into a Pyrex/oven proof dish instead.
  12. Once done, mix with a light hand and fluff the rice. Take out into a serving platter, garnish with some crispy fried onions and serve with chilled, thick Raitha and Shaami Kebabs if you like. 
Serves 6-8



Thick Yogurt: 4 cups
Milk: 1/4 cup
Cucumber: 1 large sized (finely chopped or grated)
Onion: 1 medium sized  (finely chopped) 
Tomato: 1 medium sized (finely diced)
Green Chilli: 1 (finely chopped. Optional)
Fresh Mint Leaves: 1/4 cup (chopped)
Fresh Coriander/Cilantro Leave: 1/4 cup (chopped)
Salt: 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala: 1/4 tsp (optional)


  1. Put yogurt along with the milk, salt and half of the cumin seeds into a medium mixing bowl and beat well with the help of a hand-held whisk.
  2. Add all the chopped vegetables to this beaten yogurt and mix well. Reserve some mint and coriander/cilantro leaves for garnishing.
  3. Take out into a serving bowl and sprinkle some Chaat Masala on top (if using) the cumin seeds and the remaining mint and coriander/cilantro leaves.
  4. Chill well before serving.
Serves 6-8

  1. All the whole spices, the Garam Masala and Chaat Masala and Basmati rice can be found easily at the ethnic stores.
  2. The marination can be done a day ahead and even the chicken can be cooked ahead for convenience and to save time.
  3. Leftover Biryani can be stored in an air-tight container and stays well up to 2,3 days if kept refrigerated. It can be frozen too up to a month. Just put in the fridge to thaw it completely before heating.  

Phew! That's all my dear readers! :) Seasonings/Spice level and the amount of the ingredients can always be adjusted according to your taste and desire. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you! 


Thursday, September 3, 2015

2 Min. Fudgy Mug Brownie

Now-a-days, everyone is in a hurry and want to do everything in a jiffy. Not many of us have time and most importantly, patience to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare our favorite meals esp. desserts. For that reason, many smart people out there have created shortcut recipes to make the favorite desserts for those times specially, when you're craving for something sweet and neither have time nor the patience to make and later to wait long to have it. I'm one of those impatient people too, who would crave for a dessert at an odd hour and have to have it at that very moment too hence, the recipe of this 2 Min. Fudgy Brownie came upon me during one of those bad craving moments. 
I was working late at night and at around midnight, I had a sudden urge to get up and make a quick brownie in the microwave and satisfy that stubborn craving that wasn't leaving me at peace for a couple of days. Now, you'd find thousands of mug cake recipes on the internet easily and that's something which almost everyone has tried making at least once by now. I've read and watched and even tried a lot of mug cake recipes but I didn't want any of that spongy, leathery stuff that goes hard upon cooling down a bit (based on personal experience) Plus, for not being an egg fan, I didn't want it in mine as adding one whole egg into a single serving of cake is something that's not a comfortable idea for me besides, I wanted a hot, ooey-gooey, fudgy brownie and was not finding what I was looking for. I looked at some ideas on Pinterest but almost all of the Pins I came across were of the recipes that either added Nutella or peanut butter or banana in them. I didn't want any of those ingredients in mine so the quest was getting tougher and I was getting more eager to whip up something of my own. 

I then checked my pantry and took out the simplest ingredients needed to create my quick-dream-brownie. Mixed Cocoa power, plain flour, brown sugar, white sugar, a pinch of salt and bi-carb of soda and then added just 3 wet ingredients; water, oil and a drop of orange essence (because I wanted a hint of orange flavor in it) to this dry mix. Mixed until everything was just well combined, microwaved it for 2 minutes and Ta Da! A delicious looking and divine tasting brownie was ready for me to savor! I made the brownie batter in a bowl and let it bake in the same bowl and once it was ready, just sprinkled some desiccated coconut on top and indulged myself into the goodness of this wonder I created just under 5 minutes! 

I have made it a number of times ever since and have topped it with different toppings such as my homemade orange marmalade, banana slices, icing sugar, chocolate sprinkles and again with the desiccated coconut. The first fudgy brownie I made was enough for two people that I shared with my sister cause no matter how greedy I could be, I still feel guilty and stopped myself from eating that sinful dessert all by myself therefore, I halved the recipe for the single serving later. I have even tripled the original recipe for my whole family yesterday and both my Mom and Dad really loved it! My Dad is really picky about his food choices so if he liked it, I can vouch for its deliciousness with full confidence ;) One of my sisters ate this brownie cold and was singing its praises for long! So folks, I'm sharing with you the secret to making a wonderful brownie in no time not just for yourself, but serve it to your guests too with some ice-cream and get ready for future requests ;)

Let's get some brownie making Unleashed quickly! Shall we? :D

2 Min. Fudgy Brownie in a Mug


All-Purpose Flour: 4 tbsp.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 2 tbsp.
Brown Sugar: 2 tbsp.
Granulated White Sugar: 2 tbsp.
Baking Soda: a pinch
Salt: a pinch
Oil: 2 tbsp
Water: 4 tbsp
Orange Essence: a drop (can use Vanilla instead)
Desiccated Coconut, Icing Sugar, Chocolate Sprinkles, Orange Marmalade, Bananas: For garnishing.
Vanilla Ice Cream: 1 scoop (to serve with)


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in one coffee mug and set aside.
  2. Add oil, water and essence to the dry ingredients and mix everything together.
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes. The time can vary depending on the power of your microwave but start with 1 minute and increase the time if its not cooked in 2 minutes.
  4. Take out and garnish with the topping of your choice and serve. 
  5. Can be served hot with vanilla ice-cream or let cool completely if you want to eat it cold.
Makes 1 serving

That's all desserlovers!:) Baking time can always be adjusted according to the 
power of your ovens. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Skinny Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a most widely known and a commonly made salad in the world and esp. in this region, everyone has their own recipe/method of making it. It won't be an exaggeration if I'd state that you'd find this continental salad in every 'distorted' way possible to suit the local taste buds! 
What exactly it is? Basically its a salad made with shredded cabbage and grated carrots dressed with a mayonnaise and vinegar dressing and seasonings. Some people do add more vegetables to it and sometimes I do too but we have given a different name to it locally and call it "Russian Salad" that I shall share the recipe of in my future posts, In Sha Allah (God Willing)

As a kid, I remember there was one Kebab place in Jeddah, K.S.A that made very nice Seekh Kebabs (Barbecued Skewered Kebabs) and over the weekends, my dad used to get Kebabs from that shop when he'd crave for some good Pakistani Kebabs and they served this Coleslaw with them which was dressed with mayonnaise and cream mixed together. We siblings used to be more interested in it as the spicy food didn't attract us and maybe for the spiciness of the kebabs, they paired this cooling salad with them which was a bit sweet too. My Mom then started making it at home by keeping this fact in view that how much we liked it. 
Over our vacations to Pakistan, there was one burger joint close to my Paternal Granddad's house,  which was famous for their 'Cream Salad' they served with all of their sandwiches and burgers and we were often treated with those because as kids, we really wanted all that stuff that we ate in Jeddah and those burgers were the only solace we got at the time and it was also able to lure us into to eating our dinner happily :) That salad was cream based Coleslaw which was nice but not something that we loved.
As I grew up and got more health conscious, I am always on the look out for the healthier and tastier alternatives of the classic sweet, tangy and fattening Coleslaw dressing. The idea I came up, after various experimentation, was to use one part light mayonnaise mixed with one part of thick curd, some apple cider vinegar, a touch of regular mustard and just a tiny bit of honey all mixed together and Voila, you got the best tasting Coleslaw ready in no time which is kind to your waistline too! Shall we read the steps in detail now?

Lets get some salad-making Unleashed today! :D



Cabbage: 1 small head (shredded)
Carrots: 2 large (grated)
Light Mayonnaise: 4 tbsp. 
Thick Curd/Greek Yogurt: 4 tbsp.
Mustard: 1 tsp.
Honey: 1 tsp.
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Black Pepper Powder: 1/4 tsp.


  1. Put both the shredded cabbage and grated carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In another small mixing bowl, put the mayonnaise, curd/yogurt, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and mix everything together with the help of a whisk.
  3. Add this dressing to the vegetables and toss everything well. 
  4. Take out into a serving bowl and refrigerate till ready to serve.
  5. Ideally make it 4-6 hours prior to serving and keep it refrigerated.
  6. Serve chilled as an appetizer, main salad or as a side dish. Goes great with Pizza, Burgers and Sandwiches too. 

Serves 4-6  

  1. Light mayonnaise and yogurt can be replaced with the vegetarian/vegan version of them.
  2. You can omit adding mayonnaise altogether and double the quantity of the Greek yogurt if you do not wish to add it for any reason. 
  3. If you wish to make Coleslaw a day ahead, just prepare the vegetables and store them in an airtight box. Mix the ingredients for the dressing and store it in another airtight jar. Keep both refrigerated and just mix about 30 minutes before serving. Keep it refrigerated.  
  4. Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight box and stays well up to a day if kept well in the fridge.
  5. In the countries where the Coleslaw mix is easily available in the cold salad section of the stores, the fresh vegetables can be replaced with that.

That's all folks! :) The quantity of the ingredients can be always be adjusted according to your need and desire. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones. Jazak'Allah Khair! (May Allah reward you) 

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is a favorite of everyone; young and old alike! It's Italian by origin but you will find different flavor's of Pizza in every region of the world and in every household, everyone has their own way of making it. Pizza is something that I have literally grown up eating and that my Mom made quite often for us. She learnt making it from one of my Dad's friend's wife, they became our family friends later and we used to visit each other regularly. Both the Uncle and Aunty has passed away now but the memories of the time spent with them are still alive with us. May they both rest in peace, Ameen Sum Ameen.

As a little girl, I remember watching my mother making Pizza with quite an interest and with the anticipation of eating it soon. All of us siblings used to get so excited whenever she announced that she's making Pizza for dinner. I then started offering help to her with putting the toppings on the Pizza base smeared well with the Marinara Sauce or in other words the Pizza sauce which was available commercially. She made Pizza with cooked beef mince mostly with loads of other delicious toppings and lots of cheese covering them all. In it went to the oven to get baked then and the aroma wafting from the kitchen made us expectant children incredibly hungry and happy :D Those were the days when just eating your favorite food made you immensely happy but I still have that child alive inside and I am not willing to let it go ever.
As we grew up older, we always wanted chicken on Pizza therefore, my Mom switched to making with it. 

I remember we once held a Pizza party at home and that was the time when I actually learnt making Pizza from my mother. I was 13 at the time and observed how she kneaded the dough. The recipe that my Mom learnt to make from the Aunty used egg and milk and she always used the jar of Pizza sauce but after some years when I took on the role of the Pizza making myself, I simplified the dough recipe after reading several authentic Italian dough recipes and started making my own Marinara sauce as well.

The Pizza dough that I make, I add wholewheat flour to it along with the all-purpose one and my recipe does neither include any egg or milk powder and nor does it require milk to knead it. The addition of the wholewheat flour not only gives a beautiful color to the pizza crust but does enhance the flavors too. The authentic Marinara sauce recipe does not have any mention of adding dried Oregano leaves in it but I do add it in mine hence, you can say that's the only exception I've made to the authentic method as I love both the aroma and flavor of this herb.

The another trick my mom used and that I have continued using is that after spreading the sauce all over the Pizza base, sprinkle some of the cheese and then put all of your toppings over it and without topping everything with the grated mixed Mozzarella and Cheddar, bake into a preheated and very hot oven.This way it is ensured that both the crust and toppings are well cooked as the ovens at home aren't designed the way they are specially for pizza making in the commercial kitchens hence, by the time the pizza is cooked at home, the cheese gets hard and dark in color. To avoid that mess, we add the cheese after the pizza at cooked. By putting some cheese on the pizza base helps in keeping all the toppings in place and just sticks to the crust and you won't be getting it all over the place :)

After the Pizza is baked and everything including the crust is cooked through, we then top it with loads of cheese and in it goes again to the oven but this time just to melt the cheese and to give some color to it just by turning the top grill on. Once done, we take it out and let stand for a few minutes before serving it with Coleslaw and chilled Coke. This is not a healthy meal by any means but I do make a lighter version of the Coleslaw that I have shared the recipe of in my next post. Please find it here 
We have one round baking pan and the other is square so we always have two shapes of Pizza that we don't mind about at all as long as the Pizza is yummy! :D

Let's get some Pizza love Unleashed today! :D 

Homemade Pizza



(for one large Pizza)

All-Purpose Flour: 2 1/2 cups.
Wholewheat Flour: 1 cup
Salt: 1 tsp.
Yeast: 1 pack (yields 2 1/4 tsp, active dry yeast or instant)
Sugar: 1 tbsp.
Olive Oil: 4 tbsp.
Lukewarm Water: as much as required to knead the dough.
Fine Semolina: 3 tbsp.

Marinara Sauce/Pizza Sauce:

Ripe Tomatoes: 500 gm/1.10 lbs (cut into small cubes)
Onion: 1 medium sized (chopped)
Fresh Garlic: 5,6 pods (finely chopped)
Olive Oil: 1 tbsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Brown Sugar: 1
Dried Oregano Leaves: 1/2 tsp.


Chicken: 1 cup (cooked and shredded or cubed, however you like it)
Bell Pepper/Capsicum1 large (sliced)
Onion: 1 large (sliced)
Canned Mushrooms: 5,6 (sliced)
Olives: 1/4 cup (sliced)
Mozzarella Cheese: 1 cup (grated)
Cheddar Cheese: 1 cup (grated)
Dried Oregano Leave: 1 tsp.
Red Chilli Flakes: 1/2 tsp (optional)


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients for the dough together in a large mixing bowl expect for the semolina.
  2. If using the dry active yeast, then activate it according to the package instructions.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the mixed dry ingredients and pour the liquids in to it. 
  4. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. 
  5. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. 
  6. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. 
  7. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth/tea towel and place it at a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 
  8. While the dough proofs or doubles in size, prepare the Marinara sauce.
  9. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, pour the olive oil and let it heat over medium flame.
  10. Now add the chopped onion and the garlic. Add the salt, mix and let everything sweat away for a bit.
  11. Once the onions and garlic softens, add the chopped tomatoes to them along with the brown sugar.
  12. Mix everything together well and cover the pot with the lid.
  13. Let this simmer over slow flame for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Uncover and you will see that lots of juices has been released from all the ingredients mixed together and the tomatoes have turned mushy.
  15. With a help of a hand-held blender, blend everything to the smooth sauce.
  16. Return this sauce over to the flame and cook for a few more minutes. Be careful while cooking the sauce. It will be bubbling over the flame and their is a possibility of the hot sauce getting on to your hand therefore, keep it covered and stir it carefully every now and then.
  17. Once the sauce thickens a fair bit, turn off the flame and let it cool down completely before using. You can store it in an airtight jar and keep it refrigerated and it can stay well for up to 1 week.
  18. Once the dough doubles in size, remove it to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. 
  19. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. 
  20. If using straightaway, sprinkle semolina over your greased pizza pan. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick and gently transfer it to your pan.
  21. Leave it resting for 15-20 mins while you prepare your toppings. 
  22. Preheat the oven over 200C/400F/Gas-Mark 6.
  23. Spread the sauce over the rolled out pizza dough and sprinkle a little of both the cheeses over it.
  24. Now put all the toppings over it and let the pizza bake into the preheated oven on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes or till everything is cooked through.
  25. Take out the pizza when its done and top this cooked pizza with the remaining cheeses, sprinkle the dried oregano leaves and the chilli flakes over the top.
  26. Place the pizza back into the oven and turn on the top grill. Let it stay under the grill till the cheeses melt and obtain golden color.
  27. Turn off the grill and take it out of the oven. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.
  28. Serve hot with the salad and drinks of your choice. Enjoy.
Makes one 16 inches Pizza

  1. Dough can be kneaded with the help of a stand mixer and a hook attachment if you do not wish to use the classic way of making it.
  2. Sauce can be made with the canned tomatoes too instead of using the fresh one. 
  3. If you wish to make the sauce spicy, just add a little bit of red chilli powder to it while its cooking. 
  4. The leftover sauce can be stored in an airtight jar and keeps well refrigerated for up to a week. This sauce can also be used in pasta, lasagna or any other dish that requires the use of a Marinara sauce. 
  5. You can use any topping of your choice

That's all Pizza Fans! :) Baking time can always be adjusted according to the type of your ovens. I hope you enjoy ,making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you!