Guest Post: Faaiza of Modest Munchies

Today we have my very close friend Faaiza, who blogs over at Modest Munchies, sharing Iftar (break-fast meal) with us!  Before we get to the delicious recipe, let me tell you a little bit about Faaiza. She is based out of Australia, and her blog features delicious recipes, reviews, and even awesome Islamic based crafts for kids! She’s a total creative at heart, and her work shows just that.  Also, Faaiza along with Amnah of Little Life of Mine have just released their new app Muslimify! It’s a photo editing app that can be used to give your photos some flair using Islamic themed editing tools.  It’s a very fun and user-friendly app, and I would encourage everyone to take a look at it! Below is a photo I edited using the Muslimify app; it’s a photo of some string lights I have hanging, and I added a filter and that cute Ramadan Mubarak “sticker” (is that what they’re called?)! Totes adorbs, right? 🙂

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Salaam All and a happy Ramadan to you all. I’m so glad to be here on Henna’s blog today. It’s been a long time coming, and I already feel at home. I’ve had the honour of having Henna over on my blog and and even hosted a virtual baby shower in her honour. Ahh, the joys of the internet. Some of the biggest joys is being able to reach out to so many people and of course making new friends, like Henna. If there was an internet version of a BFF Henna would be mine, hands down!

I was recently featured in a Buzzfeed Community Roundup for Healthy Iftar ideas. The round up included my pasta and bean salad as well as these baked chicken tenders from I Knead to Eat. After going through the list with Mr. Munchies I knew this would be one I would have to try, Mr Munchies loves fried chicken and a healthier baked version sounded like a good idea.

Sunday rolled around and I couldn’t decide what to make for Iftar, when I remembered those baked tenders. I quickly ran to the grocery store and grabbed some corn flakes as well as some chicken from the butcher. I set to work and prepped everything ready for the oven. Between running to the grocery and coming back to prep the chicken I had lost track of time and it was getting too close to Iftar. I decided frying them would be the best option with the time I had left. We usually try to be healthy in Ramadan, but it was Sunday and who can resist ‘fried’ chicken right? They were served with chilli mayo, the perfect accompaniment.

Here’s my adapted version below:

Crispy Cornflake Fried Chicken

Crispy Cornflake Fried Chicken

 

500g chicken breast

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

6 cups corn flakes + 1/2 cup

2 eggs

Oil for frying

 

Chilli mayo

1/3 cup mayo with 2 teaspoons of your favourite chilli sauce mixed in

 

Wash and clean your chicken breasts. Slit each piece lengthways along the middle. Place a piece of baking paper on the chicken. With a kitchen mallet (or rolling pin) pound the pieces so they’re an even thickness. Cut these pieces into even sizes, about the size of chicken tenders. Place the chicken in a bowl and mix in the garlic Set the chicken aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a food processor blend the 6 cups of corn flakes, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour this into a bowl. Crush the remaining half cup with your hands and mix it into the crushed cornflake mixture. This creates chunkier bits for added crunch. Place th flour in a shallow bowl. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them well. Set up your bowls in order of flour, egg, cornflakes mix. Dunk your chicken in flour and dust off excess. Drop your floured pieces in the egg, coat it well then let the excess drain off before dropping into the corn flake mix. Coat the egged pieces well in the corn flour mix and set aside.

Once you’ve finished all the crumbing. Place a pot of oil on a medium to high heat. Once your oil is hot place in a few pieces of chicken at a time (this will depend on the size of pot you use, and the amount of oil inside, do not overcrowd the pot). Fry for a few minutes until the pieces reach a golden brown.  Cut through thicker pieces to ensure they are cooked through, they should look white inside with no hint of pink. Alternatively you could place the chicken on a tray in a pre heated oven of 200c and bake for 20 mins, turning after 10 minutes of baking. Again, cut through thicker pieces to ensure they are cooked through.

Serve with chilli mayo. Yum!

Ground Beef Puffs / Keema Puffs (Patties)

I’ve shared a lot of nontraditional (nontraditional for us Pakistanis) Ramadan foods, and I think it’s time to share some traditional Pakistani Ramzan fare 😉

We love the deep-fried goodness that are pakoray (fritters) and samosay (triangular meat or vegetable filled pastry), but we try to limit our intake of them to 1 to 2 times a week (2 is really pushing it) during Ramadan.  I love the ease of homemade Puffs/ Patties (pronounced pey-teez), and they make for a really impressive addition to your spread.  The key to amazing Patties is to use a good quality puff pastry, and you need a knockout filling recipe.  I finally scored a filling recipe that I can use as my go-to from Fatima Cooks.  The resulting Patties are delicious and gorgeous, and totally stand up to the beauties from Pakistani bakeries 🙂

 

KeemaPuffsPic

 

Keema Puffs/ Patties

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 pounds puff pastry, thawed and cut into desired size (may need more/less)

Directions:

Heat oil in a vessel over medium-high heat. Add onions and ginger-garlic paste, and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add ground beef, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Stir often while breaking up large lumps. Cook until all liquid has evaporated and mixture is dry. Cool completely, then add cilantro. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F and set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

Prepare an egg-wash by whisking egg and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lay puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture in the center of the pastry. Fold pastry as desired and seal edges by pressing down gently with a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue with remaining ground beef and pastry, placing at least 2-inches apart. Brush with egg wash, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and on the bottom. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note: Puffs can be kept frozen and baked at a later time. Freeze unbaked puffs (with egg-wash) in a single layer on a parchment or plastic wrap lined baking sheet. When completely frozen, remove from pan and store in a freezer-safe container. Bake unthawed, adding a few minutes extra to baking time.

Creamy Herb Spread

Hello lovers! How has Ramadan been going for you thus far? We’re already 9 days in and I cannot believe it’s going by so fast (but isn’t that what we say every year?)! Alhumdullilah (praise be to God), it’s going well for us. Our son has been going for Taraveeh (special night time prayers at the Mosque) almost every night with my husband, and he loves it. Our local Mosque has arranged a daycare for the kids for while the parents observe prayer, and he loves hanging out with his little buddies there.

I’ve been trying to keep things interesting for Iftar (break-fast time), and I finally got a chance to modify some of this delicious Creamy Herb Spread from The Comfort of Cooking.  It’s an amazingly creamy and flavorful spread that can be used to fill veggies (like mini peppers or cucumbers!), and would also be amazing as a spread used for tea sandwiches. It’s versatile and keeps well in the fridge, and is a fun departure from traditional finger goods!

 

CreamyHerbSpread

Creamy Herb Spread

Yield: 1 – 1 ¼ Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk (by hand or mixer) until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and use as needed.

Leftovers must be refrigerated.

 

Guest Post: Sarah of Flour & Spice

This Ramadan we’re having a handful of some of the interwebs (and mine) favorite bloggers share some yummies. We’re starting this party off with Sarah of Flour & Spice, and she is sharing something that is sure to be a hit with everyone!

Some background first- Sarah and I “met” a few years ago, and since then she has become a very close friend. She is my foodie spirit animal. She’s become one of those friends that you turn to for advice or just a good catch-up session. She recently revamped her site, and taking a quick look will give you a good idea of just how she rolls 😉

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Hello and Salam to all your amazing readers of My Ninja Naan! I am Sarah from over at Flour & Spice and it is wonderful to be here. Henna is a dear friend so although this is the first time I am ‘guest posting’ here to me it feels like going to the kind of friends house where you take your shoes off and comfortably sprawl on the couch as if you were at your own place and not someone else’s. She just makes me feel like we have been buddies from birth. Desi peeps will know there is an expression I really wanted to use there and didn’t 😉

Sometimes I like to class it up.

Speaking of changing things up, for those of us observing the month of Ramadan we may try and resist it and we definitely try and moderate it but there is something about fried food that becomes so appealing at ‘iftaar’ time. I don’t know if it’s the memory of bygone iftars or if it comes from a standalone craving that we have at the end of our fasts, but if I don’t fry something up there seems to be more than a little disappointment in the air. These simple corn fritters are such a fan way of mixing things up – all it takes is some simple ingredients and you have something light and sweet and spicy at the same time that is a nice change from the usual pakoras (chickpea flour fritters). These come together quickly and you can refrigerate the batter until needed, just mix well before frying. I adore these with some sriracha or sambal oelek but you are welcome to dip it in your condiment of choice.

 

Corn Fritters

Yield: 12-16 depending on size

1 cup fresh corn

¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)

2-3 finely diced chillies

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 egg

Pinch of salt (or a lug of fish sauce – yum)

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of cayenne/ red chilli powder

1-2 tablespoons of cold water

Combine 1 tbsp of the water and all the remaining ingredients except corn in a bowl and mix till smooth. Stir in the corn. Add a little more water if needed so that you can easily drop the batter from a spoon. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry a generous tablespoon of the batter for two minutes on each side on medium heat. Best when hot and served with a spicy condiment (IMHO).

Mango Chickpea Salad

Ramadan Kareem!

The holy month of Ramadan has graced us once again, and I pray that our fasts and prayers are accepted, and we leave the month renewed in faith and spirituality!

I had originally planned to post a recipe for every day of the month, but life got the best of me and I wasn’t able to prepare 30 days worth of recipes for the blog. I will however be posting family favorites regularly throughout the month, and I hope that you are able to take some inspiration from them 🙂

Recently I stopped by to pick up a few essential items from a local Indian grocer, and I stumbled upon freshly arrived mangoes! Now if you’re desi (person of South Asian descent), I’m sure you can imagine my excitement. If you’re not desi, let me explain: we live for mangoes. It’s in our DNA. The love for them courses through our blood.

We went through most of them as is, but I got creative with a few. Some were blitzed into milkshakes, and a few were chopped up and tossed into this delicious Mango Chickpea Salad (recipe from Green Evi). It’s amazing on its own, and would also pair well with a grilled protein as a main entrée.

 

MangoChickpeaSaladPic

 

Mango Chickpea Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (one 14-ounce can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green chili, seeded and diced small
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Refrigerate leftovers.