Ground Beef Taco Filling

Growing up in California, my family and I were fond lovers of Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Homemade tacos and burritos were common dinner staples, and going out to Mexican restaurants was routine. My Ohio born-and-bred-son seems to have inherited his momma’s California genes, as he’s a complete taco lover! He looks forward to Taco Nights, and loves to customize his plate with his favorite fillings and toppings.

This recipe is a basic one for a ground beef taco or burrito. Use it as you please. I picked it up from Mel’s Kitchen Café.

 

 

Ground Beef Taco Filling

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (or one 8-ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional

Directions:

Heat a large vessel over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for a minute, then add the tomato sauce and jalapeno (if using). Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the liquid has dried up, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve as desired.

Burns Road Lentil Dumplings In Yogurt Sauce / Burns Road Ke Dahi Baray

Karachi is arguably (not debatable in my opinion 😉 ) the foodie destination of Pakistan. The city is a melting pot of ethnicities, and that aspect of it is best represented in the food Karachi has to offer. Admittedly, I didn’t get to enjoy as much of the street food I had hoped to, but whatever I did manage to get was amazing!

I had mentioned previously that I’ve come back so inspired from the amazing eats of Karachi, and this recipe here is a direct result of that! Burns Road is an area in Karachi that is famous for a few reasons- all food related, by the way. The dahi baray (lentil based dumplings that are soaked in a spiced yogurt mixture, and served cold) of Burns Road are famous throughout Karachi! While most recipes call for urud lentils, these are actually made from finely ground moong dal (split yellow mung beans) flour. What also sets these dahi baray apart from others is how small the fritters are. I would describe them as being no bigger than one or two bites (traditionally, the baray are medium-sized patties/fritters).

I hounded the internet and fell upon this recipe, adapted it and tested it a few times, and now I can confidently say that you don’t have to travel to Pakistan to enjoy Burns Road Dahi Baray 🙂

 

 

Burns Road Ke Dahi Baray

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

Note: measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.

For Yogurt Mixture/ Dahi:

  • 3 cups yogurt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • A few tablespoons milk or water, as needed
  • 2 cups chickpeas

For Lentil Fritters/ Baray:

  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons split yellow mung bean flour/ moong dal flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ – ½ cup water, as needed
  • Oil, for frying

For Garnish:

  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon chaat masala

Directions:

Make Yogurt Mixture/ Dahi:

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt and sugar until completely smooth. Add milk or water, as needed, and whisk until a smooth and thick consistency is reached. Add chickpeas and set aside.

Make Fritters/ Baray:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add water, a little bit at a time. Mix until smooth. The consistency of the batter should be so that when poured from a spoon, it falls off in dollops (not a steady stream).

Set aside a large bowl of cold water.

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. To check the temperature of the oil, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling and the batter starts making its way upward, the temperature is perfect. Stir the batter, and use a teaspoon to drop spoonful’s of batter into the oil. Cook until the fritters are golden all around. Transfer to the water and allow them to soak for a few minutes. Squeeze the water out of the fritters using the palms of both hands, and arrange them in a serving dish.

Pour the prepared yogurt mixture over the fritters.

Make Garnish:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and lightly roast. Transfer seeds to a bowl and coarsely crush. Set aside.

Add red pepper flakes and chaat masala to the skillet and cook until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with crushed cumin seeds and mix well. Sprinkle the spice mixture on top of the dahi baray (yogurt and fritters).

Serve cold.

Minced Meat and Lentil Biryani / Keema Masoor Biryani (Memon Masoor Pulao)

2 posts in one week? Whaaaat?

Well, this is my first shot at the Muslim Food Bloggers Challenges. Every month there is a new theme, and the month of February’s was Biryani. Biryani is basically just a spiced rice dish (often times paired with meat). In the South Asian culinary scene, the difference between Biryani and Pulao is that biryani is cooked in layers (the rice is par-boiled and then layered with the meat/masala), whereas in pulao the rice is cooked with the spices in a broth.

I chose to share the recipe for a very traditional Memon (the sub-ethnic group that I hail from) recipe, Masoor Pulao. It’s a bit of a misnomer because although it is called a pulao, it’s actually cooked in layers like biryani.

I’m excited to share this recipe for several reasons, but mostly because (a) I’ve always had trouble taking pictures of traditional Pakistani food, and I’m ready to take the plunge, and (b) it’s a recipe that has been passed down in our family, and I’m happy to finally be sharing it with actual measurements (y’all know how much trouble it is to find a desi recipe using actual measurements and not “a little this, a little that”!)

Enjoy!

keemamasoorbiryanipic

Keema Masoor Biryani

(Memon Masoor Pulao)

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

Note: Measurements are in actual measuring spoons/cups and not eating utensils.

  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 2/3 cup brown lentils
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, to taste, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppers
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • Handful chopped mint
  • Handful fried onions
  • 3 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half

Directions:

Rinse rice in cold water a few times, cover with water, and set aside.

Heat a small saucepan filled with water over medium-high heat. Add lentils and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until mostly cooked through (should not be mushy; there should still be a bit of bite to the lentils, as they will continue cooking with the rice later). Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add meat and ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few minutes. Add chilies, coriander powder, black pepper, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add yogurt, mix well, and cook until mostly dry. Add lentils, mix, cover, and remove from heat. Set aside.

Heat water (enough to boil rice in) in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add black peppers, bay leaves, and salt. Once it comes to a boil, add soaked rice (drain before adding), and cook until about 75% cooked through. Drain and set aside.

In a large vessel, drizzle in a bit of oil. Top with half of the rice, followed by the meat and lentil mixture. Top with cilantro, mint, and fried onions. Cover with remaining rice. Sprinkle on additional fried onions, and gently place the boiled eggs on top. Cover. Cook over low heat until the rice has finished cooking, about 30 minutes.

 

 

Check out everyone’s interpretations and adaptations of this month’s challenge below!

Ranch Chicken Pizza

Have you tried pizza without marinara sauce? This was my first foray into making pizza without a traditional red sauce, and MY GOD! WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!

Literally, so so good!

I happened upon this recipe after my son asked that I make pizza for dinner (I had already set a packet of frozen chicken out to thaw). It worked out perfectly, because it also gave me a chance to use up a few vegetables that were past their prime. Win-win 😉

(Recipe courtesy of Annie’s Eats; crust and pizza)

 

ranchchickenpizzapic

Ranch Chicken Pizza

Yield: 1 Large Pizza

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Oil, for greasing the bowl

For Pizza:

  • ¾ – 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into bitesize pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar, Colby, or Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Make Crust:

Combine ¼ cup water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Add remaining water and oil, and stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine bread flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add yeast mixture. Once all of the dough has come together, increase speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, about 2 hours.

Make Pizza:

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, while stirring often, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Lightly sprinkle pizza pan or half-sheet baking pan with cornmeal or semolina. Roll out pizza dough to fit pan, leaving the edges slightly thicker for the crust.

Spread the ranch dressing evenly over the crust, followed by mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with the cooked chicken, green onions, and tomato. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

Place the pizza in the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, about 13-17 minutes.

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Not too long ago, my brother mentioned that I don’t post enough “main” dishes on the blog. I took a step back and realized that he was right. He made me realize that I seem to share recipes for the occasional treats or indulgences, and rarely the regular day-to-day meals. My goal for the coming year is to focus more on daily meals, including traditional Pakistani fare.

Coming to this recipe, it’s a delicious and healthy meal that comes together very quickly. I adapted it from here based on dietary restrictions, and it’s a meal I come back to time and time again.

broccolichickenstirfrypic

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, divided
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish

Directions:

In a bowl, combine chicken, sugar, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and salt. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining cornstarch and water and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat. Add broccoli, remaining ginger-garlic paste, 2 tablespoons water, salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat skillet over high heat again and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken and stir-fry until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Garnish with green onions.