Eid Eats 2017: Baklava Biscotti

You guys, my favorite day of the blogging year is here- Eid Eats 2017 is officially live! Ramadan is rounding out, and I love that us food bloggers band together to celebrate the blessed month! I, along with my cohost, Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, are excited to see the yummies that are being brought to the party 😉

The party is live from now until June 24, so you’ve got some time to get in on the fun (the guidelines can be found here).

By the Grace of God, Eid Eats is in its 4th installment (2014, 2015, and 2016), and this year we have some fun in store for you all, but more on that later 😉

Click on this graphic to submit your entry for #EidEats2017. You can also click on it to check out all of the delicious bites our participants are sharing.

This year I’ve decided to attend this party in my finest attire, bearing Baklava Biscotti! I was inspired by a recipe shared by the genius blogger behind Brewing Bliss. I used a mish-mash of recipes, including the topping from Brewing Bliss, and the base of the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The resulting biscotti is a treat for the senses! It’s nutty, chocolatey, not tooth-breaking-hard, and downright irresistible! The end product results in a decent-sized batch (and is a great make-ahead item!), perfect for your Eid entertaining needs 🙂

(Check out what my co-host Asiya has contributed here! Looks amazing!)

Baklava Biscotti

Yield: 15 – 20 Pieces

Ingredients:

For Biscotti:

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk

For Topping:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

Make Biscotti:

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside two parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Spread almonds evenly over one baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice during that time. Remove from oven and pulse the almonds in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture is crumbly. Fold in the almonds and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix together until moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough gently until soft and slightly sticky.   If the dough is too sticky to handle, knead 1 or 2 more tablespoons all-purpose flour into the dough.

Divide the dough in two. Place each half on a baking sheet. Using floured hands, gently shape each piece into a 8 or 9-inch log, patting down to ½-inch thickness. Lightly brush the slabs of dough with prepared egg wash.

Bake until the top and sides are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Cut each slab into 1-inch slices. Set the slices cut-side upwards, ¼-inch apart, on the baking sheets. Return to oven and bake for 9 minutes. Flip each biscotti over and bake for an additional 9 minutes. The centers of each biscotti will be slightly soft, but will crisp up after cooling. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Topping:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a small bowl. Add honey and butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a separate bowl in the microwave or double broiler until smooth.

Dip the top of each slice of biscotti in melted chocolate, and then top with nuts. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or cooling rack to allow the topping to set.

***

This biscotti pairs very well with a cup of piping hot tea- which brings me to the question: How does tea play a roll in you and your family’s Eid festivities? For my family, tea is a must! No celebration, especially Eid, is complete without trays of piping hot chai being passed around and enjoyed. Chai is the icing on the cake, so to speak, after a day of celebrating.

Speaking of chai, Tea India teabags are an excellent choice to quench your tea needs. They use only top notch ingredients and recognize the importance of quality packaging. Also, did you know that Tea India teabags come in four unique flavors, so there’s something to suit everyones taste? They include: orange pekoe black tea, masala chai, cardamom chai, and ginger chai.

Now, the fun part that I mentioned a little bit earlier- Tea India has graciously offered to sponsor a giveaway in honor of Eid! The winner of the giveaway will be sent a Tea India prize pack which includes a box of Cardamom Chai, Ginger Chai, and Masala Chai. Also included in the price pack is a set of coasters made from recycled Tea India teabags handcrafted by a group of South African women from a local township.

Here are the terms and conditions:

Giveaway runs from 12:00 a.m., June 20, 2017 through 12:00 a.m., June 25, 2017.

Open to Residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) aged 18+ only. Winner will be randomly picked and emailed and will have 48 hours to respond. If they fail to do so another winner will be picked. Entrants can enter on multiple blogs but can only win one prize. Blogger is not responsible for delivery of prize. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook or Twitter.

Be sure to enter through the link below (you can enter through Chocolate & Chillies too!)

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

*This post is sponsored by Tea India and I have been compensated for it.*

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Eid Eats 2016: Zesty Spice Roasted Chicken

Eid Eats 2016 is officially here! This “party” is one that I look forward to all year 🙂  With Ramadan coming to an end, it’s fun to get together with other bloggers and enjoy the festive atmosphere.  Do you want to come to the party but worried that it’s too late?  Fret not my friend, there’s still time! You’ve got until Wednesday, July 6, to submit a recipe.  Just follow the guidelines found here, and you’re in!  I, along with my co-hosts Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies (check out what she’s sharing here), and Sarah of Flour and Spice (and the yummies that she’s sharing here) would love for you to join us!

EidEats5

Click on this graphic to submit your addition to #EidEats2016. You can also click here to check out all of the yummies everyone has brought.


This year, Eid Eats falls on my father’s birthday.  I had decided beforehand that I wanted to make something that would make him proud.  My father was a huge fan of roasted poultry (chicken and turkey). He was the honoree turkey-carver at every Thanksgiving gathering. He used to enjoy revving the electric knife and getting down to business on the bird. Friends (and their children) would stand around and watch him, and he would hand feed little pieces to those standing closest to him.

I decided to make a zesty spice rubbed roasted chicken (adapted from here) because I knew it would be something that he would have enjoyed.  Prior to this attempt, I had never roasted a chicken before. I don’t know about you, but I had so much fear going into it! Afterwards however, I wondered why the heck I took this long to attempt something so simple! Please, don’t be a scaredycat like me. It’s a simple dish to prepare, and it really adds a classy touch to any spread.

 

ZestySpiceRoastedChickenPic

 

Zesty Spice Roasted Chicken

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 – 3 ½ pound) whole chicken, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ lemon
  • Potatoes, as needed, diced into 2-inch chunks (or baby potatoes cut in half)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon butter, salt, paprika, basil, oregano, black pepper, and red chili powder.

Place chicken in a large container and rub with spice mix, making sure to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the meat to marinate for several hours (overnight is best).

Remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 450°F. In a baking pan, place potatoes in an even layer. Place chicken on top and stuff the cavity with garlic and lemon. Tie the chicken legs together with baking twine. Brush chicken with remaining 3 tablespoons butter, making sure to pour a few spoonfuls into the cavity as well.

Roast chicken in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400°F and cook for an additional 40 minutes, until the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 165°F. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with cilantro.

Eid Eats 2015: Falooda

Eid Eats 2015, hosted by Sarah of Flour and Spice, Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, and myself, has finally arrived! Welcome!

I’ve been really excited to see what everyone is “bringing” to our fancy-pants party 🙂
To submit your post, simply click on the Eid Eats graphic below and follow the given instructions (submissions will be open form 7/15 through 7/18). Be sure to follow the guidelines (found here), and enjoy the party!

Also, whether you choose to bring something or not, hang around and check out the fun things everyone else is sharing. You’re sure to find some lovely Eid inspiration 🙂



Today I’m sharing with you all a delicious glass of cooling Falooda. Falooda is a traditional Pakistani/Indian dessert-beverage. Everyone seems to have their own spin on it, but generally speaking it is a concoction of milk, rose syrup, basil seeds, jello, vermicelli, and either kulfi or ice cream. The recipe I’m sharing today, really isn’t a recipe at all. All of the ingredients are layered in a tall glass, in as much or as little quantity desired. It’s a great treat to make and share on Eid because it screams fancy, and it is a quick dessert that can be pulled together in no time 🙂

While we’re at it, you can check out what Asiya is sharing here, and what Sarah is sharing here.  Also, if you would like to see the yummies our friends shared last year, you can check out Eid Eats 2014 here.

And my dear friends, Eid Mubarak! May this holiday season bring you and your families peace and happiness!

FaloodaPic

 

Falooda

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • Falooda sev/noodles
  • Basil seeds
  • Jelly crystals
  • Rooh Afza (Pakistani rose syrup)
  • Kulfi or ice cream
  • Milk, optional
  • Crushed almonds or pistachios

Directions:

Prepare Falooda sev according to package instructions. Once cooked, store immersed in cold water.

Soak basil seeds in plenty of water. Seeds will swell up and double in size after some time (overnight soak is best).

Prepare jelly crystals according to package instructions. Allow it to set. Once it is completely cooled, cut into small pieces.

In tall glasses, pour a small amount of Rooh Afza as the first layer. Add desired amount of Falooda sev (with some of its water). Add a spoonful of basil seeds, followed by jelly crystals. Top with a scoop of kulfi or ice cream, and garnish with nuts. If the Falooda seems too thick, add a splash of milk.

Serve immediately.

 

Sandwich Maker Cakes

Happy Eid/ Eid Mubarak!

 

I would like to wish you all a very happy Eid!  I hope your day was spent well, as ours was.  We spent our Eid with my in-laws, where my mother in-law cooked an amazing spread and I was in charge of desserts.  I made Gulab Jamun, Mawa Cake, and Qawami Seviyaan (recipe coming soon).  One dessert that I didn’t make, which is usually made in our home on Eid and other special occasions, was a Custard Trifle.  It’s a favorite on my in-law’s side of the family.  It consists of a layer of vanilla cake, any flavored custard, some nuts and shredded coconut, and sometimes a layer of Jello.

Whenever I’ve made this Trifle in the past, I’ve had to first bake a pound cake for the cake layer, which isn’t really an issue if it weren’t for the extra time and preparation.  I no longer need to bake a pound cake to prepare this familial Custard Trifle.  I stumbled upon a genius recipe on Ambreen’s blog, which not only produces soft and absorbent cakes, but also allows me to utilize the sandwich maker that I bought in a rush last year on the morning after Thanksgiving.  After sitting in my cabinet for almost a year without being touched, I have finally found a reason to use my $4 Black Friday find 🙂

Oh and I forgot to mention the best thing about this past Eid!  I finally met, face-to-face, one of absolute favorite bloggers, Asiya!  We were visiting some family who happened to live near her, and Asiya graciously invited us to her home.  My husband, Zuni, and I had a wonderful time talking and spending time with her and her family.  We can’t wait until the next time we meet!

 

SandwichMakerCakePic

 

Sandwich Maker Cakes

Yield:  8 – 10 Cakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until thoroughly combined.  Add eggs and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Fold in baking powder and flour.

Turn on sandwich maker and wait until the red light turns off.  Lightly grease the inner plates of the sandwich maker by spraying them with nonstick spray or brush with oil.

Spoon batter into the cavities of the sandwich maker until full but not overflowing.  Close the lid and allow the cakes to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

If the cakes aren’t ready, cook for longer, making sure to check after every minute.

Cakes taste best eaten right away.

Pakistani Vermicelli Pudding/ Sheer Khurma

Happy Eid/ Eid Mubarak!

Eid signifies the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  It is marked by a special prayer in the morning, followed by feasting and visiting friends and family throughout the day.

Every family celebrates Eid differently.  Some like to host gatherings in their homes, while others like to be out and about.  Some families like to celebrate for three consecutive days, while others celebrate one.  With all of these differences, there is one Eid tradition that is found in nearly every Pakistani/Indian Muslim household that is the same- the making and eating of Sheer KhurmaSheer Khurma is a type of pudding that consists of Pakistani style vermicelli, milk, and sugar.  Some folks add dried dates to their Sheer Khurma, while others may add rice or tapioca.  The variations are truly limitless.

The recipe I’m sharing today is one that is special to my Mummi.  I grew up eating this Sheer Khurma every Eid, and she shared her recipe with me on my last Eid before getting married.  Since then, I have been using her tried and true recipe without fail 🙂

SheerKhurmaPic

Sheer Khurma

Yield:  8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 150-200 grams Pakistani style vermicelli (¾ of standard size package), torn up into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup tapioca
  • 8 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 cardamoms
  • Pinch saffron
  • Few drops kewra essence
  • Sliced nuts for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to lowest setting, 170° to 180°F.

Spread vermicelli in an even layer over a baking sheet and lightly toast in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small saucepan, rinse and drain the tapioca.  Return tapioca to pan and add enough water to cover.  Raise heat to medium, and allow the water to come to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine milk, sugar, cardamoms, and saffron and cook over medium heat.  Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add roasted vermicelli and tapioca (with water).  Cook until desired thickness is reached, ranging from 30 to 60 minutes.  Be sure to stir once in a while to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and add kewra essence.  Garnish with sliced nuts.

Sheer Khurma can be served warm or cold.  Refrigerate any leftovers.