Smooth and Creamy Hummus

The season of parties and get-togethers is upon us! I love having a batch of hummus ready at the go, as it makes such a lovely appetizer. Although I already have already shared a yogurt based hummus recipe, this recipe is for a traditional hummus. Please spare yourself and your guests from the premade gloop sold in grocery stores, and spend 5 minutes to whizz together this delicious and healthy Middle Eastern dip. You won’t regret it, promise 😉

(Recipe adapted from Amanda’s Plate)

 

 

Hummus

(Overnight)

Yield: 5 – 6 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ – 1 cup water, as needed, cold
  • Olive oil, as needed, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, soak chickpeas in cold water overnight.

Drain chickpeas and transfer to a large vessel. Cover with cold water and add baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the chickpeas are cooked through and tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and cool slightly for a few minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooked chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Begin running the food processor, and slowly add water until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

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Pakistani Carrot Rice Pudding / Gajrela (Gajar Ki Kheer)

It’s that time of the month again- Muslim Food Bloggers Challenge Reveal Day! This month was special because it marked the end of one year since these challenges began. The theme of this month was to go back and revisit a past challenge of our choice. It could be one that we missed, or one that we wanted to do again. I chose to combine two-

  1. Share a Pakistani recipe.
  2. Share a recipe from a Muslimah blogger.

I’m sharing a recipe for Pakistani Carrot and Rice Pudding, also called Gajrela (or gajar ki kheer). The recipe is actually from a vlogger who shares videos on her youtube channel- Cook With Faiza. I love her recipes because they are authentic and her demeanor is very approachable.

I made this recipe over the summer while I was visiting my family in California. While I was there, my mom and I hosted a surprise anniversary party for my brother and sister in-law (she is more sister than in-law. Love you SaraMaa!). I was originally going to share this recipe back in September for the monthly challenge. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Rafeeda from The Big Sweet Tooth had posted the same dish! Ha! At the last moment I decided to go with something else that was a regional specialty (Karachi Bun Kababs). Truly, great minds do think alike 😉

Anyway, this recipe is very special to Pakistani cuisine, and with the coming cooler months, it is even more special. Enjoy!

Check out all the yummies everyone is sharing this month by clicking on the graphic below!

 

 

Gajrela

Yield: 10-12 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups whole milk
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup basmati rice, ground coarsely
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Handful sliced almonds or pistachios

Directions:

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat milk over medium heat until it comes to a low boil, stirring often to prevent the milk from burning. Add grated carrots and stir. Once the milk returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the carrots have softened considerably, about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to stir often.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and ground cardamom. Add sugar mixture to carrots and mix well. Add ground rice and condensed milk and mix until thoroughly combined. Cook, while stirring often to prevent burning, until significantly reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. Add sliced nuts and remove from heat.

Gajrela can be served warm or cold. Garnish with additional sliced nuts, if desired.

Chicken Chili

There’s definitely a nip in the air, and when it gets cold there is nothing better than a bowl of steaming hot chili. There is already a beef-based chili recipe here on the blog, but I wanted to switch things up this time and give chicken chili a chance. I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and adapted it to be cooked traditionally on the stovetop. The recipe comes together fast, and yields a flavorful and healthy meal. With autumn finally settling in and winter fast approaching, it looks like there is a lot of chili in my near future 😉

 

 

Chicken Chili

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ – 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bell pepper, any color, diced
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw. Reduce heat to medium low and transfer chicken to a plate and shred.

Add remaining ingredients and shredded chicken to the pot and stir. Cover and cook until thick and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Thanksgiving came and went, and I’m sitting here asking myself where the year went? We’re about one month away from ringing in 2017. 20-17. Let that sink in.

 

Sweet potatoes are in season every season, but we find ourselves loading up on them especially during the cooler months.  I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe by Grandbaby Cakes for Sweet Potato Pound Cake, and I was sold. I had one lonesome sweet potato hanging out in my pantry, and I just knew that it was destined for greatness.

sweetpotatopoundcakepic

 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Yield: One 9”x5” Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and oil. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger. Mix on low speed until completely combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

 

Note: Cake can be kept at room temperature for a few days.

Instructions on roasting sweet potatoes: Wash and pat dry potatoes. Place each potato on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a tiny bit of neutral flavored oil. Wrap loosely with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 60 minutes. Potatoes will be ready when they can pricked with a fork easily. Cool slightly before using.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Here in the Midwest the weather has finally started to cool down and we’re entering my favorite season of the year, Autumn! I love everything about it- the colors, the cooler weather, the fallen leaves, the longer nights, and the abundance of fall-centric produce (think apples, pumpkins, pears, etc.).

The cooler weather has me wanting to cook things that warm our bellies and souls. I personally am not a fan of smooth soups (I prefer some texture in my soup; something about the smoothness reminds me of baby food), but tomato soup is the sole exception. I like my tomato soup unadulterated and free of unnecessary frills (oooh fighting words!). I prefer the flavor of tomatoes to shine. I’ve tried my hand at many recipes, but my search for the ultimate grilled cheese partner in crime has come to an end, much thanks to Sarah at Flour & Spice. Her recipe results in a soup that lets the tomatoes be the star (rightfully so).

So go ahead and start warming up friends, it’s only going to get colder 😉

 

RoastedTomatoSoupPic

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a foil lined tray, combine tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until caramelized.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a large cooking vessel. Increase heat to medium high, and add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add sugar, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more of the remaining broth to thin it out. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings.