Poori ka magic

My cousin started discussing the magic that makes the poori puff and asked for the recipe.
She said “I wonder how poori is made, it’s so soft and crispy and I wonder how it puffs like papadam.” I poked in like a big foodie and mentioned “it’s so simple heat oil and add the pooris, and keep taking the hot oil in the pan by a spoon and pouring on top of the poori which will make it puff”. She was so in doubt if am telling the truth which made me make pooris for dinner to assure her that what I told was the truth.

How I Iearnt to make pooris and when is an old story. I used to watch sirasa good morning sri lanka 7 years ago and they had a good cookery show which demonstrated all sorts of recipes and I used to write some on a book. I never tried any recipes and thats when my addiction to food and cooking started. It’s almost 7 years now Every week I followed the programme and wrote down recipes.  Later on I wrote recipes from online sites. 
My mum used to collect recipes from newspapers and she has them all pasted in a book. I guess thats the gene and addiction I’ve adopted.
My dad love food and enjoys eating so I am literally born to foodie parents.
Getting back to my pooris, so last night I made pooris with potato curry. Here is my recipe to poori.
Many chefs and recipes complicate a simple poori recipe by adding curd or yogurt or sometimes bringing it down to one particular ingredient like ghee which they mention as irreplaceable. But trust me there is always an option and substitute when it comes down to a recipe. Am now in the hunt to list down substitutes.
Well, getting back to the subject my pooris have only one compulsory rule it is to add half and half of wheat flour and atta flour. Those two ingredients is what makes the pooris restaurant quality.

1 1/2 cup atta flour (chappati flour)
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon ghee/butter/margarine/oil
1 teaspoon Salt
Water as required

Mix all ingredients and knead to a soft and smooth dough.
Make tiny balls about 1 and a half inch diameter.
Flour the work surface and roll into small flat circles.
Deep fry in hot oil turning over to cook evenly on both sides by pouring hot oil from the pan over the poori to make it puff.
Never close the pooris soon after frying as  closing will make the pooris soggy.
Serve sandwiched with hot potato curry.

Potato curry

4 large potatoes boiled
2 medium onions chopped
3 green chillies chopped
A few curry leaves
2 inch pandan leaf
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1 tablespoon thick coconut milk
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon oil

Temper onions, curry leaves and pandan leaf in oil.
Add mustard seeds and green chillies.
Mash in tomato and season with turmeric powder, chillie powder and salt.
Pour a tablespoon of thick coconut milk, a cup of water and mix well making sure the potatoes are not over mashed and has a quiet medium sized piece here and there.
Cook for a few minutes until it boils and take off heat.

This potato Curry is ideal for chappati as well.
Use coconut powder if you cant find coconut cream or milk.
Always make sure you serve the gravy hot.
Try sandwiching the potato curry between two pooris.
Wrap it jn a banana leaf for an Indian look and is

So am really amazed at how hot oil can make the poori puff like papadams with no raising agents.
Cooking is an art and enjoy it with your own experience. You can never becomw an expert in cooking if you don’t know the basics.



Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)



Is Gajar ka Halwa Indian or Pakistani?
Am lost.
Need to do a good research and repost a new post while in the mean time I’ve got a small twist in a carrot halwa recipe. I decided to try some substitutes in the carrot halwa recipe I’ve come across online. The main substitute for ghee was a super healthy one according to me.
Wondering what I substituted ghee with? Well, it’s none other than olive butter. The tub says its cholesterol free and healthy, which I believe due to the maximum amount of olive oil used in the making of olive butter.
The second substitute was almonds for cashew nuts. Well, almonds are rich in fat but has 0% cholesterol while it also contains a similar percentage of protein and iron which are totally healthy. Almonds were recommended to me by my dietician as a snack. Excess of anything is not healthy so everything has a limit.
So my next substitute for saffron was yellow food color with a few drops of vanilla essence to give the halwa a dessert feeling.
Carrot means a vegetable according to my Sri Lankan family but now they know carrot is sweet and can be used to make delicious desserts too (slight grin).

Some tips for a very healthy carrot halwa that you can try at home.

Use stevia extract instead of sugar as stevia is know as a diabetic friendly sweetener.
Substitute milk with low-fat milk.
Try avoiding the nuts for a gluten free dessert they make no big difference.

Food story of the day
I accidentally added some turmeric powder into my carrot halwa for the color and as a substitute for saffron strands but latter on adjusted it by adding yellow food coloring and sone vanilla to cover up the turmeric powder flavor.

So I end my post with another question.
Are almonds an Arabian nut?
I have seen people gift almonds to relatives when they return from a middle eastern country which is what made me think almonds are from the middle east.
Need to go on a research for the origins of some ingredients I guess!


Chicken BBQ and Foccacia – Food Story & Recipe

Food Story

I have never done or seen a BBQ live in my life until I met my husband and we moved into dubai. The first year in dubai, winter appeared in just six months since I moved into dubai. All supermarkets were stocked with winter clothes and BBQ items from charcoal to BBQ grills and many offers on Chicken. I was so excited to have a BBQ and finally my husbands office had a BBQ party to which I was also invited. It was a family get together as well for office staffs and the boses birthday so the party was held on the 31st of December night which was planned to go on till early in the morning of january 1st.
I reached the party and had a warm welcome. After spending some time chatting with Co – staff employees wifes and the boses family I was so distracted by the sight of wine being served for guests who preferred to drink and later on I made up my mind as these things are common and we can never stop whats on around us unless it’s our residence.
Similarly if we are at a hotel, we do not leave without eating just because the hotel serves alcohol for the customers who as for a drink, do we?
No we dont.
so I was feeling a bit comfortable and planning to have the first BBQ which was being grilled live in front of my eyes.
I was with my hubby’s cousin and his wife who was a person who cover her face. She hardly drank or ate anything and they were in a hurry to leave as we were supposed to attend another bowling party at a bowling centre in mirdiff.
I was so wanting to eat the BBq which I agreed to eat a few pieces soon as I was served waiting for none except the heat to cool down. We quickly ate the BBQ which I learnt later that it was not chicken but duck meat.
Soon as we left the party in haste to beat the new year outing Traffic and reach the bowling centre in time to play and celebrate the new year. So this is my story of trying oyt a BBQ live for the first time in my life.
Later on in mid winter I and my hubby got together and had a BBQ night on a weekend.
And we also had a good get together amongst my husbands friends and cousins.
After having all these fun in dubai I was sincerely reminded of my family back in sri lanka. They are same as myself have never tried a BBQ live and tasted at home. So I decided I will try this out with them and let them experience the joy of winter food.
On my recent vacation to sri lanka I went shopping for a instant BBQ grill and got some chicken meat marinated with nothing special but the normal spices at home.
It was a bit drizzling outside while I tried to light the instant grill inside the courtyard of our house.
It took a few unsuccessful attempts and finally ended up adding a bit of kerosene into the grill and the chicken meat hardly got cooked. Fimally I decided to place the chicken on top of the gas flame and get it grilled. The kitchen was filled with mild smoke and I was sweating due to the heat. The chicken was finally cooked but there were more to be cooked. I was so tired and exhausted of struggling to do a BBQ and failing I decided to get the rest of the chicken baked. Finally I was having chicken done using two different methods grilling over medium flame and baking in a moderate oven.


The presentation

I wanted to serve the three elements individually on a plate but decided to assemble it in top of each other and make it more easier to eat and appetising for the eyes.
So finally I cut and placed the foccacia bread in a tray and topped it with a slice of capsicum, tomatoes and a piece of the chicken.
I served each one a set of these with one being flame grilled chicken while the other being oven baked chicken.


The Foccacia Bread

This was none other than my very own recipe inspired by jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals. I never measured any ingredients and I usually add them according to my experience and knowledge.
Refer my pizza dough in zataar keema pizza and am sure you’ll get all your bases perfect.
fdocca cia

My BBQ Recipe

500 gms chicken
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Salt to taste
Method of preparation
1) Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken.
2) Add all the ingredients and mix well.
3) grill over a BBQ grill until done or bake in a moderate oven according to the time required for your oven and until cooked evenly.

Serve with a choice of bread, rice or rotti over a spread of some humus, raw vegetables such as tomatoes, capsicum, onions and lettuce or even any other green vegetable.

Serve with humus and flat rotti to give the dish an arabian twist.
Drizzle some extra olive oil to give it an Italian twist and serve with foccacia.
For an indian taste serve with sambar and plain rice or some cumin rice.

Hope you enjoyed this post.
(C) travelandfoodworldwide mafaza haleem

Idly love

Idly love

I spent Most of my childhood and teen days frequently traveling to India.
In that way I had the opportunity of tasting various different types of Indian food. India being a very large country with many states I usually went around the south. Indian food is very delicious and has thousands of different types of food. I have many favorite dishes. I love the idly’s specially.

idly’s are very soft and delicious served with gravy called sambar made of dhal with a combination of various vegetables and/or coconut chutney.
Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant I order idly’s.

During one of my trips to India me and my sister went out to buy some idly for our dinner as our parents went out and asked us to get something from the shop and eat. We bought 15 idly’s with sambar and chutney. Idly’s were hot and smelling great with some extra aroma which came from the combination of heat from the idly and banana leaves which they were wrapped in.

I couldn’t wait to start so me and my sister washed our hands and sat down to eat we dint even finish eating an idly when the power went off. My sister was waiting for the generator to be switched on.

I was so in love with the idly’s and feeling very hungry not that I was but for the aroma of idly I couldn’t wait, so I started eating one by one without counting. Finally the power came and the lights were back. My sister was glad the power came back and happily looked down at the plate to start eating. She was shocked. She asked me where are the idly’s, I told her that I couldn’t wait for the power to come so I ate it in the dark but dint count how many I ate. We were supposed to share and eat. I started counting and realized I had eaten 10/15 idly’s. I told my sister i’ll get her more from the shop and she said she was fine. Later as our parents returned to the hotel my sister started telling them what had happened and they burst out laughing. Many years later my dad told the story to an Indian friend of his and they also started laughing.

The next day dad’s Indian friend told us he will send us a treat, and as we were told he came to the hotel to see us with a very large container about one and a half foot long.

We started to open and see what was in and we found idly’s with a separate basket of sambar and chutney.

I was laughing all the way as I ate. I couldn’t believe they had taken so much trouble to make my favorite food.

After moving in to Dubai with my husband I always ask for Indian food. Recently we went out for dinner to saravana bhavan one of the famous vegetarian restaurants in India with branches in any countries. I ordered idly for me and I was thinking of getting an extra parcel so that I can take home and eat in peace, being a very shy person to eat in public I was too shy to ask for more idly’s as my husband’s friend was paying the bill.
I was not satisfied with what I ate then so I held on to my appetite until the next week and bought a few idly’s for my weekend lunch.


Why Vada pav???

Pav means a type of bun halved in the centre and greased with some butter, usually served with a potato, carrots and green peas mixture made in a specific method in a large tray like griddle and is called pav bajji, it tastes so delicious. I remember the days when I went shopping at T.nagar during my visits to India we used to look for one specific shop that we believe has the best pav baji in the area. The shop is chips and chips. They sell the best pav baji.
Whatever the time is we made sure we had a set of pav baji before the shop closes in the middle of a large amount of shops all which had something that was interesting after all I am a shopaholic.
So having moved In to Dubai and craving for some spicy food I decide to have vada pav for breakfast one day. I have never seen nor tasted a vada pav before even during my visits to India.
When the cashier was mentioning the two vada pav’s while he entered the amount I was expecting to taste a vada inside the pav bun.
As I came home and started investigating the vada pav I had one question in my mind. The question is why did they name it vada pav? There was no vada inside it was a bondha.
I love bondhas and I learnt through the Internet how to make bondhas and I really enjoy making them regardless of it being a deep fried food.
Why din’t they name it bondha pav?
I have another question now and still haven’t found an answer am gonna tweet and see if anyone would like to give me a clear answer.
Whatever it is called it tastes really good with a tempered green Chillie across it.
Now that’s what I want isn’t it? yes, spicy food!


All words, images and opinions are mine.

Street food – Bhel puri


Bombay chowpathy is an Indian restaurant that has branches in three malls that I am familiar of and am not sure how many more branches they have. There food is incredible and delicious not to mention the idli quantity although its only 2 per pack which costs 7 dirhams yet the taste is good.
I always love having Indian food having lived in India for a couple I years I fancied Indian food.
Especially Indian street foods. There are a wide variety of street food in India and a few of my favorites are bajji, masala vada, dhal vada, bondha and pakora to name a few. Every morning with my tea I used to have those sweet fried flat item and I really liked it. There are many more Indian street foods I have not mentioned above and two of those are bhel puri and pani puri. I have never tried pani puri but I did try the bhel puri once, although I dint like it much then and I can’t remember the taste now, I decided to try it when I went to get some dinner at Bombay chowpathy.
It was my first try in 10 years. As I scooped a few spoons of the bhel puri thinking it would be spicy I was surprised there was a spicy, sweet and pickly flavor with some crunchiness.
Yes it was delicious.
The pickly caramelized onions, mango which was raw but had a sweet coating like a sweet pickle and a potato mixture, a few puris etc.
Yes I really enjoyed my bhel puri on my way home.
Street food is alway delicious and better consumed in smaller portions.