Meat and rice Dolma with Vine leaves

Meat and rice Dolma with Vine leaves

Dolma is one of the very popular dish in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and middle east. Grape leaves  stuffed with meat and rice filling, lightly spiced and cooked to perfection. Other veggies like Zucchini, bell pepper, cabbage, eggplants are also used instead of grape leaves. I became fan of Dolma after coming to Tashkent. All these years, from UAE, I never dared to taste Dolma, somehow in my mind that was some weird snack, which is not suitable for my taste buds.

Once my friend here brought me piping hot Uzbek dinner, two types of Dolma (with grape leaves and bell pepper Dolma) and Uzbek Samosa and some sweets. When I opened the box first I saw was grape leaves Dolma. My face became 🙁 immediately. Hubby started eating that one after another. I just looked at him and asked –  is it that tasty you are enjoying it like anything??! In my life, first time I tasted Dolma on that day!!! Since then I decided never prejudice anything as I did with Dolma!!! Sorry Dolma for underestimating you 😀

I was waiting for summer to get fresh grape leaves. You can also use canned vine leaves which will be available in most of the Middle eastern/Asian stores. You can also get them online.

Filling can be adjusted as per your family preference. It can make without meat for Vegetarian/vegan version. Carrots, minced cabbage, mushrooms etc can also be used. There is no strict rules how the filling should be.

I cooked Dolma with Chicken stock which I had in my fridge. It definitely enhanced over all flavor. Dolma with dollop of sour cream were sooo good, as we enjoyed it for our Iftar. It can be used as snack/appetizer or serve it as your dinner.

If you had pre-judged Dolma as I did, I strongly recommend you to try this at least once. Lemme know how you enjoyed them.


⇒Click here for the Recipe!


25+ Ramadan/Iftar Recipes (Both sweet & Savory)

25+ Ramadan/Iftar recipes round up (both sweet and savory)

Ramadan is just around the corner and hope you all might have started preparing for it both physically and mentally. Me slowly started doing it, but not so much excitement and feel of Ramadan as we have back home. How about your Iftar menu plan?? I know you all might have book marked bunch of recipes already and still looking for something more exciting recipes….right??? So I thought to do a round-up of Iftar special recipes, it will be little easier for you to add few more recipes to your menu ahead and do shopping and prepare for it. Doing prayers are more important on coming days. To spend more time to do prayers and other things, I have included  freezer friendly and easy to prepare recipes below.

Do you like sweet dishes or savory for Iftar?? Here Hubby want only savory snacks and I am a sweet tooth girl any time of the day. So most of the time I prepare both sweet and savory snacks. This time I am thinking to go little healthier during Ramadan. Don’t know if it will work, but insha allah gonna try.

So here is my suggestion for Iftar menu planning, hope this gonna help you.

Nombu Kanji (Rice & Greengram porridge with Coconut Milk)

Nombu Kanji is one of the comforting and unavoidable dish to make during Ramadan.  From this simple porridge, you will get protein and other nutrients from green gram, carbs from rice and healthy fat from coconut milk . A perfect way to get nourished.

Nombu Kanji (Rice & greengram porridge with coconut milk)

 Paalooda – A classic malabar drink (Cardamom flavored cashew milk)

Hot beverage – a milk based drink enriched with the goodness of cashew nuts and flavored with cardamom powder. Very simple drink, lightly sweetened and perfect to make during Ramadan! You can prepare this delicious drink in no time. Palooda (A Classic malabar drink - cardamom flavored cashew milk)

Strawberry Iced Tea

This fresh fruit infused tea is something which you can’t stop drinking!! Good alternative for all tea lovers to get refreshed after breaking fast. Perfect to beat the summer heat too with the goodness of strawberry. Strawberry iced tea

Almond Muhallabia (Middle Eastern Ground rice & Almond Pudding)

This is one of the easiest and yummiest middle eastern dessert, which can be prepared for Iftar. After a long day of fasting,this mildly sweet and delicate dessert gives so much comfort.This will be ready in 15 minutes and you just need to chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Almond Muhallabia (Middle Eastern Dessert)

Hazelnut praline Custard /Pastry cream

Since it is super simple to make custards at home, most of the time custards took its own special place on Iftar table.To make this humble dessert extra special, I have added hazelnut praline to it.  Fruits and nuts can also be added instead of Hazelnut praline.Hazelnut praline custard/pastry cream

Lemon Curd

As it looks, they are so creamy and satisfying with vibrant lemony flavor. With the power pack of Vitamin C, lemon also helps to balance the body’s PH balance. You can have them by its own, or use as dip or topping to other desserts.

Easy homemade lemon curd from scratch

Mini Kunafa/Kanafa with home made Kunafa Dough

If I served only this for Iftar, there won’t be any complain from hubby. He used to request to make Kunafa on special occasion as well.You can either make the dough at home ahead or if you are lucky enough, get the kunafa dough from the store. I made it in little muffin tray which looks so cute and easy to serve individually.

Mini kunafa with homemade Kunafa dough

Aish el saraya (Middle eastern pudding with bread and custard)

Another really easy middle eastern dessert perfect for Iftar.This scrumptious eggless bread pudding is flavored with rose-water and orange blossom water, topped with lots of chopped almonds and pistachios which for sure give this creamy and smooth pudding something to get crunched.  Aish el saraya (labanese bread pudding) - middle eastern dessert

Luqaimat (Middle Eastern Sweet Dumplings)

These fried sweet dumplings are a must on Iftar table at least once during Ramadan for us. Once you have a platter full of luqaimat in your hand, I bet you won’t stop eating them. They can be prepared with very easily available ingredients. luqaimat recipe (middle eastern sweet dumplings)

Umm Ali (Egyptian Dessert)

Iftar dish can’t be easier than this. This eggless dessert made with puff pastry and topped with creamy milk and nuts of your choice. This can be served hot or cold.Umm ali (Egyptia dessert with puff pastry)

Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights) – Semolina Pudding Pie

Middle eastern desserts are one of my favorite on Iftar table. You can’t go wrong with this creamy dreamy dessert. I have given nut layer in between semolina pudding and whipped cream topping to get extra crunch.

Layali Lubnan (Labanese nights) - Semolina pudding pie

Pumpkin Payasam Panna Cotta

Another really simple and delicious Indo-italian Fusion Dessert. This can be prepared ahead, so that you don’t need to rush at the last-minute before Iftar.

Pumpkin Payasam Panna Cotta

Malabar Wheat pudding (Nasara)

This is one of the age-old Malabar recipe, which is my all time favorite.  Can be prepared with very little ingredients.

Malabar wheat pudding (Nasara)

Kayi Ada/Unna Kaya (Stuffed Plantain-Fried)

This is one of the most popular Malabar snack, I have been enjoying them my whole life. Mashed plantains are stuffed with sweet filling, either coconuts or eggs, or else by mixing both of them. The best part of this snack is, it will freeze very well.Kayi Ada/Unna Kaya (Stuffed Plantain-Fried)

Panineer Petti (Crepe stuffed with sweetened mixture)

This is one of the usual item on Malabar iftar table. You can prepare this very last-minute if you fail to plan anything ahead. Stuffed with sweetened coconut/egg mixture and poured with sugar syrup, to sweeten it even more.

Panineer petti (Malabar snack - Crepe stuffed with sweetened mixture)

Sweet chatti pathiri with Apple and cheese filling (Atti pathil/Atti pathiri)

I have given a twist with apple pie and cheese filling to Malabar’s very own chatti pathiri. Take my words, you must try this combo at least once in your life time. They are soo delicious.

Sweet chatti pathiri with apple and cheese (Attipathil/ chatti pathil)

Savory Chatti Pathiri (Atti Pathiri/Atti Pathal)

Another very popular Malabar special dish. By its look, chatti pathiri is very similar to Italian Lasagna. Crepes are  layered with meat fillings and cooked in lowest flame or baked in the oven. I have given very delicious fried chicken filling in this. They are very filling too.

Savory Chatti Pathiri (Atti Pathiri/Atti Pathil)

Fatayer with Spinach and Feta (Middle eastern triangle pie)

To give a vegetarian touch to Iftar table, here is one delicious option. Since it was not loaded with lots of spices, very comforting savory snack for Iftar! This snack too will freeze well.Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

Baked Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Another vegetarian middle eastern snack, which I baked instead of deep-frying to make it more healthier. Served with very delicious tahini sauce.Baked falafel with Tahini sauce

Lahmacun / Lahmajoon

Both of us favorite dish lahmajun appear on our Iftar table many times during this month. Its filling and so much comforting dish for us. You don’t miss to try them.

Lahmacun / Lahmajoon (Turkish Pizza)

Egg and cheese breakfast roll

Combination of egg, cheese and  bechamel sauce rolled into a crepe is simply amazing. Best part is that this roll freezes well.

Egg and cheese breakfast rolls

Minced meat Lavash Roll (Kheema Roll)

Lightly crispy exterior and juicy meat filling inside is family favorite. You can make a big batch of them, freeze and enjoy them through out the month.

Minced meat lavash roll (Kheema roll)

Spring Roll – Malabar style

This one is a usual item made in every Malabar kitchen for iftar during Ramadan. You can either fry them or oven bake for guilt free version. This rolls too freezes very well.

Spring roll (Malabar style)

Baked Erachi Ada (Malabar style Meat Pockets)

Without this crescent-shaped snack, no Malabar Iftar table would complete. Very rarely hubby request for some particular dishes, and this one is one among them. I baked erachi ada instead of deep-frying, to have them without much guilt. They too freezes well.Baked Erachi Ada (malabar Style Meat Pockets)

Unakka chemmeen Unda Putt Recipe (Kerala Style Dried Prawns Stuffed Steamed Rice Balls Recipe)

This snack is another family favorite. Since it is steamed, very healthy to serve for Iftar. You can definitely change the filling as per your preference like Kallummakaya, Kakka erachi etc.

Chemmeen Unda Putt Recipe (Prawns stuffed steamed rice balls)

Egg Bonda/Pakora (Egg Fritters)

If you are not prepared in advance for Iftar, this is the snack which can prepare at the last-minute with easily available ingredients in you kitchen.Egg Bonda/Pakora (Egg Fritters)

What are the dishes must on your Iftar table??? Which is your most favorite dish out of it?? Do you love to try new recipes??? Lemme know in the comments.

Sweet chatti pathiri with Apple and cheese filling (Atti pathil/Atti pathiri)

Sweet chatti pathiri with apple and cheese (Attipathil/ chatti pathil)

This is my first ever post for MFB monthly challenge and the theme is “Ramadan memories”. Thank you so much Rafeeda letting me know about this group and events!! I would have chosen something with plantain as ramadan’s most memorable snack, but unfortunately I can only dream of preparing plantain snacks here 🙁 , plantain not available here.Then came to my mind was famous and very own Malabar snack – Chatti pathiri. We make it both sweet and Savory versions. For sometimes I was thinking to make sweet chatti pathiri with a twist to usual egg filling. And finally here it is – Layered with apple and recotta/farmers cheese.

In malabar which Iftar table will pass without chatti pathiri atleast once?!They can be prepared easily and very filling too. And this version of mine was absolutely delicious. Apple and recotta with hint of cinnamon really paired well! And those ghee fried cashew gave our kerala touch. You just need to prepare the filing and crepe, then layer and cook in very low flame!! Sweet chatti pathiri with apple and cheese (Attipathil/ chatti pathil)

Here is my Savory Chatti Pathiri if you have not tried yet!  

Lets see the recipe of sweet version. Dont worry by seeing the lengthy process, it’s very simple to prepare 🙂


⇒Click here for the Recipe!


Fatayer with Spinach and Feta (Middle eastern triangle pie)

Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

Fatayers are famous middle eastern snacks prepared with pizza dough filled with different delicious fillings. Meat, spinach and cheese fillings are commonly used. As promised here is my fatayer recipe.I have made Spinach and feta combination and it became our favorite filling now for fatayer.Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

By making all lots of non veg items for Iftar, I thought of giving a vegetarian touch to my Iftar table. Vegetarian savory dishes pop up very rarely during this month here. So I thought spinach is by all means a healthy choice.Spinach filling paired very well with my Homemade Pizza Dough as well. Hubby is not a Pizza fan, but this little spinach triangle pie disappeared easily from here.

Addition of feta cheese really took the taste to the next level, those toasted walnuts added the crunch.These are not loaded with spices, so it was very comforting savory snack for Iftar!!

After my third attempt, I got those pies unopened after baking!! It’s really very important to squeeze out the moisture from the spinach and make it dry. Otherwise by the time your pies are baked … all those naughty little ones would have opened… haha….I was able to eat those…but were not good enough to present in front of you guys ;). Do you know I was waiting near the oven very curiously to see whether they are being naughty again!!! Childishness in me came out when I made this. It was funny too! Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

So squeeze spinach as hard as possible….. it will be a stress buster exercise tooo ;-). Don’t worry, follow exactly all steps as given…You can also make half-moon shaped pies, that would be really easy in fact, you can follow the steps here. Share with me your experience in comments, would love to hear from you!!!

Lets see the recipe!

Serves ; 20 to 24 Fatayer

Ingredients :-

  1. Pizza Dough
  2. Spinach – 2 cup chopped
  3. Oil – 2 tea spoon
  4. Onion – 1 small
  5. Garlic – 2 cloves
  6. Parsley – 2 table spoon chopped
  7. Chilli powder – 1/4 tea spoon
  8. Cumin powder – 1/4 tea spoon
  9. Walnut – 1/4 cup chopped
  10. Feta cheese – 100 g (3/4 cup  crumbled)
  11. Salt & pepper – to taste
  12. Egg – 1 small (for egg wash)

Direction :- Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

  1. Prepare the  Pizza Dough and keep it ready or you can use store-bought as well.
  2. Add little salt to chopped spinach and keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Then take the spinach in muslin cloth and squeeze out the water from it.
  3. In pan add chopped walnut and dry roast until just it changes color slightly.
  4. Heat oil in the same pan, add chopped onion and grated garlic, saute until onion became translucent.
  5. In a bowl add spinach,sauted onion,parsley,cumin,chilli and mix well.
  6. Then add in crumbled feta cheese and walnut. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember you already added salt in spinach, so add if only require).
  7. Preheat your oven at 180 ° C.
  8. Now roll the pizza dough about 1/8 inch thickness and cut using around 4 inch diameter cutter. (Please keep unrolled dough close with kitchen towel to prevent from drying out)
  9. Now add 1 tea spoon filling at the centre of the cut dough (make sure not to touch the filling on the sides where you gonna punch together. If your filling touches the edges it will be difficult to stick together and will open up while baking).
  10. Now bring together two sides of the dough until centre and take third portion and pinch towards centre. You will get a triangle shape as in the picture.Close them and punch them firmly and well. Repeat the process with rest of the filling and dough.
  11. Place prepared fatayer on baking sheet.
  12. Beat the egg with a tea spoon water, brush it evenly on top of prepared fatayer (Egg wash gives shining and nice golden color).
  13. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until bottoms are lightly golden color. Then turn the grill/broiler mode and keep for 3 to 4 minutes just to get the golden brown color.(don’t keep more, it may tend to burn).
  14. Serve hot.

Tips & Tricks :-

  • It’s really very important to squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach.

Spinach and feta fatayer (Middle eastern triangle pie)

Mini Kunafa/Kanafa with home made Kunafa Dough

Mini Kunafa/Kanafa with home made Kunafa Dough

Kunafa is a delicious cream and cheese filled middle eastern dessert. This sweet dessert is called by different name like Kanafe,  Knafe, Kunafa, or Kanafa. Some call it as Queen of middle eastern dessert. No wonder why Kunafa called so…. it is sooo scrumptious dessert which you can’t stop having it.They are prepared stuffing the shredded phyllo dough(Kataif) either with cheese or cream or with combining both cream and cheese.

Arabic desserts are very comforting during Iftar and most of the time my sweet dish used to be some middle eastern dessert. Best thing about arabic dessert is that they are very easy to make and taste sooo delicious.

Since I couldn’t find Kunafa dough here, to satisfy my kunafa carving I put my hands on making dough at home itself. Believe me they are easy to make with very simple ingredients! This dough can be prepared in advance, it will freeze well. Then I filled it with both homemade cream and mozzarella cheese. Traditionally Akawi cheese is used, since mozzarella is easily available ,I used that. You can also use ricotta cheese or fresh home-made cottage cheese too.After baking poured the simple syrup to sweeten them which is flavored with rose-water and orange blossom water. Hmmm they were smelling amazing!!!!Contrary to the traditional one big round Kunafa,  I made it in little muffin tray which looks so cute and easy to serve individually.

Amaze your guests and family with this delicious and cheeselicious Kunafa. shhhh don’t tell them that Kunafas are soo easy to make ;)….. Serve it with some hot black tea or coffee. They gonna love you even more!! Here is the recipe….

⇒Click here for the Recipe!



Nombu Kanji/Payar Kanji (Rice & Greengram porridge with Coconut Milk)

Ramadan Kareem everyone! May you all have the best one!Here its second day of Ramadan today….Alhamdulillah so far it went well!

Nombu Kanji (‘Nombu’ means fasting and ‘Kanji’ means porridge, in my mother tongue – Malayalam) is one of the comforting and unavoidable dish to make during Ramadan. That aroma of roasting green gram itself is the smell of Ramadan for us!! When I made this yesterday, missed so much those days of Ramadan with Family!

This very delicious porridge, can be prepared easily. Cooking roasted green gram with rice and finally adding the coconut milk to make it rich and delicious. Back home we get a lot of coconut, so we use coconut milk while making this. Here when I make, I used to add half regular milk and half coconut milk. Sometimes I make regular milk alone. Both the ways, it’s very delicious and comforting.

⇒Click here for the Recipe!