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Ramadhan and my Summer Sabbitical are both over and its BBQ season in the haloodie household again... Well actually - I'll consider any excuse or season for a good BBQ.
You'll be a recluse if you don't enjoy cooking over smouldering coals or a red hot gas grill.
The bane of cooking chicken al-fresco is that fact that we tend to over-cook our meat. I've even heard...'If its not burnt, it not BBQ!!
Ok - so here are the typical challenges of a good BBQ:
BBQ chicken should be succulent and juicy. There should be no need to douse your chicken in all manner of sauces in an attempt to rehydrate!!
In this post I will aim to tackle both of these issues and show you method that my family has perfected over the years.
Introducing Beer Can Chicken... Er... OK before I get lynched on Social media... and Edward Snowden leaks my name and address on WikiLeaks... Lets re-brand...
Introducing 'Ginger' Beer Can chicken....
This is one of my favourite BBQ marinades. It has a sweet fruity flavour with subtle hints of chilli, garlic and ginger. The mint and coriander provide a pungent yet fresh edge to the marinade.
Blitz everything in a blender to reveal a bright, smooth orangey marinate.
Now for the innovation...
We need to get the marinade into the chicken without making large incisions in the flesh. I took my inspiration from seeing jam been injected into doughnuts at my local bakery. Eureka!!
We need to inject the marinade into the chicken.
Cover the chicken with the rest of the marinade and leave to marinate in a fridge for a few hours or preferably over night. Make sure you remove the chicken from the fridge a few hours before cooking.
For this recipe you'll need a hooded BBQ, you could use a charcoal or gas BBQ. You also need an empty can of fizzy pop.
8. Enjoy the most mouth-watering, scrumptious BBQ chicken you've ever tasted. You wont go back to the traditional method.
The liquid inside the cans will evaporate and will cook the chicken from inside. The charcoal/gas burners cook the chicken from the outside.
The result is a perfectly cooked, moist, luscious chicken, crispy charred skin and marinade oozing from inside. Delish!!!
I'm sure you'll agree that 'Ginger' Beer can chicken is the most mouth-watering, scrumptious BBQ chicken you've ever tasted.
Please don't forget to comment on your experiences. Please contact me via the contact link at the top of this page.
Over the past month I have been absolutely blown away by the positive reaction to the Haloodie Foodie blog. I've heard of husbands reading my posts at home with their families. Food has the power of bringing communities together, a refreshing change in the age of individualism and cyber associates/companions.
I am constantly asked about the content and timing of my next post, sometimes in the most bizarre and unexpected places...
As the blog approaches 5000 visitors to the blog, ranging from the UK to the US and Kuwait!
I am loathed to be the bearer of bad news....
I will be leaving for my annual Summer Sabbatical to embark on a period of spiritual self-reflection and discipline.
Ok... This isn't all bad news. I often come back recharged with even more recipe ideas.
Thus, I will be back in early September and I have some interesting posts coming up.
Look out for my amazing BBQ chicken, Kachche Ghosht Biryani and Laccha Paratha recipe in Early September... (Oh yeah.... The perfect gourmet burger too)
Team Haloodie Foodie are always looking for opportunities to improve the user experience of our blog. Therefore please complete the following reader questionnaire. Please be as descriptive as possible.
I pray that you have a peaceful Ramadhan and a wonderful family celebration at Eid.
Please remember Team Haloodie Foodie in your prayers.
I hope to see you again in September.
Leftovers in Iftaar... No way! We've fasted the 19 hours and you're feeding me leftovers!! Are you having a laugh?!
Well, not really.... We tend to eat less in Ramadhan and usually always overcook.
The irony is that your fridge is more full in Ramadhan than outside Ramadhan!!!
Yesterday, we made Chicken kheema (mince) with garden vegetables. More than half was left over!!
Our deen teaches us not be to extravagant, so give the women some rest and cook with the leftovers...
"Eat and Drink but waste not by extravagance"
Surat Al-A’râf verse 31
This is simple Chicken kheema Enchiladas recipe that I made from my leftovers and a few extra household pantry ingredients. You could do something similar with most leftovers.
1. For the Enchiladas sauce; Saute the onions in the oil until they soften and change to a lightly brown colour. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 mins
2. Enchiladas don't usually have white sauce, but my chapatis were quite tough and we thought we would moisten them with white sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Mix with a whisk until it forms a smooth, uniform mixture. Gradually whisk in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Whilst whisking , bring to the boil.
3. Lay your chapati on a flat surface and place a liberal amount of kheema along the middle.
4. Fold your chapati inwards from the side to make a cylinder.
5. Lay the chapati cylinder fold side down in a deep heat proof tray.
Repeat the process with the remaining chapati's
6. Pour the enchilada sauce on top of the chapati cylinders.
7. Optional: Pour the white sauce on top of the enchilada sauce.
8. Top the enchiladas with cheese and some mixed herbs. Baked at Gas mark 6 for 30 minutes.
Its amazing what you can do with a creative use of your leftovers
So why not try a Biryani with leftover mutton/chicken curry or a mix lasagne for leftover roast chicken/lamb and vegetables?
Let your imagination run wild!!
As a child I didn't really enjoy eating fish. Probably due to the fact that Gujarati families really only know one method of cooking fish; fried in a shallow pan with a rich and flavoursome tomato sauce. The intense flavour of the tomato sauce and the fishiness of the Salmon was overwhelming for my immature palette.
Only after starting my professional life did I experience the wonders of ocean cuisine. Whole day professional development meetings at work are difficult at the best of times, the lunch break is a welcome relief from 'death by Powerpoint'.
One meeting interluded with a fabulous spread for lunch. I was hit with a dilemma. What do I eat?? Shall I play safe and have the vegetarian option..... The carnivore inside me woke up... Shall I ask whether the meat is suitable for Muslim consumption? Can I confidently trust the meat was slaughtered according to the principles laid down by deen????
The fish main course provided the answer..... Lovely, moist, opulent salmon, perfectly seasoned with no hint of fishiness. My oceanic culinary journey had finally started.
Did you know?
The great thing about fish is variety of flavour between different types. Whereas other meat have degrees of being cooked, fish must always be cooked well, so the degree of flavour is down to the fish itself and the spices used.
Today I present my wife's Herb crusted Salmon recipe, it was also my first iftaar meal.
Fish is a delicate meat and needs to be treated with appropriate care. The crispy herb crust complements the soft sumptuous fish, a departure from the harsh over rich flavours of my childhood.
I apologise for the 'untidy' picture. I had a big decision to make. Eat iftaar or take the picture!!! True foodies will appreciate my conundrum!
1. Marinate salmon for a few hours in lemon juice, red chilli flakes, ginger and garlic
2. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 8.
4. Place salmon skin side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top, making sure all the salmon is covered.
5. Bake until salmon is opaque throughout, 11 to 13 minutes.
6. Serve with vegetable couscous, roast vegetable or rice
I hope you enjoy the Herb crusted Salmon, please don't forget to subscribe and keep updated with the work of the Haloodie Foodie!!
There seems to be a smoothie or shake for just about everything nowadays from weight-loss to weight-gain (muscle). So I thought, it would be great to have one for fasting, which aims to keep you fuller for longer.
This quick and simple recipe is both tasty and nourishing. It is also a perfect preparation for the long fast ahead. This smoothie has the complex carbohydrates to keep you going through the day. The fresh fruits add vital vitamins and minerals to ensure that you get the micro-nutrients, which are often found lacking in diets during Ramadhan.
For the Body builders out there.
40g of Casein protein for growth, repair and maintenance of your muscle mass.
For those who need an extra sugary kick, use dates or honey to add natural sweetness.
Combine all the ingredients together in a powerful blender, until the consistency is like that of a thick milkshake. You may need to add more liquid if its too gooey. You could use fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or any other berries you want.
I hope you enjoy my take on smoothies, Make dua me and for all of humanity, especially at the time of Suhoor (Tahajjud).
Please do not forget to comment and subscribe to keep updated with the work of the Haloodie Foodie!!
The blessed month of Ramadhan is upon us again. My first recollection of Ramadhan was during the summer of 1986, alongside Maradona's 'Hand of God' during the Mexico World Cup. I vividly recall the excruciatingly long days and intimidatingly short nights......
Now that Ramadhan is during the longest part of the year, I've been requested to blog about what to eat in Ramadhan.
Asian diets are notoriously poor all year around! We tend to eat foods with high fat, salt and sugar (!) and with little or no fresh fruit or fibre. In Ramadhan our diets become worse!!!
Is Ramadhan an excuse to binge on fried delicacies and sugary drinks?
Aren't we defeating the object of fasting? Aren't we aiming to draw closer to the Lord by refraining from food, drink and our passions for the duration of the day?
As I was writing this blog, I received the following picture which sums up our predicament.
My top tips for a healthy Ramadhan
Rehydrate, Rehydrate, Rehydrate.............
Two thirds of your body is water. During the course of the day, you'll steadily lose water. It is essential that water loss is topped up between Iftaar and Sahoor. I usually break my fast with a few madinah dates and a 500ml bottle of water. Between Magrib and Isha/Taraweeh I will have some fruit and some green/black tea. Don't hydrate too much during taraweeh!!!! Visits to the water cooler between prayers may lead to awkward conversations about the state of the national football team and/or benefit caps from the taraweeh shirkers! You can always purchase a special taraweeh water bottle from here!
Avoid fatty and fried food at Iftaar
So you've fasted for the whole day and its time to eat. You need to refuel your body with good quality nutrients.
However, our families spend months preparing tantalizing samosas, pastries and all manner of intricate delicacies.
Samosas and other fried food are high in fat and have very little fibre/other key nutrients and thus become difficult to digest. Not ideal for people who need nutrients quickly.
Thus for iftaar I usually eat simple carbohydrates from fruits. I tend to eat those fruits which have a high water content such as water melon, oranges and pineapple.
An anecdotal incident.
When we were younger we were forced to play the 'guess what uncle has eaten for iftaar' game at taraweeh. The constant belching and associated odours was so nauseating. Surely this is not in the spirit of Ramadhan??
Eat complex carbs for Sahoor
After taraweeh is the time to eat. Try to eat complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, cereals etc. Another great example particularly is porridge. These super foods are high in fibre and have a low GI rating, which basically mean that they will fill you up and release their energy slowly, which will help you during the long days. My father is an insulin dependant diabetic, he has brown rice when fasting and reported back that his hunger was managed well for the duration of the fast!
Healthy sahoor ideas
If you're 'old school' and need a more traditional sahoor meal
For the body builders who aim to Maintain muscle mass and become lean in Ramadhan.
Intermittent fasting is the new trendy way to build muscle mass and become lean. Ramadhan is a perfect opportunity for us to reach our fitness goals, as long as you eat correctly and use your time effectively after taraweeh salaah. I've described my eating habits at iftaar. After taraweeh prayer, I have a very short but intense HIIT (High intensity interval training) workout which lasts for around 20mins.
Just before the end time of sahoor, I have a casein protein shake with avocado and ground oats. Casein protein is slow release protein, which supplies the body with the protein needed for growth, repair and maintenance of your muscle mass. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats needed to build and maintain your muscle and lower cholesterol. Oats provide the complex, slow burn carbohydrates that will be the principal energy store. I also drink around a litre of water before Sahoor ends.
I hope you found the blog informative, I hope you have a enjoyable and spiritual ramadhan. Make dua me and for all of humanity, especially at the time of iftaar, don't get too distracted by those dainty little triangular treats!!
Please do not forget to comment and subscribe to keep updated with the work of the Haloodie Foodie!!
I remember eating oven-baked BBQ wings for brunch in a little diner in Leicester and feeling wonder-struck by the moistness of the chicken, which came away from the bone with very little persuasion.
Initially the sweet, saucy, gooey flavour/texture dominated, thereafter the tingling of the chilli kicked in. My taste buds were dancing to the tunes of the honeyed sweet chilli treats. I was hooked!!!
Time to experiment at home...
What did you expect? I am the haloodie foodie!
This is a really simple recipe that, once marinated, is really easy to whip up after work. It's also loved by kids as well as adults so a good choice for families.
Chicken Wings marinade
-10 whole Chicken Wings with (I prefer them with the skin left on)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon Chilli paste
- ½ teaspoon Dried Red chillies
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 large spoon Olive Oil
After cleaning the wings. Make small incisions on wings and marinate for an hour or preferably overnight. Place in a oven tray and bake on gas mark 6 until 80% cooked. (around 45mins depending on the size of your wings).
Hot and Sweet glaze.
Combine the following ingredients and bring to a boil. Then reduce for a few minutes, until you get the consistency of double cream.
- ½ cup Tomato Ketchup
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup strong vinegar
- ½Teaspoon Garlic paste
- 1 Teaspoon Ginger paste
- ½ Teaspoon Chilli paste
- ½ teaspoon Dried Red chillies
- 1 Teaspoon Chilli powder
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked paprika powder
-2 Teaspoon Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Runny honey
- 1 Star anise (You could use Chinese Five Spice mix).
-Splash of Good quality Soya Sauce (I use Kikkoman)
-Salt and Pepper to taste
Cover the chicken with the glaze and cook for a further 20 mins.
Turn over to brown on both sides.
You may want to put under the grill to ensure even browning.
Garnish with freshly chopped Spring onions.
Serve with freshly salted thick potato chips and a side salad.
Hot and Sweet wings on the BBQ
There is nothing more delightful than dining Al-fresco. These chicken wings serve as a moreish appetizer. The recipe is similar to the oven-baked version.
if you are cooking over hot coals or over a gas grill. Ensure that the grill is at an optimum temperature (the coal has a white covering of ash). Cook the marinated wings until the juices run clear. Then simply brush a liberal coating of the glaze and cook on each side for a few minutes.
Please do not overcook the chicken, dry BBQ chicken is criminal! Asian cooks usually remove the skin from the chicken. However, the chicken skins seals in the moisture and the meat remains juicy.
You could use the recipe for chicken legs and whole chicken, I've even used the recipe on Beef T-Bone steaks and lamb chops.
I hope you enjoy the BBQ wings, please don't forget to subscribe and keep updated with the work of the Haloodie Foodie!!
Ever since I purchased my Tandoor (Traditional Indian clay oven), I've been yearning to try Sheekh Kebabs.
These famous savoury appetizers are a staple of Indian restaurants, but are notoriously difficult to replicate at home. I've experimented with different mixes and, through trial and error, have perfected a simple and effective method of producing batch after batch of piquant, melt in the mouth Sheekh Kebabs.
Mutton Mince with some fat 2Kg (Further details provided below)
2 medium size onions, finely chopped and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 & 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoons crushed ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed green chilli
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Half pack of Shan Sheekh Kebab masala mix (link to purchase provided below)
2/3 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
I prepared the Sheekh kebabs with normal mixed mutton, as it has an appropriate meat to fat ratio. If your meat doesn't have enough fat, the kebabs will be dry, If there's too much fat they will fall off the skewers during cooking. Ask your butcher to mince the meat twice, as it gives a finer texture to the kebabs. The mutton from the butcher will have a mottled fat appearance running through the mince.
DO NOT WASH THE MEAT!!!
It's against the traditional teaching of Indian mothers but trust me you have to throw away the rule book for these kebabs!!! The idea behind this is to ensure that we have a sticky, fatty mix that will adhere to your skewers. Any sort of moisture is the enemy of all kebabs!
1. Finely chop the two onions and squeeze out the excess liquid using a muslin cloth.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and knead very thoroughly until the the meat has the consistency of chappati/bread dough. You could use a food mixer with a dough hook to ensure an even mix.
3. When the kebab mix sticks to your fingers the mix is ready to be loaded onto the skewers. You may want to dry fry a small batch to check the seasoning is correct. Remember they will taste much fattier when cooked in a pan compared to when it's been cooked over a hot grill or a tandoor.
4. Load the skewers with the kebab mix.
I use 8mm metal skewers in my tandoor, the kebab mix can stick to the 8mm sides easily and the kebabs are not too dense.
4a. Moisten your hands with some water, to ensure that the Kebab mix doesn't stick to your hands. I kept a bowl of water by my side as I loaded the skewers.
4b. Make a ball of kebab mix and poke through the end of the skewer until you reach approximately 10cm from the tip of the skewers.
4c. Squeezing with the tips of your fingers work your way down the skewer until you have an equal spread across the skewer. Make sure you leave space on the handle side of the skewer.
5. Place the skewers on the BBQ or inside the tandoor. Cooking times will vary depending on the heat of the BBQ/tandoor. Cook until the kebabs become coloured on each side.
6. Once cooked, slide off the kebabs ensuring that the skewers are cleaned at the tip end this will allow for an easy removal of the sheekh kebab.
Additional instructions for tandoor users.
Use a piece of potato as a heat shield to ensure that the potatoes burn and not the precious kebabs!!
You can also substitute mutton for chicken (use thigh meat, not breast) or lamb.
You can purchase Shan Sheekh Kebab masala mix from most Asian grocery stores or online here:
I hope you enjoy the kebabs, please don't forget to subscribe and keep updated with the work of the Haloodie Foodie!!