Month that was, May 2018

May 31, 2018

For the first time, this year I prepped the samosas for Ramadan! :-) My freezer has never been this packed. 

This Ramadan, we have a guest who has occupied my other empty bedroom. I am talking about Masha, the feral pregnant cat who sleeps on our outside door mat.

Masha Moved In


I have never come across a cat that doesn't like humans but is willing to live with two of them and eat what we give! I had started calling her Masha from the day she came to my door. Now she has started to even respond to the word "Masha" ;-) I had to educate myself on how to take care of pregnant street cats and that's how I learnt that "Ferals" are not friendly and they like to be left to themselves. You can read all about Masha's journey with us on my masha_the_feral Instagram account.

Microwave Lady Grey Granola

I think I forgot to share my Microwave Granola recipe on the blog...by now I have made so many different flavoured batches that it is hard to keep the granola bottle empty! :-) You know we had Oatmeal days for too long, then it moved to Granola and then to Aval milk... Somedays I mix all three! :-) 

I saw the green tea flavoured granola in my betty crocker's book (such a waste! every recipe has something prepackaged product of theirs) and the idea of making granola with tea was born! I tried with Twinnings Lady Grey because I didn't have the Earl :-D 

Recipe Coming Soon...

Lady Grey Granola


Aniseed Ripe Plantain Quick Bread

My love for nenthrapazham is unconditional but I have never attempted anything outside the usual that we Malabaris are used to like the Kai vatiyathu, pazham pori, kai pola, and unnakaya. How about making a loaf muffin? Honestly, I would never have enough plantains to experiment, but this time there was this one that got super overripe which would be a disaster if I try to stir-fry. The same day, I cleaned the spice rack and found the bottle of aniseed unused. Bulb moment. Made a quick bread loaf cake with the ripe plantain and aniseed. Super aromatic, tasty and goes too well with tea! 

Recipe: Same as my Banana Quick Bread Loaf with Nigella Seeds. Replace nigella with Aniseed and use ripe plantains instead of banana. 

Aniseed Ripe Plantain Quick Bread

Masha and her babies 

The Big Day that happened without any sign. Masha is still true feral so we don’t attempt to touch and stress her out. She lives like a paying guest with her own space πŸ˜‚ Just that she pays in kind by being a cat! 🀣 Anyways the morning as usual... we were having chai while she just walked past us and went to our room... nothing new there! we were used to her sleeping behind our bedroom door but little did we know she was plotting to give birth on our bed under our quilt! 😱😱😱 I only figured after I heard the first kitty squeal!


A post shared by Masha (@masha_the_feral) on

Ragee's foster mom (A) and I planned to meet at her home for a ladies night out and a horror movie before bed before Ramadan. But with Masha and the newborns, I was not in a right mind to bake a cake for her kids so resorted to an easy pineapple pudding with gelatin-based and garnished with Caramel shards which I thought was incredible! :-)

Pineapple Pudding with Caramel Shards 

Though I left the new mom and babies in F's care, I couldn't be at ease at her place. The Pineapple pudding didn't impress the boys but the mom and her girl dug through the soft pudding leaving out the shards. I didn't have any place in the heart to feel sad for the shards, because all I was thinking was Masha and her babies on our bed! Where will we sleep??? 


We didn't watch a horror movie as planned, instead we talked a lot and then went off to sleep. I had plans to stay all day next day with her but I couldn't sleep either. I called F and asked him to pick me up the next morning. 

Recipe for the caramel shards - https://youtu.be/LSqkMseXDUM
Recipe for the pineapple pudding ... yet to perfect it. 

Paneer Mutter Masala

I can count the number of times I made Paneer dishes in this kitchen! Not more than 5 times! Shame! right? We don't dislike nor we love... I just tend to forget such a thing exist until I see some mouth-watering recipe on the internet. But this Paneer Mutter Masala recipe is a keeper! I have made this twice and I give full credit to the Youtuber, Cooking Shooking! 


A post shared by Famidha Ashraf (@fashfaiz) on

Recipe adapted from https://youtu.be/eDOmZPQns8M


My First Hazelnuts 

Though I have always been a fan of hazelnut in the form of chocolates, I never had an opportunity to see or eat the actual hazelnut. I never really looked for it until a pack of hazelnuts in shell looked at me near the produce billing counter. I grabbed a pack without even thinking. I have no idea how to store, how to shell, etc. The label said "salted hazelnuts"! Okay then! Unpacked and transferred to a jar and it sat in the counter for a day. Upon scrutinizing, I learnt the shells need to be cracked open :-(
I did it. One by one. When you work with something so closely, they become so dear to us... so used all of the hazelnuts that got cracked in the process of cracking the shell into my next batch of granola and all the whole beautiful ones went into the freezer. :-) Didn't I say they become dear... 

Hazelnuts

Mango Season with Jazan mangoes 

I was thinking to fast in this summer would get difficult but Alhamdulillah, apart from the first two days of a headache, it got easier. We deep fry every single day and not guilty. And couple them with lots of fresh cold fruits in cream or custard... totally indulging right? Mangoes have been flooding the market and this year I chose to try other makes... and went with Jazan's mangoes... I couldn't believe that Saudi Arabia had its own mangoes! 

Jazan Mango_My Life in Yanbu

And then I also made Aam rus for the first time though I have eaten it in many occasion back in India. I served with some pooris and made a backup curry too. Well, F has this unique title of foodie cum fussy eater. He didn't favour the idea of having poori with a fruit! 

Aam Rus

Mohabbat ka Sharbat

This Ramadan we have a trending thirst quencher called Mohabbat ka sharbat with basil seeds. This Ramadan iftar timing is not food photography friendly and so haven’t made much effort. But as this drink can be made ahead, I managed to capture a half decent pic during the last hours of daylight. 
It is the easiest to make... 

Crush lots of ripe watermelons
Prepare enough roohafza milk and refrigerate 
Stir in soaked basil seeds and add the watermelon
Serve cold with ice cubes


A post shared by Famidha Ashraf (@fashfaiz) on

Jaffa Cake

Two events got me to Jaffa Cake. First, orange zest and chocolate flavoured popcorn on Laura in the Kitchen and I think an orange chocolate brownie on Rafeeda's blog, The Big Sweet Tooth. I tried the popcorn and we loved it. Orange and Chocolate is indeed an exotic pairing... I then dived into Google to find out more weird recipes... yeah I always thought the pairing to be weird but it blew my mind.. 

I landed on Jaffa Cake and loved everything about it. I don't have an oven nor a muffin tin. So I just thought of making one big jaffa cake in my pressure cooker. The sponge cake came perfect... 


Recipe: https://youtu.be/r8uYfBFHuSs

Sweet treats to the Three Munchkins 

What I took along for iftar party at Ragee's foster mom's place. The last meeting before she goes off to India for vacation! 


May may make me fat. 

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