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Iftar ideas....

Iftar ideas....

Issue 2 Nov / Dec 2003

Sweet Vermicelli

A traditional flavoursome dish with almonds and sultanas.


4 tbsp ghee

125g fine vermicelli, cut into 1 inch long


750ml hot water

pinch of saffron

100g caster sugar

100g sultanas

100g blanched almonds, chopped

4 tsp ground cardamom


1. Fry vermicelli in ghee until golden brown.

2. Add hot water (be careful when adding water), saffron, sugar and cardamom.

3. Turn heat down low. Cover and simmer until vermicelli is cooked.

4. Add sultanas and almonds, stir well and cook uncovered until liquid is absorbed.

5. Serve warm with cream.


Hareira soup

A spicy and heart warming soup which is quick and simple to make.


Ingredients: Serves 6

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

1420ml water

200g red lentils

1 can of chick peas, drained

1 can of cannellini beans, drained

1 can of chopped of tomatoes

2 carrots, diced

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 tsp garam masala

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

4 tbsp of tomato puree

4 tbsp of olive oil

Handful of coriander to garnish


1. In large pot, gently brown the garlic, ginger and onions in the olive oil with the spices.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil for a few minutes and then simmer for 30 – 60 minutes, or until lentils and carrots are soft.


Lamb Biryani

Ingredients: Serves 4

For lamb stock:

450g diced lamb

(cut into about 4cm pieces)

2 medium onions, chopped

1 tsp salt

900ml water

3 tbsp ghee

For onion paste: 1 large onion, chopped

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and


1 clove of garlic chopped

For rest of dish:

450g basmati rice

3 tbsp Ghee

2 medium onions: 1 chopped - 1 sliced

1 inch stick of cinnamon

1 bay leaf

5 green cardamom

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves

1 tsp rose water

pinch of saffron

warm water


Directions for lamb stock:

1. Wash meat well under a cold tap.

2. Brown meat and onions with ghee.

3. When meat has a deep golden colour add water.

4. Bring to boil.

5. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 60 – 90 mins until meat is almost tender. 6. Strain through a sieve, put stock and meat and onion in separate containers. Meanwhile wash rice thoroughly till water runs clear. Soak in plenty of water.


Directions for rest of dish:

1. Put ingredients for onion paste in food processor and grind until it’s a smooth paste.

2. Heat ghee in a large heavy based saucepan,

add one roughly chopped onion and fry until golden brown.

3. Add onion paste and whole spices until the mixture is a pale golden colour.

4. Then add meat and onions from stock. Fry until all ingredients are a deep golden brown.

5. If the meat sticks add 2 tbsp of water

6. Drain the rice in a sieve and let it stand for a minute.

7. Cover the meat mixture with rice.

8. Add the lamb stock so it covers the rice by

2.5cm (add extra water if necessary).

9. Cover with a close fitting lid.

10. Reduce heat and allow to cook for about 20 minutes (during this time do not open lid) until rice is cooked.

11. Remove lid sprinkle rose water, replace lid

quickly and cook for a couple of minutes.

12. Infuse saffron in 10 tbsp warm water.

13. Remove lid and pour infused saffron water over rice.

14. Cook rice for another couple of minutes until water has been absorbed.

15. Turn off heat and leave rice covered for a couple of minutes.

16. Remove lid, gently fork rice.

17. Meanwhile fry the finely sliced onion until golden brown and sprinkle on top of dish. Serve with yoghurt and cucumber.


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