Sunday, May 18, 2014

Persian inspired bread pudding

The moment I smelled the Iranian Saffron at the spice souk in Dubai, I knew that it was a class above the more commonly used spanish saffron. The scent was a lot more pronounced and I could not resist purchasing a small box which was wrapped like a precious gift . Well Saffron IS one of the most precious spices available ! The aroma it released after baking was well worth the price I paid for it.

I wanted to make something sweet with this iranian saffron and I thought of a bread pudding - Persian style. I have made the pakistani shahi tukra before ( toasted bread slices soaked in syrup and served with cream and nuts ). I took that as my base and then allowed my imagination to run free. The end result was a delicately saffron flavoured bread pudding served hot. Well worth the effort !


Bread slices (Around 8-9 slices)
2 cups of full cream milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
Pinch of Saffron
A little bit of oil or melted ghee to toast the bread

Optional : Malai - (milk boiled an reduced into thick cream)


Heat oven to 375 F
Brush bread slices with oil or melted ghee and toast in a pan or oven until golden brown on both sides
Whisk eggs in milk, add sugar and saffron strands. Let stand for 15 mins
Arrange bread slices in a greased pan
Pour custard mix on top and allow to rest for 5 mins
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins

Serve hot with nuts and cream

Murg Salan- Pakistani style chicken curry

Salan is a pakistani dish with gravy- a curry if you will . Salan can be made with lamb, beef, chicken or vegetables. There are a variety of ways to make salan . This is my own recipe after I have essayed a few of them. I have adjusted the ingredients until I ended up with something that I really like. It is very easy to make, a basic curry but so flavourful . You may fry your onions ahead of time and use when required. Salan can be served with chapati , roti or naan.

Here is the recipe

1 kg chicken legs and thighs
1 Tbs of crushed garlic to marinate chicken
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1 cup of yoghurt
2 large onions sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbs of ginger paste
2 Tbs of garlic paste
1 Tbs of crushed green chillies

Salt to taste
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder if not available use regular paprika powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp of mace powder (optional- also known as Javetri)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup of oil

Clean chicken and marinate with salt and 1 Tbs of garlic and pepper powder and set aside
Heat oil in a pan
Add sliced onions and fry until brown
Once onions have turned into a nice golden brown colour add cumin seeds and fry
Now add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste and mix well
Add chicken to the mixture and keep stirring until all pieces have been coated in pan
Add all dry spices except for garam masala (red chilli powder, Kashmiri or paprika powder, Turmeric powder, nutmeg and mace powder )
Add yoghurt and keep stirring
Add around 2 cups of water and mix well
Allow to cook on medium high covered
Cook until gravy is to the consistency of your liking (some people like a dryer sauce- in that case cook longer )
Once gravy has reached the required consistency , add garam masala and adjust salt

Serve hot with chapati