Thursday, 6 October 2011

Food is for all senses!!

"We eat more with our eyes than our stomachs!". Thats actually very true for me as I am quite a visual person when it comes to food and recipes. You just can´t convince me a dish tastes good if it´s not pleasing my eyes. There are exceptional incidents, ofcourse, but most of the times, its the presentation or the picture of a food that makes it interesting for me.

Have you ever noticed that this is actually the very first thing most of us usually do on having some food served infront of us, i.e. an intenional or unintentional yet close look at what and how it has been presented. The first look at the plate leaves impressions on our minds, which automatically make us think of what we are going to experience in a while - a delicious affair with the served stuff or a culinary prank. Its the presentation and the plating technique that makes the impression.

Good food does not only taste good; it should also smell good but before anything it has to LOOK good. If you have spent hours of your valuable time standing in the kitchen, you should not feel shy to invest a few more minutes in presentating it in the best possible way and serving the dish in the most appetising manner.

A sponatneous applause is the least your hard work deserves!!!

Kokri Kebabs served with Pilaf Rice

 (my version)


400 g minced meat (beef/mutton)
1 medium sized chopped onion
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup powdered cashews
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs poppy seeds
1 tsp mixed spices (see under mixed spice rice)
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1 chopped green chili
1 tbs raw papaya paste
2 tbs oil
2 tbs bread crumbs
3 tbs chopped corriander
butter for basting
sesame seeds for garnishing

Take minced  meat in a bowl.

Add all the ingredients except for butter and sesame seeds. Mix well.

Set aside for 10 minutes and mix again. Take handfuls of the mixture and wrap around a wooden cooking spoon with round handle or a round stick (making the shape of a sausage). Smooth the outer surface with your hands. Tip: apply some oil/water on your hands to avoid stickiness.

Place in the  preheated oven (180C) for 10-15 minutes. Turn over. Baste with butter and sprinkle sesame seeds on each of the kebabs. Bake further for 5 minutes.

Pilaf rice


3 cups bouillon
250 g lamb
4 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper

1 1/2 cups basmati rice (washed and saoked in water for 30 min)
1 sliced onion
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs + 1tsp mixed spices
2 green cardamoms
3 medium sized carrots (julienned)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup almond flakes
3 tbs cooking oil
1tbs + 2tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp yellow food colour

Take 5-6 cups of water, salt, pepper, one teaspoon of mixed spices, cloves of garlic and the meat in a pressure cooker and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is completely done. Take out 3 cups of bouillon for making rice. Seperate the meat from bones and fry in a tablespoon of olive oil alongwith the green cardamoms. Note: you may like to season it a bit with salt and pepper.

In a frying pan, take 2 tsps olive oil and fry the carrots in it.

Add the almonds as well as the raisins. Fry for a few minutes.

Place aside till further use.

In a large pan, fry the sliced onion in hot oil until golden brown. Add in the garlic paste. Fry for another minute.

Add the bouillon, more salt, pepper, mixed spices. Bring to a boil, then add the soaked, drained basmati rice. Cook on high-medium until rice has soaked in the entire bouillon and is almost done.Tip: To determine when it has reached that stage that you require, remove a few grains from the pot and press between your thumb and forefinger. The rice should mostly mash but will have a firm whitish core.

Divide rice into two portions and mix the food colour into one. Spread the coloured rice onto the bottom of the pan.

Spread half tablespoonmixed spices as well as half of the carrot stuff over it. Again repeat the procedure with the remaining rice, half of the meat, spices and carrots etc.
Tip: Do reserve some carrots/raisins for the garnishing purpose as well.

Immediately after this, cover the pan with a tight lid and place on very low heat for another 7-10 minutes.

Open the lid, carefully toss the rice. Decorate with the reserved carrots, amonds and meat. This is how I did it:


Assemble carrots, rainsins, almonds, meat and rice in a mould. Press a bit with the back of a spoon. Invert on a serving dish.

Serve warm with kebabs and mint-walnut chutney.


  1. Hi Fatima

    the kebabs are awesome. My search for the perfect kebab recipe ends here. So far i hv tried checkered cake, baked potato wedges by you.. all fabulous. thx fatima


    1. Hey Tres,

      thanks for the trust n feedback. Im glad the recipes have turned out equally great for you, continue sharing your experiences:)