Tag Archives: Saffron

Tagine: Chicken and Zucchini

Moroccan flavors favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander, saffron  and cumin. I love these aromatic spices and the heavenly aroma.  I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco,  It makes such a beautiful presentation and keeps the dish juicy and moist.

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A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The pot has a unique  conical shape which helps make your dish moist by letting the steam rise, condense and trickle back down into the shallow base.

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I used my tagine right on the burner but have experimented with putting it directly in the oven at 300 degree F. Of course then you can’t see the beautiful pot simmering on your stove 🙂

 

The spices are simple, ground coriander, cumin, cayenne and some ras-el-hanout if you have it.

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Onions are a must in a tagine using them as a bed for the chicken. I have used organic chicken breasts here but bone-in chicken would be more moist.

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If you don’t have the preserved lemons, you can skip them. The marinated olive gives this dish enough tanginess.

 

Tagine: Chicken and Zucchini

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a beautiful spring inspired quinoa salad

Ingredients

  • 3 organic free range chicken breasts ( or 6 chicken thighs)
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly slicedIAS_0269
  • 2 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • ½ tsp saffron, bloomed in a little warm water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 2 Green Zucchini cut in rounds
  • 2 small preserved lemons
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 5-7 Whole green olives in and couple of tablespoons of the juice
  • Pink salt

Directions

  • Marinate the chicken breasts for a couple of hours in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, 1 tsp garlic and salt.
  • Heat the tagine shallow bowl on low/medium heat.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil and then the onions. Let the onions sweat for about 5 mins.
  • Add the crushed garlic and ginger and then add the chicken breast and brown them 5 mins on each side.
  • Add the remaining spices ( cumin, coriander, fennel, ras-el-hanout, saffron)
  • Add Olives and olive juice, and coarsely chopped pulp of one preserved lemon and the rind of both, cut into slivers.
  • Add cut zucchini
  • It should be moist enough that no additional water is needed.
  • Cover  with the dome and let it cook at low for 1 hr.
  • Serve sprinkled with parsley with a side of rice or bread
  • This is perfect for a weekend dinner party

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I am taking this to  Fiesta Friday #172  with Angie and our cohosts  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Su @ Su’s Healthy Living

saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

This is a true fusion dish blending the flavors of Kashmir with Persian cooking. The fennel and dried ginger in the meatballs is so delicate yet intense. Good minced lamb is best but you can use any combination of lamb, beef and veal. I added a 1/2 amount ground turkey to make it lighter but you can make it all lamb.

Persian cooking gives us Kalam Polo which is a hearty meal made with white cabbage, beef meatballs and rice.  I have been inspired by this and the spices used in Kashmiri cuisine to make this dish.

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For readers who follow my blog you know I love saffron and often think of the fields in Kashmir that grow this beautifully purple flower harvested just within a few weeks for its incredible color and flavor. Check out Kashmir Box if you need to buy this right from the fields.

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Use white cabbage in this dish to absorb the golden saffron color, you will not miss the rice so this version is carb free. Cut the cabbage finely so it cooks quickly and evenly. The turmeric and saffron with give it the beautiful color and flavor.

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saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a fusion dish inspired by kashmiri and persian cooking

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb lamb
  • 1/2  lb turkey
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp hing ( asafetida)
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Pink Salt to taste

Cabbage

  • 1/2  head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp saffron blooming in a tablespoon of hot water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Chopped Parsley and Mint for garnish
  • Pink salt to taste

Directions

  • Squeeze the water out of the grated onion through a muslin cloth or a colander
  • Combine the lamb and turkey and mix in the onion and ground spices with your hands. Add the oil and crack in the egg. Combine well.
  • With wet hands make the meatballs the size of golf balls and line them on a baking tray
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and set aside
  • In a pan, add 2 tbsp of mustard oil. Let it get to smoking hot temperature.
  • Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they barely get brown.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for about 10 mins until tender
  • Add the blooming saffron and the turmeric and continue to cook for 5 mins.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Add the meatballs and combine until heated through.
  • Garnish with chopped Parsley and Mint

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Sharing this at the fiesta at Angie’s with co-hosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Elaine @ Foodbod

Rose and Saffron Ice cream

The weather is warm, the landscape is green, lush and peppered with bursts of flowers. The month of Ramadan completed and  flowed into the festivities of Eid ul Fitr, signifying the end of Ramadan.

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This has the flavors of Eid I grew up with, saffron, cardamom and rose….mmm the essence is just so soothing.

The irony is that we did not make ice cream when growing up in Kashmir…there were no real freezers but the flavors found their way in so many sweet dishes like rice pudding and refreshing rose drinks.

I have to say that this is really easy to make…no churn, no stress, just a lot of fun whipping up the cream 🙂

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I have used organic rose water, saffron that I brought from Kashmir and regular green cardamoms. I soaked the almonds overnight and chopped them after removing the skin.

For the Cardamom, I crushed the pods with a rolling pin on the counter, removed the green skin and just kept crushing until I got the consistency I wanted.

I found a brand of organic condensed milk online that I love. Use  the one you like or make your own if you are adventurous.

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Ingredients:

  • I pint carton of whipping cream
  • 3/4 can condensed milk ( 14 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp crushed saffron
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/tsp crushed organic rose leaves
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Putting it together:

  • Whip the cream until you have soft peaks
  • Add sugar, cardamom, rose water and saffron and whip again until you have stiff peaks
  • Fold in the condensed milk , a pinch of salt and rose leaves
  • Line a glass loaf pan or bowl with plastic wrap. Pour in the mixture
  • Top with almonds, some rose leaves and freeze overnight
  • Serve in scoops or slices. You can serve with a drizzle of honey and nuts.DSC_4314-1

Join me at Angie’s Fiesta with Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Jess @ Cooking Is My Sport.

Also sharing this on  Saucy Saturday #52….my first time at this party!

Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused

I still had coconut left over from when I made the Coconut Almond Butter Clusters. Burfi is a true Indian sweet make with reducing milk (and products) thereby intensifying the taste and flavor. I still remember standing in narrow side streets in India waiting for the fresh Khoya Burfi plates which would easily be devoured in minutes…this was of course a teenage appetite which has now changed to moderation 🙂

Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused
Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused

This recipe is made with sweetened condensed milk so no added sugar is needed. The trick is to cook it down to a lumpy consistency so it can set properly.

The rose petals are optional but I had bought a batch of organic edible dried petals so getting some use out of them.

I also kept the coconut a little crushed and not ground to a fine powder…..just the way I like it so I can taste the coconut pieces. I soaked the coconut for an hour in Almond Milk but you could go regular milk.

Hoping the party at Fiesta Friday #86 will enjoy this. Thanks to  Angie from The Novice Gardener, and to our co-host’s this week Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Quinn @ Dad Whats 4 Dinner.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened dry coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup crushed almonds
  • 3/4 tin condensed milk
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 10 strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp crushed organic rose petals
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused
Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused

Putting it together:

  • Grind the coconut in a processor and then soak in Almond Milk for a hour
  • Grind/Crush the Almonds
  • Soak the Saffron strands in 1 tbsp of warm water
  • Crush about 9 green cardamom pods to get the powder
  • Add 2 tbsp of Ghee to a heavy bottomed pan, add almonds and fry for a minute
  • Add soaked coconut  and cardamom powder and cook down for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add about 6-7 tablespoons of condensed milk, rose water, 1/2 tsp rose petals and start to cook and medium heat.
  • In a couple of minutes reduce the heat to low, add 1 tbsp of ghee, saffron and continue to cook until then mixture in lumpy and separated from the oil. This requires stirring and making sure the mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pan about 5-10 mins.
  • Pour in a ghee greased pan ( I used silicone) and sprinkle with crushed rose petals and let it cool down. You can slice now and put in the fridge for 30 mins.
Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused
Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused

Coconut Burfi- Saffron and Rose infused

The pieces can be stored in a air tight container in the fridge for a few days.

Saffron Infused Cheese (Paneer) with Onion Gravy

The sweetness of the onions, the mellowness of the yoghurt, the liveliness of the spices and the fragrance of the saffron…are all a dance on your tastebuds. My love for saffron and wholes spice come from growing up in a cross culture cuisine of North India where the cuisines are decidedly different as you move through the states.

This vegetarian cheese(Paneer) dish actually comes from flavors that are used in meat dishes. You can use homemade cheese which is softer and preferred. I used the block I bought from the local Asian store which is firmer. 

Saffron  Paneer with Onion Gravy
Saffron Paneer with Onion Gravy

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Here is what you need:

A block of Paneer ( cheese) cut in cubes ( about 3 cups). Marinated for an hour in a smooth blend of the following:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp red chili or paprika ( paprika will give some color)
  • 1/2 onion crushed
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin pwd
  • salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamons
  • 1 black cardamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 1 -2 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander pwd
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic ginger paste
  • a pinch of saffron soaked in warm water

Putting it together:

Let the cheese marinate for an hour. Use a mortar and pestle to crush cinnamon, cardamons, cloves, peppercorns.

Add ghee to a heavy bottomed pan and add the crushed spices. Add the onions and fry everything until soft and browned. Add garlic ginger paste, green chili, turmeric and coriander. Add the marinated paneer and let it all cook until the oil separates on the sides. Add saffron water and turn off the heat in a minute or two.

Serve with rice or naan.

Saffron  Paneer with Onion Gravy
Saffron Paneer with Onion Gravy