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July 20, 2012

Ramadan Specials: Spring Rolls

Seema Iqbal

With the advent of the holy month every Muslim household gets into special Ramadan related activities. As the entire month is filled with blessings, forgiveness and mercy, Muslim families observe fast during the day and offer special prayers in the night. Ladies cook special dishes for Suhoor and Iftar meals for the family members and also to share with neighbors. Ramadan dishes differ from culture to culture and place to place. I would be cooking a few easy dishes this Ramadan and would be sharing the recipes here.

Spring Rolls, a delicacy for Iftar time

Spring Rolls are mainly used as appetizers in almost every culture. In our culture it is one of the Iftar time delicacies enjoyed along with other items during Ramadan. It can contain a variety of fillings prepared using either meat or fresh vegetables but cooked beforehand and stuffed into spring roll wrappers. Spring Rolls can be steamed, shallow fried or even deep fried. The wrappers - also known as spring roll pastries - are readily available in the supermarkets hence only fillings need to be prepared at home. Here is a quick and easy recipe for crispy vegetable Spring Rolls. Let us start:


Shallow fried Spring Rolls - homemade

Ingredients - group 1 (for filling)

Oil: 2 tablespoons

Curry leaves: 4 to 5 Nos.

Onion: 4 Nos. (finely chopped)

Tomato: 2 Nos. (finely chopped)

Potatoes: 3 Nos. (chopped)

Cabbage: 2 cups. (chopped)

Bell pepper (capsicum): 1 No. (chopped)

Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tablespoon

Turmeric powder: ¼ tablespoon

Pepper powder: ½ tablespoon

Garam masala powder: ½ tablespoon

Vegetable stock: 1 cube (optional)

Salt: to taste

Ingredients - group 2

Spring roll sheets (store bought)

Maida paste: ½ cup (for binding)

Ingredients – group 3

Oil: for shallow frying

Method (Step by step method for easy cooking)

Step 1: Take a frying pan, add oil and heat it. Add curry leaves, then add finely chopped onions and sauté until it gets golden brown. Then add tomato and continue sautéing for 2 more minutes. Now add finely chopped potatoes and cook till the potatoes are 75% done. Then add rest of the ingredients of group 1 and continue sautéing 10 to 15 minutes to get a yummy masala filling and keep it aside.

Step 2: Now take store bought spring roll sheets, place the masala filling on it in a line near the one corner on the sheet. Then fold two opposite tips of the sheet over the filling, and then roll to from one corner to the other corner of the sheet. Apply a little Maida paste to the last corner to stick the last edge firmly. Now the Spring Roll is ready for frying.

Step 3: Shallow fry the finished rolls till they get desired color. Serve with tomato ketchup, green chutney or any condiments you like. Bon appétit!


Ramadan Special 2: Perfect Homemade KFC

Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC is one of the chicken delicacies that every one of us would be craving to eat. But can we prepare this juicy deep-fried chicken with a crispy coating right at home? Why not make a successful attempt to prepare it for Iftar and share it family members? Let's give it a try! There are few recipes the chefs have come up with, but this one is a quite simplified recipe and I am sure you would find it easy and interesting. Common, let's now embark on cooking a perfect homemade KFC step by step.


KFC style chicken - homemade

Ingredients - group 1

1. Chicken 600 - 800 grams (thighs preferred but you may use any pieces you like)

Ingredients - group 2 (for marinating)

1. Green chilli: 6 - 8 nos.

2. Pepper powder: 1 ½ tablespoon

3. Turmeric powder: ¼ tablespoon

4. Coriander leaves (cilantro): ½ cup

5. Ginger: 1 ½ inch piece

6. Garlic: 6 cloves

7. Salt: to taste

8. Water: ¾ cup

9. Lemon juice: 1 ½ tablespoon

10. Yogurt: ½ cup

11. Oil: 3 tablespoon (for second round marinating)

Ingredients - group 3 (for dipping)

Egg: 2 nos. (beaten)

Ingredients - group 4 (for coating)

White Oats: 1 cup

Maida (all purpose flour): 1 cup

Corn flour: 1 cup

Salt: ½ tablespoon

Ingredients - group 5

Oil: for frying

Step by step method for easy cooking

Step 1:

Wash and drain chicken pieces and keep aside. Keep rest of the ingredients ready and handy.

Step 2: Marinating

Grind green chilli, pepper powder, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, and salt adding water (refer to ingredients group 2, items 1- 8) in a mixer-grinder. Now add lemon juice and yogurt (ingredients group 2, items 9 and 10) to it and mix to get a mixture of medium consistency. Add this mixture to the cleaned chicken and marinate for 45 minutes.

Step 3: Second round of marinating

After marinating for 45 minutes, now add oil (ingredients group 2, item 11) and let it rest for 15 more minutes. This makes a total of one hour of marinating.

Step 4: Steaming

Remove chicken from marination one by one and arrange on a steaming pot (idly pot can be used). Steam them for 15 to 20 minutes and allow it cool a little bit, for easy handling.

Step 5: Dipping

Beat 2 eggs (ingredients group 3) in a bowl and keep it aside. This is needed for dipping the steamed chicken before coating and deep frying.

Step 6: Coating mix

Mix white oats, maida, corn flour and salt, (refer to ingredients - group 4) and spread it on a plate. This is a dry coating mix, no water should be added.

Step 7: Frying

Take a frying pan and heat oil to medium high. Now take the steamed chicken and dip into beaten egg once fully, and then roll it on dry coating mix to get a nice coating all over, do it piece by piece. Deep fry the coated chicken pieces on medium high heat until the preparation gets nice desired color. Remove them from oil and spread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. This is a quick process because the chicken is pre-steamed and done.

Step 8: Serving

Arrange the homemade KFC style chicken preparation on a platter and serve hot with burger buns, coleslaw, tomato ketchup and potato fires. Bon appétit.

Useful tips:

If the chicken pieces are too big, punch a few holes on them using a fork before marinating them.

Ramadan Specials: Spring Rolls


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