Discover Bohri Cuisine and Beauty Secrets with Food Blogger Farah Bookwala Vhora

Many wishes on Eid from all of us to you. We celebrate roses and a special home chef today with this beautiful Rose and coconut kheer ,pilaf , mughlai paneer and doodhi doodh recipes , apt to be made today .🌹


A small message from Farah who shares this recipe with us ~


"Eid-Ul-Fitr marks the culmination of an intense month of abstinence and devotion to Allah. While this year's Eid is a far cry from the happy times we've seen earlier, I'm grateful to have my family around, nourishing food on the table and to be able to get a good night's rest. And I pray the same for each of you. Have a bless Eid-Ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak."

To know more about Farah and her passion for cooking read the recipes and her interview below :


ROSE & COCONUT MILK KHEER

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Chill Time: > 8 hrs

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
500 ml milk
500 ml medium consistency coconut milk
1/2 cup small-grain rice, soaked for 1/2 hour
3 tbsp dried rose petals, powdered
3 tbsp rose water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Pink food colour, few drops

Rose petals, pistachios for garnish

Method:
1. Mix the milk and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
2. Add sugar, rice (drained), cardamom powder, dessicated coconut and dried rose petals.
3. Simmer on low-medium flame for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. When the kheer has thickened, taken it off the heat. Stir in rose water and food colour.
5. Cool the kheer by sitting the pan in a tub of water (to prevent cream from forming)
6. Divide into bowls, garnish with rose petals and pistachios and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled!

 

What inspired you towards food blogging ?

In 2020, I went through a very rough patch with back-to-back personal losses. In order to cope, I took to baking rigorously as it was therapeutic. I began posting on social media and when I began to gain appreciation, I decided to launch a food blog that focuses on quick, healthy and wholesome recipes. It's been 6 months and I've loved every moment of being part of a vibrant food community and making a difference."


What motivates you towards cooking food items of Bohri tradition ?

I honestly believe that Bohri cuisine is unmatched in terms of its spread and flavors. As fascinating as the cuisine is, not too many people know how to cook Bohri dishes. I wanted to bring my traditional cuisine to your dining table and began to feature Bohri recipes in an easy, detailed manner. And it's been very fulfilling to recreate and style a cuisine I've eaten all my life in newer, more appealing ways.

Here are some more recipes which you can try at home ! 

SMOKED BEETROOT & CHICKEN PILAF

Dinner last night was a #beetroot and chicken smoked #pilaf/pulav. Slow-cooked and then smoked using #charcoal, the pulav is wonderfully aromatic, bursts with a diverse set of flavors - beetroot, whole spices and charcoal -- but oh my, the colour! ❤
The #ombre tone with shades of deep pink, light pink and brown looked gorgeous; pictures don't do justice! I paired the pulav with my favorite haleem soup (recipe on the grid) and some dahi cachumber raita. Enjoy.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 20 mins and drained
• 500 gms chicken, medium pieces
• 1 big onion, finely chopped
• 1 big tomato, finely chopped
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 300 gms ~ 2 cups grated beetroot
• 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
• Whole spices - 1 tsp jeera + 2 bay leaves + 6 peppercorns + 4 cloves + 2 star anise + 4 crushed cardamoms + 1" cinnamon stick
• Powdered spices - 1 tsp red chilli, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1+1/4 tsp coriander + 1/4 tsp garam masala
• 15 split or 7 whole cashews
• 2 boiled eggs
• Ghee
• Salt
• Coriander for garnish

Method:
1. Heat ghee in a large vessel. Add the whole spices and fry until aromatic. Sauté onions, green chilli and ginger-garlic paste until the raw smell disappears.

2. Add cashews and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes soften. Add the powdered spices and salt and fry for a minute.

3. Add chicken and combine well. Allow it to cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the beetroot and rice and stir. Add just enough water to cover the rice. Seal the pan tight to ensure no steam escapes (I covered a tawa with a moist cloth and placed it over the pan). Cook on very low flame for 30-35 minutes.

5. When the pilaf is cooked, add the boiled eggs and lightly toss the rice to mix everything well (the masalas rise to the top during cooking).

6. Drizzle some ghee on the top. Now heat a piece of charcoal on the naked flame. When it turns ash white, place it in a steel bowl and place the bowl over the rice. Drizzle a little oil on the coal - it will smoke up. Immediately seal the pan and let it rest for 20 mins. Garnish with coriander and serve.

 

MUGHLAI-STYLE PANEER LAZEEZ

A creamy, mildly-sweet, #mughlai style paneer delicacy fit for a queen! This recipe is similar to paneer korma but does not use yoghurt; instead using milk and cream, and is infused with the goodness of whole spices, cashews, and kasuri methi, all of which come together to coat succulent pieces of fresh #paneer. Ready in under 30 minutes, it is ideal for a mid-week lunch or dinner. Children love it too!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2-3

INGREDIENTS
• 200 gms fresh paneer cubes
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 1 green chilli, sliced
• 1 large tomato, chopped
• 5-6 garlic pods, crushed
• 1 tsp ginger, grated
• 10 cashewnuts
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

Whole spices
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cloves
• 3 cardamoms, crushed
• 1" cinnamon

Powdered spices
• 1 tsp red chilli powder
• 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1¼ tsp coriander powder
• ⅛ tsp garam masala

• 1/4 cup milk
• 1-1½ tbsp cream
• 2 tsp kasuri methi
• A few saffron strands, crushed
• 1 tbsp sugar
• Salt to taste
• 2 tbsp oil
• Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish

Method:
1. Heat oil. Add the cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add the whole spices and green chilli and fry until aromatic.
2. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and fry until the raw smell disappears.
3. Add tomatoes and cashew nuts and cook until tomatoes are mushy and the oil has seperated. Then add the powdered spices and salt and fry for a minute. Allow to cool and transfer to a blender. Using ÂĽ cup water, blend to a fine paste and transfer back to the pan.
4. Add the sugar, milk, cream, saffron, kasuri methi and a little water to the gravy (the gravy should be thick). Stir and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add paneer cubes and gently toss to coat each piece well. Cook on low flame for another 2 minutes.
5. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with roti, naan or paratha.

 

Doodhi Doodh

A #cooling, refreshing yet filling #iftar option that doubles up as a post-dinner dessert. Doodhi Doodh or bottle gourd falooda is a simple, 4-ingredient delicious milk preparation that everyone in the family enjoys. I keep it really low on added sweetness and prefer the natural sweetness lent by the bottle gourd and cardamom powder. It tastes best chilled so make it up ahead. It stays well in the fridge for a day or two. Enjoy.

I'm adding this recipe to my Ramadan recipe highlights too, so you'll be able to find it easily later too :)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins

Serves 5-6

INGREDIENTS
• 1+1/4 litre milk
• 5 tsp sugar/honey
• 1 tsp finely ground cardamom powder
• 1 nos 500-600 gm bottle gourd, grated (including the seeds)
• Slivered pistachios, for garnish

Method:
1. Bring the milk to a boil. Add the grated bottle gourd, cardamom powder and sugar. If using honey, DO NOT add it to the milk.

2. Allow to simmer on medium-low flame for 35-40 mins or until the milk reduces and the bottle gourd is cooked completely. Stir frequently to prevent cream formation.

3. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit in a tub of water. When cool, stir in the honey.

4. Divide into glasses or bowls, garnish with pistachios and chill for atleast 7-8 hours.


Who’s your biggest inspiration ?

My biggest inspiration is my sister, Zinnia. I've seen her handle difficulties and failures with utmost grace, pouring her soul into her calligraphy and artwork. She has been my biggest cheerleader and my strongest critic and the best guide life has to offer.


A beauty secret if any and taught by whom ?

My schoolmate Manal Halari shared the secret to her beautiful skin and hair - castor oil. Rubbing castor oil on the face and neck before bedtime makes skin supple and slows down aging. I think this has been very helpful.

 

 

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