Steak Biryani with Fried Potatoes, Peas, and Carrots

Steak biryani, a classic Iraqi dish.
Steak biryani, a classic Iraqi dish.

If you are in Iraq one day, which I hope many of us will be able to visit sooner than later, you will eat this biryani at least once before your trip ends. That is a promise.

Although I am not exactly what the origins or biryani are, being the Iraqi that I am, I’m going to go ahead and make a big claim which might cause an uproar among all the biryani aficionado out there: this is an Iraqi dish god damn it!

No I do not have facts to back this up, and there is a good chance I’m wrong. But how can you learn if you’re always right?

Long story short, biryani (chicken or steak) is a very common meal in Iraq. So, I decided to share this recipe with all ya’ll habibis out there. Let’s get right into it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice. Don’t cheap out on rice now
  • 1 lb cubed beef
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamon pods

Directions:

  1. Prepare the rice first. For every cup of rice, add 1 & 1/4 cup of water. Add 1 cardamom pods, 1 clove, and the turmeric. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer until done. Check on it every once in a while to make sure if it needs a little bit more water. You want the rice to look fluffy, not too soft and not too hard.
  2. While the rice is cooking, go ahead and start preparing the meat. We want the meat to be nice and tender. This means you will need to be patient. First, sear the meat in large pot. Use your biggest pot, you will thank me later.
  3. Once the meat is looking nice and brown, add a little bit of water, just enough to cover a quarter of the meat. Add the other cardamom pod and the clove.Bring the water to boil, reduce heat to very low, cover the pot, and let it sit for at least 45 minutes.
  4. While the meat is cooking, prepare your potatoes. Add some oil in to your skillet, make sure it’s nice and hot, then add in your potatoes. Once they’re golden brown, take them out and set them aside.
  5. After 45 minutes, take the lid of and make sure you boil off any remaining water. Once everything is dry, take the meat out of the pot and set it aside. Feel free to hit it with some salt now if you want to. I didn’t use any.
  6. Now, in the same pot, add in some olive oil, your all spice, and black pepper. Then add in your peas and carrots. Stir them in well and let them cook until the carrots soften up a little bit.
  7. Now you have the rice, meat, potatoes, and veggies done, all you have to do is to mix them all up together in the pot. See why I told you to use a large one? You’re welcome.
  8. Add the meat first, then rice, then the potatoes. Put the lid on, and reduce heat to low. Let everything sit for 15 minutes. This will allow all the flavors from the meat, cardamom,   cloves, and spices get mixed up together.
  9. Now gently stir everything together. You don’t the rice and potatoes to get mushy. Just take your time and stir all the ingredients so they’re nicely mixed. Let that sit for another 15 minutes on low heat.
  10. And Bon Appétit!

Give this bad boy a try and let me know how it is. If you enjoy my recipes, please share them on social media with your family and friends. And if you’re new here, please hit the subscribe button and join the Habibis Family!

Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Brown Rice

What’s up Habibis?! Sorry it’s been a minute since I last posted a recipe. Been hella busy with work. You know I have a full time job so give me a break would you?

Lot’s of folks have asked for this recipe, and because I’m super nice, I was like “why not?!”

This a super easy, quick, and healthy meal that anyone can make. So let’s dive right in:

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size chicken breasts
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 cup of red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Whip it up!

  1. Cook the brown rice first because it takes a while. In a medium size pot, add your brown rice, coconut milk, 1 cup of water, coconut flakes, cardamom, and clove.
  2. Bring everything to a boil, put the lid on, and turn the heat to medium low. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until all the liquid is gone. The cardamom and clove will make your place smell amazing!
  3. Cube up the chicken, and hit it with some salt, pepper, and red pepper action. Then transfer the chicken to a hot and oiled cast iron skillet and cook until golden brown.
  4. Transfer the chicken into a bowl and drizzle the pan with olive oil.
  5. Add your vegetables in and cook until they lose all their water.
  6. Add your soy sauce, a pinch of red pepper flake, a pinch of black pepper, and stir all the veggies together.
  7. Then toss your chicken back in the skillet with all the veggies and mix everything together.
  8. Serve! I prefer adding the rice at the bottom of your plate/bowl then add the stir fry on top. But you can also just mix the rice together with everything.

If you enjoy this recipe, share it up!

The Best Garlic Chicken and Mint Roasted Potatoes You’ll Ever Make

You’re probably wondering “mint potatoes?I came here for a dinner recipe, not a mojito!” Well, take a chill pill habibi and let me break it down to you. This is the best chicken I have ever made and I’m pumped to share my recipe with you.

The secret to this dish is time and foil. The reason why this chicken is so good is that it cooks very slowly until the meat falls off the bone.

As for the potatoes, I wanted to try something new. I was browsing through my spices and I saw a bagof dried mint which I haven’t used in a while. I really like dried mint in kebabs, but this time I wanted to add it to some potatoes because I freaking can. I am so happy that I did. The flavor was absolutely amazing.

Alright, enough talking and let’s get cooking! First let us start with what you need:

  • Chicken drumsticks: I did two per person, but ate about 5. I cook, I eat!
  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 1lb green beans
  • 1 large onion: cut into thin slices
  • 6 large cloves of garlic. The more garlic the better.
  • Quinoa: 1 cup for two people
  • 1 bunch of finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Generous amount of salt and pepper

Time to cook!

  1. First, pre-heat your oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Grab a large bowl and dump all your chicken in.
  3. Using garlic press, crush all the garlic in the chicken bowl. If you don’t have a garlic press, you could use a cheese grater (what I did), or just finely chop it with a knife.
  4. Now add the parsley to the mix
  5. Add a generous amount of salt and black pepper. I did about one tablespoon each.
  6. Then add half a cup of olive oil in and get messy! Rub the chicken with all the ingredients that you added so that each piece is coated evenly.
  7. Please wash your hands thoroughly after that.
  8. Now move the chicken to a cast iron pan or a pyrex baking dish and tightly cover the top with foil. Make sure you seal it really well. I used two layers of foil. This will insure that the steam will stay inside which will make your chicken very juicy and tender.
  9. Now you will leave the chicken for 1 hour. Don’t touch it!
  10. Onto the potatoes: super easy. First cut them up into small pieces like in the picture above and put them in a baking dish.
  11. Add the dried mint, a touch of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything up. Use your god given hands. Best kitchen tools ever!
  12. In another baking dish, add your green beans and onions. Hit them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  13. Now toss your potatoes and green beans/onions into the oven.
  14. You thought we’re done didn’t you? How funny. Sorry, but there is one more thing: quinoa!
  15. Add your quinoa to a pot and then add some water. For each cup of quinoa add two cups of water. Now let it come to boil. Once it starts boiling, put the lid on, move it off the burner and let it sit there until the water completely disappears.
  16. Check on the veggies and potatoes every 15 minutes. They should cook in about 30 minutes. I like my potatoes to be nice and crispy on the outside so I let them sit in the oven longer.
  17. After 1 hour, take the chicken out and remove the foil. The chicken is now fully cooked, but not crispy. Who wants that right?
  18. Now turn your oven broiler on and put the chicken back in. Check regularly to make sure the chicken doesn’t burn.
  19. After the top side gets nice and golden, flip those drumsticks over and do the same.
  20. It took me about 30 minutes for the chicken to be golden brown on both sides. I promise you this: when you take the chicken out, you will be so happy. The chicken will look absolutely amazing!

Now you get to eat! I hope you enjoy this meal and share the recipe with your habibis

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Bacon Wrapped Prunes: Easy and Delicious Finger Food


Bacon wrapped prunes

Bacon wrapped prunes?! Yes please. Just take a second and stare at this photo.

When I posted this on Instagram, I said that I might have had 20 by accident. After much reflection, I can now say that it wasn’t an accident. They were just too damn delicious to stop eating them. Go ahead judge me. See if I care.

The best part about this snack is how easy it is to make. Here’s all you need:

  • Prunes
  • Bacon
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Oven. No oven? Okay, a pan works too. No pan? I don’t why you’re here then.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut each slice of bacon in half.
  3. Wrap each prune with a half slice of bacon. Make as many as you want.
  4. Dust these bacon wrapped prunes with black pepper. No salt needed.
  5. Add everything to a baking sheet and toss in oven for about 15 minutes. Then, flip these bad boys and let the other side cook for 15 minutes. If the bacon is not crispy golden brown, put them back in. Just keep an eye on it If you’re using a pan,  pre-heat it on medium high heat. Add the bacon-wrapped prunes in for about 5 -7 minutes per side. Then it’s up to you to decide how crispy you want the bacon.

That’s it! Turn your TV on to your favorite game, show, or movie and have fun snacking on these.

 

Baba Ghanouj Recipe: Easy, Light, & Delicious

Homemade baba ghanouj
Homemade baba ghanouj

What is up, Habibi?! So like a bunch of people have asked me to share my baba ghanouj (aka ghannouj, aka ghanoush, aka ghanouge)recipe, and I’m here to deliver.

Please tell me you know what baba ghanouj is! No? Bruh…

via GIPHY

Basically, baba ghanouj is an eggplant dip/spread that is an excellent starter. Here’s how you can make it:

  • 2 medium size eggplants. Or you can get one giant eggplant! ? ?
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs tahini (sesame-based condiment)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 4 minced garlic cloves (or less)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste. I tend to use a lot of black pepper because it really brings up the parsley flavor

Now lets get to work:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Take your eggplants and stab them with a fork few times. This will ensures that they don’t explode all over your oven.
  3. Coat eggplants with olive oil, and hit them with some salt and pepper. Start rubbing. I have to admit, it always feels a little weird to rub an oiled eggplant. I don’t know why. ? 
  4. Put eggplants in a baking sheet or a cast iron pan and toss them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Check on the eggplants after 30 minutes. They need to feel very soft. If they don’t, put them back in the oven.
  6. Now that the eggplants are nice and soft, take them out and let them rest.
  7. After they cool down a little bit, slice them lengthwise in halves. Take a fork, and scoop out all the inner goodness into a strainer. The eggplants will be very watery and you will need to get rid of as much water as possible.
  8. After you strained the eggplants, move them onto a cutting board and add the parsley and garlic on top. Take a knife, and start chopping.
  9. Then take a fork, and start mashing everything as if you’re making mashed potatoes. This will make the texture feel more like a dip.
  10. Add the tahini, half of your olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix well. Remember, you don’t want to add too much tahini, so just eyeball it. If you think you need a little more tahini,  go for it. But just be careful not to use too much.
  11. Add your salt and pepper and mix.
  12. The smell at this point will be incredible. So feel free to give it a taste. Might need some more salt or pepper. If you want more olive oil (which I always do) or more tahini, also feel free to add some more.
  13. Now move the mixture into a bowl, pour in the remaining olive oil on top and throw it in the fridge for few minutes.
  14. Serve with some pita chips…or just some good old pita.

And voila! Give this a try and let me know how it goes.