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Latest – HaloodieFoodie http://haloodiefoodie.com Team HaloodieFoodie, charting our culinary adventures via the wonders of the net Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:47:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Beef and Birds, Whitechapel, London. Quick Review http://haloodiefoodie.com/beef-and-birds-whitechapel-london-quick-review/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/beef-and-birds-whitechapel-london-quick-review/#comments Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:43:06 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=11090

I’ve found that London’s Halal Gourmet Burger market has been saturated since the Burger explosion of 2015. Consequently, I find it really difficult to get excited by burgers and in recent times my criteria for considering Gourmet Burger joints has changed markedly.
I will now only entertain the thought of visiting a Gourmet Burger establishment if the restaurant has the following traits:

1. The restaurant uses Dry-aged Beef
2. They ‎have unique flavour combinations in their signature burgers
3. They offer Innovative sides

Recently, I found out about Beef and Birds from the team at Feedthelion.co.uk. The lure of aged patties, brisket chilli burgers and dark chocolate wings ignited my interest and the 50% discount during the soft launch got me through the door. (Those dominant money-saving South Asian genes are hard to shake off!!).

Beef and Birds is situated in the middle of Brick Lane, in Whitechapel. Despite the 50% offer, we were pleased to find a table immediately available for Team Haloodiefoodie. We noticed Beef and Birds interior houses a few pieces of trendy designer graffiti on OSB sheets.

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We were greeted by one of the owners, who took our order. The starters arrived within a respectable time, especially considering we were told the food will take longer than usual, as the restaurant was only in its second day of trading.


The Dark Chocolate BBQ Wings were innovative and unique. The dark chocolate wasn’t overly sweet and was flavoured with salt and chilli. This gave the slight punch of spice to go with the crisp wings. It is different but well worth trying.

Sadly, the Korean wings were a major letdown. The Korean BBQ sauce didn’t have the punch of sweet and savoury elements that I expected of onion, garlic, ginger and Korean Chilli paste.

The Birds and Beef short rib was served with fried potatoes, slaw and a choice of gravy (which I personally would never recommend with beef ribs) or an in-house BBQ sauce.
The beef rib wasn’t the portion size I would have expected! (I’m renowned for smoking huge Dino Ribs at home). Nevertheless, the meat was tender and unctuous. The BBQ sauce was pleasant enough, but it lacked the smoky element usually associated with Ribs.  The unrendered fat and gristle at the end of the rib was quite unpleasant and spoilt the overall dish.

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My first exposure to real Gourmet Burgers was at Meat and Shake in Tooting. I was fascinated to hear that the M&S’s former executive chef Christan Stoner helped develop the Menu at Beef and Birds.

The Texas Brisket Chilli Burger, with its aged Beef patty, Brisket Chilli, Cheese and Jalapeno soon arrived. The first thing I noticed that the chilli was cold! Argh!! The burger itself was reasonable, it was cooked to medium well. Due to the dominant flavours of the brisket chilli topping, I didn’t get the kick of umami I was expecting from an aged beef patty.



Our second burger was the Dirty Diana, with its aged beef patty drenched in creamy Diane Sauce. This burger really hit the mark. The mushroom-laden Diane sauce’s umami savouriness perfectly complimented the Beef Patty. It was a unique flavour combination on the London Halal Burger Scene. Team Haloodiefoodie really enjoyed this Burger.


Overall, I feel its too quick to judge Beef and Birds. With all newly opened restaurants, they are finding their way around the menu and the new setting. The service was polite and attentive, but needs sharpening; there was nobody to receive us and we were offered the table without it being cleaned. We also had to ask for napkins (Especially after the Saucy Dirty Diana).

However, we feel that there is potential in the unique flavour combinations in some of the dishes, and we look forward to keeping an eye out for future developments. Finally, there’s 50% off the food menu until Monday 4th December 2017 by simply quoting ‘Feed the Lion’ when ordering.



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Win a Smoked Iftaar at Team Haloodiefoodie HQ http://haloodiefoodie.com/win-a-smoked-iftaar-at-team-haloodiefoodie-hq/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/win-a-smoked-iftaar-at-team-haloodiefoodie-hq/#respond Fri, 12 May 2017 16:11:24 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=11059

The month of Ramadhan is upon us again. To commemorate the start of the blessed month, Team Haloodiefoodie are opening up our home to invite two fortunate foodies to break their fast with indulgent 10-hour smoked Aberdeen Angus Aged Beef Ribs from Hill Farm Finest.


To enter the competition all you have to do is the following:

1) Follow Haloodiefoodie on Instagram
2) Tag a friend under any of the Haloodiefoodie competition images. The more friends you tag, the greater your chance of winning.

The competition will run from 18:00 GMT  Friday 12th May 2017 to 21:00 on Sunday 28th May 2017. The winners will be chosen at random and announced at 22:00 GMT on Monday 29th May 2017 via Instagram. The winner can bring one guest of their choice to the event. The winner must claim their prize by 20:00 GMT on Monday 29th May 2017.

Competition Terms & Conditions:

• The competition will run from 18:00 GMT  Friday 12th May 2017 and all entries must be received by 21:00 GMT on Sunday 29th May 2017. Winners will be announced after the competition on Monday 29th May 2017.
• To enter, entrants must be following Haloodiefoodie on Instagram and tag a friend in the comment section of the relevant image(s).
• The prize is non-transferrable and no cash alternative will be offered.
• The competition is open to all.
• The winners will be selected at random by Team Haloodiefoodie.
• The winners will be notified via Instagram. The winner must claim their prize by emailing/direct messaging Haloodiefoodie by Monday 29th May 20:00 GMT to claim their prize. They must give Team Haloodiefoodie their email address to claim the prize.
• Appropriate ID will be required to confirm identification of the winner.
• The winner may bring one guest to the event.
• The event will take place at Team Haloodiefoodie HQ in Stoke Newington, London N16. Team Haloodiefoodie cannot cover the costs of travel to and from the event.


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Roti King, Euston, London http://haloodiefoodie.com/roti-king-euston-london/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/roti-king-euston-london/#respond Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:45:32 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=11022



My love affair with Malaysian food started with a visit to Kuala Lumpur after graduating from University. I was fascinated by the fusion flavours of the Far East with Southern India. Spicy, umami filled curries with an array of meats and loads of carbs!! Perfect for an indulgent meal.

When I saw images of Roti Canai and Nasi Lemak on Halal Girl About Town‘s Social media stream, I planned to visit as soon as I had a break from School! Taking Halal Girl’s advice I reached Roti King early, as expected there was a queue before the noon opening.


The restaurant is situated in the basement of a block of flats, and I felt it adds to the atmosphere of a no-frills eatery, not too dissimilar to the ones found in Malaysia. The restaurant is clean but small and houses approximately 20-25 diners at a time. Once the doors opened we were quickly seated and our order was taken by a very friendly Malaysian waiter.

Roti Canai (£5 and £6.50 for Roti Canai Special)

We ordered two Roti Canai, one with dhaal and the other with fish curry. The rotis were cooked fresh to order by the skilled Roti masters. The roti dough is flattened, layered with oil and folded, then reflattened and cooked on a hot oiled griddle. As the rotis are pulled off the griddle, they are scrunched up to push out the extra layers of flaky pastry.

The rotis were served piping hot, and were seared with a perfect level of browning, to ensure an even crisp. The layers in the roti were apparent and it wasn’t as greasy as I had feared!!

The curries that accompanied the Roti were packed with umaminess, especially the fish curry. Both curries were lighter than their Indian counterpart. The addition of coconut milk provided a rich, creamy and smooth feel on the palate. We enjoyed dipping the rotis into the steaming bowls, and even after the rotis had finished we unashamedly ‘drank’ the remaining curry with our spoons.


Beef Rendang (£7.00)


Ever since Ping Coombes won Masterchef, I’ve had an affinity with Rendang. My affection with red meat has been well documented and doesn’t need much elaboration, especially after fellow bloggers Steak and Teeth infamously labelled me the ‘Meat Whisper. Therefore the Beef Rendang was always going to be on my list of things to order!!

Slow cooked pieces of boneless beef, with background hints of coconut, tamarind, kaffir lime leaves and fiery red chilli; served with white rice. Although this was a pleasant dish, it wasn’t the best rendang that I’ve tasted. The coconut was overpowering and there was a lack of fiery chilli punch. I felt that the dish needed some umami and/or sharp hints, possibly via the introduction of a fiery shrimp-laced sambal oolek (Malaysian/Indonesian Chilli Paste).

Nasi Lemak (£7.00)


Some regard Nasi Lemak as the national dish of Malaysia, it’s a dish of Steamed coconut rice served with peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumber, egg, chilli sambal and spiced fried chicken. It’s usually eaten for breakfast. Erm.. I don’t think Mrs HF would come near me, if I had fried anchovies anytime before Noon!! Apparently, the best way of eating Nasi Lemak is mixing everything together, eating crispy chicken, sweet coconut infused rice, fiery sambal, salty and crisp fried anchovies. The dish is an eruption of sweet, spicy, salty and fishy umami flavours in every bite.

Sweet Canai

Roti Tissue (£5.00)


The eyes of the younger members of #teamhaloodiefoodie lit up when a cone shaped roti with sugar sprinkles, vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce arrived at the table. So, I’ll let them describe the desserts!

This reminded us of a sweetened version of a Paper Dosa: flaky, paper thin, and brittle, with a thin layer of caramelised sugar. It was delicate and light.  Coupled with the rich vanilla ice cream, it was the perfect way to end the meal.

Roti Planta (£3.50)


Roti with butter topped with condensed milk filling. Much like the Tissue Roti, this was delicate and light, however the condensed milk filling added more substance, making it more filling than the tissue roti.

The bill came to £45 for 5 diners, which included a service charge and tips. I’m sure you’ll agree it is very reasonable for authentic Malaysian food close to Central London. I asked the younger members of #teamhaloodiefoodie whether they would like to return, and the answer was a resounding YES!! I would especially like to return for some more Roti Canai and some of the dishes we haven’t tried yet, including the divine looking Kari Laksa. We’ll be back soon! 

Roti King

40 Doric Way, Euston, London NW1 1LH

020 7387 2518

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Hill Farm Finest – Halal Prime Aberdeen Angus Beef http://haloodiefoodie.com/hill-farm-finest-halal-prime-aberdeen-angus-beef/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/hill-farm-finest-halal-prime-aberdeen-angus-beef/#respond Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:00:47 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=11000

#TeamHaloodieFoodie joined up with the wonderful people at Halalgems.com to visit Hill Farm and sample some amazing prime Aberdeen Angus Beef!




Perfect Sunday Roast: From the talented Devine Delights


Topside Roast Photo @devine_delights


Sunday Roast with all the trimmings: Photo @devine_delights

18 hour Smoked Brisket with www.halalgirlabouttown.com


Slicing through the succulent Brisket


Perfectly smoked Brisket: Photo @Halal_girl

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Team Haloodiefoodie’s guide to Istanbul, Turkey http://haloodiefoodie.com/team-haloodiefoodies-guide-to-istanbul-turkey/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/team-haloodiefoodies-guide-to-istanbul-turkey/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2016 07:47:31 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=10824

Stoke Newington has a thriving Turkish community, and with its grand domed mosques, it’s coffee shops selling freshly baked Anatolian delicacies, and it’s traditional Turkish Hamaam tucked away in a side street, I sometimes feel as if I’ve been transported to Turkey itself.

I’ve been to Istanbul once before, and during the Autumn half term Team Haloodiefoodie decided to revisit the land where East meets West; the land of the Sultans and the Ottomans. Istanbul is a short 3.5 hour flight from London, so if you catch an early morning flight, you’ll still have plenty to explore on your first day.

The Sultan Ahmed area is the cultural heart of the city. It’s only a 30 minute taxi drive from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and has many hotels. I would suggest you stay in a 3-star hotel, which usually serves a simple but hearty Turkish style breakfast of cheese, sour cherry jam, honey, eggs and bread.

The view from our Hotel!!

The view from our Hotel!!

The hotels in Sultan Ahmed are within walking distance of the main Istanbul attractions: Topkapi Palace, Sultan Ahmed Camii (the Blue Mosque) and the Hagia Sophia.

I recommend getting a Muze Card for 85TL (£20), which gives you access to a range of attractions including Topkapi and Hagia Sophia. More information can be found here:



Topkapi Palace


Topkapi Palace housed the Ottoman Sultan, his family and various service personnel. It is by far the most popular attraction with beautiful Ottoman Architecture and ornate furnishings. I recommend starting your tour of Istanbul here. I was in the ticket queue for 2 hours during my first visit!!  This time, I avoided the queues by reaching the palace at 9am, and I was one of the first to purchase our Muze cards.  Topkapi contains 4 main courtyards, various receiving rooms, and the Sultans private quarters. It also contained mosques, kitchens, the Treasury, bathing pools and a hospital!


The views overlooking the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus are breathtakingly beautiful!


The Sultans Iftaar Pavillion

The Palace also houses the Sacred Relics which include the cloak and Sword of Rasullah SAW, as well as other relics such as the Staff of Musa AS and the Turban of Yusuf (AS). No photography is allowed in the Sacred Relics section.  


Mangal and Nargila!!

There’s so much to more see, you can easily spend a few hours in Topkapi, soaking up life in Ottoman Times!!!

Hagia Sofia


Hagia Sofia was originally a Greek Orthodox cathedral with Byzantine architecture. It was converted into a Mosque and is now a museum. It has high domed ceilings, marble pillars and Mosaics depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and other nobles.


Sultan Ahmed Camii (The Blue Mosque).

The Blue Mosque is also in the same vicinity, I suggest you visit at a prayer time to hear the call to prayer echoing around the high domed ceilings. Stay after the prayer for the impressive recitation of the Imaam.



Sunset Bosphorus Cruise

The sunset tour of the Bosphorus was another highlight of our trip. The most picturesque time to start the tour is about an hour before sunset. We boarded from Eminonu (A few stops on the tram from Sultan Ahmed). Eminonu is a busy transport hub, with ferries to the Asian Side of Istanbul and a bus station. (You can also take the 99A bus to Eyup Sultan from Eminonu).




Eminonu is very busy, with many sellers of Hamsi (Fried Anchovy Sandwiches). You can also buy freshly fried Lokma, (Turkish doughnuts).



Other notable places:

Eyup Sultan Mosque

The Mosque is built next to the grave of the famous companion of Rasullah Muhammed SAW

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The Grand Bazaar is the perfect place for retail therapy. You can buy almost anything within its winding streets!!



The Spice Bazaar is where you can pick up all manner of spices, teas and the occasional love potion! You can get Urfa Pepper for your adana kebabs here! See my recipe for further details. http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodies-adana-kebab-live/

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Istanbul Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art


The museum contains many ancient Quran manuscripts and relics of the Kabah


Places to eat

You are spoilt for places to eat in Istanbul, with all manner of cuisines available. We made a conscious effort to sample both the traditional and modern cuisine. Here are some of our highlights.

Tarihi SultanAhmet Koftecisi

Situated near Sultan Ahmed’s tram stop is the famous Tarihi Sultan Ahmet Koftecisi which was established in 1920 and is, therefore one of the oldest Kofte houses in Istanbul.



These beef kebabs were cooked over charcoal, the lack of spice was substituted by the super succulent and unctuous kebabs!

Virginia Angus, Burgers and Steaks


I found out about Virginia Angus during my internet trawl for steak places in Istanbul. So after reading Isha prayer in Sulaymani Mosque, we walked through some narrow roads to finally get to the burger eatery. I was surprised to see what looked like takeaway from the EastEnd of London (no disrespect to the EastEnd!!). Nevertheless, the promised lure of Black Angus beef took us inside. As soon as I saw the aged meat on display, any doubts about the eatery soon disappeared.  Virgina Angus is not your usual steak and burger joint, they farm their own Black Angus in the lush fields of Eastern Anatolia.


Dry Aged steaks


We ordered The Leave it to the Chef Platter, which started with thinly sliced subtly smoked beef. Served with soft and buttery bread rolls.


Smoked Beef served with olive oil and freshly cracked pepper


The burger and steaks were cooked over charcoal and were served medium, the steaks juicy and succulent. The french fries were a little underdone and lacked seasoning. The beef served on the platter wasn’t aged, although the quality of the black Angus beef was apparent.


As part of the platter we were also supplied with a cute mini Virginia burger, with smoked veal, double cheese and caramelised onions!! Totally luscious!!

After eating half of my the mini burger!! I just had to order another one!!


The Virginia burger came sliced in two, with grill marks on the inside of the patty! This patty was cooked rare and juicy. The smoked veal added a salty, smokiness to the juicy beef and the subtle sweetness of the caramelised onions came through in every bite. Mrs HF had a bite and commented that the patty texture was too rare for her liking. That was good news for me, as she concentrated her attention on the french fries while I enjoyed the burger!!


Sehzede Cag Kebab

Cag Kebab is a horizontally rotating Lamb kebab cooked over a wood fire. The marinated lamb slices are stacked with layers of lamb tail fat, which help maintain the kebabs juiciness.





Kasab Osman

Kasab Osman is along the road from Sehzade. Established as a Butcher ‘Kasab’ in 1964, Kasab Osman opened as a restaurant in 1990. The doner kebab uses good quality lamb and is cooked over a wood fire! It’s nothing like the doner found in most takeaways in the UK, utilising lamb shoulder. Also try the amazing Iskinder Kebab here!!




Hafiz Mustafa is Istanbul’s premium dessert parlour. Established for over 150 years, Hafiz Mustafa serves a variety of Turkish sweets including Baklava, Kunefe, Turkish Delight, Creamy Rice puddings and all manner of sweet treats!




The quality of the Baklava was outstanding, and they don’t compromise on the quality (or quantity) of the nuts. The vividly green pistachio Baklava is a must.



Fine Dining: Mikla

If you prefer a more refined meal, then make your way across the Bosphorus to Chef Mehmet Gurs’ acclaimed Mikla Resturant. Situated on the rooftop floors of The Marmara Pera Hotel.



Amuse-Bouse: Bonito Mouse with tuille


Cold Pressed Virgin Olive Oil, Sour Dough bread, Hand Churned butter and raw milk Anatolian cheese


Balik Ekmek served on  warm Black Sea stone with a Lemon Sauce

A modern take on Hamsi (Fried Anchovy Sandwiches) found in Eminonu.  This was a creative dish which married the intense flavour of the anchovies, with the texture of crispy olive oil bread and the subtle coolness of the lemon dip. Very clever!!


Bonito Starter for Mrs Haloodiefoodie

Bonito served with Salicornia, Fennel, Sunchoke, Caper and Apple vinegar. The Bonito was firm and its taste was highlighted by the sharp vinegar dressing.

Main Course


Grilled Lamb Cutlets

For my second course, I ordered the Pistachio crusted Grilled Lamb, served with Liver, Mushroom, bulgar and cornelian cherry.  The presentation of the dish blew me away. The lamb was cooked medium rare, as requested, succulent and well seasoned. The pistachio crust gave the dish much need texture and the liver added a subtle earthiness.







Mrs Haloodiefoodie went for the fish dish as her second course. The monkfish was perfectly cooked and really meaty. The sauce with the red beans perfectly complimented the fish.



Buffalo Yogurt with walnut crumb, Fennel Sauce served with a Strawberry Sorbet

I wasn’t expecting this dessert to look so stunning, amazing colours and textures. I’m glad it tasted as good as it looked. The buffalo yoghurt was sweet and had a Khoya/Mava type of creamy smoothness. The sharp strawberry sorbet gave the contrasting freshness to the rich yoghurt. The fennel sauce added a hint of liquorice flavour to the dish.. I was a happy diner!!


Intense Chocolate mousse, Blackberry Sorbet, Quince and Kaymak

The sharpness of the blackberry sorbet contrasted and cut through the richness of the bittersweet chocolate. This dessert was thoroughly enjoyed, and one of the best I’ve ever had.

The night ended with breathtaking 360° views of Istanbul from the Rooftop terrace!

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Istanbul Food and Sights Map

I have uploaded some key places that we visited during our trip. I hope you find it useful!

We really enjoy our short trip to Istanbul. It’s the first time Mrs Haloodiefoodie has been away from all the children for an extended period of time! Don’t worry we have set a firm resolution to bring the Junior members of Team Haloodiefoodie to sample the cultural and culinary delights of this wonderful and unique city!

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Haloodiefoodie Beyti Kebab LIVE http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodie-beyti-kebab-live/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodie-beyti-kebab-live/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2016 19:06:14 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=10775

Haloodiefoodie Beyti Kebab and Grilled Onion Salad with Pomegranate Molasses dressing was recorded live for The Best Halal Burger Group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/halalburgers/

Pomegranate Molasses dressing

2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sumac
Salt to taste

The weather was really temperamental and the video quality suffered. The recipe for my Adana kebab can be found here:

I hope you enjoyed the recipe, please feel free to snapchat your wonderful cooking to Team Haloodiefoodie. Snapchat ID: Haloodiefoodie


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Demystifying Kacche Ghosht Ki Biryani http://haloodiefoodie.com/kacche-gosht-ki-biryani/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/kacche-gosht-ki-biryani/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2016 22:00:33 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=97

Today I will tackle biryani; a grand mughal dish which has caused many an experienced home cook to shiver in dread.

Biryani is cooked on special occasions: Eids, Walimas, Aqiqahs, dinner parties etc.

I’ve come to understand that not all biryani’s are the same. There are two main cooking methods:

  1. Kacche Ghosht Biryani: partially cooked rice is layered over raw meat and steam cooked.
  2. Pakki Ghosht Biryani: partially or fully cooked meat is layered with rice and steam cooked.

Kacche Biryani is quite difficult to master, with a risk of meat remaining raw, or rice becoming too soggy. Most home cooks will not even contemplate attempting it on a special occasion.
However, the flavour achieved with Kacche Ghosht Biryani cannot be surpassed. As the meat cooks, its taste and aroma diffuses through the rice; and the meat itself remains tender and moist.
In the Pakki Ghost version the meat is already cooked, so the rice is devoid of meaty flavour. It often results in a mix-match conglomeration of rice, overly dry meat and spices.

During our recent live video stream we addressed the three common issues people encounter whilst  making this royal Mughal dish:
1. Meat sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan
2. Overcooked and mushy rice
3. Uneven cooking of meat

Marination of the Lamb

Marinate 2.5 kg lamb meat overnight or for 24 hours in a marinade consisting of :
500g yoghurt
2 good pinches of saffron
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1 large spoon sunflower oil
4 tsp ginger paste
4 tsp garlic paste
4 tsp green chilli paste
5 tsp chilli powder
4.5 tsp salt
5 tsp coriander and cumin powder
1.5 tsp turmeric powder

Marinated Lamb

On the day of cooking

Fry 12 medium size onions
Soak (and boil) 200g masoor daal
Soak 2.5 kg good quality basmati rice

Fried Onions Soak your basmati rice

About 4 hours before serving add following ingredients to the marinated meat.

2 large spoons dessicated coconut,
The drained masoor dall
750g yoghurt
2/3 of the fried onions
1/3 to 1/2 bunch of mint
3/4 bunch fresh coriander
250g tomatoes (Blitz in the blender!)
15 whole dried apricots and 1 Shan Bombay Biryani packet or your own spice mix! (Coriander, cumin, chilli powder, and turmeric). 
Also add more chillies and salt (to taste).

Final Lamb Mixture


Use a good quality long grain Basmati rice, make sure it has been washed and soaked for at least 30min prior to cooking. 

To stop the rice from becoming overcooked and mushy, we will need to use rice cooked to different levels of doneness.

Boil a large saucepan of salted water (1.5 tsp salt per cup of rice) with bay leaves, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamons. Once the water has boiled add in the drained pre-soaked rice and stir once through thoroughly. As soon as the water reboils, use a colander to sieve out approx 1/3 of the rice from the pot, and put this aside to drain. This is your 40% cooked rice.

40% Rice

After boiling the remaining rice for a further 2 minutes, take out the next 1/3 rice (60% cooked) and finally drain the last 1/3 rice (80% cooked) after another 2 minutes of boiling. These steps are an essential technique which will allow all the rice (40-80% cooked rice) to cook to perfect fluffiness, without the rice just above the meat becoming too soggy.

60% rice

Assembly and cooking

Use Potatoes at the bottom of a heavy bottom pot to act as as ‘insurance’ to make sure the meat doesn’t burn or stick to bottom of the pan! Futher details are given in the video above!!

Layer 2.5cm thick slices of potato across the base of a thick based biryani pot. Add the marinated meat mixture directly on top of the potato slices, leaving a gap of approximately 1cm around the edges.  

Place the 40% cooked rice onto the meat mixture and into the gap around the meat.

Scatter over half the remaining fried onions and half of the remaining 1/4 bunch coriander. Then layer the 60% cooked  rice, then the last (80%) rice.


Sprinkle on saffron infused water and the remaining fried onions, fresh coriander and mint. Use a knife or a handle of a large spoon to poke 7 steam holes down through the layers. Finally spread some ghee/butter on top of the rice.

Cooking by dum (steam)

Make a chapatti dough using approx 2 cups flour and warm water,  Roll into a fat sausage and use it to seal the lid of the biryani pot to the actual pot. Alternatively, you could place a heavy weight on top of the pot. Preheat a heavy based cast iron tawwa (used for making chapattis) on the stove. Place the filled biryani pot onto the tawwa and cook on the stove for approx 3 hours; first 10 mins on high heat, then medium/low heat for the rest of the time.

After around 2 hours, the seal will slowly break, as the pressure increases. You’ll see a steady stream of wonderfully fragrant steam escaping from the pot!! Wow, the smell is amazing!! This is a sign that the biryani is in its final stages!! Cook until the steam subsides slightly or for another hour!

Finally cut around the seal with a knife and carefully remove the lid. The Biryani is ready!! Serve with a yogurt raita, poppadoms and Gujarati Chaas (flavoured Buttermilk).

I hope you enjoy the video demonstration and instructions.

I pray you make the perfect Biryani on your special occasions. Please feel free to Snapchat us your results of your wonderful cooking!

Snapchat ID: Haloodiefoodie

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Searing the perfect steak: Haloodiefoodie style http://haloodiefoodie.com/searing-the-perfect-steak-haloodiefoodie-style/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/searing-the-perfect-steak-haloodiefoodie-style/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 17:20:37 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=10693

Do you have problems cooking the perfect steak? Are your steaks always overcooked, dry and chewy!

I saw a article by Craig ‘Meathead’ Goldwyn about the afterburner method, which involves searing at super high temperatures (400°C+). Meathead’s Afterburner technique achieved a wonderfully caramelised crust, yet a super moist and juicy ‘pink’ centre. Additionally he only used a simple Charcoal Chimney Starter and a grate!

This technique can be used for steaks with thickness between 1-2cm. Salt your steak prior to searing, this allows the salt to dissolve into the meat improving the taste of the steak. Just before searing your steaks, brush a little oil onto your steaks, this will aid the Caramelisation process. Don’t add any seasoning including pepper, as you risk scorching the spices which will result in a bitter tasting steak.
Half fill the charcoal chimney starter and light the charcoal according to a the usual instructions. When the coal is covered with a white ash, you are ready to cook.
Place your grill grate on top of chimney starter, make sure that the grate sits on top of the chimney starter and there’s little or no risk the grate falling. I usually use my BBQ to house the chimney starter.

Place the steak on the grate directly on top of the chimney. You will be cooking for around 3-4 minutes whilst flipping every 30 seconds to get an even sear. Be careful the flames will rise around the steak, especially during the final parts of the searing process. Once you achieve a dark Caramelised crust remove from the grate and set aside for 2 mins before you eat.
The high temperatures allows the crust to develop at super sonic speed. The internal temperature doesn’t rise as fast, thus allowing a perfectly medium and juicy interior. Finally, I added a little herby garlic butter to complete the indulgence.

See my video demonstration below:

Steaks should be cooked to medium rare/medium. Many people of my cultural background may feel that the meat juices from a medium cooked piece of meat is filled with blood! The red liquid comes from the breakdown of the protein myoglobin which is found in muscle fibres.. it’s certainly not blood, cooked blood would become become congealed and have a dark complexion.
Many people would cook and cook their meat until there is no liquid left and the meat becomes grey, dry and chewy.

Why do you want to spend good money on a steak and then cook all the moisture out of your steaks? We then have the audacity to complain that beef is chewy!!
My advice is to cook your steaks to medium well.. around 65°C and slowly move (up!) to medium at just below 60°C. I cannot emphasise the use of a good quality digital thermometer such as a Thermo-pen from Thermoworks.

I hope you get to enjoy perfectly cooked steaks. Please feel free to forward pics of your amazing steaks and other cooking via our social media channels.

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Unravelling the Secret of the perfect Gourmet Burger. http://haloodiefoodie.com/unravelling-the-secret-of-the-perfect-gourmet-burger/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/unravelling-the-secret-of-the-perfect-gourmet-burger/#comments Thu, 12 May 2016 12:00:05 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=105


Its burger time.

Growing up in a fast developing halal scene, I had my fair share of burgers and doner kebabs. The £2 burger and chips craze came, stayed for a while and went…

The era of mechanically retrieved, horse DNA infused beef Quarter Pounders is dead.

People are now craving for a new breed of burger. They query the quality of the beef and whether the burger patties are hand pressed?

I’ve been keeping this recipe up my sleeve since last Summer, I feel its time to release it to the masses. If I had a penny for every burger recipe request, I’d be giving a lot more zakaat this year!!

So, if you own a gourmet burger joint, look away now and I apologise for the lack of customers in advance!

Welcome to the Gourmet burger revolution…. Haloodiefoodie style.

Burgers are made from beef!!


Use good quality Beef Mince

Real burgers are beef, not lamb, mutton or chicken. I’m aware that some may have a cultural aversion to beef, however if you want the best tasting burgers you’ll need the correct ingredients.

Use a good quality beef mince, 80:20% Beef mince to fat ratio. The fat keeps the burgers moist. Too much fat and the burgers will taste greasy and may even break up when cooking. I usually get the butcher to mince a steak (Chuck steak is best). Don’t settle for pre-minced Beef unless you have complete confidence in your butcher.

The best burger joints use 28+ day aged beef, which elevates the taste and texture of the patties. If you know a of a respectable halal butcher who dry ages beef. Please forward detail to me!

It’s against the traditional teaching of Indian mothers but trust me you have to throw away the rule book for these wonderful tasting burgers!!!


Use wet hands to mould your patties.

HaloodieFoodie Gourmet Burger recipe

1 kg Beef mince
100g Brie

Using wet hands shaped into 5.5-6oz patties around 2cm thick with a piece of brie sandwiched in the middle.

That’s it!!! This recipe will give you the most moist, flavoursome burgers you’ll ever taste.

******************STOP PRESS*******************

Ok, I’m an Indian!! Mrs HaloodieFoodie refused to eat unwashed and unseasoned burger patties! Certain cultural, culinary attitudes seem to be innate. Here is the recipe for my indianified gourmet burgers, suitable for all indian palettes including my honourable parents.


Don’t mix too thoroughly. I think Mrs HaloodieFoodie added a few leaves of coriander when I wasn’t looking!

1 kg Beef mince (Makes 6 Patties)
100g Brie
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/2 tablespoon garlic
1 heaped teaspoon Cumin (jeera) powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder

Lightly combine all the spices at least an hour before cooking. Don’t mix too thoroughly! You are making a burger and the texture is important, otherwise your burger patty structure will become more like a sausage or meat loaf.


Burger patty stuffed with brie.

Using wet hands shaped into 6oz patties around 2cm thick with a piece of brie sandwiched in the middle. This technique helps to cut through the meatiness of the beef. Remember to lightly pack the patties, you don’t want a dense patty structure. Place the patties on a tray and chill until its time to cook, don’t freeze!

The most observant of you will realise that the I have omitted salt! The patties are to be salted prior to searing. I cannot stress the importance of this step. It help ensure the structure and moisture of the burgers.


Drizzle 3-4 tablespoon oil onto a griddle pan (or frying pan) and heat on medium until the oil starts to smoke slightly. Season first side with salt just before putting burgers onto the griddle pan and second side just before flipping the burgers. Listen for the sizzle.
Cook for around 5 mins, check for a brown crust. This is caused when the protein is heated. Its called the maillard reaction and results in a slightly charred, smoky and caramelly taste..


Sear on a medium heat until a you get a delightful brown crust!

These burgers are quite delicate, therefore avoid temptation to flip. Flip only to change sides. DO NOT SQUEEZE!! We are trying to retain the moisture, please don’t force it out. The patties should be medium and should have a thin layer of pink in the middle. Don’t worry it’s cooked!! The pink/red juice is not blood!! Its the breakdown of the protein myoglobin. However, if you can’t resist double checking, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature has reached 60°C for medium and 65°C for medium well. 

2 minutes before the end of searing add your cheese. Use whatever cheese you like. I personally prefer gouda because it melts well and has a subtle flavour. Rest your burgers for 2 mins while you heat up buns or any other accompaniments.


HaloodieFoodie Classic Burger, served gorgeously medium

Choice of Bun

Gourmet burgers are incomplete if the quality of the buns does not match the quality of the meat. Brioche is an enriched bread made with eggs and butter. It’s quite a durable bread which can stand the rigours of a big patty and multiple toppings.
Sourcing brioche buns can be difficult. Try your local independent bakery. Those residing in East London can pre-order from Rinkoffs Bakery in Whitechapel.


A burger is a blank canvas, you can add whatever you like. Dont be frugal!!! 

Slow caramelised red onions, ketchup, turkey rashers, sweet chilli jam (See my instagram post for a recipe), guacamole, salsa, halloumi, mayo, mustard, little gem lettuce, rocket, jalapeno and  whatever else tickles your fancy. 

Just ensure that the flavours are balanced.

This was my menu for a recent event during Gourmet Burger night at HaloodieFoodie Dining

1. Classic HaloodieFoodie burger

Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, caramelised red onions, cream cheese and sweet chilli jam, turkey bacon rashers, gouda cheese with fresh crispy little gem lettuce.

2. All Dancing and Singing Mexican Nàchó & Gàwo Burger

Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, tangy salsa, creamy guacamole, sour cream, crunchy brown rice chips .

3. Sweltering, Scorching and Scolding Burger

Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, caramelised red onions, sweet chilli jam, Bajan Scotch bonnet chilli Sauce, gouda cheese with fresh crispy little gem lettuce… Served with tempura chilli’s.

All our burgers are served medium/rare to ensure a fantastically succulent beef patty and served with seasoned French fries, Tempura Gherkins with blue cheese dip, Onion rings, and a selection of house sauces.

Dessert: Hot Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with extra toffee sauce.

Gourmet Burger night at Haloodie Foodie Dining, December 2014

Gourmet Burger night at HaloodieFoodie Dining, December 2014

I hope you enjoy the HaloodieFoodie version of gourmet burgers, please don’t forget to subscribe and keep updated with the work of the HaloodieFoodie!!

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The Live demonstration of the Stuffed Gourmet Burger recipe went Live on Saturday 14th May 16. Here is the full video if you missed it.


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HaloodieFoodie’s Adana Kebab Live http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodies-adana-kebab-live/ http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodies-adana-kebab-live/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2016 18:56:07 +0000 http://haloodiefoodie.com/?p=10663


Adana Kebab are a staple in many of Stoke Newington’s numerous Turkish Mangal (BBQ) and Ocakbasi (Open Grill)  Restaurants. The delightful smell of grilled meats have made me drool even when walking to pray at the famous Aziziye Mosque. (Most challenging during our summer fasts). The fact that this place of worship has a Mangal restaurant and a butcher tells you about the culinary link that Turkey has with food!! Istanbul was and still is the spice capital of the world!! It’s where Europe meets Asia and where foodies rejoice at the fusion of Central Asian, Greek, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Caucasian Cuisine.

No wonder I decided to research the recipe!! I was also fortunate enough to pick the brain of a friend who owned an Ocakbasi restaurant!! Living in Stoke Newington, this is the only recipe that came to mind when deciding on my first live Youtube broadcast.

For 1kg Kebabs (Makes approx 20 Kebabs)

1 Kg Lamb Mince (Min 80:20 Meat to Fat Ratio).  Erratum...  I’ve spoken to my Turkish butcher, they supply 60:40 Meat to Fat ratio mince to the local Turkish Ocakbasi restaurants!!
15g salt (1.5%)
1 Coarsely chopped Medium Red Pepper
4 tablespoons Urfa Pepper (ISOT)
4 tablespoons Sumac
2 tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 cup of coarsely chopped Parsley.

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients until the kebab mix sticks to your hand. The mixture should become sticky and the fat will coat the side of the mixing bowl.

Although, the experience was quite nerve wracking, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and was astounded with the feedback Team Haloodiefoodie received.

After taking live questions about grilling the kebabs, we decided to make a short video covering cooking with charcoal, kebab grilling technique and removing the grilled kebabs from the skewers.

I hope you enjoyed our first foray into live streaming and I hope you also get the opportunity to try out this amazing recipe.

Please pass on your live streaming recipe requests via the Haloodiefoodie Social Media channels.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube

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