A series on food bloggers from around the globe bringing inspiration, information and how-to!
Fauzia M. Afif and Fauzia A. Najfi, Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun
I discovered Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun on Facebook during the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, in 2011. It was created by a Fauzia M. Afif who develops all the recipes on the site while Fozia A. Najfi, takes care of the digital side of blogging, marketing and PR. In just over a year and more than 66,000 likes later, Fouzia’s Kitchen Fun is a shining example of how social media can open doors (and kitchens) to the world!
What prompted you to start writing about food/cooking?
My best friend got married and traveled out of the country to live with her husband. Writing down easy recipes to help her out with her new-found kitchen duties, and taking photos of how each dish looks like so she had an idea how her meal would turn out was how I got started. Eventually I started posting these recipe collections on my Facebook page, and noticed that this prompted many of my other friends to begin taking an interest in cooking or trying out the recipes I shared. As the collection grew, I started receiving very many requests from friends to have the recipes openly accessible so more people could
learn a thing or two from them. That’s when my husband surprised me one day by starting up a Facebook page (Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun). It’s been a year now and I’ve been loving every moment since!
Most blogs have concept(s) (organic, ethnic, entertaining, etc), what would you say yours is/are and why?
I would say our website is more a fusion of many concepts. The recipes are homey, nurturing and fun to make. I try to share recipes that the whole family would enjoy, with some meals that are reminiscent to old favorites from our childhood and others which could open up new concepts of flavors, hopefully creating lasting happy memories around the dinner table.
Who is your favourite chef or someone that inspires your cooking/writing?
I wouldn’t really say I have a favorite chef, but the person who inspires me the most to cook and write is my husband. He’s my greatest fan and critic.
Where do you see yourself in five years with your blog/website?
Fozia and I hope God willing to have an even bigger and more diverse fan-following. Hopefully we can have a recipe book or two out by then.
Can you share a tip or recipe with us?
Savory Chicken Croissants Recipe:
An experiment that worked out great!! The buns were soft and delicate, a perfect complement to the yummy filling in the center! And without all that butter that goes in regular croissants too!!!
(For 16 croissants)
¼ kg boneless chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
2 small capsicum, red and green if possible, grated or chopped finely
2 tbsp. sweet corn
1 grated carrot
1 small onion, chopped finely
1-2 green chilies, chopped
½ tsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. chopped coriander
salt to taste
½ tsp. grinded cumin powder
a pinch of tandoori masala (optional)
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. soya sauce
1 tbsp. butter
Heat the butter in a non-stick pan, add the onions and stir fry until they’re translucent. Do not brown them. Add the chopped capsicum and grated carrot, stir-fry for about 5mins until they start to soften. Add the raw chicken pieces and keep stirring until they start browning. Add the chilies, garlic, salt, cumin powder, tandoori masala and sweet corn. Sauté until the chicken pieces become tender and well-done. If the mixture sticks to the pan and the chicken is not yet done, add a tbsp. of water and cover until ready. Make sure that the mixture is completely dry. Finally, add the coriander and soya sauce, mix well and switch off. Pour the lemon juice on the mixture, and whilst still hot, use a wooden spoon to smash the small pieces of chicken so that they become shredded. Adjust salt/chili to your taste.
PS: You can smoke the mixture with a coal and some oil to give it a nice bbq aroma. This mixture should be enough for around 16 croissants.
(makes 8 croissants)
2 level teacups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. instant yeast
¼ tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. softened butter
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
warm milk mixed with water about half a cup (although you could need more or less depending on flour/altitude etc.)
Sieve the flour and add the yeast, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir it so that it’s all well mixed. Add 2 tbsp. of butter and 2tbsp veg oil. (Reserve the last tbsp. butter for later). Rub into the flour using finger tips until the flour has a crumbly texture. Gradually add the warm milk & water, stirring it in with a wooden spoon at first until the dough starts to hold together, and then continuing to knead together with your hands until the dough has softened. You need this dough slightly sticky, it’s a menace to handle but the result is worth the trouble. Just oil your hands slightly to help with the stickiness and keep kneading…adding a little sprinkling of flour when it gets too sticky to handle until the dough is nice and well-kneaded and formed into a ball. Apply a touch of oil all over the ball of dough, place in a container and cover with a damp towel. Place in an airtight cupboard (or even in the oven or micro-wave) and leave it to rise to about double its original size. (40mins to an hour)
I have included step by step instructions here.
1) Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a huge circle of about 30cm diameter (use your fingertips to stretch the circle out when you feel you can’t roll with the pin any further), then rub half of the reserved tbsp. of butter all over this rolled out circle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the circle into quarters, then divide each quarter again to form eighths.
2) Take the first eighth of the circle; place your mixture of choice on the edge (where the perimeter of the circle used to be). Roll carefully towards the pointed edge (where the center of the circle used to be), tucking the pointy end underneath (you can make a small slit near this pointy end just to give the croissants a nicer appearance, although this is not a must…refer to pictures of my croissants to get what I mean). Curve down the edges of your rolled up croissant to form the crescent shape.
3) Place the croissants on a greased tray and cover them again for another half an hour so that the dough can rise again. Switch on the oven on medium high (around 175 degrees) and in the meantime, glaze the croissants with egg yolk to give them a nice color. Bake for about 12-15 minutes depending on your oven’s heat.
4) When ready, remove and place them on a cloth, and take the remaining half tbsp. of butter, and gently touch up the buns with it to give them a nice shiny soft finish…and they would smell heavenly too. Cover the buns in the cloth for about 10mins before serving. This gives the butter time to get absorbed fully into the croissants, thereby making them soft and extra delish. Serve warm!!
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