We asked Anoosha Maqbool to share with us a traditional iftari treat from her kitchen. The homemaker chose to indulge us with a family heirloom recipe of a rich and fragrant Kaipola or the Malabari Banana Cake


Anoosha Maqbool


Kaipola, Malabar IftarI Special

Ripe Nendram Bananas – 4medium sized
Eggs – 7nos
Sugar – 1.5cups
Cardamom Powder – 2tsps
Cashewnuts – 50gms
Indian Raisins – 50gms
Ghee – 2/3tbsps
Milk – 3/4cup

Peel the bananas and cut into small pieces
Heat 2tbsps of ghee in a non-stick saucepan
Slightly roast the cashewnuts and raisins separately and keep aside
In the remaining ghee, add the bananas and sauté them well, until golden brown
In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and cardamom powder
Add milk and whisk again
Pour the mixture into the pan that contains the sautéed banana
Add half of the cashews and raisins and mix well
Garnish with the remaining cashews and raisins and cover with lid
Slow cook by placing the pan over a grill/tava to avoid direct heat
The cake should cook in 20/30mins
Keep checking with a toothpick to test if done
Tip: If you want to cook both sides or form a crust on both faces, cook one side for 15mins and the other side for 5mins



chef Ishtiaq Alam, sous chef, Indian Durbar at Conrad Bengaluru, pitched in with a biriyani-with-a-difference that’s sure to be the star of any iftar spread


Ishtiaq Alam


Basmati Rice – 1.5kg

Chicken – 500gms
Onions – 2nos, chopped
Saffron – 1/2tsp
Milk – 1cup
Lemon – medium size, juiced
Fresh Coriander – 1bunch, chopped
Green Chillies – a few, chopped
Refined Oil – 1tbsp

For the Marinade:
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2tbsps
Turmeric Powder – 1tsp
Curd – 1.5cup
Red Chilli Powder – 1tsp

Spices for Chicken:
Cloves – 4nos
Bay Leaf – a few
Green Cardamom – 2nos
Black Cardamom – 1nos
Cumin Seeds – 1/2tsp

Whole spices for rice:
Cloves – 2nos
Green Cardamom – 2nos

Soak the basmati rice in water for 20-30minutes
Marinate the chicken with curd, turmeric, salt, chili powder and ginger-garlic paste
Grind all the spices for the chicken in a mortar and add to the marinade
Leave the chicken to marinate for an hour minimum or up to four hours
Heat refined oil in a pan and sauté the onions, until they turn golden brown and keep aside
Put the rice into the cooking vessel and add the requisite amount of water
Add the whole spices and the salt. Cover and let it cook until the water is absorbed
Put the milk into a saucepan and heat until tepid
Add the saffron and stir until the milk takes on the color of saffron, before setting it aside
Crumple half the burnt onions and add it to the marinated chicken
Put back in fridge for half an hour

To layer the biryani:
In a clay pot (can use 3 to 4 or a large clay pot) put 1tbsp oil and heat
Add the chicken and cook on high heat until chicken takes on a light brown color and is half cooked
Lower the flame; flatten the chicken to form a layer
Put chopped coriander and green chilies on top
Put all the rice on top of this layer and smoothen out
Pour in the saffron-infused milk over the rice and add the lemon juice
Cover the vessel, make a long dough by rolling it on the counter and use it to seal the top of the cooking vessel
Let the biryani cook on a very slow fire until the seal is hard and the rice looks fully cooked
Serve hot with mix vegetable raita

Chef Latha, chef de cuisine, Malabar Café, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty decided to go real simple with her iftar recommendation and shared with us her tried and tested recipe for falafel — the fried savoury delight that all of us love!




White Chickpeas – 500gms
Onion – 50gms
Coriander Leaves – 20gms
Celery – 15gms
Spring Onion – 15gms
Green Pepper – 20gms
Garlic – 15gms
Cumin Powder – 5gms
Parsley – 10gms
Mint Leaves – 10gms

Mix all the ingredients together and grind coarsely.
Deep fry at 176°C
Serve with hummus, pita or by itself