Apr 30, 2007

The Lottery of the Bill Amount

I am amused by the funny feeling I get as I wait for a food receipt when I have no idea on how much the food I ate costed me. Not including the taxes in the displayed price on the menu is so stupid. Do they honestly expect a casual consumer, who could be anything between 10 to 50 years old, to calculate, on the top of his head, how much 4% + 5% would add on the numbers that he sees on the board?

While some of us might be fortunate enough to be able to order from a Hardees takeaway outlet without giving much though about how much EXACTLY it will cost before making the order, that does not necessarily apply to everyone. The extra 150 Baizas that we pay might not break anybody’s back, but I can think of the little kid that had only a RO 2 allowance to spend on dinner on the family’s day out, he was allowed to go and buy his own meal from whatever food outlet he selects in the food court, he checks the prices on the menu above and orders a meal that costs him EXACTLY what he had in his pocket, the cashier says okay, he gets him the order and, makes a couple of clicks and a random number appears on the numerical LCD – which is surprisingly more than what the kid had in his hands.

Was it the mistake of the kid that the menu did not clearly state that the meals actually cost MORE than the amounts mentioned? This is stupid and it should be illegal. It is very likely for any consumer to be misled to think that the prices displayed are those that he has to actually pay. Especially when the price is displayed in a bold big font and there is not sign right next to it stating that a tax is to be imposed upon it.

I think that all restaurants should include the taxes within the price of the meal, I should have the right to KNOW how much EXACTLY I will be paying in advance. While it has been traditionally accepted that service at a restaurant could be charged on a percentage basis depending on what you order – and that cannot be specified in advance, it is crazy to expect a consumer to even estimate how much a 5% plus 4% plus the service fee or delivery fee would be in total.

Even though it can be nice while waiting for the bill to come to have a bet on who actually manages to guess how much the bill would be, it is obviously not right as this is not a lottery.

Apr 30, 2007
del_yahi

Fish Time!

A bachelor living in Oman is usually much used to eating chicken, and I mean here a lot of chicken. There isn’t much to choose from as 90% of edible food served in casual restaurants around muscat is chicken-this and chicken-that. A few restaurants in Oman serve decent fish, and that really is weird when you think about as Oman has a coast that is more than 1500km in length and fish is one of its main exports.

Sick of the oil-soaked friend fish served around here, and in hope that our blog does not turn to the Omani Chicken Cuisine, we decided to have fish this time. Hope you like it!

Halibut Fish
Ingredients
  • Halibut Fish, 250g
  • 3 clovers of Garlic
  • 1/4 teasp of crushed Ginger
  • Olive Oil
  • Vinegar
  • green Chili
  • 1/2 teasp Oregano powder
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teasp Cumin
  • parsely

Method

  1. Crush the garlic and the green chili. Add the ginger, cumin and the oregano to the crushed mix.
  2. Add the olive oil and the vinger to the mix. Get the lemon and peel some of its skin to get the lemon zest. After getting the zest add the juice of the lemon and some finely chopped parsley to the mix.
  3. Clean the slices of the halibut fish well then put them in the mix to marinate for one hour.
  4. Heat up a non-stick pan. Fry the slices of Halibut with marination mix. Fry the halibut until both sides get red as seen in the picture. Add a little amonut of water to the fish to make sure it is done.

The Fish is served with Saiadia Rice and potato salad

Saiadia Rice
Ingredients
  • 1 mug of Rice (Uncle bens rice)
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tomato
  • salt
  • 1/2 teasp cumin
  • Pine seeds

Method

  1. mince the onions and fry them in an oiled pot until the onions turn brown (very brown just a degree before they turn black).
  2. Add the minced tomato to the onions and keep heating the mix for a while.
  3. Add the rice, salt and cumin. Mix the rice with rest of the ingredents well.
  4. Add 2 1/4 mugs of water. Give the rice a last stirr then close the lid, leave it for 20 minutes until it is cooked.
  5. Fill a bowl with the rice then flip it over on a plate to have the round shape seen in the picture above. Garnish the rice with fried pine seeds.

Potato Salad
Ingredients

  • 1 medium Potato
  • 1 clover of Garlic
  • Parsley
  • 1 tspVinger
  • Salt /Cumin ( As desired)

Method

  1. Cut the potato into cubes and boil them in water until they are done ( do not over cook the potato)
  2. Drain the potato cubes. Minced the garlic and finely chop the parsley.
  3. Add the garlic, parsley, vinger, cumin and salt to the potato and mix the will without crushing the potato cubes.
Mar 24, 2007
del_yahi

Pollo Della Pasta De Roma

I envy you Italians for your beautiful country, your excellent football tournaments, and most of all, your amazing cuisine. As I am the biggest fan of the world’s greatest football club Juventus, you might assume that I dislike supporters of other teams, but I actually enjoy staying in touch with all Italian fans around here, so I invited a fan of the club AS Roma for lunch to have the favorite meal of Italian fans: pasta!
As a token of my Italian love, I named this recipe “Pollo Della Pasta De Roma” or the chicken pasta of Roma in English.

Ingredients: (for 3 persons)

  • 300 grams of penne(tube) pasta
  • 3 large chicken breasts – chopped into small pieces
  • 3 medium sized brown onions
  • 4 medium sized capsicums (green, yellow, red, and orange)
  • 4 clover of garlic crushed
  • some parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of wheat
  • 100 grams of tomato paste
  • salt/pepper
  • butter
  • Nando’s hot peri peri grind (crushed spiced)
  • Nando’s wild her peri-peri souce (hot sauce)

Method:

  • Pasta
  1. Boil water in a pot. When the water starts boiling add salt, pepper and oil while stirring.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and keep for about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the pasta.
  4. Chop 3/4 of the 4 kinds of capsicum and an onion into small short strips.
  5. Fry the capsicum and the onion in on an oiled frying pan until the onion turns yellow and capsicum softens.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan with capsicum and onion while stirring. Add some of the Nando’s crushed spices while stirring. Stir the pasta mix for five minutes and then serve it with the chicken.
  • Chicken and Sauce
  1. Crush the remaining capsicum and the2 onions into fine little.
  2. Put some oil on a hot cooking pot, add some butter. When the butter melts in the oil add the crushed mix of capsicum and onion. Keep stirring the mix until the onion turns to a golden color.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the mix and stir the mix until the chicken turns white.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and the Nando’s crushed spices. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the Nando’s wild herb sauce and some fine chopped parsley. Keep stirring for another couple of minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste and the wheat while stirring.
  7. After mixing everything together add a mug of water and stir the mix well. Cover the pot well and keep it on a low heat until the chicken is cooked. If all the water is gone and the chicken is not cooked add little more water and wait until it is cooked.
Mar 5, 2007

Cardiff Cabsa

I hate it when people make cooking sound like a complex job that requires knowledge of specific mysterious formulae. Anybody can cook. As long as you do the very basics right, whatever else you do is optional and rarely anything will severally affect the way your food tastes. This meal is one of those really easy ones to do. The Cardiff Cabsa is what we used to cook all the time during uni days in Cardiff, I learnt how to make it there, the recipe could not be traced to a single Gulf or Indian country because guys from different places in the Gulf chipped in their own additions and twists over the years. Check it out here:

Ingredients (For Four People):

  • 2 mugs of basmati rice
  • 1 whole large chicken, sliced into 6 or 8 pieces, skin removed optionally
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 chili, chopped into small rings
  • 1 garlic clover, crushed
  • tomato paste
  • 1 chicken stock (Maggi cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed arabian kabsa spices
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric (kurkum)
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon poweder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Method:

  1. In a large oiled pot fry onion until colour turns to redish yellow, add chopped tomoto, chili and crushed garlic and stir until juicy syrup is created.
  2. Add chicken, turmeric, spices, and stir to cover all chicken pieces with spices.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir.
  4. Add 4 mugs of water, wait to boil for a while, add the chicken stock.
  5. Heat on high heat for 20 minutes, check using the knife test to see if chicken is cooked.
  6. Lower heat, add rice, cover the pot using the lid and wait for 20 minutes. Make sure not to lift the lid so that the steam does not escape.
  7. Take out and eat!
Feb 25, 2007
del_yahi

No-Mozzarella Chicken Rolls



Ingredients

  • 2 medium white onions
  • 4 capsicums (green, red, yellow, and orange)
  • 3 garlic clovers
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 Irani flat bread (or any type of wrap-able flat bread)
  • 1 teasp lime
  • salt/pepper
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon powder
  • mixed arabian spices
  • 1 teasp vinegar

Directions

  1. Chop onion and capcicum into rings, crush garlic, and slice breast into long strips.
  2. Heat the frying pan and add little of vegetable oil. When the oil is heated up put the onion and keep stirring until it gets golden.
  3. Add the chicken to the onion until it whitens. Then add(while stirring) the mixed arabian spices, salt, chili, pepper, and little of cinnamon. Add the vineger and the crushed garlic to the mix and keep stirring for two minutes.
  4. Add the chopped capsicum and the lime and stir until the chicken and the capcicum are properly cooked.
  5. Once ready, spread the bread and put the chicken in the middle then wrap it well. Get a clean frying pan and dry fry the wraps until they go browny and crispy.
  6. Preferred additional fillings with wrap ( sweet onion sauce )

Serve with potato wedges or chips, and marina sauce.

Jan 19, 2007

Introduction

The Modern Omani Cuisine blog covers the adventures of a group of young bachelors stuck starving in Muscat searching for some decent food to eat. We shall report to you random recipes of meals we invent, reviews of restaurants we dine in, and the latest news and happenings in the food scene in Oman.