Ramadan Favourite; Shurba Recipe

Asalamu’alaykum ladies, I’ve just finished up our weekly batch cooking, and since its Ramadan, Shurba is a must in our household.  This delicious meat/chicken soup with oats (or roasted wheat)  is one of those dishes that we don’t really make except for Ramadan and so brings with it a sense of nostalgia.  It’s comforting, warm and wholesome, yet not ‘stodgy’ so gives you the energy you need without making you feel that sudden onset of tiredness. 

Now, my recipe for shurba is pretty much my own adaptation.  I have family that make it one way, and friends that make it another.  As with all my cooking, I tend to eyeball things and end up making up the recipe I intended with my own twist.  This recipe is extremely easy and seriously forgiving – feel free to add what you feel it needs as you go along!  This recipe uses ingredients that likely you have on hand too so definitely a winner. 

Heres what you’ll need to make a big batch of shurba; feel free to adjust the quantities for your families needs. 

Ingredients 
6-800g of chicken.  This can either be boneless such as breast or chicken with the bone but with the skin removed.  
15 cups of water
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 green pepper
2 medium-sized zucchini
3 green chilis (de-seeded)
3 tins of tomatoes
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 chicken stock cubes
Half or one-third cup of quick-cooking oats 
Lemon and fresh coriander to serve.

Directions
1) Add the water and chicken to the pan, and begin to cook. As the water begins to boil you will notice white foam collecting at the top.  Take time to clear this foam off the top with a ladle until the water is almost clear.
2)  Leave the chicken to cooking, adding the paprika, coriander and turmeric to the pan at this point.
3) Whilst the chicken is cooking blend the zucchini, pepper, tinned tomatoes and chillis until smooth.
4) When the chicken is cooked you will notice some of the water has evaporated.  Add a couple more cups of water at this point if need be.  Also, if you are using chicken on the bone, remove the chicken and shred at this point.  Discard the bones and put the shredded chicken back into the pan.
5) Put the chicken back on the heat, and add the blended veg mix to the pot.  Add the rest of the spices and crumble in the chicken stock cubes.  Check for salt at this point, since the stock is salty it won’t need much.
6) Let the chicken and blended veg cook now for around thirty minutes or so until the flavours come together.  You will notice the shurba is quite red at this point because of the tomatoes.
7)  Now add the quick-cooking oats. How much oats you add depends solely on how thick you want the shurba. Personally, I don’t add too much,  usually, I add a quarter to a third of a cup as my family don’t like the shurba thick.  Also note, shurba thickens over time, so you don’t want to add too much. 
8) Although the oats literally cook instantly, I like to add the oats and stir for a good few minutes.  This breaks up lumps (the oats clump together when you first add them), and also allows the oats to break down even further.
9) After ten minutes or so, the shurba is done!  You will notice the colour has lightened after the oats have cooked.  Garnish with a sprinkling of garam masala and fresh coriander.
10)  Serve hot with wedges of fresh lemon.  

Do your family have any favourite foods they request in Ramadan? Share some ideas below.

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