Sunday, 6 March 2016

Rishta رشتة

For the pasta, you need:
1 bowl of semolina
2 bowls of plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
Water to bind it all into a firm dough
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Extra flour and olive oil
Pasta maker and rolling pin
Couscousier or steamer

Mix the dry ingredients and add lukewarm water (1 part hot, two parts cold) little by little to bind the ingredients together. Knead into a firm, but soft dough.
Divide into small balls, set aside and cover for ten minutes.
Roll out to strips on a floured surface. Pass one strip at a time through the pasta maker on 2 mm setting twice, then two settings thinner twice and then another two settings thinner. If the pasta feels sticky, powder it with flour, the more the better. On my pasta maker I had to use setting number 2 first, then number 4 and then number 6, some pasta makers have their settings ranging the opposite direction and so you have to start with number 4, going down to 2 and 1.
After this the pasta is fed through the cutting wheels, with the smallest cut. Catch the noodles as they come out and transfer to a floured surface and divide them. You can let them dry for a little while, but it's not necessary.

Bring some water up to a boil in the couscousier pot and then drop the temperature to a simmer. Coat the upper part of the couscousier with oil. Drizzle some oil over the pasta noodles, mix and immediately lay it in the steamer over the simmering water. Cover and steam for ten minutes. For best results, work in small batches, for beginners that's one tiny ball at a time.

After the ten minutes are up, lift the rishta out of the steamer and place then in a plate or tray. Don't mix different batches until they've cooled down.
At this stage the rishta can be put in a bag and into the freezer for a later date.
Once all is done, take the amount you want and steam another five minutes on low heat without cover. Lift over to a plate, add a knob of butter and mix.
Serve with rishta stew.

For the stew or sauce:
Olive oil
One chopped onion
One whole chicken skinned and cut up
Salt, pepper (I use white) and cinnamon
Boiling water to cover
Chick peas
A couple of potatoes cut into chunks
One large, cut mooli
Three medium sized, cut carrots (optional - I like some colour)

Lightly fry the onion until it's lost colour, add the chicken and spices. Fry until the chicken has taken some colour.
Add hot water and vegetables. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes to an hour or until it is cooked through.