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Bored of the same old chicken karahi? Then this recipe ifs for you. really delicious and super quick to make. 
So here goes,

Ingredients:
1 kg Chicken
1 bunch of Coriander leaves
a handful of Mint leaves
6-7 Green chilies (add more if you want a little more heat)
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp of Coriander seeds
1 tbsp of Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp of dried Kasuri Methi
1 tbsp of Ginger Garlic Paste
1-2 tsp of Black Pepper (freshly crushed if possible)
1 cup of beaten Yogurt
1/4 tsp of Garam Masala
Julienne Ginger for garnish.

Roast Cumin and Coriander seeds till they are fragrant. Crush coarsely in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Keep aside.


Blend together coriander leaves, mint, Green chilies and garlic cloves with a little bit of water to make a paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok and fry ginger garlic paste till fragrant than add chicken,

kasuri Methi and half of coriander cumin mix. Fry on high heat till the chicken changes color.

Than add the blended coriander mixture, salt, black pepper, and the remaining ground cumin and zeera.

Cook till the oil separates, about 10-15 minutes.

Add yogurt and cook on high flame till desired consistency. I kept the gravy to a minimal.


Sprinkle Garam masala, julienne ginger and chopped chilies. Cover for 5 minutes on low flame.

Serve with naan.

Enjoy!

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So a few days ago a very sweet aunty Zeenat approach me and asked if I would post her recipes on my blog. I said yes the very instant, how could I say no to tried and tested traditional family recipes?
I'll be sharing her recipes on my blog from now on. I will also be trying her recipes myself and will update the posts with my attempts. 

So the first recipe that she wants to share is Malpua. 

Ingredients:
1/2 to 3/4 cup of Suji (semolina)
1 cup of Atta
Sugar according to taste (enough to sweeten)
1 egg
Water to soak in for semi-thick consistency

Method:
Soak suji, atta and sugar in water overnight for semi thick consistency.

Add egg and whisk in the morning before frying.

Take oil in frying pan, heat, take ladle and pour till a circle of batter forms in frying pan when golden brown turn side when both sides are golden brown it is ready to eat.

relish with Balai mixed with honey


Recipe Courtesy : Zeenat Hussain

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Vada Pav, not something that us Pakistan think about when we want something for a snack. Our snacks are usually samosa, pakora and stuff. But why not give this a try too?
I had Vada Pav at a small chaat place here in Muscat. I fell in love with it. I've had it countless times since than. But now since I live much further from that chaat place, I thought why not try to make it myself.
So this is the recipe that I came up with. 
The recipe of Garlic chutney is adapted from Tarla Dalal



Ingredients:
(For Vada):
1/2 tsp of Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp of Cumin 
1/4 tsp of Ginger Garlic Paste
2 Green Chilies (roughly chopped)
1 small Onion (diced)
1 tsp of Red Chili Powder (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp of Turmeric powder
a pinch of Chaat Masala (optional)
2 large Potatoes (boiled and roughly mashed)
Juice from half a Lemon

(For the Batter):
1/2 cup of Besan (Gram Flour)
a pinch of Baking Soda
Salt to taste
a pinch of Red Chili Powder
a pinch of Cumin

(For Green Chutney)
1/2 bunch of Coriander
1/2 bunch of Mint
1 Green Chili
1 clove of Garlic
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Cumin
2-3 tbsp Tamarind paste

(For Garlic Chutney)
6-7 Cloves of Garlic
3 tbsp of grated Coconut
1 tbsp of Red Chili powder
Salt to taste

(Other Ingredients)
4-6 Pav/Burger buns

Method:
(For Green Chutney)
For the Green Chutney, Blend everything together with a little bit of water. Keep Aside. 

(For Garlic Chutney)
For Garlic Chutney, heat a little bit of oil in a small frying pan, cook garlic cloves till they are light brown. take out the garlic than roast grated coconut. Blend garlic, coconut and red chili powder. Add salt. Keep aside. 

(For Batter)
Mix besan, baking soda and the spices. Make a lump free, medium consistency batter with water. Keep aside. 


(For Vada)
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add Mustard Seeds. When they start to splutter,

add Cumin,

and ginger garlic paste.

When fragrant, add Green Chilies,

Onion, salt, turmeric and red chili powder. Cook for a minute. Add a splash of water if the spices starts to burn.

Add boiled potatoes and lemon juice.

Mix and keep aside to cool.

Make balls of the potato mix. 

Dip in besan batter and deep fry till light golden brown. 

To assemble Vada Pav, lightly toast the pav, apply green chutney and dry garlic chutney. Place vada on top and lightly crush with the top half of the bun. 

Enjoy!



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Hey everyone!
I know its been a long time since I've posted anything here. We were busy moving to a different house. the last month and a half has been pretty hectic to say the least!
Between all the shifting, unpacking and organizing; I have started making cakes too. Check them out!!







So back to today's recipe.
Potato Pilaf ; or 'Alo waley Chawal' as we call it; was something that we used to have quite often when we were kids. I remember my mother making this for us and serving this with yogurt or pickles. So good!
But as we got older, this pilaf sort of went on the back burner, we stopped having it as often as we used to.
But this is an ultimate comfort food for me. 
Its really easy and so quick to make too!!

There are a lot of different ways to make it, I'm sure every Pakistani home has their own version, I'm sharing how I make it ! (a little twist to my mother's recipe)

This recipe is for 1 serving only (as I made it for myself only), you can multiply the recipe as per your requirement.

You'll need:
1/2 cup of Basmati Rice
1 Potato peeled and cut in cubes
1 small Onion, chopped
1-2 Green chilies
3-4 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp of Red Chili Powder
Salt to taste
a pinch of Turmeric
1/4 tsp Cumin (Zeera)
1 small Tomato, chopped

Heat oil in a deep pan, Add onions, green chilies, curry leaves and cumin.
Cook till the onions are golden brown.

Add the spices with a little water to prevent burning. Stir for 10-12 seconds.

Add tomatoes and cook covered on low flame till the oil is released and the tomatoes are tender.

Add potatoes. Cook till the potatoes are half done.

now pour in water (double the amount of rice. I used 1/2 cup of rice, so I added 1 cup of water)

Check and adjust seasoning at this stage.

When the stock comes to a boil add your rice.

Cook on medium heat till almost all the water evaporates and the rice gets puffed up.
Then put on dam at very low flame for 10 minutes.

Take out and serve with Salad and Mint raita!



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I saw this recipe on Food Network's Eat Street. It involves marinating the chicken with orange juice, i was instantly intrigued. I did change it just a little bit to suit my taste.

All the credit goes to the 'Bongo Brothers' food truck in NYC.

The sandwich is super juicy while the orange juice adds a tiny bit of tangy flavor to it. Really delicious!
I like to eat mine with Onion rings, but you can totally skip that if you dont like it. Serve with fries.

(This recipe serves 2. You can easily double or triple the recipe)

You'll need :
(For Chicken Marination)
1 chicken breast (or boneless chicken thighs) cut in cubes
Juice of 1 Orange (mandarins, sweet limes, or whatever floats your boat in the category)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Oregano (dried or fresh, whichever you can find, I used dried)
1/4 tsp Cumin powder (Zeera powder)
1 tsp of Olive Oil (or any other oil)
1-2 cloves of roughly chopped Garlic

(For the Sauce)
3 tbsp Mayonnaise 
1 tbsp Cream
1 tsp White Vinegar
Salt to taste
pinch of Black Pepper
1 tsp Tomato ketchup
1 tbsp of finely chopped Onion

(For Onion Rings)
1 large Onion (cut into medium thickness rings)
4 tbsp All Purpose Flour (Maida)
4 Tbsp of Corn Flour
Salt to taste
Buttermilk (to make the batter)
NOTE: Make your own buttermilk by adding a tsp of vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Leave for 10-15 minutes. Than use as required.

(Other Ingredients)
Buns (store bought, homemade, your choice)
Lettuce

NOTE: This can also be made into a wrap, using flat bread or tortillas.




Add all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl. Mix together.

Add chicken pieces. Mix to coat evenly than leave for 1 hour in the fridge.

Fry the chicken with all the juices till cooked through and the marinade becomes thick and saucey.

Like so.

(For The Sauce)

Add everything in a bowl

Mix together. Keep aside.

(For Onion Rings)

Mix flour, corn flour, salt and red chili powder in a bowl.

Add buttermilk to make a dropping consistency batter.

Dip Onion rings in the batter and deep fry

till golden brown.

(To Assemble)

Apply a generous amount of sauce to the bottom of the bun. 

Add lettuce, chicken, and onion rings.

How gorgeous is this?!

Hope you like it!

Enjoy!



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Alot is happening in my life right now. I'm trying to find a place where I actually belong. I thought Oman was it, but as it dawns on me now, this country is a career suicide. As much as I love Oman (Things to-do when in Oman, coming up on the blog soon), I'm already thinking about moving. Not sure where, not sure when, but it will happen InshAllah (hopefully). *fingers crossed*


Any type of aromatic rice used to be a comfort food for me when I was young. I remember my mother making this (she is one of the best cook in the world!) with shaami kababs and raita. This is totally her recipe and how she makes it. Rough estimate of ingredients, no hard and fast rule and no limitations, that how I cook. Whats the fun in everything thats been set on stone, right?


For this recipe you'll need:
(For the Stock):
500 grams of Beef or Mutton with bone (I used beef)
1 medium Onion
1/2 inch piece of Ginger
5-6 cloves of Garlic
5-6 Cloves
5-6 Black peppercorn
2-3 Black Cardamom
1 Star Anise
2 sticks of Cinnamon
1-2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp of Cumin
1 tsp of coarsely crushed Coriander Seeds
Some dried chilies (optional)

Other Ingredients:
1.5-2 cups (regular measuring cup) or approx 350-400 grams of Basmati Rice
1 Medium Onion, sliced
250 grams of Yogurt
1 tsp of Ginger Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala Powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp of Ground Black pepper
4-5 Green Chilies, roughly chopped
Fried Onion (optional)




Start by adding Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Cinnamon, Peppercorns, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, Cloves, Cumin, Coriander seeds, Bay leaves and some dried Chilies in a deep pot.

Add beef/mutton

Add water so that the meat is fully covered.

Cook on low till the meat is cooked through, about 1.5-2 hours.
Take out the meat and strain and reserve the stock to use later.

Whip yogurt with Cumin, Ginger Garlic paste and Garam Masala powder. Keep aside.

Brown onion in 4-5 tbsp of oil than add cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon and cardamom.

Add beef/mutton..

yogurt mix, salt, ground black pepper and roughly crushed green chilies

Cook till all the water from the yogurt evaporates and oil is released. 

Add reserved stock (double the amount of rice used, I used 1.5 cups of rice, so 3 cups of stock). If you have less stock, just add water to compensate. Bring to the boil.

Add Rice and cook covered on medium flame till the water is almost dried. Than cook on low with a flat 'tawa' underneath the pateeli for 20 minutes.

Uncover and marvel at the aroma that would hit you in the face.

Sprinkle with fried onion and coriander.




I had this yummy pulao with Potato cutlets (recipe here), salad and raita.





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I love simple, flavorful food and this is exactly what this is. 
Simple, sada, ghar ka khana. 

You'll need
1 tin of pre-boiled Chickpeas / 200-250 grams of boiled Chickpea
1 1/4 cup of Rice
1 small Onion
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
2 Green Chilies
a few Mint leaves
250 grams of Yogurt
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1/4 tsp of Garam Masala

Fry onion till golden brown.

Add ginger garlic paste. Fry till fragrant. 
Add mint leaves, green chilies and all the spices.

Now quickly add yogurt.

Saute till it gets saucy.

Add chickpeas and fry for 5 minutes.

Add water, almost double the amount of rice. I used 2 and 1/4th cup of water.

Add rice when the water starts to boil.
Cook on medium flame till the water almost evaporates but still just a little bit left. Put on dam for 10 minutes (with tawa at the bottom)

Serve


Enjoy

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This Halva is something that i make when I'm craving something sweet but dont want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and lets face it, we are all tired of eating Suji ka Halva! Dont get me wrong, i love that Halva too, but a little variation cant hurt anyone!
Its super easy and made with so little ingredients (ones that you usually have at home!)
and take only 15-20 minutes to make!

This recipe serves 2.


You'll Need:
4-5 tbsp of Gram flour
2 Cardamom pods
3-4 tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup of Milk
2 tbsp of Cream (can be skipped)
Sugar as desired. I used about 4-5 tbsp



Dry roast gram flour till light brown and fragrant. Careful not to burn.
Take your time with this step, if you add the other ingredients too quickly you'll have raw flour taste in your finished halva. So be patient, this would take around 8-10 minutes.

Add ghee and cardamom. Cook for about a minute or so.

Than add in the milk, cream and a little bit of water.

Cook till the Halva leaves the sides of the pan. Add sugar and cook till the sugar dissolves, about 2 more minutes.

Serve garnished with almonds and pistachios!

Enjoy!



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 What to eat in Istanbul, you ask?
Well, let me take you on a journey of food that you must eat when in Istanbul.
As many of you may know by now, food is a huge part of my life. the first thing we planned when we decided to go to Istanbul was to try different things to eat and not eat anything that we would find here in Oman and to stay in our budget while fully experiencing Turkish food, we decided to eat as much street food as we can.

The breakfast buffet at our hotel was incredible.


Breakfast!
Things you must eat when in Turkey

1. Kumpir
You cannot come back from Turkey without  trying this, just dont. You'll thank me later.
Its a giant baked potato with butter and cheese, topped with a variety of toppings of your choice.
I had kumpir thrice during our trip, its that good.
It usually costs around 13-16 TL (360-450 PKR - 1.5-2 OMR) 

Kumpir from 'Otantik Kumpir' at the Forum Mall
Restaurant at Istiklal Street

Restaurant at Istiklal Street
2. Balik Ekmek
If you dont like seafood than this is not for you. But I would still urge you to try it for once.
It is basically a fish sandwich sold on a decorated boat at Eminonu side of the Galata Bridge.
Cost of the sandwich is 8 TL (0.800 OMR / 220 PKR), which is pretty reasonable.
Grilled fish served on a bun with lettuce, a dash of lemon juice and you're good to go.



3. Islak Burger
Super spidy beef burger dunked in tomato sauce. Its nothing like you've ever had before, its that good. Its pretty cheap too, cost 3 TL each (0.300 OMR / 80 PKR)
The one pictured below is from Taksim Park Restaurant at Istiklal street.


4. Doner Durum / Sandwich
Basically flatbread filled with shawarma meat and greens. Pretty good, and sold literally everywhere! 
By all means try the one with doner kebab if you like mutton, we didnt. 
Cost around 4-5 TL.





5. Dondurma
The icecream for which you'll have to literally beg, yeah, that one.
It is one of the best icecream I've had. The texture of the icecream is not like what we ususally eat, its kind of slimy and sticky. Incredibly delicious.
The one which we had outside the Blue mosque was 4 flavors for 7 TL (0.700 OMR / 190 PKR), while it cost us 5 TL (0.500 OMR / 135 PKR) for 5 flavors at the princess island.

Outside Blue mosque. Flavors: Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate, Strawberry.
At Princess Island. Flavors: Mango, Strawberry, Caramel, Blueberry, Vanilla

6. Turkish Tea
Tea is sold literally everywhere. You'll  find people selling tea out of a small dhabba in small alleyways.
We has the traditional turkish tea with Simit (Turkish bagel) in a small alleyway near Istiklal Street. I loved the tea, really warming in a chilly evening. Najia was not a fan.
We also tried apple tea from a small shop right opposite the Galata tower (dont have the picture for it though)


7. Chestnut and Corn
 You'll see numerous vendors selling chestnut and corn at Istiklal street and many other places.
Just something to snack on while walking. 
Corn was 2 TL (0.200 OMR / 55 PKR) while chestnuts were 5 TL for 100 grams (0.500 OMR / 135 PKR)




8. Turkish Rice Pudding
If you're from Pakistan, this will taste somewhat like kheer, the only difference is that its baked.
Delicious nonetheless. Try it, or no?
7 TL ( 0.700 OMR / 190 PKR)


9. Shish Touk Platter
This was one of the best meal we had during our stay from a small dhabba style place somewhere in the Grand Bazaar. I have no idea about the exact location or the name of the place. We randomly stumbled across this place and decided to eat because we were starving.
The chicken was grilled to the utmost perfection, served with barley, a piece of bread and a tangy salad. Yum yum yum.
22 TL (2.200 OMR / 600 PKR)



10. Bread
If you see anything like the one pictured below, do not, I REPEAT, do dont think that its just blah. This is the food that has been sent down from the heavens for us. Well, not really, but this thing is incredible, so soft. One of the best breads I've had.
You'll find these with variety of toppings ranging from meat, cheese, herbs. The one we had was pepperoni and cheese. I think it was around 4-5 TL.



Other Random things we ate:

Icecream topped with warm semolina. The contrast of hot and cold was amazing. 3 TL (0.300 OMR / 80 PKR)

Grilled chicken and vegetables dunked in tomato sauce. Good and hearty meal.
10 TL (1.00 OMR / 280 PKR)

Handmade toffee from a roadside vendor near Galata Bridge. 3 TL

Cinnamon rolls type something. I have no idea what it called, but delicious. Had this outside the Blue Mosque. 2 TL.

Doner platter. We had this right across the street from the Blue Mosque. 22 TL.

Falafel from a small shop opposite the Galata Tower. 5 TL.

Our view while we had Falafel and apple tea
Strawberries from a random fruit seller. These were the sweetest strawberries I have ever had in my life. If you are from Pakistan, I would definitely recommend that you try the fruit in Istanbul, specially berries, they are incredibly sweet, unlike the tart ones that we have in Pakistan.

Needless to say that I loved Turkish food.
Have you been to Turkey? How was your experience with Turkish food?
Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
The End. Bye.
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Grand Bazaar is one place that everyone visits on their stay in Istanbul, bustling with people of different nationalities and turkish vendors trying to strike a deal with the tourist. This bazaar is a sensory overload, its amazing.
The main bazaar is lined by different shops, the street is pretty wide initially it becomes narrower and narrower as you go further in the market. There are around 4000 or so shops, this place is truly huge, a maze of narrow streets. The general feel of the bazaar is like 'Zainab Market' in Karachi, without the ugly stares of the shopkeepers and the general 'awam' (I'm sure Karachi waley know what I'm talking about).

The easiest way to reach the bazaar from Taksim is via funicular and tram.



From Taksim take a funicular to Kabatas, from there take the tram to Beyazit-Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar)




You will find anything and everything here, from clothing to gold to household stuff and all of this at a very reasonable price. So buy whatever your heart desires.

If you are looking for souveniers to take home, this place is where you will get the best price, make sure you bargain. The vendor will go down 70-80% of the price he originally quotes, so there is a huge margin for bargain here.
We did buy a lot of stuff here, my most favorite are the coasters, such unique and pretty designs. I bought 12 for 20 TL (2.300 OMR / 615 PKR)



We saw beautiful bedding, towel sets, table and bed runners, which can make very nice gifts for new brides. So unique. (done ave a picture of those though)





We had lunch at a small Turkish dhaba type somewhere in the bazaar, I dont even recall the name, the only thing I remember is the fragrance that hit us when we walked by, the fragrance of grilled meat and turkish tea. Stopping for lunch right than was the best decision we made that day.
We both ordered chicken shish touk platter, which was 22 TL (2.5 OMR / 680 PKR)
This was hands down the best shish touk I've ever had. The chicken was oh-so-tender, perfectly grilled served on a bed of spiced barley with a piece of bread and salsa in a tangy sauce on the side.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now. So yum!


For dessert we had vanilla ice cream topped with sweet semolina from a small vendor in the bazaar for 3 TL (0.350 OMR / 100 PKR). I love contrast in my food, sweet and salty, hot and cold, so this was right up my alley. The ice cream was cold and the semolina was warm, this was marriage made in heavens. So so good. Must try.

So much of my banter already, I'll let the pictures do the talking below.



Suleymaniye Mosque, near the grand bazaar

Outside the mosque
While I wait for Najia

Until next time!
Bye!
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