Archive for ‘Food’

March 12, 2014

Potato Soya Koftay

by Khanum

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Updated May 2014: Because I accidentally deleted some of my media files from the blog, You won’t be able to view rest of the pictures that were initially attached with this post. My humble apologies for that. please, continue to read

I’m officially the lady of the kitchen, now. Before I turned 25, I stepped into the home kitchen only when I was inspired. But now, things have changed. I have no other option but to step into the culinary battle zone everyday, due to my mother’s recent resignation from the Kitchen Chef post. So I did little improvisation in my cooking principles, and have set some new rules on home ground.

1- Everyday is a brand new day, therefore, If I am to be forced to take over kitchen, I will do it my way. And my way is, Everyday a new dish.

2- Goodbye to ordinary tasteless pulses, traditional vegetable meals and plain recipes.

3- Experiment in the kitchen is a must. You can’t handle it? Don’t eat. Chutti karo.

4- I have to take 2 days off in a week at least to regenerate my skills and energy. Which means, my family has to go on diet for two days.

5- And finally, Absolutely, No telephoning the neighbours and aunties and every possible or distant relatives to invite them over for lunch, to showcase my recipes. *If somebody still wants to gift me anything as a reward, that’s totally fine*

And now, The recipe. Potato Soya Koftay!

In my last post I told you guys about the organic garden we have. This is what inspires me now to create good food. So yesterday morning, I noticed the coriander and soya leaves were finally ready to be cut. So I cut them off and my goodness! The fresh smell it had. Heaven! My mother couldn’t contain her happiness and started shooting me. *Shooting me as in with camera, not with a gun*

She photographed me as well as made some funny videos of me doing the work. I wish I can share some videos with you all in the future. 

So after I was done with the cutting, I realised I still hadn’t decided what I wanted to cook for the day. My mother got hold of a food magazine and there it was, Ala ka scram! Potato Soya Koftay, snapped beautifully and giving off delicious vibes. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the fresh soya that I had discovered in the garden recently. So without any delay, I started my version of the recipe.

And I swear, I never ever looked at or read the recipe card for the dish. That’s how I do it. A good bite or a good quality picture of any recipe is enough to imagine the ingredients used in it. Believe me! Stop wasting time on reading recipe card and watching those endless masala masla TV programs. That’s why I absolutely love bbc food. They make it quick, push you to experiment with the limited ingredients available and turn you into a versatile bomb chef.   

Ingredients Used in Potato Soya Koftay

Divide the recipe into two halves. 1- The gravy. 2- The koftay.

You all know how to make Gravy, right! It’s the basic masala  used for Pakistani dishes. If you unfortunately don’t know that yet, no worries. I am going to list the ingredients here. The rest of the “how to make it” part is something you should do yourself. SO you need:

1– Chopped Onions – Fry them brown in Oil

2– Chopped Ginger and Garlic / Or Ginger garlic paste

3– Yogurt

4– Sliced Capsicum

5– Small chicken pieces

6- Sliced Green chilli

7- Asian Spices , you know the usual.  Salt it according to your taste.

I prepared the gravy first, put it aside and then started working on the koftay. I used 4 potatoes and boiled them.

The ingredients used in the potato mash are:

1- Generous amount of soya leaves

2- Two bread slices (Soak the bread in water if your potatoes aren’t soft and you want to have a smooth mixture, but if your potato mash is already soft, use dry bread)

3- Mayonnaise

4- Black pepper and Salt

After the mash is done, you need to shape them into small balls.

Once you have your koftay ready. You need to coat the koftay with 2 more ingredients to have that crispy brown layer when you fry them. So coat them first with Corn flour, Step 2: dip into egg, step 3: generously coat with bread crumbs. Fry them and then finally , place the koftay (Potato soya balls) onto the gravy. Serve with Roti and yogurt chatni.

This is one dish that’s so light on the stomach that I ended up eating 5 of those koftay. Seriously, I am ruining my diet.

P.S. Excuse the photo quality, kindly. I’m photographing with my cell fone these days, so you’ll have to suffice with these for now.

December 17, 2013

Delicious Chicken Irani Boti at Bundu Khan & My Pakistani Sentiments.

by Khanum

Yesterday was girls day out.

My mother determined to take me out of my square room decided to lure me into fried finger fish trap. Because she was bored. And sick of cooking.

And trust me, its not really that easy to make me get out of my blanket and wash face with real water like water when its freezing cold in December. Not even shopping for new sneakers could shake me, but fish did. Somehow I got dressed. My sadness of nothing began to fade away.

In fact first I tried to make excuses to escape from this like look! omg! How foggy it is out there. But Mom is a mom for a reason you know. I wore blue she wore green and voila! After praying zuhr, I was on my way to eat fried fish from Bundu Khan. Mom had to make a stop at hyperstar to buy some bakery. It has got awesome bakery. Thats the only thing I like about that place. Other than that I hate the fact that hyperstar wouldn’t even let you drink anything inside the building. Even if you’re dying.

Anywho, I bought some of  my bakery stuff too. And the types of bread I got deserves a post on its on. I wanted to get baking utensils too but my budget was off already. So, happy and contended, I happily hopped my way to Bundu Khan because  I was simply in love with their fried fish until I met with a new cuisine.

Chicken Irani Boti (Grilled)

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Behold! The best chicken boti I have ever tasted (if my faulty memory serves me right). I swear I loved it! This is the dish which I have been introduced to by an Iranian I interviewd during my thesis days. He told me how Pakistan food is so spicy and how very nice and less spicy their food is. I got hold of their chicken tikka recipe and voila! I cooked it in summers but didn’t block it.

When I ordered fish finger, I had to order something more and new for my mother. She’s a high blood pressure patient and eating fish simply means high BP. So after thinking much, I narrowed down to Irani grilled chicken boti. I knew it would be something similar to the dish I had prepared at home but boy! Served with Naan this was even more delicious.

Before it got served, I forbade mom to taste any dish before I have photographed it to my heart’s content for blog. But the moment it got on table I forgot my own words and attacked the food. I was hungry. 😦

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Sunny sides of the dish:

It was juicy, soft and served hot. Very delicious indeed. 5/5.

Not so sunny sides of the dish: 

1- Quite Expensive. It was for Rs 800 and something. I could throw a chicken party at home with that much green paper. 2/5

2-  Freaking small portions. The moment I ordered it, I got worried about the amount of pieces they would serve. You want good amount of food in front of you when you’re hungry and also when you have paid alot to get it. Total 12 pieces didn’t please me at all. That too small ones.  3/5

And I have noticed it almost everywhere in Lahore now, that serving less in plate and charging more money for it has become like a fashion. What has gone wrong with Lahoris? We are not in France where serving less is about class and money! We are Pakistanis. We are hospitable people.We like to eat and we want to eat 24/7.  It’s better we stopped coping other race on table etiquette.

Anyway, There’s always a first time for everything…coming towards Friend Finger Fish.

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I love this dish. Its the best thing I like to eat when I’m having severe flu. But this time I was terribly disappointed by Bundu Khan.

Last time in March and then before that time even, Whenever I used to eat friend finger fish at Bundu Khan, it used to be served with sandwiches. As far as I remember. But okay, maybe I am mistaking it. However, Could I mistake the quality of crisp ? This time it was served rather soggy. Soft is good but only from the inside. If the crisp that is supposed to be on the outer layer is not there, I’m sorry! It’s not served fresh and right  from the fryer. It was nor served very hot as it used to be. Really disappointed and am sure going to try out this fish somewhere else now. No more Bundu Khan for me.

Sunny sides: Out of order.

Not so sunny sides: I paid Rs 720 for something I anticipated a lot but didn’t quite enjoy it.

Final Remarks. Naan is Rs. 40. I like to enjoy I like to spend on food and fun but I also know the value of money. Especially when I’m unemployed. The reason I concluded, that why we Pakistanis spend money on expensive restaurants is because there are no good recreational activities or alternatives for enjoyment available to us. I wish Lahore had open air cafes. And some places where I can take my mother and let her enjoy quality food with quality environment around without me worrying over ridiculous bills.

After all, You can be a millionaire, but that doesn’t mean being conscious of your spending is haram on you and spending carelessly is wajib.

No more dinning out for me for atleast 3 months! -__-

November 29, 2013

Today’s Menu: Fluffy Eggs and Doctor Who!

by Khanum

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Assalamo alaikum! Hiya and welcome to The world of Eggs lord. This is a dimension where a Time lord has landed with his TARDIS. The implication of today’s episode is “A very suspicious egg lord”.

Synopsis: When an egg from far future began to spread terrorism in Khanum’s  imaginary kitchen, The only possible solution was to send a distress call to Doctor Who and his TARDIS. – .

Here is the Egg lord pointing his gun at me  .. 😮

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..And then He pointed his gun at Doctor who – who came to rescue me along with Rory and Amy.

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Now Before you realise this is beginning to sound very ridiculous just like many of the Doctor Who’s episodes,  I’ll get straight to the point in reality.

I have cooked eggs today in breakfast after being inspired by Nadia’s Terroristic post. Click here to read that.

What things do you need to make fluffy eggs? Ingredients :-

1- Your precious Time.

2- Stamina to stand in the kitchen.

3- Stomach to digest an egg in the first place.

4- Handkerchief and lots of tissues – in case you’re badly sneezing.

5- And a working camera or cell to photograph it later. Otherwise just don’t bother get up at 4 am in the morning.

What things you usually use to make fluffy eggs? 

1- Eggs. Duh!

2- Milk. Bah!

3-Salt and black pepper

4- Butter.

Recipe: How I made it. 

Now this is my favorite part where I get to tell how I actually made it. You see my first attempt was to simply steal pizza or any bakery stuff from the fridge. That I often do when eggs are on strike in my kitchen and Imma hungry. But dang it! I got lucky. There appeared 5 magical eggs on our dining table. I seized the moment, quietly and with quite a hard control on my heart, I put back the stolen slice of pizza (which was in my sweater pocket already – in case mum woke up) and grabbed an egg.

I’ve got clean sweater pockets so don’t you dare judge me! Moving On.

I started beating 1 egg and did it for like long long long long , 3 seconds only. I used one egg instead the traditional 2 because come on , Its barbaric to murder two chicks right in the morning just cause you are up for the breakfast after centuries.

I added 2-3 tablespoons of Milk in it which really really makes an egg get fluffiness and volume and seasoned it with salt and black pepper. And you know what! It turned out classic. Anything I seem to make these days with just salt and pepper ends up tasting wow! No kidding. I think red chilli really dominates the whole ingredients sometimes.

So when I was done with the egg mixture, I literally threw butter in the pan to dance. Poured in my eggs and cooked it on low heat poking constantly in the egg until it was set. Like they do in the TV when making The Perfect French Omelette 

Voila! Gorgeous tasty fluffy egg with a toasted slice and a cup of tea. Bang bang!

I Enjoyed it while watching Doctor Who’s Pirates episode from season 6.

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D

And The point is : Bon appetit !

July 28, 2012

Khanum’s Review on Spaghetti Bolognaise

by Khanum

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Oh my Gosh! I’m so sorry, that’s the wrong picture there, just the remains. Actually I was so hungry that day – ke bas. Let’s rewind back to the beginning on how I came across the most royal dish on the face of earth I have ever tasted for your sake. Spaghetti Bolognaise, ladies & Gentlemen!

So this is going to be my first food review that I gobbled down my throat few weeks back. I would like to dedicate this post to Nadia @nadiamasood.com , She’s a Food Guru and Queen of Reviews on any food that you would find in Dubai. *I kid you not –  honestly | pay her a standing ovation like the man in the picture below*

Pizza Hut | The place to be when you want to have posh food *m serious * in a foody n posh environment *m very serious again* and with posh friends, *now you can laugh*. 😀 I hope my gals are not reading this.

It was our last day of examz and we all decided to hit the place. Now check this out , we are such innocent Pakistanis , pizza is almost like a street food in west and here we are, eating pizza with forks and etiquettes in Big Name Food chains Restaurants just cause of our crippling economy, west’s street food is our 5 star food! And right now if any agent of Pizza hut is reading this post – he is planning to hunt me down and sue me.

Please do wait , there’s more at This branch of Pizza hut located at M.M.Alam road in Lahore. First thing first – I give the staff 100 stars. Umm and ok lets be generous some more, I would give the environment 100 plus too. It was neat and clean and very airy. And oh! The guy standing at the entrance greets you with Assalam o Alaikum! so nice and so — nice again I must stress. Lets give him the award of Mr. Good Manners who had weird Moustaches. I am just being generous nothing else. Now behold  the Menu card where I fell in love with Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Our order spanned over 2 large pizzas, Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Fajita, 3 Salads , Someone ordered some shahi chicken rolls , Another ordered Lasangna, While I ordered Spaghetti Bolognaise to share with my friend. Seeing this, 4 of my friends also ordered the same dish and shared in half.


Now –  the salad bar, before the Pizza came we attacked on the salad bar and as you can see in the pictures , this is the place where even the damsels give up on diet and load heaps and heaps of salad in one small tiny little bowl. We payed Rs. 330 for each bowl of salad after all. How could we spare that and not halal the money?

There is my friend, Masha Allah , in process of making a sky-scrapper in the bowl.

And there we finally did manage to make a sky-scrapper. Sadly we couldn’t finish it all it was to heavy. so we did the most decent thing we could. We asked for it to be packed for my friend’s sister. *yes we believe in sharing*

Next stop – Pizza Sheeza!

Now this is my plate on top of the pizza. One slice and there I was – all full. I wonder how do guys eat so much. Pizza Hut people must hate men for eating up more than they pay for the deals. As for girls, I think we just mostly waste food and money. Like my friend she went to the salad bar and came back with a small circle of – no actually it wasnt even a circle it was a dot of salad in the middle of the bowl. The moment we saw this insult of salad bar and our money we were like. GASP!!!! WHAT DID U DOOOOOO !! NOOOO NOOO NOOO!!! HOW COULD YOU WASTE 330 RUPEES AND NOT FILL THAT THING UPPPPPPPPPPPPPP :O :@ … “Haan meinei socha itna bohat hai” was her reply. Right!

Anyways, The pizza was good enough so as the salad. Yummy! Lets move along now. Finallllyyyyyyyyy to our big  surprise dish of the year.

Thank you very much for reading khanum’s review on Spaghetti Bolognaise. Click here for My final serious verdict on Pizza Hut’s Special Recipe , the ravishing remarks on the dish that is just made of noodles and mashrooms and very alien taste.

Peace out!

But P.S. Lunch at Pizza Hut cost us Rs 4000 and sumthing sumthing. And since we were total 10 people we divided the amount and it came down to 500 each. Next Place to be explored: Tutty Fruity, Insha Allah.

Now final Peace out!

July 2, 2012

Italian Fettuccine with Meatballs

by Khanum

Who says you can’t cook when you have exams or a upset stomach? Living in this part of the World means, obsessed with Delicious spicy food. Yes, yes and 1000 times yes! I am a proud foodaholic. It only happens, I like to cook more than I like to eat. And this just does not mean I cook under normal circumstances. Nope! My love for food heals me. I cook when I am stressed. I cook when I am sick. I cook when I have exams, yes yes and 100 times yes! anytime and anything. I just need the will to cook it and there you go!

I had plans to make Gulab Jamun today and blog on that, however, this sudden shift in the taste , in the middle of the night yesterday had me excited about making Italian Pasta dish.

What I do when I have a stomach that is forbidden for ravishing food for awhile? I watch lots n lots of BBC cooking shows online. That’s my therapy. This inspires me to get well soon for the sake of those delicious recipes that are still unexplored by me.

So following that, Last night I was watched Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food program. In a very old episode of it he prepared Italian spaghetti with meatballs. It of course had me off track and I forgot I am on strict diet by the doctor. I went to the kitchen at 2am in the night with a grumbling tummy and a torch in my hand. Guess what? It’s Pakistan. The light can go off any time. The moment I entered kitchen it went off again for the 100th time. SO obviously, a torch came to this damsel’s rescue. I searched for pasta but there was none. So I turned on GPS internet on cell and looked for fresh home made pasta recipe. I stumbled upon a very easy recipe by GialloZafferano, Italy’s number 1 food website. Ingredients for pasta are simple. Eggs and all purpose white flour.

This is how you make Fresh Pasta at home.

I took one 1 small cup of flour for one serving. and One egg. Make a pool of flour on clean kitchen shelf or a cutting board will work too. Then make a whole in the middle of it and break one egg in it. Using a fork, gently whip the egg in the centre of flour and slowly let both the ingredients mix. Then leave the fork and mix it with your fingers. When the mixture has the consistency of a sticky glue like , this is the time you need to use your hands and make a soft/hard dough. Please remember, it will not be a very soft dough as we haven’t used butter in it. That is used in the tart dough not for pasta otherwise your pasta will become just a regular dough of flour.Once your dough is ready after several minutes of hand shake with the flour, you need to put it in the refrigerator for awhile. In my case, it turned out,  I put it there and fell asleep. So rest of the recipe was made in the morning.

Roll it well, you’ll sweat profoundly during this and Your dough is now ready to be cut in many pasta shapes.Pipes, lines or bow ties whatever you call it. And Hey! Do you know there are more than 600 pasta shapes in the world? woof! I made only 2 of them. Farfalle and Fettuccine. Farfalle a type of pasta , commonly known as “bow-tie pasta”, the name is derived from the Italian word farfalla (butterfly).

While Fettuccine literally means little ribbons. Pretty, eh? I made these 😉

Now the Tomato Sauce for the Meatballs.

Its again very simple and depends on your style of cooking. I just follow my heart and put anything I feel like using at that time. Make small meat balls and fry them. Once they are done leave them aside and prepare the tomato sauce. You need tomatoes and some water for that. Shake it well in the shaker  and you’ll have a puree. Now finely chop garlic and green chillies. Fry them and pour the puree in. Let it cook for awhile and add your secret ingredients. In go the meatballs now and viola! Your meatballs are ready. Just boil the pasta and serve it.


P.S. My mom was really proud of me today 😀 I cooked pasta from the scratch!

June 15, 2012

~ Palak Paneer & Zarda ~

by Khanum

Its shocking for many at home, what I did today. I cooked a grand meal. Not a table for two, nor just some fancy thing but a real Pakistani traditional meal. Palak Paneer (Spinach with Cheese) and Zarda for lunch.

Thanks to the weekend and some friends who have been inspiring me to cook more new cuisines recently. My first idea was to prepare a pashtoon’s dish that someone mentioned to me last week and got me interested in it.

However,  unable to grasp the recipe, this morning I scheduled myself to cook Hyderabadi Khatti Daal instead (a request by a reader, Hareem). Buh dang it ! itni bisti, by the time I woke up this morning it was already noon  not morning and yes, guess what!  once again my super mum had already cooked off the ‘daal’ I wanted to use for the Hyderabadi dish. It was tasteless and very destructive for many people’s stomach at home that are used to lavish food over weekends. So I stepped into the kitchen, checked out my refrigerator and luckily found blended spinach winking at me to be cooked ! 😛 Here you go.

Palak Paneer. Yum yum yum !!

I am not going to give you the exact measures. It all depends on how much you wanna cook. And besides, I am one of those people who work with the ingredients/spices not with the spoons or measuring tools but rather with my very own hands and fingers. I measure the ingredients the old grandma’s way. *andazan* Whenever I have tried to do the proper measuring by cups or spoons, I end up ruining it. So I prefer cooking with heart and soul than with measuring cups and logistics.

And I also hate typing out each and every recipe details Ughhh !! buh I am gonna try.

1- For Palak Paneer, You need to prepare the masala first. So fry some chopped onions. *Tip: If the onions give you tough time and don’t get brown quickly , just sprinkle some salt over and they will get brown before you blink*

2- Once the onions are brown, throw in the rest of the ingredients and spices. Garlic, ginger, Turmeric powders, green chopped chilli, red chilli powder, salt and yoghurt. The beautiful maddening aroma you gonna get from this will drive everyone awaiting outside the kitchen insane. The masala is simply mouth watering.

3- You’re ready to throw in your chopped/blended spinach. Mix it well with the masala.

4- Add some milk in it.

5- Mix well again, let it simmer for awhile and let the oil come on to the surface.

6- Fry the cheese meanwhile in cubes. I used home made cheese. Thanks to my mum. It was delicious.

7- When done, mix the cheese cubes with the spinach and there you go. Have it with rice or roti, its going to taste awesome.

When I was done with the shoot and everything, my family simply attacked on the palak paneer. Its a very irresistible dish. Plus healthy too. Your mouth’s watering right now, right? 😀

For Sweet dish, I cooked Zarda. Yellow soft sugary rice that people often have with yoghurt.

Zarda Recipe:

1- Boil some water with ilaichi, tej patta and few drops of vinegar.

2- Once the water is boiled, pour in the rice and add yellow food color in it. Let it boil for few minutes until its bit soft but you have to make sure the rice are not thoroughly cooked but only partly. They have to stay a bit undercooked for further recipe process.Once you have drained the rice nice and cooled them off. You’re half way there.

3- Take the pot in which you wanna cook the zarda. And  Pour in few spoons of oil. *do this off the heat*. Make a layer of rice , then a layer of sugar over it. Repeat this until you have 2 to 3 nice layers of oil/ghee, sugar and rice. *You must know if you’re using one 2 cups of rice, don’t use exact amount of sugar – use less like 1 and a half cup. if you want to have your rice drenched in sugar syrup only then go for equal amount of sugar or more than that depending upon your style of zarda*

4- Put it onto the high fire and let the sugar melt with the rest of the things. Keep checking the consistency. Once its done, turn the heat slow and let it cook slowly for about 5-10 minutes.

5- When cooked, garnish it with almonds and kishmish (raisins)

———————–

Note to myself: Never ever will listen to two chefs at the same time. My aunt was going ballistic over why I put tez patta in the zarda boiling water , its used in Pilao, while my mum was of the view that it was supposed to be THERE you see!

They went on and on and …well. I was done with the rice by that time gladly. and I think they are stillllll having a debate outside over the use of tej patta. 😀 shoot! with my uncle being the judge , that is.

March 26, 2012

This blogger recently had Gol Gappay

by Khanum

On our way to the main ground, there was a girl sitting quietly in the corner having her mouth ful of something something.  Me and my friend found some space to stand near her evi main and I don’t know why we started to stare at her tray of delicious khatay gol gappay ..

Two good minutes of stare like two bhookey nadeedey bachey, and then….

“Hira!” ..

“Jee? ..”

“Hmm. Aj mera kuch khatta khane ko dil kar raha hai. ”

“Oh!” ..she made that one amazing face which she always makes. “Ap ka bhi esi fazool cheezon ka dil karta hai?” :O

“Jee  :D..khayen gol gappay?” and next thing I know, we crossed the University road, attacked on the gol gappa wala and I had my first experience of having gol gappay  at University in my 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 years of life there. Uffffff !

price per tray ( a dozen  gol gappay) : Rs. 50.

Advice: Please abstain from eating on street. Use the bridge to dine fine and shine. It will not only give you peace to enjoy ur tray of gol gappay but also save you from the hooligans roaming around on jail road since 1945.