Posts tagged ‘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.

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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 !

November 16, 2013

Outdoor Cafes in Lahore & Around the World

by Khanum

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Outdoor cafes are fun. 

Cultures of  various famous cities and the specific feeling attached to their environment is what attracts tourists towards them from around the world. Whether its Venice , the city made on Island or Paris, The city of Love. These are just two names I gave you. Of course there are plenty of different places you visited or plan to visit , or just dream about due to their specific nature. 

Let me tell you what I’m interested in when am thinking of a journey. Street food. And Outdoor Things. Yup!I dig for streets. Architectural beauties, Buildings and monuments are also of course significant for any fantastic place but let’s just say, cleaner streets and the vibrant walls of the city is what makes me go mad with awe. Definitely because that’s what I usually don’t get to see in here. That’s right. I meant Lahore. It’s about Charming, artistic and attractive Environment! It shouldn’t be like you have to eat in 5 stars always to value and praise the city and actually like its food and living quality. All the charm a city has to offer to tourists and its own citizens even, must be out there in the streets. Right there! Not in PC’s Bukhara or Avari’s  Buffet.

We have a phrase that goes like, “Jinney lahore ni wekhya O jamya e Ni” Loosely translated as If you haven’t seen Lahore, son! You haven’t even been born yet. We have a food street that’s dedicated to food and even though its a great thing but I never felt comfortable there. In fact I have some issues. Some things are super expensive there because that’s the only food street in Lahore. Secondly, It gets congested at times. Well more like all the time. Thirdly, Women usually get teased there. I mean, its more like a family oriented place. Its not a place where you can hangout with friends or hangout with even your brother. Plus The business there is opened at nights only I guess. No morning dining or fun. There are also come cafes I believe which are great to look at but way too expensive and confined to only areas like M.M Alam road, DHA and Gulberg etc. Moreover, they are hardly outdoor ones.

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What I’m saying is, Why such beautiful food active street  is confined to one big area. Why can’t we have outdoor cafes and restaurants all over the city? They might not work in Summers but hey, they can be fantastic during winters season! So….!

Dear people who plan all these city things,

Please upgrade the city to a fine food friendly and outdoor dinning one. If the government is buying Turkish dramas, regardless if they promote Asian Turkish Muslim side or European Turkish Muslim living styles, please pay attention to what’s really healthy for us Pakistanis and can be adopted as a cool living pattern. I mean, Outdoor cafes for instance. It would make people indulge in nice recreational activities, help them develop a taste for a “zauq dar” life, Enjoy food and who knows it may also develop a sense of cleanliness in them. I mean if they like it, they would at least stop throwing garbage on the streets and keep it clean.I have visited Istanbul and they have the coolest outdoor cafes which are not only economical but also make the streets , the bazaars, the entire city look so beautiful.

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Look at that! Such a tiny congested outdoor sitting setup but hey! Look how beautifully they are making use of the tiny space and giving you an opportunity to enjoy food in open air.

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Simply beautiful. Good place for any newly weds or even an old couple to enjoy an affordable romantic meal. (Why should only 5 star places provide romantic space?)

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Okay! Now that may not look like a romantic space but it’s at least still reasonable and pretty.

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And this one’s a beautiful place. You can look at the Eiffel tower standing tall at the left side. I wonder how lucky those people are who sat right there on those white chairs and enjoyed a beautiful evening, right beside a world famous Tower. Ahhhhh!

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Vibrant ! Mesmerizing ! Pretty !

Note: I donut own the pictures presented in this post.

November 5, 2013

Hobby that makes me shoot it!

by Khanum

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Lots of finger fish and hot sauce over it! Delicious.

Food photography is really calling me back to its charms. I love it. I enjoy it. I simply get 100% creative while am around food. Or when the food is around me — it really doesn’t matter who goes to whom , we both love each other very much!

Those of you who were probably waiting for my next post on “wedding” anxiously, am really laughing out loud on your hilarious expectations . when did I ever say  that “I GOT MARRIED” !?

You assumed it and I played along.  L-O-L . My Last post was simply about a wedding I attended with family and friends. It was beautiful.

Now coming back to food again. I’ve been lil unwell lately, which makes me crave certain items of food day and night. After eating alot of wedding food I ended up having a chest infection. Unfortunately now all am stuck up with is bread and tea. But what would you think about first if I tell you “DO NOT THINK OF FINGER FISH” ?

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You would simply think of a FISH! And not just one innocent fish but many with fried crispy layer and yum yum hot sauce spread all over it. Uff! Exactly my point. fish just pops up in my mind. Which leads me to think about all the beautiful shots and angles a fish can be photographed. Then that imagination jumps to more wild imaginations and I end up googling Food photography and my blog’s contribution to it. 😦

Photography is my talent.  Food photography on the other hand is a personal choice – Hobby – passion and heart’s delight. I cook when I’m happy or sad and then shoot it to get more happy and sad. Am I making any sense? No. Anyway.  Today I’m forbidden to do both so I have decided to stay low and not post much until I can eat unhealthy oily food again.

Just between you and me – Do you have any hobby that makes you shoot it?

Note: I do not own the pictures presented in this post.

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)

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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.