Arhama Siddiqa

Arhama Siddiqa

The author is a LUMS and University of Warwick Alumnus and is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). She calls herself a bibliophile,a dreamer and an avid foodie.

Monkey bread: A bundt pan of heaven!

Have you ever had monkey bread before? You will fall into one of the following two categories: 1. Those that have eaten it and love it. 2. Those that have no clue what it is and probably think it involves monkeys (I did too). If you fall into the latter category, let me try to explain what this amazing-ness is. Monkey bread is akin to a giant cinnamon roll, only it’s a whole bunch of little rolls clustered together. Sweet, sticky, gooey pastry in the form of little balls of dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked together in a bundt pan. You can ...

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For the love of pizza (and your tummy)

Just about everyone loves pizza. If you’re a pizza lover, chances are the phrase “too much” seldom crosses your lips, and you can but taste a world of cheesy, saucy goodness waiting to tickle your taste buds. The classic American pizza pie consists of a flat, open–faced round of bread–type dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese and any number of different toppings. Still there is a lot more to say about pizza than, “Make mine a large with mozzarella, mushrooms, and pepperoni.” Pizza comes in many forms too – that just increases its awesomeness tenfold! So you get the ...

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This winter, cuddle under the blanket with a warm slice of this carrot cake

The temperatures are falling. It is getting colder by the day – the perfect weather to enjoy several mugs of coffee, cuddled under a cosy throw blanket by the window while enjoying a good book. For me winters would be incomplete without carrot cake. I am all for cooking healthy food, but some of the best desserts combine a bit from both worlds. Now, I’m not claiming that carrot cake is healthy. But it can’t be bad with all those good ingredients in it, right? The great thing about this cake (apart from it being extremely delicious) is how easy it ...

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While jingle bells are ringing, devour this scrumptious Christmas meal with your loved ones

The festive season is entering its prime the world-over; a time when it is easy to overindulge and get out of your fitness routine. Plus, whether you are catering for herds of family members or serving up an intimate spread, preparing food during these times can be super stressful. And so, it’s better to be equipped with easy, tried-and-tested recipes since a state of blind panic can quickly ensue in case things go wrong when cooking for a gathering! Plus, it is winters and the weather demands something warm and filling. Quick, easy and filling, this is my go-to three course meal ...

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A Rage for Order: Painting a crucial portrait of the deeply troubled Arab uprising

Revolutions never seem to bring the happiness they promise. There was no happy conclusion in France in 1789 or Russia in 1917 and neither in Egypt or Libya or Syria in 2011. Instead, if anything, the Middle East has gone from bad – brutal dictatorships built on secret police and theft – to worse; open civil war and genocide. The year 2011 saw a revolution escalate through the Middle East as protesters demanded an end to tyranny, corruption and economic decay. From Egypt to Yemen, a generation of young Arabs insisted on a new culture of common nationality. Five years later, their utopian goals have taken on a darker ...

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Cheesecake FTW!

Given the choice between a cheesecake and a myriad of other desserts, I would choose cheesecake every day and maybe even twice on Sunday. It is one of my great loves. Before the dawn of places like The Cheesecake Factory and more cheesecake concoctions than days in a month, there was just… cheesecake. Having said that, it’s a multitude of everything you could ask for in a dessert: it’s creamy, tangy and melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. There are two versions – baked and non-baked. Here I’ll be going for the former. I got this easy recipe from a flatmate at Warwick. Ordinarily, I don’t go for a topping because ...

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This winter, let’s get fishy!

I’ve always been fond of seafood. Whether you’re a diehard pescatarian or just a seafood lover, you’re probably in need of some fresh ideas – which is why I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes; a quick fix that will hopefully inspire you to incorporate more seafood into your meals considering it’s a very important part of a healthy diet. Speaking of seafood, did you know that October is national seafood month this time around in the United States? So why not celebrate something in the name of the One World One Ocean campaign*? Plus this recipe is a winner! It’s so simple, does not require any lengthy marinating ...

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October 12, 2016
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Biscoot and chai, anyone?

While browsing through the aisles at the local store, I came across a new kind of biscuit – LU’s Nan Khatai.  I was immediately transported down memory lane, to numerous childhood bakery trips for the much savoured, freshly baked version. While growing up, we have all relished khasta (crispy) nan khatais. And I am sure many of us still do. How did it end up in this part of the world? ‘Nan khatai‘ comes from the Persian word ‘Nan’ (bread) and ‘Khatai’ (‘Catai’ or ‘Cathay’, the older name for China), translating as ‘Bread of Cathay’. According to the ‘Hobson-Jobson Dictionary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian ...

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A love affair with chocolate chip cookies

When I was a kid, relatives visiting from America only meant one thing: Walkers cookies! I can still recall how I used to savour every bite; not too soft or too crunchy. It was just perfect. This was how my love affair with cookies began and my favourite by far are chocolate chip cookies. The thing is, sometimes I am just too lazy to cook so I try to find recipes which require the least number of ingredients. Hence when I came across this recipe which requires only five main ingredients, I simply had to try it out. The result: time saved, craving ...

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September 29, 2016
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The original king cake – the pound cake

 “Beta! Mehmanon kai liye bakery sai plain cake lao!” (Grab a plain cake from the bakery for the guests.) Who hasn’t heard this line? In fact we have grown up hearing this! Plain cakes or pound cakes, span over generations. They were made by our ammis (mothers), our nannis (grandmothers), and our par-nannis (great-grandmothers). The name ‘pound’ was given to this cake because the original recipes contained one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of eggs, and one pound of flour. Sometimes while baking cakes, you just want something plain and simple with no added frills and fuss. Especially now that winter ...

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