Ambreen Malik

Ambreen Malik

The author is a Microfinance Banker, food blogger, LSE Alum and a dragon in training. She tweets as @ambreen_malik (twitter.com/ambreen_malik)

February 22, 2014
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Sunday mornings with aloo ke parathay and chai!

Savoury aloo walay parathay and hot, sweet, milky tea have an unbreakable connection to winter in my head. The reason could be growing up in Pakistan; that’s how it used to be in our house. Waking up late on Sunday morning meant it was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch.  But the rumbling tummy could not be ignored. And so, chilly, winter Sunday mornings called for potato-stuffed buttered parathas for brunch served with shami kebabs or Pakistani style spicy omelettes. In my mother’s household all parathas were prepared either with home-churned white butter or with homemade desi ghee (clarified butter). As a little girl I remember watching my nani (maternal grandmother) ...

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January 27, 2014
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Karri Pakora: Finger lickin’ good, literally!

Karri is loved in almost every household in Pakistan. But the cooking procedure can intimidate even the most well seasoned and skilled cooks. I learnt how to make it whilst watching my mother cook it in her kitchen. But my love for karri goes back to my barri ammi’s (maternal grandmother) cooking skills and generosity. In her house, the rule was simple. Karri was never cooked in medium or moderate quantity. It was always cooked as if 30 people were coming over for dinner. Bari Ammi would send a bowl each to all her friends and relatives living close by. Hence, her karri was not just loved because it was delicious ...

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Daal Maash today, paratha tomorrow!

Daal Maash was abbu’s favorite. Ammi used to cook it frequently during winter days. Fast forward many years, my husband cannot get enough of daal maash. I love all Lentils but somehow I never quite liked daal maash. Daal Maash has a very distinct nutty flavour which my taste buds could not appreciate as a kid. There were many foods many of us did not appreciate as kids, growing up changed that for most of us. Daal Maash, French beans and spinach were the less favoured foods for me back then.  This particular daal maash recipe belongs to my mother-in-law. Her simple technique brings out the best of maash ...

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This Achari Bhindi is a vegetarian’s delight!

The days I have a vegetarian craving, Achari bhindi (okra) is one of my favourite dishes. I confess my favourite way to cook and eat Okra is with minced meat. Nothing beats that. I will share that recipe at some point in time as well. Acharai bhindi (okra) is a delightful way of cooking and enjoying a vegetarian meal. This recipe doesn’t get any easier than this. On days when you’re tired and don’t have the energy to cook much, yet want to eat something yummy, this is the recipe for you; a quick and easy way to satisfy that insatiable appetite. I will be using fresh Okra but ...

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My mother in law’s chicken haandi recipe: The perfect dish for a casual dinner

My recent trip to Pakistan was directed towards Multan – a city which I had only visited once in the past during my childhood when we lived in Bahawalpur many years ago. I took this opportunity to roam around the city, to see what it had to offer. I did a lot of shopping too, from sohan halwa and multani chappals to blue pottery and the likes. What joy it was! As a kid I remember our house always had a continuous supply of Multan’s famous sohan halwa and Kushaab’s dooda. It was regularly served with tea and shami kebabs to ...

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Down memory lane: This Eid, enjoy my mother’s recipe of Mutton Dum Piyaza!

Each Eid reminds me of the happy times I spent celebrating Eid as a kid at my maternal grandparents’ house in Rawalpindi some 20 or more years ago. Funnily enough, it was the hustle and bustle the day before Eid that I found most exciting. Being the eldest grandchild, I believed my job was the most important one; to make sure the mehndi was prepared well in advance. This was achieved by constantly nagging my Ammi and khalas. Mind you this was not the instant cone mehndi era, a lot of time and effort was put in preparing dry ...

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Craving GT Road dhaaba deliciousness? Try this channa daal

Whoever has travelled on the Grand Trunk (GT) road in Pakistan knows what a driver’s hotel or a manji hotel is. Four ideas are the usual elements which make up such a hotel; truck drivers, plenty of manjis (Punjabi for beds), karak doodh patti (strong milk-tea) and affordably epic desi food. These informal restaurants are where all the long haul trucks make in-between stops to eat, drink and rest before heading to another stretch of their tiring journeys. The GT road is South Asia’s oldest and longest road, originally built to link eastern and western regions of the subcontinent. The road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century. ...

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September 15, 2013
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Delicious home-made gulab jamuns that make every occasion extra special!

In my part of the world, every celebration is accompanied by a dessert. Be it a wedding, an engagement, a birth, a promotion, a graduation, purchase of a house, a new car, or any other achievement or joyous occasion like Eid – the tiniest of the joys are celebrated with our mouths full of sweets and desserts. Nothing is more loved on such occasions than the scrumptious mithai most commonly known as ‘gulab jamun’. It is a personal favourite! In Pakistan, people usually buy gulab jamuns and never make it at home. Specialised mithai makers called halwaees make these delicious sweets. However, I had to learn how to ...

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