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. She also has a food website at www.chakhoous.com . She tweets @arhama_siddiqa (twitter.com/arhama_siddiqa)

Fry, bake or freeze: These iftar recipes will give delicious and easy a whole new meaning!

For me, fasting is like a reset button. It reminds me that I can still be whole without all the vast amount of consumerism I am involved in every day. It is also a reminder that I can do more with my time, my money, and my life if I wanted to. I can still be happy with little things in life. This Ramazan, I invested my time in a weekend guest lecture for kids from slum areas. While I love my work, sometimes one needs an escape to breathe and get a better perspective on life, and this experience did just ...

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With these easy and yummy sehri recipes, Ramazan will go by like a breeze

It’s the month of fasting, so Ramazan Kareem to all! I hope your fasts are going well so far, even though the weather has not been kind as yet sadly. This time around I would like to share two stories with this blog in light of this holy month, and spread some positive messages. A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop in the Manpower Institute (I did not know this existed previously). During the commencement speech, the Director General of the Institute, Ms Khalida Gulnar said a few impactful words which still resonate with me. She said that ...

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Pies over fries: Rich and decadent, this dulce de leche Banoffee Pie is instant love!

Dessert has always been a big deal for me. I’m generally a pretty clean eater who will happily order the side salad over the fries and have fresh juice or milk for breakfast. But put me face-to-face with a slice of cheesecake or a slice of apple pie with ice cream, and I’ll never be able to say no – even when I’m already full. Since every generation changes food habits from time to time, from having fruit before dinner to consuming water during or after meals, I assume dessert at the end of a meal has stuck around for a good ...

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Gooey filling you want to scoop out with your fingers – Relive your childhood with these delightful lemon tarts!

If there is one thing in this world that can make me forgive and forget everything and start from scratch, it is lemon tarts. If anyone ever wants me to erase the memory board and wipe the slate clean, all they have to do is present me with these beauties! I love lemon tarts so much I believe they should have their own emoji! The tangy flavour of sourness, playing around with just the right amount of sweetness, can change anyone’s mood around. One of my favourite childhood memories would be my mom driving me home from school, stopping at the local ...

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This Valentine’s Day, spoil your loved one with some perfectly chewy and gooey red velvet pancakes and cinnamon rolls!

This time around when I was writing this blog, for some odd reason, the only thing that kept coming to my mind was the phrase “spreading love”. Last year when I visited the UK, I had a chance to watch the Lion King musical – an absolute breathtaking experience, which can never be replaced and is one of the highlights of my life. “And can you feel the love tonight? It is where we are It’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer that we got this far And can you feel the love tonight? How it’s laid to rest It’s enough to make kings ...

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Nothing screams meetha like this delicious gajar ki barfi does!

This year, I wanted to start things off with something sweet. Maybe I wanted to hint at my guardian angels to make the next 12 months as sweet for me as the desi dish I was about to make. Desi desserts are always full of flavours, with each bite one floats off to a sweet paradise. Plump with refined butter and glistening with syrup, these delicacies are not for the faint-hearted. It is hard for me to walk past a shop where slabs of Sohan halwa topped with almonds, or newly fried bright orange jalebis sit enticingly in the window, and not find ...

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Culinary pioneer Zubaida Apa has left us but her totkas and bestselling Hyderabadi biryani and Sujji/Besan halwa will be with us forever

 Zubaida Tariq, aka Zubaida Apa, was a lovely woman. Her talent of inspiring people to cook just through her words and the way she carried out everyday chores was extraordinary. If you look at TV chefs nowadays, they lack the magic that Apa possessed on screen while she cooked up a storm in the kitchen. However, her magic show has come to an end. On January 5th, a little bit of Pakistan died – a little piece that will never be replaced. Her passing was incredibly sad and an unfortunate loss not only to the cooking industry but to the entire nation ...

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Move over, turkey and pudding! There’s a new Christmas feast in town!

Most of us are familiar with Christmas carols. We have either grown up listening to them live or on television. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la!” is a tune not unknown to many of us, hence the beauty of globalisation. The holidays are not only the perfect occasion to spend time with loved ones while eating your weight in cookies; they’re also the ideal opportunity to sing your heart out. And most of us are familiar with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, an instant bestseller, published almost 173 years ago. In a nutshell, Christmas is ...

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With its lingering scent of cinnamon and fresh sweet apples, this easy apple crumble is the perfect winter fix!

Winter is finally here! This weather provides the perfect setting for the perfect dessert: apple crumble. A few weeks ago, life landed me in the picturesque town of Salisbury, home to the Salisbury Cathedral. At 404 feet (since 1549), the cathedral has had the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom – I can attest to that having climbed all 330 steps to the top! It is here where my friend Alice grew up and where her family still lives. After the descent from the spire, her mother Lucy was kind enough to host us for a classic English tea, which ...

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Celebrating the Queen’s platinum anniversary with delicious and easy traditional English scones

Since it was Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary two days ago, a friend (read royal family enthusiast) asked me why not serve up something traditionally British! Clotted cream with scones, frilly raspberry tarts, lashings of lemonade are all the things that come to mind when I reminisce about Enid Blyton’s world of afternoon tea, picnic lunches and midnight feasts. Moonface and Silky the elf are familiar names to those of us who grew up on a staple of her books – The Famous Five, The Wishing Chair, Malory Tower, to name a few. The British ritual of afternoon tea ...

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