Munch on these easy, lip-smacking snacks instead of your nails while rooting for your World Cup team!

Published: June 28, 2018
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Chicken wings are one of those universal foods: if you’re a fan of chicken, you’re pretty much a fan of chicken wings. PHOTO: ARHAMA SIDDIQA

The stage has been set. Stadium lights are ablaze. Billions around the world are worshipping the black and white ball. Even those who don’t really follow football are simply tailgating and gathering in groups to cheer on their favourite teams.

The FIFA World Cup is already shaping up to be more exciting than many had hoped. Hosts Russia kicked off the 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Moscow. There have already been some shocks: Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, was the first to qualify for the Round-of-16; defending champions Germany have been knocked out of the competition; Argentina just made it through by an inch; and who can forget Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal is still going strong (special mention of his amazing hat-trick).

Four years ago, while I was in the UK, the thing that got us through our final dissertation was the football World Cup. It was also Ramazan during those months and post-iftar, we used to rush to the piazza and watch the matches on the big screen. The most memorable match for us was the one where Brazil was knocked out by eventual champions Germany with a score of 7-1. While we were waiting to break our fasts, our mobile football alerts suddenly kept going off in an almost haphazard fashion. We could not contain our excitement and rushed towards the big screen, the food not even down our windpipe at that point.

It does not matter what type of football fan you are – die hard, casual or “I just love football parties” – everything is accepted and loved for their own brand of fandom.

Pakistan is no different. It generates almost as much hype as the cricket World Cup. There are match screenings all around and late night sittings have become a norm. The match-talk the next day is absolutely compulsory because it is football season again!

I have always supported the Spaniards. The 2010 World Champions, Spain are not the same La Furia (The Fury) that dominated international football from 2008 to 2012, but with players like Sergio Ramos, Isco and Andres Iniesta at their disposal, they remain one of the most lethal teams in the world.

I wanted to do something native Russian to honour the hosts but then Golubtsy (shredded or minced beef wrapped in cabbage and steamed or boiled until cooked) or Rassolnik (beef, barley and pickle soup) would not have found much favour with the spice-loving Pakistani tastebuds!

Instead, here are extremely easy snacks to munch on as you entertain/host fans or cheer on your favourite teams.

Nachos

There is no right and wrong when it comes to homemade nacho recipes. Personally, I love how much room there is for customisation in each and every batch. It is basically a foodie’s dream come true.

Tortilla chips

Ingredients:

Corn flour: 1 cup

Flour: ½ cup

Salt: ½ tsp

Oil: 2 tsp

Garlic powder: ½ tsp

Oregano as per your taste

Red chilli as per your taste

Method:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together, and then mix oil in it.

2. Add water slowly, and divide the dough into small balls.

3. Roll them out thin, cut them in triangular shape and fry on normal flame

Cheese sauce

Ingredients:

Milk: ½ cup

Cream: ½ cup

Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp

Cheddar Cheese: ½ cup

Method:

1. Add milk and cream in the microwave and heat for 10 seconds.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and put it back into the microwave for another 10 seconds or until cheese melts.

3. Mix well and voila! Your cheese sauce is ready!

Salsa

Ingredients:

Tomatoes: 2 large

Garlic: 2 cloves

Green Chilli: 1

Capsicum: ½

Salt and Pepper according to taste

Olive Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

1. Put all the ingredients in a chopper and blend them well.

Assemble

Spread your tortilla chips on a platter, drizzle your cheese sauce on top, and sprinkle chopped onions, tomatoes and capsicums, or whichever toppings you prefer, such as beans!

Serve with salsa and enjoy!


Spicy wings in sauce

I love a good chicken wing: pan-fried, deep-fried, baked, braised, boiled… well, you get the idea. Chicken wings are one of those universal foods: if you’re a fan of chicken, you’re pretty much a fan of chicken wings. What I love most about them is that they can be completely high or low brow. I’ve had chicken wings in fancy, upscale restaurants (always a little nerve-wracking eating wings in a white table cloth kind of place though) and I’ve had chicken wings standing on the street, food truck in the background.

Marination

Ingredients:

Chicken wings: 1½ kg

Ginger garlic paste: 2-3 tbsp

Salt: ½ tsp

White pepper: ½ tsp

Black pepper: ½ tsp

Paprika powder: 1 tbsp

Lemon juice: ½ cup (2 lemons)

Dried mix herbs: 1 tbsp full

Method:

1. Wash the wings and marinate with above ingredients.

2. Refrigerate for two hours.

3. Heat pan, put two tablespoons oil and fry your wings till they change their colour.

Sauce

Ingredients:

Garlic: 3 tbsp (chopped)

Sesame oil: 2 tbsp

Chilli garlic sauce: 4 tbsp

Tomato sauce: 4 tbsp

Honey: 4 tbsp

Chilli powder: 1 tsp

Chilli flakes: 1 tsp

Sriracha hot sauce or any hot sauce: 2 tbsp

Sesame seeds: 3 pinch

Soya sauce: 3 tbsp

Apple cider vinegar: 2 tbsp

Method:

1. Put all the ingredients together and mix.

2. Pour the sauce over the wings and give a good quick mix.

3. The sauce will get thick and sticky. Taste it and adjust salt or any spice if you want.

4. Cover it for 10 minutes and then serve.

This will leave you licking your fingers instead of biting your nails while you anxiously wait for that goal!


Mini Cheesy Toasties

Ever since I came back from my trip to the UK last year, I have been obsessed with grilled cheese sandwiches. My roommate Riya introduced these to me and I was amazed at how I had never had them before. We came back late one night and were too tired to cook up anything fancy, so Riya took some cherry tomatoes, cheese and bread and whipped up some grilled cheese heaven. And mind you, I am not a tomato person at all!

These are great game snacks and you can’t go wrong with them.

Ingredients:

Bread Slices

Tomatoes

Cheese

Butter

Method:

1. Place cheese and tomato slices on bread slices.

2. Grill in butter.

It is only after four years that we get a chance to see this beautiful tournament; it has to be paired with these yummy snacks!

All photos: Arhama Siddiqa

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)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    You certainly are a football fan because you have described the World Cup action pretty well…..and even though I don’t follow football but one in four years the World Cup has an attraction to it that forces one to watch…..and follow. The sudden death eliminations will soon start and your chicken wings, nachos and mini grilled cheese bites will definitely come handy…..all I now have to find is someone to make them.
    The match between Brazil and Germany some four years back was an epic one sided affair ….. this time Germany has been shown the door in the first round and that too by South Korea ( I think ) …… Brazil quietly must be smiling.Recommend

  • Hamsid

    haha on the contrary I am a similar fan- I watch football only to the extent of the world cup and the champions trophy but thats about it =p
    that match 4 years ago was epic and the thrill of watching it with screaming fans all around was a different experience altogether!
    and make these yourself why not!Recommend

  • Parvez

    You are persistent, so I’ll bend over backwards and try out the Nachos and Salsa ….. perfect football / TV food. The Nachos will be out of a bag and the Salsa out of a jar ……. goal !
    I’ll tell you a story of me and football…..1974 ( I think it was ) I was in Hamburg and I needed some urgent work to be done as I was leaving the next day ….. and guess what I was told ” Germany is closed ….. it’s the day of the finals ” and I said ” Finals of what ? “…….. long story short the Germans got the work done and they also won the World Cup…..and I left the next day having understood why countries like Germany are placed near the very top of the list of advanced countries.Recommend

  • AJ

    Few things I really like about your recipes are that they are not complex, almost all of the ingredients are easily available, the photos look so tempting that I can’t resist trying them sooner or later, and there is always an interesting story related to the recipes. Keep it up.Recommend

  • Parvez

    What happened to Patwari ?….too busy watching football.Recommend

  • Hamsid

    thank you =)Recommend

  • Hamsid

    haha yess I am sure !
    it doesn’t feel like a proper blog till you two have commented!Recommend

  • Patwari

    Very busy on a business trip. 100 plus degree weather on the
    East Coast. NY, NJ, sweltering. Not used to sea level, 0 altitude.
    Can’t wait to finish and get back to the mountains. Around 6,000
    feet is just fine. Peachy.
    Actually ‘yours truly’ lives in the mountains of the Continental Divide.
    Watching ‘soccer’. On delay.
    Football? Now that is one rough game! Played by American gladiators.
    [bashing Pak’s eastern neighbors/commenters, in triplicate]Recommend

  • Parvez

    ……. and let’s not forget AJ …. she / he has been quite loyal.Recommend

  • Hamsid

    I agree a 100 percent !Recommend

  • Hamsid

    thats pretty neat ! the Germany story
    and rings true

    and that was our survival food! in uni a big bag of doritos and doritos cheese sauce = amazing !Recommend

  • Hamsid

    continental divide as in south america? sorry my geography is bad bad badRecommend

  • Parvez

    The BIG Continental Divide starts way in the north on the west side of the US and continues down the west coast and into South America running all the way down the west coast to the very tip in the south….possibly that is why this region is prone to so many earthquakes.Recommend

  • Patwari

    It’s in Sri Lanka. Near the Chinese border.Recommend

  • Parvez

    ” rings true ” ……ouch !….that hurt …. It is true, I was there :-)Recommend

  • Hamsid
  • Parvez

    I never got to experience the university atmosphere …. but my children especially my son says it was the best years he had and he now misses it.Recommend

  • Hamsid

    undergrad – best 4 years of my life irreplaceable and one does not realise it then only afterwards when practical life hitsRecommend