Stories about fish

Can the real American desi please stand up?

While Pakistani-Americans receive some notice in news because of their professional and social achievements, there are several amusing habits of desis which are hardly ever explored in the media. Noted writers like Kumail Nanjiani, Ayad Akthar and Mohsin Hamid have portrayed Pakistanis in America close to reality, but have missed some interesting facts about them. After living in the US for over a decade, I have observed several habits of American desis which distinguish us from other members of society. Mentioning them is not an attempt to stereotype all Pakistani Americans; it is, in a humorous way, my take on my ...

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“So, what’s Pakistan like?”

The old man had the most startling blue eyes, the kind that glittered in a wizard-like way. He was a contractual worker fixing some room in the building where I work, and I met him in the kitchen over my morning coffee. He asked where I’m from and widened his eyes. He didn’t comment on how good my English is, but how American my accent is (which I take no offence or pride in – it’s not the two years of Master’s in St Louis but all those American movies and TV shows I watch). And then he asked me ...

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Hara masala machchi: Devouring fish, the Parsi style!

I adore hara masala (green masala), as you might have noticed from a few of my earlier recipes. In this recipe, the marriage of green chilli, coriander and mint is sublime. The leafy pungency of the coriander, the sharp fragrance of the mint, coupled with the grassy heat from the green chilli, brings out the aquatic essence of the hake or haddock (use only a chunky, meaty white fish), together with the addition of coconut, which adds exotic nuttiness, and this will give you a match made in heaven. This recipe was passed on to my mother by a Parsi friend at university where my mother ...

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Karachi Burns Road: The Holy Grail for foodies

The waiter picked up my Naan. He saw my quizzical expression and said, “It’s not hot anymore. I am getting you a fresh one.” Then he comes back and asks in a solicitous whisper if I am enjoying myself. With such courtliness, how could I not? This Michelin star service was not at an exorbitantly priced restaurant. No, the setting of this delightful exchange was Waheed Nihari at Karachi’s Burns Road a.k.a. food paradise. Ernest Hemingway called Paris a moveable feast – in the same vein, Karachi is an immovable feast and Burns Road the location. The food capital of Pakistan is reputed to be Lahore. I beg to differ. Lahore ...

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Seafood cravings: Lemon drizzled grilled fish steak, served with lightly spiced jumbo prawns on pesto fettuccine

Grilling is one of those techniques of cooking that preserve the nutrition, is quick and brings out food that is visually pleasant and tastes superb. This method seals the juices and flavours of the meat inside, leaving it flaky and crispy with mouth-watering grill marks on the outside but juicy and moist on the inside. A stove top griller is the best thing that happened to me. Since I cook a limited quantity of meals, the one made by Prestige is good enough to cook a grilled meal for four. During the winter chill, inviting your friends for an outdoor grilled meal ...

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You have fish but they keep dying? Here are 5 tricks to make sure your fish have longer lives!

People, who are passionate about keeping fish as pets lose heart in the hobby, as fish get infections easily or die unexpectedly. Many times, this happens because the aquarium is not well maintained. So an unclean aquarium leads to an unhappy fish, or sometimes dead ones. Fish keeping is like taking care of children; one needs to give them love and care, and be patient with them. Here are a few economical and easy fish keeping tips for all fish lovers out there: 1. Get an aquarium The first dilemma faced by fish keepers is the choice between a fish bowl and ...

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Crispy, tangy and delicious: Baked Red snapper with tamarind sauce

The sheer joy of eating fish without prejudice against summer months or any imaginary effects on skin tone has been an important part of my childhood, and I hope to pass this tradition on to my children. I especially love Red snapper and Sea bass and would like to share a tried and tested recipe, which has been much loved and in demand at my house for the last five years. Although fish-and-chips remain an old favourite (and will always save the day when my nerves are wrecked and I run out of food stocked in my freezer) but as ...

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One pound fish to million pound hit!

An artist by nature and a talent in the making – the story of Muhammad Nazir is truly awe-inspiring. By means of introduction, Nazir was a student and a part time fishmonger based in the UK. Originally from Pattoki (a small town near Lahore), Nazir migrated to the UK in hopes of a brighter future, and boy, was he in for a surprise! He possessed a unique, charming style of selling his product; he sang to the ladies. A marketing expert, Nazir insisted that if he was able to get the ladies to buy his product, the males would follow their lead. Surprisingly, ...

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Olivetto: Two thumbs up for classic European cuisine

Located right next to the Russian Consulate, Karachi in a relatively peaceful neighborhood is a uniquely pleasant eatery called Olivetto. It offers authentic Italian and French cuisine made to perfection and complemented by equally delicious side orders. Tucked away from the city traffic, the restaurant is divided into two main areas – the main restaurant which can house around 50 people and an attached coffee lounge with a seating capacity of around 25. There’s a separate function hall in the basement which is reserved for ceremonies. The exterior of this aesthetically built restaurant speaks volumes for the kind of hospitality we should be ...

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Guess who’s coming to dinner

If you are dragged feet first to a dinner your intuition is warning you against, what are the chances of it actually turning out to be a fun evening? Zilch. Especially if you’re coaxed to go not because of your scintillating company, but just to make up the numbers. One lone Pakistani woman at a restaurant table in a Pakistani joint should be chaperoned by another female desi, especially with the other diners being men. In case you’re thinking that these men must be in the league of Brad Pitt/Johnny Depp or even Ali Zafar, please disabuse yourself of that delicious notion. ...

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