Stories about lunch

Bored of the same ol’ bbq? Spice up your Eidul Azha with these mouth-watering yet easy recipes

Eidul Azha, more commonly known as Bakra Eid in Pakistan, is that time of the year when Muslims sacrifice cattle in the remembrance of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). But alas, the majority of the population here is either immersed in a statement marathon or avails this festival as a money-making opportunity. A growing trend has emerged nowadays, where people prefer to buy their animals a couple of days before Eid to avoid the costs and efforts required for maintenance of the animals. That doesn’t feel like it is in the Eid spirit. However, there is still a glimmer of hope. A few months ...

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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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Honey sesame chicken with boiled rice, better than any Chinese restaurant can offer!

This honey sesame chicken with boiled rice is so amazing, in part because it is relatively easy and quick to whip up in the kitchen for lunch or dinner. Perhaps one of the easiest main courses to cook up and easily concocted in less than 30 minutes. Just think, you can prepare and be eating this chicken in less time than you can order takeout from your favourite Chinese restaurant. Ingredients For chicken: Chicken breast – 500 g (skin removed and cut into small pieces) Olive Oil – ¼ cup Milk – 2 tbsp Egg white – 1 Flour – ½ cup Salt – a pinch Black pepper – ½ to 1 tsp Spring Onion ...

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My massive love affair with these mini quiches

When I was hosting some friends over for an afternoon tea, I had already thought of having scones and a chocolate tart. I needed one more dish! Growing up, it was always important to make sure that there was enough food to feed all your guests and more; always more, than less. Since it wasn’t a lunch or dinner, I wanted to have little bits that people could pick on while hanging out. Dips, chips and all of that is the easy part. I needed something else that I could make over the weekend and freeze easily since I would have had to make ...

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Baingan ka bharta: Baba ghanoush with a Pakistani twist

In Pakistan, baingan (aubergines) are available only during peak summer season. Perhaps that’s why whenever summers are here, I immediately think of the nice old baingan. The Urdu word bharta means mashed. Essentially, roasted aubergines are mashed and spiced in this recipe. It can be served at lunch with hot chappatis and salty lassi, which would automatically put you in a siesta. The long summer days along with the intense heat in Pakistan makes one lazy and sleepy after lunch. The only thing needed then is a dark corner in an air-conditioned room. Ammi (mother) would slowly char the round purple aubergines on her gas stove over open flame. The whole house would smell of it. I, however, roast the aubergines ...

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My secret admirer

The doorbell rang. It was 2pm and I was preparing food for lunch. It was almost time for my 15-year-old son, Omar, to come back from school. Wiping away sweat from my forehead with my left sleeve, I rushed towards the entrance. But there was nobody there; just a small package tied with a red ribbon-flower. I was shocked for a second. It wasn’t any special occasion that I could recall neither was it anyone’s birthday at home or any sort of anniversary. I picked it up. It had my name written on it but the box had no name of ...

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Shocking, funny and likeable experiences of Pakistan

My friends and family were concerned about my health when I told them that I would be fasting during Ramazan, but my Pakistani friends all assured me that I would go back home “fatter than ever”. Food coma The tables are set up and the feast includes biryani, samosas, pakoras, jalebi, gulab jamun, naan, paratha, daal, chicken, yoghurt, dates and much more. It is a spread fit for a king and we all stand around looking at the food, then our watches, waiting for the clock to tick over to iftar time with our mouths salivating. The call to prayer is heard and ...

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What’s an Eid feast without some Nargasi Koftas?

Ramazan is finally over! And here we are celebrating Eidul Fitr in the Far East on Monday. Fasting during the peak summer is a real test of one’s faith and endurance. My inquisitive non-Muslim friends often ask me how we, Muslims, survive the long testing hours of fasting without food and water in soaring temperatures. I am not sure they believe me when I tell them that it’s a mix of practice and unconditional faith that makes us get through the tough days of fasting and sleep deprivation. It’s that time of the year when we feast (read: over eat). Eid menus ...

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An ‘Hummazing’ way to eat right in Ramazan

Chop the veggies, whip up gram flour with seasoning, make a paste with water, dip the veggies and fry! Fasting and pakoras are insanely intertwined. Roadside vendors, kiosks, and general stores – all have flaming hot oil pans, centered neatly on busy roads, frying away these crunchy, deep mustard, vegetable fritter devils. Admittedly, they are best eaten after a hot day of fasting, right after gobbling up a mushy sweet date and right before sipping a deep red cold drink. The scrunch, the spice and the saltiness are all addictive. But I protest against this addiction. And this alluded me to think ...

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Broccoli cheese cups: Looks like a cupcake, tastes divine and the kids love it too!

“I know you’re 37…” beamed my daughters’ (very suave) teacher when I went to her school the other day.  At a recent blood donation camp at my daughters’ school, all the students were briefed on the importance of donating blood, who all can and should donate. When told that the minimum age for donating blood was 18, my seven-year-old very confidently volunteered, “Oh my mother can donate blood (perhaps twice) she is 37”. At home, she insisted her dad volunteers too, since it was taken for granted that Mum would be going. However, when she saw blood draining (pun intended) from her father’s ...

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