Stories about recipe

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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Addiction alert! This basbousa will give you a gastronomical orgasm

During my last winter break, I found the ultimate gratification for my sweet tooth cravings in Bahrain. It was an accidental discovery soon to develop into a love affair. I had stumbled on a yellow, crumbly cake hiding in my aunt’s kitchen. This was a cake not witnessed by me before as it defied my prior experiences with cakes. I knew it was cake because of its smell but it hadn’t risen –  which is not a compliment for cakes. It was a crumbly scone-resembling cake drenched in sticky syrup. It reminded me of the local Arabian Mahal-e-halwa. Curious, I convinced my ...

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These delicious mini Oreo cheesecakes are magical: They disappear within seconds!

If you’re good friends with me, you would know my mini cheesecakes are extremely popular. I do not mean to boast or anything but it’s true. Whenever I bake them, they disappear within seconds. Okay, usually it’s me who eats half of them in one go, but you get the picture. So it struck me as odd when someone pointed out that I didn’t have a mini cheesecakes recipe on my blog, considering the countless times I have baked them. While this is not my standard mini cheesecake recipe with raspberry coulis, it is still quite good and much easier. ...

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A chocolatey affair with this decadent gateau au chocolat – it demands to be loved

Get ready for the ultimate chocolate affair with this decadent gateau au chocolat; it demands to be loved. When it comes to a showdown of desserts, no matter how fancy a dessert may be, it can never beat a basic chocolate cake. No matter how stressed you are, chocolate cake will always have your back, because ‘stressed’ when spelled backward is ‘desserts’. I have been doing tricky recipes over the past few weeks, hence this time around, I decided to stick to my childhood sweetheart – chocolate cake. I was never a fan of baking, up until last year. Since then, I feel the easiest ...

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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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Rose sugar crème brulee with an eastern infusion

Roses remind me of summers in my grandmother’s intoxicating garden. As the sun sets, the sultry Karachi air shifts to a humid cool sea breeze, bringing with it the scent of her lovingly tended blossoms of motia (jasmine), roses, hibiscus, petunia and bougainvillea. As I made my way from the connecting door between my home and hers, her garden beckoned with captivating floral scents. As I strolled through while picking a few blossoms, it was the wafts of cardamom, milk and rice pudding from her kitchen that would make me find my way to her doorstep. I have a soft spot for Pakistani desserts; their combination of sweet ...

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Remembering Muzaffarabad with this divine Kashmiri chicken curry

During the long summer school holidays in Pakistan, as we roamed around the beautiful northern areas of Pakistan for summer vacations, Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan’s side of Kashmir, would be one of the stops. There weren’t that many hotels in that area back then so the government guest houses were the place to stay on such trips. Regardless of which part of northern areas one went to, the government guest houses would have one thing in common – a Kashmiri cook or khansama as they call them in Pakistan. Those trips were the reason for my delicious encounters with Kashmiri chicken ...

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The decadent and royal Shahi Tukra with a flavourful twist

Bread pudding is one of the most frugal yet comforting and heart-warming desserts ever created. Though most people choose simplicity with their addition of spice, it should be known that those creamy oozing layers of custard can do with and compliment any spice in the cabinet. Here I have used traditional saffron and cardamom. In my home in Pakistan, my nani (maternal grandmother) used to make Shahi Tukre every Sunday for lunch amongst the biryani and accompaniments. Even though it’s a heavy dessert, there are ways to make it more suitably lower in calories – use skimmed milk and less sugar – though ...

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A trio of daals: The rich and true taste of aromatic comfort

I could go on about my saviour, the simple daal. It is the ultimate non-stodgy comfort food that I reach out to each time I feel blue or homesick. I look back at the moments in my life where I sought out this humble bowlful of loving care and I don’t quite recall why I needed it. I just know that I felt better with the first mouthful. Possibly because nothing compares to the places this simple flavour and texture take me – one reminiscent of home, safety and smiles of loved ones. My clearest, most revisited memory would be ...

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Deliciously healthy spinach soup

Spinach is considered the world’s healthiest food, and I am proud of having some part of my kitchen garden growing fresh spinach for most part of the year. Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. The benefits of spinach are endless; it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, helps fight against cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and helps our immune system and brain functions. Photo: Farah S Kamal Ingredients:  Spinach leaves – 350 grams (fresh, chopped, washed stems and removed) Chicken stock ...

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