Stories about recipe

Life without a cellphone is…normal

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. It’s like something in missing in your life, like some tragedy befell upon you. I have gone through such a tragedy, and I’ve been the same. Five days ago, after receiving a phone call, I saw that my phone’s battery was almost dead. That’s normal, right? Well, I rummaged around my room to find the charger. My eyes remained settled on the screen as I connected my charger to the tiny slot, waiting for the light come back and see my phone grin with life again. However, that didn’t ...

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No Pakistani can ever resist some palak paneer

I was in Pakistan for a few weeks to attend a sibling’s wedding. However, the trip turned out to be longer than expected because of the political situation in the twin cities that led to the cancellation and rescheduling of the wedding a few times. Because of this, many invitees were unable to attend the events. The happy affair turned into a stressful one as the two families tried to get through the logistical nightmare that blockages and the long march had created between Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The mehendi was cancelled, the wedding reception was organised at a four-hour ...

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Welcoming Autumn with tamarind lamb cutlets and a spicy chickpea chat salad

Chickpeas with spice, herbs and lemon are a street snack in Pakistan called chat, with bursts of chat masala, made up of piquant black salt, dried mango powder, cumin, coriander seeds and black pepper; it’s a salivating heady mixture that entices all the senses. Topped with lashings of sour tamarind chutney and coriander mint chutney, these are tantalising combinations that speak of a flavour of Pakistan. This salad of mine combines many attributes of my homeland, barbecue lamb is quintessentially Pakistani and I have combined it with an easy chickpea salad based on chat on the streets of Pakistan. I also combine some ...

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A toast to friendship with a Kit Kat – Pina Colada pudding

“Pyar dosti hai … agar woh meri sab se achi dost nahin ban sakti, tou main uss se kabhi pyar kar hi nahi sakta … Kyun ki dosti bina tou pyar hota hi nahin… simple, pyar dosti hai” (Love is friendship. If she can’t become my best friend, then I can’t ever possibly love her. Because love cannot exist without friendship. It’s simple; love is friendship.) That was King Khan’s reply to his skimpily dressed literature teacher, Ms Briganza, in the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. “Yeh keh kar Khan Sahib to chal diye aur siyaapa duniya bhar mein daal diya.”  (After saying this, Khan Sahib went his ...

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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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Soufflé, the mango-licious way!

Mangoes, especially the luscious Chaunsa, evoke happy memories of sultry summer evenings with my late father when a mango mania of sorts would prevail over our home. A connoisseur of fine food, he would narrate numerous stories of the famous 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib’s love for mangoes as part of the ritual of devouring them. It is well-known that Ghalib’s love for mangoes took precedence over his love for poetry and this oft repeated anecdote about a donkey is my favourite; a close friend of Ghalib’s, who saw a donkey sniffing and then turning away from a heap ...

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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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Hello Ramazan, hello Dahi Bhallay!

Sweltering summers and food-less Ramazans are a rather challenging, patience-testing combination. But not once does it falter the resolve of a believer when it comes to fasting. For people who fast, away from home and, in non-Muslim countries, things are even tougher. The work hours don’t change, meaning even when your energy levels are dwindling and your eyes are droopy due to sleep deprivation, you still need to keep on marching. This also means that the expatriate families hardly have time to prepare the elaborate iftar, which we are accustomed to in Pakistan or any other Muslim country. I personally enjoy a ...

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Summer mocktails and a juicy Ramazan

The blazing heat of the June sun is slowly giving way to the sweltering, scorching July summer wave, as always. However, this year, July is host to the holy month of Ramazan as well. Along with the piety and prayers, Ramazan heralds the beginning of sumptuous iftars and sleepy sehris. But this time, there will be an added twist. With the power supply playing its agonising game of hide and seek, looming visions of extremely thirsty summer afternoons coming ahead have taken over our minds. Reprieve from this can come only in the form of cooling, sweat-beating summer drinks that are easy to prepare but ...

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Ditch the bakery stuff and make your own healthy jam filled bran muffins

Even though baked goods are notorious for being laden with sugars and fats, we crave them and indulge in them quite often. Our children love them and thoroughly enjoy them too. However, when these treats are baked at home, it gives us the liberty to control the ingredients and portion sizes. And what can be healthier than wheat bran? It is an excellent source of dietary fibre that aids in preventing colon diseases, including stomach cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, haemorrhoids and hiatal hernia. It is also used for treating constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type-two ...

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