Friday, July 6, 2018

Gobi

That's it, just gobi. No gosht, no aalu, nothing. Another vegetable I dislike, but cooked anyway.

So, the next few posts will feature shitty pictures because I'm lazy and didn't bother taking nice ones.



Ingredients

Gobi (Cauliflower for you paindus)   1 whole gobi (chopped - apni ammi se cut puch lein)
Onion                                                1 medium (thinly sliced)
Ginger Garlic Paste                            1 tbsp
Salt                                                   ½ tsp
Red Chillies                                        1 tsp
Turmeric                                           ¼ tsp
Ginger                                               Julienne cut, for garnish
Green Chillies                                    3-4 (sliced)
Fresh Coriander                                  For garnish

Method

Fry the onion till it's golden. Golden - not brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and let it fry for 2 mins. Add the salt, red chilli and turmeric. After a minute, add the gobi. Mom tells me water ruins the taste, so add as little as possible - only enough to help it cook. Like say, half a cup. Cover and cook on low flame. This cooks super quick, so you can't just go sit and forget about it. Make sure you don't overcook it, just stand there staring at it.

Once it's done, add the garnish and voila, now you know how to make every single desi sabzi. You're welcome.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chicken Ginger

Let me start by saying I really, truly hate ginger. I hate the taste, I hate the texture, I hate the flavor.

And yet, I love this chicken recipe. There's something about this combo that makes me not throw up. That's the best thing I can say wherever ginger is involved, trust me.



Ingredients

Chicken                           ½ kg (boneless, cubed)
Ginger                             1 big piece (julienne cut)
Salt                                  ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder            1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste         2 tbsp
Green Chillies                 4-6 (finely chopped)
Tomatoes                         4 (blended or thinly sliced)
Yogurt                             ½ cup
Coriander                        For garnish
Lemon                            For garnish
Oil                                   4-6 tbsp


Method

In a deep pan, heat the oil and fry the ginger garlic paste for 2 or 3 minutes. Once it starts turning golden, add the cubed chicken and half of the ginger (save the rest for garnish). Add the red chilli powder and half of the green chillies.

Once the chicken starts to coagulate (turn white), add the yogurt and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium flame until done. Add the salt - I always add salt at the end because I've noticed the chicken seems to toughen up if you add salt in the beginning. If you feel the gravy is a bit much, take off the lid and turn the heat up to high for 5-7 mins. Chicken really doesn't need long to cook, so make sure you don't overdo it.

Just before serving, garnish with the leftover ginger, green chillies, and some lemon and coriander. Zabardast asaan tareen khana tayyar.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Egg Salad Sandwiches

I love deep fried snacks but I realize I'm shaving 30 years off my life every time Ramazan rolls around, so sandwiches are the next best iftaar. I love sandwiches too.


Ingredients

Eggs                  3-4 (boiled)
White onion      1 (small, finely chopped)
Iceberg lettuce  ½ (finely chopped/ julienne cut)
Gherkin            ½ (finely chopped)
Salt                   to taste
Black pepper    ½ tsp
Mustard            1-2 tbsp 
Butter               1 tsp
Mayonnaise     1-2 tbsp
Sriracha           2-3 tbsp
Vinegar            1-2 tbsp
Dill/ other herbs for flavoring
Bread

Method

There's no method to this madness: chop your veggies and herbs, mash your eggs, mix everything together with the sauces and spices. Spread it on bread and you done, son. 

So, here's the thing: I like a lot of mustard, sriracha, vinegar and gherkin. The quantities written up there are only for basic estimation, please add more if you like these things as much as I do. 

Super Crispy Pakoray

My family was very into taking a smol vacation every year - and in 1998, that meant a trip to Murree/ Bhurban. Every year, without fail, we'd head up to the mountains in June/July because summer vacation.

The point of that useless little tidbit was: we'd get pakoray along the way, somewhere very close to Murree. I remember we'd stop at this shady road in the middle of nowhere where all you could see was 2 pakora stands and that's it. There was so much fog everywhere, you could only see your hand in front of your face and vague outlines of the mountains - and places you could possibly fall off from and die.



Anyway, those pakoray made my soul happy. Super hot, super spicy and SO, SO CRISPY they were amazing. Huddled around the car with those insanely good pakoray, garam chai, shivering in the cold is still one of my favorite memories.

I can't recreate those exactly, but these come very close to achieving that level of extra crisp.

Ingredients

Veggies

Potatoes  3 (medium, julienne cut)
Onions   2-3 (medium, julienne cut)
Green chillies 3 (finely chopped)

Batter

Chickpea flour (besan) 1½ cup
Salt  ½ tsp
Red Chili 1 tsp
Cumin Powder ½ tsp
Coriander Powder ½ tsp
Chat Masala (optional) a pinch

Method

Google julienne cut if you haven't practiced/ seen it done before. This is very very important to getting that crispy crunch, otherwise your pakoras are going to be soggy and fat. Nobody likes that. Make sure your veggies are cut super thin, okay? Okay. Now, set them aside. You won't need them for a while.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and spices. Please adjust the quantity according to your taste; I never measure these so I'm doing a lot of guesswork here. Once mixed, start adding water little by little - be very careful, you don't want to make it runny or thin. The batter should be thick and gluggy because once you add the veggies, it'll get very thin very quick. So if you add only enough water to turn it into batter - but batter that's difficult to mix - you're good to go. Don't add veggies immediately!

In a karahi or a deep pan, whichever you prefer for deep frying, add oil/ghee for deep frying and leave the flame on medium to high. Drop a tiny piece of batter in and if it starts cooking, your oil is hot enough. I may sound condescending here, but please understand the level of stupidity I've had to witness in the kitchen thanks to friends and family unable to cook (checking oil temperature by dipping a finger in and then screaming. I mean...).

ONLY add the veggies if you want to fry and serve your pakoras immediately otherwise they won't be crisp if the batter is too runny - I can't stress this enough. Mix the potatoes and onion in the batter and start dropping it in your pan. Make sure the flame isn't too low or too high, otherwise they'll turn soft. Or burn. Neither of which is good.

Wow, this post just got super complicated.

Okay, once you're done frying, just take them out after draining them properly and serve with podinay ki chutney or green chilli chutney - both are awesome. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mocha Cheesecake


This was my first ever cheesecake, and I was prepared for a disaster of epic proportions. Especially since it's baked and more importantly, because of my history with baking desserts. Let me give you a hint: I suck. I've managed to blow up, melt, bubble up, reduce to lava and stick a single cake all in one go. I know, it takes talent.

Recipe adapted from The Gold Lining Girl.

So anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot and see what happened. It turned out... pretty great. I messed up the recipe a bit, overcalculated some things but I'm hoping I've finalized this enough to make it easy for you guys. To test whether this was a delusion or reality, I made my dad taste the cake. He loved it (and was utterly shocked that I'd managed to bake something that wasn't poison, lol) - so it's safe to make. And eat. Okay, to the recipe.

Ingredients

For the crust

Wheatable Biscuits                    2 packs (about 6 oz.)
Butter (melted)                          4 tbsp

For the cheesecake

Cream cheese                            1½ cup
Sugar                                         1 cup
Eggs                                          2 (small)
Coffee                                       4 tbsp instant coffee in half a cup of water
Dark/milk chocolate                 1 medium bar (4 - 6 oz.)

For the ganache

Milk chocolate                          4 oz.
Semi sweet chocolate chips      4 oz.
Cream                                       1/3 cup
Butter                                        3 tbsp

Method

Preheat oven to 325 F or 162 C. Take a 9 inch springform pan and line it with wax paper, making sure it's covered and greased properly. Grease the wax paper also.

In a food processor, crush the biscuits into a fine powder. Take out in a bowl and mix in the melted butter. Once mixed thoroughly, press into the bottom of the springform pan with a glass or cup that's flat on the bottom for an even spreading of the crumbs. Set aside.

In another bowl, add the cream cheese and using an electric beater, add the sugar slowly until it dissolves completely. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they're mixed well after adding each one. Add the coffee mixture (you can make it stronger if you like). Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 second bursts, then drizzle into the cheesecake mixture.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 - 70 minutes; the baking time varies according to the oven you use and the consistency of your batter. My cake took about 40 minutes, while the original recipe calls for 70 minutes. Regardless, you should only take out your cake if you see it crusting golden on the sides, but still soft and jiggly in the middle. Once it's done, set aside to cool.

Make the ganache by heating the chocolate in the microwave (again in 20 sec bursts) then add the rest of the ingredients. Once smooth, pour ganache over the cheesecake and set in fridge to cool. I added some extra coffee to my ganache, so it's up to you however much coffee flavor you like.

I feel like I'm missing something, but can't figure out what. If you screw up, let me know and maybe then I'll have an AH-HA! moment. Until then, good luck!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Daal Masoor (Yellow Lentils)

Easiest meal ever. Takes only 30 to 40 mins to complete, tastes great, extremely simply recipe.


Ingredients

Daal                      1 cup
Salt                       ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder    1 tsp
Mustard Powder     ½ tsp
Garlic                   10 - 14 cloves
Cumin Seeds          1 tsp
Oil/ Ghee             As needed

Method

Wash and clean the daal throughly, then leave to soak in hot water for 10-15 mins. In a deep pan, add about 2-3 glasses of water. Add the salt, chili, haldi and about 5-7 cloves of garlic. Cover and wait for the water to boil. Once it starts to bubble, add 1 tbsp ghee, stir once to make sure it dissolves and add daal. Stir daal through the spiced water, lower the flame, cover and set to cook. Stir occasionally, make sure it doesn't stick together or overcook. 

If it's too watery, leave on high flame for a few minutes, it should thicken in a bit. If it's too thick, add a little water or a little milk (more flavor, richer taste). It it burns, add milk and transfer to a new pot. The milk should hide the burnt taste. 

Once your daal has thickened to whichever consistency you prefer, prepare the tarka. Now, I use only garlic and cumin seeds but I've seen people add ginger, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander, etc. Use whatever you like.

In a pan, add some ghee/oil. Chop up the remaining garlic and add to the pan. Once it starts changing color, add the cumin. Make sure both are lightly toasted then pour on the daal (make sure it's still cooking, don't turn off the heat) and cover immediately. Leave to cook for 1-2 mins, stir and serve. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chinese Lemon Chicken

I already have a Lemon Chicken recipe up here, but that one's healthier and easier which obviously means it sucks.

I didn't have a recipe for this one, tried it by mixing a few different things. You'll probably have to adjust according to your own taste.

Ingredients

Marinade:

1                 Chicken breast (cubed)
¼ tsp          Salt
1 tsp           Black pepper
¼ tsp          Rosemary
3 tbsp         Cornflour
Of 1 lemon Lemon juice
Of 1 lemon Lemon zest

Lemon Chili Sauce:

3 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 tbsp     Soya sauce
4 tbsp     Sriracha
2 tbsp     Chili sauce
Lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
Lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
1½ cup   Chicken stock
½ tsp      Salt
½ tsp      Pepper
1 tbsp     Honey
2-3 tbsp  Brown sugar
½ cup     Cornflour slurry 
2             Onions (cubed)

Method:

Mix the marinade and make sure to coat the chicken evenly. Set aside for 15-20 mins. Sauté garlic in some olive oil or butter, whichever. Add the chicken stock, the sauces and seasoning - let it simmer on low heat until it starts reducing.


In a deep pan, add oil to deep fry the chicken. Don't gasp in horror at the unhealthiness, just do it. Once the chicken is golden brown, set aside to drain. 


Add cornflour slurry to the lemon chili sauce - make sure it's boiling - and mix until thick. Add chicken and onions, coat well. Serve with garlic rice, or if you want to go really crazy: lemon rice. Add lemon juice to the rice while boiling, zest while stir frying and voila.