Saturday, November 26, 2011

fried onions = luv

I was hungry today (as normal people are around their mealtimes) and I wanted to have something with rice and fried onions in it. Also, yogurt, but we were all out.

Here's what I came up with:

Sliced sweet peppers, mushrooms and peas sauteed and seasoned with salt, red chili powder and garlic/ginger paste over white rice, topped with crispy fried onions. And a twirly of organic ketchup.
Hey, I like ketchup with my rice, okay? Judge me, NOW!

In other news, I got me a Bobble bottle, the one that filters the water as it's on the way out of the bottle and into your mouth. It's cool, but it's slow, so I'm not a huge fan. It will take some getting used to.

In more news, I was introduced to this awesome blog by the lovely Afia Aslam, who's been nominated for Best Diarist for the Pakistan Blog Awards. Do visit her blog and vote for her here!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eid Mubarak!

Yah, I know. So much more NaBloPoMo. Meh.

Anyway, it was Eid yesterday. Missed everything about Eid in Pakistan, from chaand raat mehndi parties to my dad's famous kaleji-cooking. I did quite a bit of cooking myself - I cooked a whole lot of goat meat - made tala huwa gosht, and about 10 lbs of tomatoes got turned into tamatar ki chutney. Also made some dum ka kheema. There was some other good stuff on the menu too, some shrimp my mother-in-law made, and mirchon ka saalan, that her mother made.

Little baby wore a pretty shalwar-kameez that my sister sent from Pakistan, too cute. I'm so glad they make clothes that little. It even has a dupatta!

On the whole, Eid was a pretty tiring affair. I'm not going to go into details because it'll just get boring, but we had a lot of people come over, all day long, and besides the exhaustion, I think everybody had a good time Alhamdulillah.

Here's the tala huwa gosht I made, with rice and tamatar ki chutney too:


Friday, November 4, 2011


Most of the time, I'm just a lazy bum in the morning and only have breakfast because one should have breakfast, and so I end up having cereal. But sometimes I'm actually in the mood to eat, and when I want to have breakfast, I want a yummy, fun breakfast.

Today I made what I call anda-roti. Apologies to anybody who has ever named anything anda-roti before, but I just stole your name and made it mine. Nothing official, I promise.

I like sliced garlic in my omelets. It just feels really healthy for some reason. Garlic is supposed to be good for colds and such, and since I've been getting those repeatedly, I feel better when I have sliced garlic in my egg. It might just be psychological, who knows.

I sauteed some sliced garlic, chopped green chillies and mushrooms in a tiny bit of oil. While that went on, I beat the egg with salt and red chili powder, and then poured it into the pan. Sometimes I get really enthusiastic about it and throw in lots of things, from mini sweet peppers to tomatoes, onions, olives and ginger, but today I just stuck with the olives. I like to turn the heat to medium and cover the pan, so the egg gets nicely cooked through without me having to turn it over.

So at some point, once I'd poured in the egg, I pulled out another pan and started heating up a roti on it. You know, one of those desi frozen paratha types. When it was done on one side, and the omelet was cooked, I broke up a slice of monterey jack cheese and sprinkled it on top of the egg, Placed the roti on top of the cheese, uncooked side up, and gently pressed it with the spatula till the cheese got melty and it roti was stuck to it. Finally, I flipped the whole thing over and let the roti cook on the other side. All done!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

parathas and lifeplans

I totally forgot about this today, Gah.
I actually studied today! Now I just have to post three times in the discussions in my class online, then move on to the next chapter. Problem is, I keep falling asleep whenever I try to study.

I didn't cook anything today, besides making myself a kabab roll paratha for breakfast, loaded with yummies: Labne, shami kabab, tomato, olives, green chilli and Monterey jack cheese. I could barely get the paratha to wrap itself around everything. How I ate it is a totally different story.

It was yum, Alhamdulillah.

I'm waiting for Black Friday sales to see if I can find a good deal on a DSLR Insha Allah. I've been saving up for it, so I hope I finally get to buy it! So exciting.

I'm just really sleepy right now.
I actually got out of bed to write this post.
Appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm going to write Tankas one day, and compile them into a book. Someday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

potayto, potahto.

I made Aloo ki Bhujia today and it's been polished off while I was out buying groceries. I don't think I've ever seen it last, when made using this recipe, for more than half a day.

The recipe is from my sister Khadija's cookbook, which is basically a compilation of all the recipes my mother concocted and collected over the years. My sister tried and tested each recipe, made the required adjustments, and typed everything up. That's a lot of hard work, if you think about it. It's an informal, within-the-family cookbook, but we all hope to see it published one day, Insha Allah.

Here goes the recipe:

2 big or 4 small potatoes, peeled, washed, cut up
¼ cup oil
¼ tsp rai/mustard seed
¼ tsp kalonji/blackseed
¼ tsp methi dana/fenugreek
1 tsp zeera/cumin seeds
6 whole dried red peppers
4 kari patta stalks/curry leaves on the stem
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp salt
½ cup water
1-2 green chilies

I used red potatoes for the bhujia. If you're preparing things beforehand, a good way to keep the potatoes from turning black once they've been cut is to keep them in a bowl of water till it's time to cook.

When you're ready to cook, heat the oil in a pan. Add the rai, kalonji, methi dana, cumin seeds, red peppers and 2 kari patta stalks. When the spices begin to turn reddish, add the potatoes and fry them for a few minutes.

Add the red chili powder and salt, along with chopped tomatoes and the remaining stalks of kari patta. Also add ½ cup water, for the potatoes to soften easily.

Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Check the potatoes regularly, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may turn the heat to low if the water starts to evaporate too soon, and the potatoes are still hard. Add more water if needed. When the potatoes are tender, let them cook uncovered till the water is dry. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and green chilies.

I like to pour in a teaspoon or so of lemon juice near the end, and I may have added the green chilies part to the recipe :) Other than that, I followed it accurately and am proud of myself for doing so. It's a fail-proof recipe, unless if you're bad at knowing when to stop softening the potatoes. I had that problem when I was younger. 
Like, a year ago. 
Don't laugh.

Anyway, try it out and let me know how it turns out! 
I had mine for lunch, with a really yummy whole wheat paratha:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Alright, let's just hope the Hyderabadi aunties don't come chasing after me with a beylan, because I made some sort of daal today and am insisting on calling it Khatti* Daal (Hyderabadi style lentils).

Reasons why it may not be considered authentic:
I used mixed daal.
I didn't think about making it khatti daal until it was halfway done. That's when I added the tomato :)
I didn't put sliced garlic in the bhagaar**
I made up my own recipe.

Reasons why I call it Khatti Daal:
I put imli/tamarind in it.
I put lemon juice in it.
It's khatti.

I admit it, I've never made Khatti Daal and have never been taught how to make it. I just always thought it was a tedious job. It really isn't. All you do is cook the daal with salt to taste, a bunch of masaley/spices (red chili powder, coriander powder, garlic and ginger paste), chopped green chilies and diced tomato, until it's nice and mushy and smooth (I used a whisk to get it all blended), then you add the tamarind juice (soak a few imli pods in a cup of hot water, and squeeze everything out of it, strain water it into the daal), lemon juice and then bhagaar with zeera/cumin, whole dried red chilies and supposedly sliced garlic. Gah. Oh oh also curry leaves!

I believe the most common daal used for Khatti Daal is Masoor (red lentils), but I may be wrong. I used this mixed daal I bought from the Indian store, which is a combination of masoor, mung, chana (split chickpeas), toor (yellow pigeon peas) and mash/urud (black gram). It turned out good, and was great over white rice.

I just love me some fresh cooked daal-chaawal (lentils with rice):

Make some Daal, boys; even if you don't wanna call it Khatti, it's still going to taste yummey.
Don't forget the cilantro!

*khatti : sour, tart
**bhagaar : frying spices in a few tablespoons of oil till reddish, then pouring the oil and spices over the cooked dish, in this case, daal. Cover for a few minutes, and serve hot.