Thursday 22 February 2024

Namak Karahi

When it comes to karahi, you will find a gazillion recipes from Shinwari to Pahari, but this is the one which probably started it all in my opinion.  Simplicity at its finest. Not a long list of ingredients yet bursting with flavour. Use any protein of your choice , I have used lamb. 
Karahi is basically iron wok in which this delicacy is cooked. There are many reasons to use a wok for this quick cooking dish. A wok can handle high heat and its broad surface helps in evaporating liquids faster which helps the caramalization of the masala resulting in deep red delicious gravy to scoop with your naan or roti. 
When I say simplicity,  I mean it as this dish needs only a handful of ingredients with delicious results. 
If you are using chicken, ask your butcher to cut in karahi pcs that is usually 18-20 pcs per chicken. If using lamb, ideally use a mix of leg, shoulder and ribs for optimum flavor, ribs bring lusciousness to the gravy. In this one I used a pound of shoulder,  a pound of leg and few pcs from ribs. For beef use shoulder cut or ribs.


Lamb 1 kg cut in 1.5-2 inch cubes (bone in)
Tomatoes 6 large, cut in half
Garlic chopped 4 tbsp
Ghee 1 cup
Thai chillies 8-10 or to taste split in half
Salt 2 tsp or to taste


Cilantro a handful 
Ginger 2 inch pc julienne cut
Serrano or Thai chili sliced thinly to taste
Garam masala a couple of pinches ( optional)


1. Heat ghee in karahi , add salt anfollowed by washed a dried meat. 2. Fry on high till edges are nice golden color.
3. Lower the heat and put the tomatoes in. Cover and cook for five minutes or till the tomato skin ruptures and slides off easily. 
4. Remove the lid, increase the heat. Remove tomato skin and mash them with the back of the spoon.
5. Add garlic and green chillies  and fry or as we call it bhunofy till you can see the masala turning from reddish to maroon color while stirring continuously. This may take 10 mins or so. 
6. Add a cup or so of hot water and cover the lid. Lower the heat at this stage. Depending on the quality of meat it may take 25-40 or so mins to tenderize the meat. Keep checking if you need to add more water during this cooking time. 
7. Once meat is tender, cook till you get desired consistency of masala, it shudnot be soupy rather sticking to the meat.
8. Add garnishes and serve with fresh naan or tandoori roti.

If you are using chicken its ready after step number 5,  garnish and serve. 
You can cook it in lamb fat or oil of your choice, traditionally lamb fat is used. 

Thursday 3 February 2022

Chocolate Banana Loaf


Dry Ingredients 

All purpose flour 6 cups
Cocoa powder 1 cup
Baking powder 6 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1 tbsp
Cinnamon powder 1 tbsp
Instant coffee 1 tbsp

Wet Ingredients 

Sugar  2 cups
Oil 1 cup
Butter 1 cup at room temperature 
Milk 1/2 cup
Thick yogurt  1/2 cup
Eggs 6
Mashed bananas 7 heaped cups


Walnuts 1 cup
Skor bits 1 cup
Chocolate chip 1 cup
Pecans 1 cup

You can mix all these and then divide into four portions for each loaf or just use one topping per loaf.


Preheat your oven at 350 f.
Butter and line 4 loaf pans. 
Sift all dry ingredients well.
Mix wet ingredients till it looks homogeneous. 
Pour dry ingredients over wet and mix using a spatula.
Divide the batter into loaf pans.  
Spread the toppings on the batter.
Bake for 45-50 mins on middle rack. To test the doneness,  insert a toothpick in the loaf. If it comes out dry and clean, your loaf is done.
Let rest in the pan for 20 mins then slide onto a baking rack using the parchment lining to cool down.

Do not cut immediately.  Let it sit for another 30 mins before slicing or it will crumble.

Once cool to touch , you can wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of months. Thaw on the counter for a couple of hrs before serving.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Lemon Tea Loaf

We love pound cake way more than ice cakes in this household and if it is citrus of any sort, I am in heaven. This is melt in your mouth velvety cake, I am sure it will make you fall in love with lemon. You can use lime or orange if you desire.


Flour 3 cups
Oil 1 cup
Butter 2/3 cup
Sugar 2 cups
Salt 2/3 tsp
Eggs 3
Milk 1.5 cup
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Vanilla 1 tsp
Lemon zest 2 tbsp
Baking powder 1.5 tsp


Preheat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius.
Beat oil,  butter and sugar till nice and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time. And beat well
 Everything should look like whipped frosting.
Add vanilla.
Mix lemon juice, milk and lemon zest. Let sit for 5 mins. It will look like split milk but that's how you want it. Whisk it and it's ready to use.
Sift baking powder, salt and flour.
Now add half flour mixture and use a spatula to mix followed by half of the liquid mix. Repeat till everything is well incorporated. 
Butter and line two loaf pans. 
Divide mixture between the two. Transfer to the middle rack and bake for 50-55 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Sunday 3 January 2021

Jhat Pat Chicken Biryani

Biryani is queen of any rice and meat dish.  It's a favorite at my dinner table and must on our weekend menu. This is a quick Biryani which will be ready in a jiffy as compared to long , complicated version but equally delicious  and full of flavors. I will write recipe in two steps i.e. meat preparation, rice preparation. 

Meat Ingredients 

Chicken 1 cut into 14-16 pcs 2-3 lbs
Salt 1-1.5 tsp
Red Chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder  1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cloves 6
Bay leaf 1
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Green cardamom 5
Cinnamon stick 2 inch pc
Star anise 1 flower
Mace blade 1
Pepper corn 12 pcs
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Onion 2 thinly sliced 
Garlic paste 1 heaped tbsp
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Tomato 1 sliced 
Tomato paste 1 tsp
Oil 1/2 -1/3 cup
Green chilli 2-3 
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Dry plums 6 pcs
Coriander leaves a handful
Mint leaves a handful
Egg yellow food color 1/8 tsp optional 


Put oil and onion in a pan and turn the heat on medium. Stir every two mins till onions are golden. Take out on a paper towel and spread in a single layer to get them crispy. 
Add ginger and garlic paste to the oil and fry till its golden and aromatic.  Put the tomato paste and a little water and fry with ginger garlic paste. 
Put all the dry spices in at this stage and mix well before adding the chicken.  
Stir in the yogurt and fry chicken on high flame till all the moisture is evaporated and oil separates from the curry.
Pour 1.5 cups of water and dry plums.
Bring it to a rolling boil. Cover the pan with lid and lower the heat. Cook for 10 mins or till chicken is cooked completely.  Crush 2/3 of crispy onions and put in the chicken.
Turn the heat off and mix in lemon juice. Stir it well. Now layer the meat in following sequence. 
Sprinkle yellow food color if using followed by green chillies, tomato slices, chopped  mint and Coriander. Keep aside till your rice are ready to be added. 
Add the rice to the pot and cover with a tight fitting lid. Keep the flame on medium for first 5 mins. Reduce it to minimum stove setting u have and let it steam for good 30 mins. 
Turn the heat off but do not open the lid for another 5 mins. 
Using a slotted spoon,  fluff the rice and serve immediately. 

Rice Ingredients 

Rice 2 lbs (2 heaped coffee mugs)
Salt 2 tbsp
Water 12 cups
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp


Wash rice well till the water runs clear. Add in the remaining ingredients and let the rice soak for at least 45 mins. I use same pot to soak the rice in which they are going to be cooked.
Bring the rice pot to a boil and cook fir 4 mins. Drain it immediately. 

You can use store bought brown onions to shorten your cooking time. 
You can replace a good quality garlic paste from store but fresh makes a huge difference. 
You can use saffron soaked milk instead of food color but pour it on top of the rice not on curry.
You can add potato cubes in chicken if desired. 
Washing and soaking rice is crucial for good biryani.

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Beef and Macaroni

Meat Sauce

Beef mince 1 kg
Macaroni 1 lbs
Strained Tomato 3 cups
Onion 1 chopped
Garlic 6 cloves chopped
Celery 3 tbsp chopped
Carrot 1 medium grated
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Salt 1.5 tsp
Chili flakes 1tsp or to taste
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Thyme 1/4 tsp
Oregano 1/4 tsp


Fry onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil till a bit soft.
Add in mince and fry till it changes color.
Pour strained tomatoes and all spices. Stir well and cover. Let it simmer for 35-45 mins till the sauce is nice and thick. 

White Sauce

Butter 3 tbsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Flour 1/2 cup
Milk 3-4 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Cream cheese 1/4 cup


Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat.
Add oil and butter followed by flour.
Cook the flour for a couple of mins stirring continuously. 
Remove from heat and add milk slowly while continuously stirring using a whisk. Put it back on stove and cook till sauce thickens.
Stir the remaining ingredients and taste for spices. Adjust if needed.


Boil pasta according to the package direction.
Mix pasta and white sauce and keep it aside for 10 mins.
Save quarter of meat sauce aside to layer on top later.
Stir pasta in meat sauce and pour in the baking dish.
Layer the reserved meat sauce on top followed by mozzarella cheese. 
Put the dish under the broiler till top is a browned. Serve immediately with garden salad.

Thursday 29 October 2020

Fish Curry

Fish Curry

Fish 1 kg
Onion 1.5 cup or 2 medium
Garlic 2 heads
Green chili 2 or to taste
Salt 1+.5 tsp

Ajwain/caramelize seeds a healthy pinch

Turmeric 1/4 +1/4 tsp
Cumin powder 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder 1.5 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp
Kokum 3 pcs
Curry leaves 12-15
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Mustard oil 1/4 cup
Olive oil 1/4 cup

Sprinkle .5 tsp of salt, ajwain and lemon juice on fish. Rub it well and let sit for 30 mins or so. Then rinse with cold water and dry well. Heat mustard oil in a frying pan and shallow fry fish.  Don't need to cook it fully just sear the edges. Reserve the oil as we will be adding it to te curry later on.
Grind one onion, garlic and green chilli.
Heat olive oil plus remaining mustard oil and add one sliced/chopped onion. Fry till nice and golden. Add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.  Put in the garlic paste and dry spices except kokum and garam masala. 
Bhunofy the masala till oil separates. It takes time and patience,  don't hurry this as it is the most important part of fish curry.
Once masala is grainy(danedar) pour in 2-3 cups of water and kokum. Slide in the fish gently into the pan. Bring it to a boil. DON'T stir the pot. Swirl it around or fish will break.
Cover and cook for 10 mins.
Turn the heat off and add Coriander leaves, garam masala and slit green chili. Cover and let sit for 10 mins before serving.

Serve it with roti or rice.


Use a wide , shallow pan to make fish curry so all pieces are in single layer.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Malai Masala Kabab

As the name suggests, these kabab just melts in your mouth. The gravy complements the texture of kababs equally well. If you like kababs and curry both, this dish is for you. Serve it with fresh Naan and you have a feast fit for a king on your plate. 

Kabab Ingredients 

Mince  (beef/mutton) 1 kg
Onion grated 1 cup
Green chili minced 2 tbsp or to taste
Ginger paste 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped 3 tbdp
Salt 1.5 tdp or to taste
Chili flakes 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder  1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Cold Water 1/2 cup 
Green Papaya paste 1/2 tsp

Curry Ingredients 

Onion cut in cubes 1 cup
Tomatoes 3 large grated or blended
Green peppers cubes 1 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Oil 1/4 cup
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Coriander for garnish 
Garam masala 1/4 tsp for garnish 

Put all kabab Ingredients except water in a bowl and knead like a dough till it feels sticky. It takes around 5-8 mins. Add water a tbsp at a time and incorporate it well before adding the next spoonful till you have used it all. You can also use a chopper or stand mixer.
Using a table spoon or ice cream scoop to keep them of same size, form them into kabab. I used around 1.5 tbsp portions.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and put kababs in single layer. Cover n let cook on medium for 4-5 mins.
Remove the lid and flip kababs. Add tomato puree and spices. Increase the heat and bhunofy/caramelize till oil starts oozing out of masala/curry.  
Add in the beaten yogurt and mix. Cook till oil separate. 
Add cream, cubed onion and pepper and cook on high for another couple of mins. Take it off the heat and sprinkle Coriander leaves, garam masala and lemon juice. Serve hot.