Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fish and Chips


Fish Fillets                3 lbs
Mustard                   1 tbsp
Salt                          1 1/2 tsp or to taste
Black pepper           1/2 tsp
Egg                          1
Water                      1/4 cup
Flour                       1/4 cup
Garlic powder          1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice            1 tbsp
Oil                           for frying


  1. Sprinkle garlic powder and lemon juice on the fish and mix. Let marinate for half an hour.
  2. Beat the egg and add mustard, salt and black pepper, mix well.
  3. Add cold water to the egg followed by the flour.
  4. Pour this over the fish and let stand in the fridge for 30 mins.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 inch of oil in a wok or frying pan to medium high.
  6. Fry the pieces until evenly golden brown on both sides.
  7. Serve hot.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Carrot Fudge - Gajar Kalakand

Kalakand is a rich dessert. Milk is cooked down on a low flame for hours to attain fudge like texture. This recipe just takes half an hour to be ready with amazing results. Instead of reducing the milk, I have used milk powder which cuts the cooking time magically and the taste does not suffer at all. With a handful of ingredients and a tiny bit of time you have a festive dessert which will impress one and all.


Carrots                            2 lbs grated
Clarified butter                 1/4 cup
Green cardamom             3 crushed
Sugar                               1 1/2 cup
Milk Powder                    1 1/2 - 2 cups
Almonds                           8-10 optional
Raisins                              8-10 optional


  1. Heat clarified butter in a wok on medium high. 
  2. Add crushed cardamoms and stir for 10 seconds till fragrant.
  3. Add the grated carrots and lower the heat to medium. Fry carrots till they are soft and 1/3 in the volume.
  4. Do not leave unattended, you need to stir off and on or carrots will burn.
  5. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir well. in a few minutes you will see carrots will start becoming shiny and translucent. Keep frying until all the moisture has evaporated. 
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of milk powder and keep frying until all is well incorporated. Keep adding more until all is being used. you need to keep cooking until it all becomes like one dough ball. Test for the sugar. If you need more add the remaining half cup and keep cooking until the dough consistency is achieved.
  7. Using a sheet pan lined with parchment, spread the carrot mix and flatten it with a spatula.
  8. Let it cool down for 25-30 minutes and then cut into desired shape. Garnish with almonds or raisins.
  9. Serve at room temperature.


Carrots have different sweetness depending on the season, that is why it is better to add in steps.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Beef with Berbre

Every culture and country has a spice blend which is used frequently in their every day cooking. Let it 5 spice powder from China, Garam Masala powder from Pakistan, Curry Powder from India, Ras el Hanout from the Arabian peninsua, Xawassh from Somalia. Berbre is an Ethiopian spice blend which uses a number of spices to get the final mix. It is used in Ethiopian cooking like we Pakistanis use garam masala in our our food. Famours curries from Ethiopia are called "Wat". Cooking a 'wat' is tie consuming as you need to caramalize onions in most cases on a low flame. Here is how I incorporated Berbre with a str fried version of beef and served with rice. 


Lean Beef                                    2 lbs bite size pieces
Vinegar                                        1/2 cup
Turmeric                                      1/2 tsp
Berbere                                       1-2 tbsp (its hot so adjust according to your taste)
Salt                                              2/3 tsp
Ghee                                            4 tbsp
Bell pepper cubes                        1/2 cup (I used red)
Onion sliced                                 1/2 cup


  1. Put turmeric and vinegar in a bowl and add beef pieces to it, let it rest for 2-3 hours as vinegar will tenderize the beef. Drain well and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a broad pan and add meat in single layer, do not stir the meat until u see it browning from the bottom. Once the bottom is browned turn over and brown from the other side. Keep browning the meat in batches until all is done. 
  3. Add berbere and salt to it and mix well in the pan and cook for another 3-4 mins.
  4. Add onion and bell pepper and turn the heat off. Cover the pot for 3-4 mins n serve with rice, pasta or bread:)

Berbre Mix

Coriander seeds                 2 tsp
Black peppercorns             1⁄2 tsp
Allspice                              1/4 tsp
Green cardamom                4-6 
Cloves                                4-6
Red Chili powder                1 tsp
Paprika                               2 tsp
Nutmeg                               1 cracked
Ginger powder                    1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder               1/4tsp


  1. Roast all the spices except red chili and paprika powder till fragrant.
  2. Using a coffee grinder, make a powder. 
  3. Add paprika and red chili powder and mix well. Keep in an air tight container.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Home Made Yogurt

Yogurt is one the healthiest foods rich in calcium and probiotics. I grew up in a a area where buffalo milk is a common choice over cow's milk. Buffalo milk is high in fat content so the yogurt is rich, creamy and thick. I remember my mother making yogurt every night for the coming morning. I use yogurt in many different ways in my kitchen. It is served as a dip, used in marinating meats, cooking curries, as a drink or even as any time snack. Once you try home made yogurt, I gaurentee you will never go back to store bought again.
Here is how I make yogurt at home. Its very easy and does not need any tricks as many people think. All you need is milk and starter yogurt. Starter yogurt needs to be a active bacterial culture and can be bought from any store.


Milk 1 litre
Yogurt 4 tbsp (preferably live culture)


  1. Put the milk in a pot and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring off and on to prevent it from scorching at the bottom.
  2. Once it comes to a full boil, pour it in a any ceramic or glass container. Cover and let it cool down where you can touch it comfortably.
  3. Beat yogurt till a bit creamy and stir in the milk.
  4. Cover and keep on a warm place. In warm climates it would set between 3-4 hours but in colder areas it might take around twelve hours.

In winters my mother used to cover it in towel/blanket to keep the temperature on warmer side, I normally put it the microwave or oven at night and it is set in the morning.
You can serve this yogurt with fruit or granola as a breakfast.
You can add sugar/ honey or pureed fruit in the milk to get sweet fruity yogurt.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Keema Khara Masala/ Mince Fry

A very easy and quick yet a satisfying dish. It is  versatile as you can use it as is or fill up parthas, rolls, puff pastry or even sandwiches. Mix in an egg and you have got a wonderful breakfast. Choices are just endless. If  you make curries, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. Good quality of beef is important in this recipe as that is all you would be tasting. Salt and heat is always adjustable according to your personal taste.


Mince                                          2 lbs Lean
Onions                                         2 chopped
Garlic                                           6 cloves
Ginger                                          1.5 inch pc
Green chili                                     3 +3
Oil                                                 3-4 tbsp
Salt                                               1.5 tsp or to taste
Cinnamon stick                             2 inch pc
Black pepper corn                         1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds                             1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds                                  1 tsp
Coriander powder                         1 tsp
Red chili flakes                              1 tsp
Turmeric powder                           1/2 tsp
Almond powder/Almond butter      1 tbsp
Coriander leaves                            for garnish


  1. In a mortar and pestle, crush ginger, garlic, black pepper corns and three green chilies.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add onions, fry for a few mins till soft but don't brown them. 
  3. Add ginger/garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin seeds, coriander powder+seeds and salt. Fry till spices are fragrant about a min or two.
  4. Add mince and break it into pieces with spoon quickly before it changes color.
  5. Fry mince in onion and spice mix till no moisture is left and no pink bits can be seen.
  6. Stir in the almond meal/ butter right before taking it off the heat.
  7. Sprinkle some chopped green chili, coriander and ginger for garnish and serve with chapati or paratha or boiled rice.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Banana Cardamom Bread

We all have bananas lying around the kitchen which have passed the eating stage and no one wants to eat those mushy bananas. This recipe is perfect for those extra bananas. Addition of cardamom makes it very welcoming to your taste buds. Use of whole wheat flour makes it a healthier option as well.


Eggs                                      2 at room temp
Butter                                    3/4 cup at room temp
Bananas                                 2 mashed
All purpose flour                    1 cup
Whole wheat flour                 1 cup
Brown Sugar                         1 cup
Vanilla Essence                      1 tsp
Cardamom powder                1 tsp
Baking powder                      1 tsp
Baking soda                          1 tsp
Salt                                       1 pinch


  1. Preheat the oven at 325 C.
  2. Cream Butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. 
  3. Add eggs one by one and beat well.
  4. Add mashed bananas and mix.
  5. In a separate bowl sift flours, cardamom, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  6. Add flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated.
  7. Pour in a baking pan and bake for almost 60-70 mins.
  8. Test by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the bread. It should come out clean.

Add a cup of chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts after incorporating flour for a crunchy and rich taste.