Friday, 31 October 2014

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Fall is in full swing and what better thing to cook than soups. I have a family of soup lovers so I make them very often during fall and winters. This is a recipe which is easy and delicious. Like any soups, a good flavourful stock is very important. I always prefer home made chicken stock but feel free to use ready made one.


Broccoli florets                         5-6 cups
Chicken stock                           4 cups
Potato                                       2 cubes
Half and half                              1 1/2 cups
Salt                                           to taste
Black pepper                            1/2 tsp
Cream cheese                           1 tbsp
Flour                                        1 tbsp
Butter                                       1 tbsp


Heat the oil in a pan and add butter. Once the butter is melted, add the flour.
Cook it for a couple of minutes to take the rawness out and add chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and add cubed potatoes. Cook till fork tender.
Add broccoli and cook uncovered till fork tender about 6-8 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and using a stick blender, blend everything until smooth.
Take off the heat and add cream. Heat it on medium heat till close to boiling point. Add salt and pepper and taste. Serve immediately with a dash of hot sauce and freshly cracked black pepper.

Following is the recipe of how I make my basic chicken stock:

For Chicken Stock

Chicken wings and necks                         2 lbs skin off
Onion                                                      1 large
Garlic                                                       1 head
Ginger                                                      1 inch cube
Pepper corn                                             1 tsp
Salt                                                          1 tsp
Bay leaf                                                   1
Water                                                      3 litre


Put every thing in a stock pot and bring it to boil.
Once it starts to boil, start skimming the foam off of the top.
Put the flame on low with lid half way on for 40-50 mins.
Strain and you have got your stock ready.
This is a very basic stock with not alot of other flavourings so it can easily be used in many dishes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Leg of Lamb Pakistani style

It was Eid ul Adha last week which we all Muslims celebrate in the memory of Abraham's sacrifice of Ishmael. It is one of the biggest celebrations in the Muslim world after the annual pilgrimage to the holy lands of Makkah and Madina. Normally a goat/lamb or cow is sacrificed after the morning Eid prayers. Meat is then divided into 3 equal portions. One portion is for the friends and relatives, second portion is for the poor and needy and the third portion is kept for ourselves. I remember growing up there used to be a set menu for the day and there was rarely a change. Leg of lamb was a must on the dinner table whether bar-b-qued, pot roasted or oven roasted. Ideally it needs to marinate for up to 24 hours but 12 hours would do just fine. Here is how it is made:


Leg of lamb                          3-4 lbs
Garlic powder                      1 tbsp
Ginger powder                     1 tsp
Salt                                      1 1/2 - 2 tsp
Red chili powder                  1 tsp
Garam Masala                      1 1/2 tsp
Vinegar                                 1/4 cup
Yogurt                                  1 cup
Cumin powder                      1 tbsp
Oil                                        3 tbsp


  1. Clean the leg by removing most of the fat leaving just a thin layer.
  2. Make 3 to 4 deep slits all the way to bone as you can see in the picture above.
  3. Apply vinegar all over the meat massaging into the cuts. Rinse after 15 minutes.
  4. Mix yogurt with all the above ingredients and apply to the washed meat.
  5. Put it in the fridge and let marinate from 12-24 hours.
  6. Take a big enough pot to hold the meat with a tight fitting lid.
  7. Heat it on medium and add the meat including the marination liquid. The pot should have a cup and half to two cups of liquid. 
  8. Once it starts to boil, turn the stove to the lowest setting and put the lid on.  Using a cup of flour and water, make dough. Put the dough around the lid to seal the edges. Let cook for 90 minutes.
  9. Crack the dough and open the lid. If there is any water ,increase the heat and dry until the meat starts browning. Remove from the heat and let rest for ten minutes.
  10. Slice thinly using a sharp knife and serve.
  11. To get the fall off the bone tenderness, you need to add 30-40 minutes to your cooking time.
I use home made garam masala.