Saturday, November 27, 2010

Everyday Pasta

Gone are the days when daal chawal used to be the “ comfort food “ , now Pasta is the ultimate comfort food of all.Leaving a few “ peculiar ones” pasta seems to be the darling of every household for all the right reasons.It is  Quick to make,very versatile and the best crowd pleaser ever.

Although pasta is Italian , it could easily be adopted by almost any cuisine . A little bit of mix and matching , a dash of creativity , right balance of spices and you have a perfect bowl of pasta ready to gobble.

I am posting one the  quickest and yummiest way of making pasta . I call it everyday pasta because  of the simplicity of the ingredients that go into it. Enjoy !

Everyday Pasta - 2

What You Need :
  • Pasta :1 pk ( boiled and drained)
  • Sausages : 1 pk (12 franks – cut into pieces)
  • Chicken cubes : I pk ( 2 cubes)
  • Mix vegetables : 2 cups ( frozen )
  • Soya Sauce : 1 tbsp ( up to taste )
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • oil : 1/4 cup
How To :
  1. Heat oil in a wide non stick pan.Add in chicken cubes , mix vegetables ,salt and cut up franks.
  2. Fry till the franks and vegetables cook through.
  3. Add boiled pasta , throw in the soya sauce and mix well.
  4. Close the lid and let cook on a very slow flame for about 15 minutes.
  5. Everyday pasta is ready . Serve and enjoy.

Everyday Pasta

Notes :
  • Instead of sausages you can use chicken.
  • Frozen vegetables can be replaced by fresh vegetables. Use carrots,capsicums,Potato,corn,peas and beans.Basically anything you have at hand.
  • In case of using fresh vegetables , add a little water to the pot to cook them tender before adding in the pasta.
  • I usually boil franks in water before adding to the pot but its totally optional.
  • Go easy on salt because the chicken cubes and soya sauce both are salted.Keep checking before adding these up to your taste.
  • For more exotic taste sprinkle a little cheese on top before serving.
Continue Reading >>

Monday, October 25, 2010

Karahi Chicken

In India and Pakistan some of the dishes are cooked and served in a  ‘karahi’ (also spelled karai, kadai, kadahi or kadhai). For those who do not know a  karahi is a circular, deep, bowled dish and is similar in shape to a wok.It is usually made of cast iron but stainless steel, copper and non-stick versions are also available.

Karahi chicken is a popular dish all across Pakistan . Whether you dine in an upscale fancy restaurant or visit a road side vendor, this chicken dish is always on the menu.Karahi chicken is the only dish ( I know of ) that has countless versions .Basically it’s a tomato based clingy gravy dish but it is cooked in a number of ways with slightly different taste according to the ingredients added other than tomatoes.

I am sharing my version of karahi chicken that is easy , quick , robust , tangy  and off course spicy .With its exotic aromas of fresh ginger,freshly ground whole black pepper , red chilies , coriander and bountiful of tomatoes …this is one dish sure to tingle your taste buds !!

Karahi chicken -2

What you need :
  • Chicken : 12oo gms ( skinned ,cut and washed )
  • Onion : 2 – 3 ( medium , finely chopped )
  • GG paste : 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes : 500 gms ( chopped )
  • Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder : 1/2 tsp ( up to your tolerance level )
  • salt : 1.5 tsp ( up to taste)
  • Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp
  • Oil : 1/2 cup
Karahi Masala :
  • Whole Coriander : 2 tbsp
  • Whole Black pepper : 3/4 tbsp
  • Dried Red chili : 6-7 
  • Whole Cumin : 3/4 tbsp
Crush or pound all the ingredients using mortal / pastel .

Garnish :
  • Ginger : 1 inch piece ( chopped finely )
  • Fresh coriander : 2 tbsp ( chopped)

How To :
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan . Add onions and fry till they are lightly browned.
  2. Add in the GG paste and fry a little .
  3. Throw in the chicken and fry till its no longer pink .
  4. Add in salt , turmeric , chili and garam masala , stir and cook for 2 minutes .
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook (stirring in-between|) till most of the water ( tomato water ) dries out and the oil starts to ooze out a bit.
  6. Now add in your karahi masala , mix in and adjust seasoning .
  7. Reduce flame to very low , cover the pot and let gently simmer for about 10 minutes .
  8. Karahi chicken is ready . Garnish with Ginger and coriander.
  9. Serve with naan , chapati or boiled rice .
Note :
  • Instead of chicken you can use boiled mutton/lamb .
  • Vegans can try this with paneer(cottage cheese)/tofu/gobi(cauliflower).

Karahi chicken -1
Continue Reading >>

Friday, October 22, 2010

A personal note about aromas !

Until I was 23, my sole cooking experience was boiling a few eggs and that too under the “watchful eyes” of my father. Being the only child has severe side effects (along with the perks) and one of them is my parents never considered me big enough to do something as “dangerous” as cooking. Remaining blissfully clueless about all things culinary, my “cooking affair” started after seeing my sister in law cooking lip-smacking dishes. Its then I realized good food make people happy and I decided that I should do that too. Seeing my passion, enthusiasm and determination, to my surprise my parents supported me in all possible ways (best of all being the “guinea pig “for the dishes I made)….. So after overcoming countless culinary hurdles and blunders … here I am today, with Rare Aromas in front of you.Successful experiments in cooking are known as recipes. Rare Aromas is the collection of all these experiments of mine, that have proved to do one thing very well “MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY “

I never thought I would ever own a cooking blog .My friends “inspired” me to have one. They keep asking the same recipe over and over again because they keep losing it. I was really fed up of writing\ telling the same recipe so I thought a blog would be my savior, and I was right. I no longer have to re-write the requested recipe :). Rare aromas is my very own personal “electronic recipe journal “for my friends, family and all of you wonderful people out there.

I am no chef neither I want to be .I am just the girl next door who strongly believes that anyone can cook and that too with confidence. All you need is just a bit of motivation and a pinch of inspiration. Rare aromas is my part of inspiring and motivating others and is all about everyday Pakistani cooking with some “international bites “.You won’t find any “funky” recipes here , it’s just my humble efforts to simplify everyday food my way. I have tried to make recipes as easy and confusion free as possible but still if you have any questions regarding any of the recipes then “buzz” me; I am just a click away.

Go ahead! 

Enjoy and spread “ aromas” of happiness , that’s what life is meant for.

Happy Cooking !!

Sadia Naseeb

I would like to extend my immense gratitude to “Lubna Kareem , Mona Hsn and Sia for guiding me so lovingly about blogging .Thank you ladies,without your kind guidance I would have lost in the blogging world. 
Continue Reading >>

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mix Vegetable Curry ala Jameela

Ever since I have started blogging ,I feel that I have developed some kind of hunting qualities :D as I continuously hunt for good recipes to share with my blog readers be it on TV, magazine , in a dinner party ,at friend’s home .. the quest is always on .
My friend Jamila ,brought this mix vegetable curry the other day .. it was like a rainbow of veggies.. every imaginable vegetable was there .I was really spectacle of the taste but one bite into the dish and wow .. my mouth burst with rainbow of flavors .. tangy , mildly spicy and so very yummy .. by the second bite .. I knew that my quest  has been ended .. so here it is Mix vegetables the way my friend Jamila makes .Try it and i am so very sure that you will like it too.

mix veg -3

What You Need :
  • Potatoes : 200 gms
  • Carrots :  200 gms  
  • Capsicum : 200gm
  • Egg plant : 200 gm
  • Zucchini :  200gm
  • cauliflower : 200 gm
  • Onion : 150 gms
  • Tomato : 150 gms

mix veg -1

Wash,peel ,slice ,dice or cube all the vegetables and deep fry them till they lose their crispness and get a bit tender.Put them in a sieve and let  the oil drip(drain). ( see the picture above )

Masala :
  • Water : 1 glass
  • Chicken Cube : 2
  • Tomato ketchup : 1/2 cup
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp ( as per taste)
  • Chili Powder : 1/2 tsp ( as per taste)
  • Whole Coriander : 1 tbsp ( crushed)
  • National Sabzi Masala : 1 tbsp ( optional)

mix veg -2

How To :
  1. Boil water in a wide pan ,add in 2 chicken cubes ,1/2 cup ketchup and let simmer till the cube dissolved in water. ( pic 1a & 1b)
  2. Add in the fried vegetables , salt , chili and sabzi masala (if using ). ( pic - 2)
  3. Mix in gently and let cook on medium flame till the veggies become tender and well coated with the masala and the oil starts to ooze out. ( pic - 3)
  4. Mix vegetable is ready . Serve with fresh tandoori bread, lassi or cold drink of your choice and a generous helping of butter !  ( pic –4 )
  • Sabzi masala is optional but I do recommend it for extra tastes and aroma .
Continue Reading >>

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ras Malai

If you ask me to name three desi dessert that will never fail to please people of all ages, my answer will be kulfi , kheer and Rasmalai.Rasmalai...a delicious and perfect end to any feast be it  weddings or dinners.Rich in texture and flavor,traditionally Rasmalai is made with Paneer ( cottage cheese ),but to make the process easier with out compromising the taste it can be made easily at home by using milk powder instead of paneer. Despite being really yummy , the other thing I love about Rasmalai is that the whole process takes just 30 minutes from start to finish ( excluding the chilling time of course).Rich , classy , crowd pleaser and quick to make …Rasmalai is no doubt the darling dessert of housewives.

I have made Rasmalai countless times using the recipe i am posting today but honestly to date I am always unsure of the end result.The reason is Rasmalai is a tricky dessert.So for the first time cooks I want to say one thing , follow my recipe as it is I am sure it will turn out perfect,but do not dishearten if it does not , keep trying ..You will get it. just keep in mind Rasmalai is unpredictable ..even now after making countless Rasmalais ,sometimes I mess up too.In that case just put every thing in a blender , blend a little and freeze in kulfi moulds .. really yummy kulfi is ready .. its a win win either way  :)

ras malai - 1

What you need :

For the ras ( milk):
  • Fresh Milk : 1 liter
  • Evaporated Milk : 1 can ( I used rainbow)
  • Sugar : 1/2 cup ( up to taste)
  • Green Cardamom : 3
  • Kewra Essence : 2 drops ( optional )
For the milk balls :
  • Milk powder ( full fat) : 1 cup ( 200 gms)
  • Egg ( well beaten ) : 1 large
  • Baking Powder : 3/4 tsp
  • Butter ( melted) : 2 Tbsp 

    Ras Malai - page How To :
  1. Pour milk into a pan ,add evaporated milk ,sugar ,cardamom and kewra essence ,mix and put on gentle heat to boil. ( pic - 1 )
  2. Add baking powder to the milk powder and mix .Add well beaten egg and melted butter into this. ( pic - 2)
  3. Knead this out till you get a soft and smooth dough. ( pic - 3 )
  4. Make marble size balls out of this dough.( pic - 4 ).I usually make 12 balls from 1 cup of milk my Rasmalai a bit bigger than the usual size.
  5. Check the milk, If it hasn’t boil yet than crank up the heat and let it boil. After a boil reduce to a gentle simmer on medium heat.
  6. Gently put all you milk balls into the simmering milk.( pic - 5 )
  7. Wait till the milk fully covers the balls ( pic - 6 ) and at this point cover the pan , reduce the heat to the lowest possible and let the balls cook for 4- 5 minutes.
  8. 5 minutes latter , remove the lid .you will see the balls are puffing up ( pic - 7 ).Turn over the balls gently with a spoon and cover the pan again and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Perfectly puffed up Rasmalai is ready . ( pic - 8 )
  10. Serve chilled garnished with pistachios. 
    • Use a wide bottom pan preferably non stick to make Rasmalai as it need room to expand.
    • Evaporated milk is added to make the milk thick.If you do not have evaporated milk .. then take 1.5 liter milk instead of 1 liter and simmer it till it reduce to 1 liter.
    • The egg must be at room temperature before adding into the milk powder.
    • You can use any oil you please instead of butter though butter adds richness to the Rasmalai.
    • Do not over knead the dough. As soon as it get smooth and soft stop kneading it any further.
    • If the dough sticks to your hand. Grease your hand with little oil.
    • Grease the plate with oil onto which you are going to keep the balls .
    • To get the fluffiest balls .. the trick is that the heat or fire should be the lowest possible ..and the pan should be covered tightly to let the steam form..this steam will make the balls  puffy and light.

    Ras Malai-1
    Continue Reading >>

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Mouti Matter Pulao

    Last Friday some unexpected guests knocked at our door ( yes .. it still happens) and since it was about to be the dinner time my mother told me to cook something for dinner.This was the perfect time and situation to PANIC but a quick peek into the freezer made me not to.So with the help of the pressure cooker,pre - made koftas, pre - made curry sauce and a chicken I was able to cook a nice dinner in one and a half hour flat.Our guests enjoyed Mouti Matter Pulao,Namkeen Gosht,Chicken Curry and Sabot Mash ki daal along with Shammi Tikya , salad and raita .. Mission Accomplished :)

    I am sharing Mouti Matter Pulao with you using the  Koftay I made earlier.Its Kind of a kofta Pulao but since the size of the koftas are smaller than the usual like beads or pearls hence the name Mouti Matter Pulao.( I love how the name turns a simple dish so exotic and interesting that you just want to eat it , don’t you ?)

    Mouti Matter Pulao

    What you Need:

    • Rice : 3 cups ( wash and soak for half hour) 
    • Onions: 2 medium ( finely chopped) 
    • Sabot Garam Masala: 1 tsp ( use 5 cloves, 7 pepper corns,3 green cardamom,1 inch piece of cinnamon and 1 black cardamom)
    • GG paste : 1 tbsp
    • Green chilies: 2 - 3 ( up to taste)
    • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
    • Peas: 1 cup
    • Pre - made Koftas balls : 1.5 cups
    • Salt : 1.5 tsp ( up to taste )
    • Oil : 1 cup
    • Water or stock : 6 cups
    How To :

      Mouti Matter Page
    1. Heat oil in a pan add sabot garam masala, let cook for 2 minutes.
    2. Add onions and GG paste and sauté to a pleasant caramel or  golden brown colour. ( pic 1a & 1b )
    3. Add in yogurt,salt,peas,green chilies and koftas,sauté till the oil floats on top.( Pic 2a & 2b)
    4. Add water or stock and let boil. ( pic - 3 )
    5. After a boil ,throw in the soaked rice (after draining ),Mix in once and let cook on medium flame. ( pic - 4 )
    6. When the water starts to dry up ( pic - 5 ), and you can see water holes in the rice ( pic - 6),turn down the flame to the lowest possible ,cover the pan and let cook till the water completely dries out.( it might take around 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat and amount of water left to dry out on dam)
    7. Mouti Matter Pulao is ready to be served. ( pic - 7)
    Continue Reading >>

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Moong Daal Palak

    Spinach ( palak) is not only supper rich in iron ( remember Popeye eating palak and getting extra strong ),but supper versatile too.There are a large number of recipes to enjoy palak from creamy soup to yummy combos with veggies,daals ,meat and chicken.

    Although thanks to freezers palak is available year round now but fresh palak taste absolute divine despite the fact that weeding,cleaning,washing ,chopping and boiling palak is quite a task.

    Since winter is the best time to enjoy the freshest palak here is Moong daal palak which is one of the many yummy ways you can have this iron rich and healthy vegetable as the two perfectly compliment each other.

    moong Daal Palak

    What You Need:
    • Moong Daal : 1 cup ( wash and soak in water for at least an hour)
    • Palak : 2 cups ( boiled)
    • Onion : 1 medium ( chopped finely)
    • Tomato: 2 small ( chopped finely)
    • Salt: 1 tsp ( up to taste)
    • Red Chili: 1 tsp ( up to your tolerance level)
    • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
    • GG paste: 1 tbsp
    • Water: 1.5 cup ( more if you want it a bit mushy)
    • Oil: 1/2 cup

    How To:

    Moong daal page - 1

      • Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions till golden brown. ( pic - 1 )
      • Add in GG paste along with all the dry masala,cook for a minute. ( pic - 2 ) 
      • Throw in tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy and you end up with a clingy gravy with the oil floating. ( pic - 3a and 3b )
      • Add in the boiled palak ( pic - 4 )and sauté till the water dries out. ( pic - 5 )
      • Finally add soaked daal and two cups of water.Mix well and let the water boil. ( pic - 6)
      • As soon as the water start boiling ,lower the heat to medium ,cover and let cook till the water dries out.At this point the daal should be tender enough to eat and you should be able to see the oil oozing around. ( pic - 7 )
      • Moong Daal palak is ready.
      • Serve with plain boiled rice or buttered chapatti , a simple onion – tomato salad and raita. Enjoy!
          1. We like our Moong daal palak a bit mushy as you can see from the picture.. if you like it that way just increase the amount of water say 2 cups instead of 1.5.
        Continue Reading >>

        Friday, January 29, 2010


        Koftas are seasoned mince meat shaped into small balls that taste equally good cooked,baked,fried or grilled.What I love about Koftas is that they are very versatile and can be made in many different ways by using a little bit of creativity and imagination. 

        Using your imagination and creativity to prepare a wonderful meal using koftas is a breeze if you have koftas ready to be used instead of starting from the scratch.I am not against the ready made koftas available in the market but personally prefer homemade koftas which can be prepared in advance,kept frozen to use whenever you need them and definitely a zillion times better than the store bought ones.

        Today I am posting the recipe of making and freezing koftas my way to enjoy a hassle free meal later (using them )with out compromising the taste.

        What you need:
        • Minced Meat : 1 Kg
        • Raw Papaya paste : 1 Tbsp 
        • GG paste : 1 tbsp
        • Salt : 1 tsp ( up to taste)
        • Red Chili : 1 Tsp ( up to your tolerance level)
        • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
        • Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
        • Cumin Powder : 1/2 tsp
        • Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp


        How to :
        1. Add all the ingredients listed above into the minced meat and mix well.Let rest for an hour. ( pic - 1 )
        2. After an hour make balls out of the minced meat.( pic - 2 )
        3. Boil water in a pan and drop the balls gently into the pan and let boil briskly for about 2 - 3 minutes. ( pic - 3 )
        4. Fish out the balls out of the water and keep aside. ( pic - 4 ).Repeat until all balls are boiled.
        5. Reserve the water ( in which the balls have been boiled) . ( pic - 5 )
        6. Your koftas are ready to be frozen. ( pic - 6 )
        7. To freeze put the balls in a plastic container along with some of the reserved boiled water ,cover and keep in the freezer.To use simply defrost or heat through in a microwave and the koftas are ready to be used.
        • Omit papaya if you do not have it , though I totally recommend it for softer koftas.
        • The boiled meatballs can be fried before using (after defrosting) if you prefer.
        • The size of the balls depends on you. For using koftas in pulao and biryani I make smaller balls ( as in pic – 6 ) and for karahi and curry the standard size is the best.
        • The water ( in which the koftas have been boiled) is excellent to make gravy because of the flavors it has absorbed from the koftas.
        Continue Reading >>

        Saturday, January 23, 2010

        Desi Tomato Sauce

        Our local newspaper once did a people - on - the - street  interview of favourite kitchen aromas,and tomato sauce ranked three among the top choices and I couldn't agree more.

        Bottled sauce doesn’t fill the air with molecules of savoury stewing or its smell doesn’t signal that a satisfying meal is coming … Only homemade sauce can do this and even the best brands can’t compare in terms of taste.

        The recipe I am posting today is so easy that even kitchen novices can cook it.It is a bit different than the normal tomato sauce because it has been tempered with desi masalas .. which I personally believe make the plain bland sauce more flavourful, intense and interesting.

        Tomato sauce -1

        What you need :
        • Tomatoes : 1.5 kg ( chopped )
        • curry leaf : 5 – 6
        • Whole cumin ( sabot Zeera ): 1 tbsp
        • Mustard Seeds ( rai ) : 1 tbsp
        • Garlic : 6 -  7 bulbs
        • Whole red chili : 6 - 7 ( up to your tolerance level )
        • Salt : 1 tbsp ( up to taste )
        • Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
        • Coriander Pwd : 1 tbsp
        • Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp ( up to taste)
        • Green Chili : 5 -  6 ( chopped finely – up to taste) 
        • Red food colour :  1 -2 drops ( optional )
        • Oil : 1/2 cup

        Tomato sauce page

        How  To :
        1. Heat oil in a pan. Add Curry leaves and let sizzle for a minute or two.( pic - 2 )
        2. Add in Mustard seeds and Whole cumin ( pic - 3 ) , after a minute throw in the garlic ( pic - 4 ) and let sizzle for a minute.
        3. Add in the chopped tomatoes (pic - 1 ), whole red chilies , salt, turmeric and coriander powder. ( pic - 5 )
        4. Crank up the heat and let it simmer for about 40 - 45 minutes ( pic - 6 ) or till it reduces to almost one third.
        5. Puree the cooked sauce in a blender or with hand blender ( pic – 7 ) , add chopped green chilies ( pic - 8 ) and simmer on gentle heat till the sauce oozes out the oil.( pic - 9 )
        6. Adjust seasoning .
        7. Desi Tomato Sauce is ready to be served !

        Notes :
        • You will get around 2 - 2.5 cups of sauce out of 1.5 kg tomatoes.
        • The boiling time of the sauce depends on the quality of pan and heat so cook accordingly.
        • Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking or burning.
        • Do not puree the sauce if you like the chunkier taste.
        • This Sauce is multi – purpose and very versatile. You can use it for making pasta, as a sandwich filling , as a dip with French bread or crackers , as chatni with plain rice , khichri or even pulao, as pizza sauce , spread on toast , sprinkle some cheese and bake for a quick pizza, use it in karahi gravies to add flavor .Use your creativity to make more interesting combinations because the possibilities with this sauce are endless.

        Tomato Sauce
        Continue Reading >>

        Tuesday, January 19, 2010

        Muqaish Daal

        I am a meat lover by default and because of this I am not much of a daal person but when it comes to Muqaish Daal … I just cant resist it.Its simply that wicked !!

        One of my friend asked me about the name .No,it has nothing to do with music. Muqaish (a.k.a  Kamdani) is a kind of embroidery where shiny silver flat metal strip is used to place stipples or dots on varying distance resembling the effect of twinkling stars in the sky. Since this daal is cooked in a way that you end up with pearly white separate grains like stipples…hence the name “ Muqaish Daal ”.
        This daal is another express meal … ready in thirty minutes flat from start to finish.Did I mention this daal is so tasty that even the hard core meat lovers ( like me ) wont be able to pass it.

        Muquaish daal

        What you need :
        • Urad ( Mash) daal : 1 cup (washed and soaked in water for an hour)
        • Water : 1/2 cup
        • Milk : 1/2 cup
        • Salt : 1 tsp ( up to taste )
        • Clove : 2
        • Black cardamom : 1
        • Whole black pepper : 5
        • Cinnamon : 2 small pieces
        Tempering ( tadka or baghar ) :
        • Onion : 1 medium ( sliced finely )
        • Whole red chili : 5 - 6
        • Ginger : 2 inch piece ( cut into fine stripes)
        • garlic : 5 - 8 bulbs ( sliced finely )
        • Whole cumin : 1 tsp
        • Green coriander :  3 tbsp ( finely chopped )
        • Oil : 1/2 cup
        How to :
        1. Drain the soaked daal.
        2. Mix water,milk and salt. Add in the whole Gram masala.
        3. In a non stick pan … add daal and the milk + water mixture.
        4. Let boil once on high heat and then cover the pan and let cook on medium to gentle heat till the liquid dries up and the daal is tender but not mushy.
        5. Heat oil in another pan. Put sliced onions and whole red chilies and let sizzle for 2 minutes . When the onions begin to get soft and kind of transparent add Green Coriander,Ginger and Garlic.
        6. When you see the onions are about to be golden brown add Whole cumin and let sizzle for a minute.
        7. Pour the Tadka ( along with oil ) onto the cooked daal.
        8. Let cook for two minutes to infuse the tadka .
        9. Muqaish Daal is ready .
        10. Serve with Nan or roti .


          Notes :
          • You can use also only water ( instead of half water and half milk) for boiling the daal.
          • The water ratio depends on the quantity of daal. Both should be equal. 1 cup daal =1 cup water,2 cups daal = 2 cups water etc.
          • In the end the daal should be thoroughly cooked and tender but not mushy and each grain should be separate ( it wont be Muqaish daal otherwise ). This depends on the pan and the quality of heat so you have to workout on that.
          • There will be a white scum on top while boiling , its normal just leave it like that.It will vanish by the end.
          • A dab of butter on top of daal while serving will make it more delicious.

          Daal plate
          Continue Reading >>

          Saturday, January 16, 2010

          Chatpatay Aloo

          If Mango is the king of fruits then to me potato is the king of vegetables.Potato is undoubtedly the most loved vegetable on earth.The reason is its versatility.The humble potato can be cooked into countless yumlicious dishes.Fried,boiled,roasted,baked,creamed,buttered or mashed always tingle your taste buds.Despite being delicious Potato is an excellent source of carbohydrates, the body's best energy source.Potato is fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free and saturated fat free. It is high in Vitamin C and potassium and is a great source of Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber.Tasty and full of important nutrients …. no wonder Potato is the darling of all !!

          The chatpatay Aloo I am posting today are not only tasty but also hassle free .Don’t you just love when all you have to do is throw all the ingredients in the pot,cover let cook for about 30 minutes and voila ! dinner is ready … chatpatay Aloo is that type of dish.. In my home we usually eat this with pori or parathas in breakfast or just plain as chat but it tastes equally good with roti or Naan as well.

          chatpatay Aloo

           What you need :
          • Potatoes : 250 gms ( peeled and sliced uniformly)
          • Onion : 1 medium ( finally chopped)
          • Tomato : 1 medium ( chopped )
          • Green chili : 3 -  4 ( finely chopped – up to your tolerance level)
          • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
          • Salt : 3/4 to 1 tsp ( up to taste)
          • Tamarind pulp : 1 tbsp
          • Curry leaf : 3 – 4
          • oil : 1/2 cup

          How to :
          1. Heat oil in a non stick pan … add curry leaf and let sizzle for a minute.
          2. Throw in all the ingredients ( potatoes.tomato,onion,chili,turmeric,salt and tamarind pulp).stir to mix well.
          3. Cover the pan and let cook  for about 25 to 30 minutes on gentle heat till the potatoes are done.
          4. Adjust seasoning .
          5. Chatpatay Aloo are ready to serve .

          Notes :
          • You can use juice of one lemon instead of tamarind pulp.Use tamarind or lemon juice as per your taste.
          • Omit curry leaf if you don’t have any at hand .
          • Do not add any water because potatoes will be done in the water released by tomato and onion.
          • These aloo make excellent sandwich filling . 
          • For Bahraini  readers ..since the tamarind is ready salted here .. Go easy on salt .. check the seasoning after adding the Imli Pulp to avoid saltiness.
          chatpatay Aloo

            Continue Reading >>

            Tuesday, January 12, 2010

            Achari Gobhi

            I personally believe that achar  ( pickle ) can perk up any bland dish and for that reason it is a staple food in almost every household.Nothing can beat the combo of a ladle or two of daal on a hot steamy plate of rice with achar , and simple tomato onion salad …ahh pure bliss !!

            There are several varieties of achar available but that was not enough for the achar lovers like me so they mix and match recipes using achari masala to satisfy their ‘ achari tooth “.

            Achari gobhi is one of the many ways you can use achari Masala to get the familiar achari taste.All I can say about achari gobhi is that it is not only supper yummy but supper easy and fast to cook dish that is a regular in our home. 

            What you need :
            • Phol Gobhi ( cauliflower ) : 1 kg ( cut into medium size florets)
            • Achari Masala : 1 tbsp
            • salt : 1 tsp ( up to taste)
            • Red chili : 1 tsp ( up to your tolerance level )
            • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp 
            • Lemon juice : 2 tbsp (  juice of one lemon is enough )
            • Oil : 1/2 cup
            • Water : 1 glass

            Achari Masala :
            • kalounji ( carway seed) : 1/2 tsp
            • Sabout zeera ( whole cumin ) : 1/2 tsp
            • Saunf (Aniseed) : 1/2 tsp
            • Rai ( Mustard seed ) : 1/2 tsp
            • Meethi dana ( Fenugreek whole) : 1/2 tsp

            Mix all the above listed whole masals.  It will make around a tablespoon or so . This is the standard masala used for pickling in Pakistan.

            Achari Ghobhi

            How To :
            1. Heat oil in a wide bottom pan .
            2. Add the Achari masala ( pic – 1 ) and let it sizzle for a minute. You will definitely smell the familiar achari aroma at this point. ( pic – 2 )
            3. Throw in the Phol gobhi and sauté for a minute. ( pic – 3 )
            4. Add in the salt ,chili and turmeric powders and continue sautéing for another minute coating the gobhi well with the masala. ( pic – 4 )
            5. Pour in the glass of water and lemon juice, stir once lightly and then cover and cook on medium heat till the water dries up and you end up with tender  achari masala coated gobhi florets. ( pic - 5 )
            6. Achari Gobhi is ready ( pic – 6 ) . Serve with buttered roti or naan.

              Notes :
              • Since there is just salt and chili as masala .. keep checking the seasoning and adjust it accordingly to avoid a bland outcome.
              • A glass of water is enough for cooked through gobhi ..but that also depends on the heat and pan you are using so work out that to avoid mushy gobhi.
              • Do not stir the gobhi after adding water because doing so will break the florets and in that case you may end with achari qeema :)
              • Go easy on Meethi Dana ..sometime it turns bitter.To avoid this instead of 1/2 tsp take 1/4 tsp of Meethi Dana.

              Achari Ghobhi
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              Thursday, January 7, 2010

              Everyday Chicken

              Its hard to confess but the truth is that I have been bitten by the “Blogging Bug” for sure. A few months back my shopping interest was all girlish bags ,shoes , make up ,perfumes and stuff but the day I  entered into the blogging world that has changed. To my surprise ( and the rest  ) now my shopping mainly consists of  what I say  “blog appropriate” crockery .

              My friends are so fed up with this that they even wont let me go to the crockery section if they are with me but I cant help to sneak :).This craze of mine is so obvious that recently I went shopping with my Abbo Jee and to my surprise he came to me with a bowl which was on display and he thought I might like it for my Blog appropriate crockery collection.I really liked the lovely black bowl and he bought it for me. 

              For the “official inauguration” of the black bowl I cooked simple everyday Chicken curry ( my abbo jee’s fav ) which i am sharing with you.

              What you Need:
              • Chicken : 12oo gms ( cut into curry pieces)
              • Onions : 2 medium ( Sliced finely )
              • Tomatoes : 2 medium ( chopped finely )
              • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
              • GG paste : 1 tbsp
              • Salt : 1 tsp ( up to taste )
              • Red chili : 1 tsp ( up to your tolerance level )
              • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
              • Coriander powder : 1 tsp
              • Cumin powder : 1/2 tsp
              • Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp
              • Fresh green chili : 2 – 3
              • Oil : 1/2 cup
              • Hot water : 3 glasses ( depends how much gravy or shorva you prefer)
              How to :
              1. Mix in the salt,chili,coriander,turmeric,cumin and garam masala powder into to the yogurt , mix well and keep aside.
              2. Heat oil and fry chicken pieces till they are light brown .Take out the chicken and keep aside.
              3. In the same oil fry sliced onions till golden brown. Add GG paste and sauté for a minute.
              4. Throw in the chopped tomatoes ,sauté till they become mushy .
              5. Now put the yogurt  + masala mix and the onion tomato mixture from the pan in a blender and blend  into a smooth paste . Return to the pan and continue cook on medium flame till it is no longer raw and you can see the oil floating .
              6. Now its fried chicken’s turn to join the rest in the pan.Sauté chicken along the masala paste till the chicken is thoroughly cooked . At this stage you should have nicely brown chicken with clingy masala paste.
              7. Add in 3 glasses of hot water and fresh green chili  , let it boil on high heat once and then reduce flame, cover and let it simmer gently for about 2o minutes.
              8. Everyday chicken is ready .. serve.
              • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to a pan full of water and keep cut chicken in it for 20 minutes to get rid of the raw chicken smell.Throw the water and wash chicken before use.
              • This is the basic chicken shorva curry .You can build many combinations from it. Add vegetables like potato, okra,lauki , cauliflower with water if you do not want plain chicken shorva or you can add spinach ,fenugreek to make palak chicken etc.
              • Always use hot water for the gravy or shorva instead of cold water for a smooth gravy.

              everyday chicken
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              Monday, January 4, 2010

              Aloo Maythi

              Come winter and once a month the weekend activities change  into this at Naseeb’s household..
              1. Visit to the local Central Market early in the morning.
              2. Coming home with bundles and bags full of all kind of greens found on earth. ( spinach , Fresh fenugreek , Mustard greens etc.)
              3. Picking , weeding and cleaning the greens bought .
              4. Cutting the greens .
              5. Boiling , and freezing the cut greens .
              Since we are only three people ( me , mom and dad ) ..cutting greens is a family affair …
              My Abbo jee picks the greens after weeding .. makes little bundles of them … My mom and I cut them the finest possible .. then the greens go into the washing session … (the longest and the most tiresome stage ) till they are absolutely dirt and sand free… in the end comes the boiling and freezing part done by yours truly.This whole process takes almost a day ( depends how much greens you have bought ) .. but it gives you many hassle free cooking days later where you can “ mix and match ” the greens with your choice of vegetable,meat or daal .

              Sounds easy .. not really if you have quality controller like my mom .I better not say any thing further .. hope you can imagine the rest :)

              Here is the first green encounter of this winter .

               What you need :
              • Aloo ( potatoes ) : 500 gms ( peeled and quartered )
              • Maythi ( fenugreek leaves ) : 250 gms ( boiled )
              • Onions : 2 medium ( chopped finely )
              • Tomatoes : 2 medium ( chopped finely )
              • GG paste : 1 tbsp
              • salt : 1 tsp ( up to taste )
              • Red chili : 1 tsp ( up to your tolerance level )
              • Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
              • Oil : 1/2 cup

              aloo meethi -pg

              How to :
              1. Heat oil and sauté onions till light brown. ( pic – 2 )
              2. Add in the dry masala and GG paste . ( pic - 3 )
              3. After sautéing for about two minutes .. throw in chopped tomatoes. (  pic – 4 ) and cook till you get a smooth masala paste .( pic – 5 )
              4. Add Maythi and cook for about five minutes. ( pic – 6 )
              5. Lastly add in Potatoes  ( pic – 7)  . Stir , cover and let cook on medium flame till potatoes get tender and oil floats on top. ( pic – 8 )
              6. Aloo Maythi is ready . Serve with chapatti or Parathas and raita.

              Aloo Meethi

              Notes :

              • If you want to use  fresh maythi ..the quantity should be 1 kg ... as maythi shrinks a lot after boiling and one kg will aprox. make 250 gms ( more or less ) of boiled maythi.
              • Defrost the frozem maythi on counter Top for about 2 hours or use the defrost option in the microwave.
              • Aloo Maythi makes an excellent breakfast with fresh Parathas or poories .
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