Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Nothing better to have on a cold winter night than to have hot chocolate or coffee with nice homemade cookies. The good thing about doing home baking or cooking is that in the same amount of money you have double
the food that you would have if you bought a packet or ready made meals or cookie jars. There fore I've always prefered to cook my own meals plus it gives more satisfation of knowing what you're eating, your brain beomes more creative and the most important part of it is that if your children like to help in the kitchen you get more time to spend with them plus they learn a skill or two from you. In my case I love having them arround in my kitchen to see them lerning something new to do is a pleasure. Making cookies is their favourite thing to do with me they can be creative and make any shaped cookie or size they like. On occassions we have made cookies and used them as gifts to giv to our family and friends that we have. A lot of people think that its a hassle to have kids arround the kitchen, its more messy and so on but look at the broght side you're teaching them things that they will carry on teaching their kids plus its proven that anything thaught by play is the best way to teach any child so beleiving that I try and keep my kids playing in every task
arround the house keeping all the health and risk factors in mind ofcourse. These cookies I made first three years back for one of my boys birthday parcel great idea tht was kids loved it in school. I made them in round and star shapes you can make any shape that you like two batches will make about 90 cookies to keep and give out to friends which ever way you like. I also dip my cookies in hot melted chocolate and let them rest in the fridge over night you can leave them outside too if you like in a country thats not too hot climatically. These cookies are stored in an air tight container for about a week and a half mine don't last longer than thatbecause the kids finish it before that So am never sure if these will last longer or not. I hope this recipe will bring you joy, happiness and health sharing wih your friends and family on christmas and new year happy holidays..:)

  • Butter 225 g/8oz
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Plain flour 280 g/ 10 oz
  • Caster Sugar 140 g/50z
  • Pinch salt
  • Cookie cutters
  • grease proof paper two big square shaped peices.


  1. Pre- heat oven to 190 deg/gas mark 5.
  2. Grease the baking sheet and line with baking sheets.
  3. In a bowl mix butter and sugar and mix well until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  5. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture stir till the mixture is just combined don't over mix or your cookies will not rise well.
  6. Halve the dough cover in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 40-60 mins.
  7. Place one sheet of grease proof paper on the counter, now unwrap and place one dough ball on top of it and place the other sheet over it and roll. This will help preenting the dough from sticking on to the counter.
  8. Once you've rolledout to the thickness of about 1/6 inch cut into the shapes you like with your cookie cutters.
  9. Bake until golden brown just about 5-8 mins, when done place them onto a cooling rack until completely cooled down.

Once completely cooled you can decorate them as you like have on different ccassions dne different things but the best result I got was when I dipped them in chocolate and let the cool in the fridge. Best thing about these cookies is they are easy to make, keeps kids busy and can be used both as gifts and or to treat kids or yourself anytime. while baking these cookies make sure you keep them well apart because when the heat hits the cookie dough the butter,and sugar melt and expand needing more place then we may think they need. me and my family love making these hope you will too...healthy eating....:)

Monday, 9 November 2009


For me the best kind of meat is fish meat, I simply love a well cooked juicy fish. As I've grown up I've found out that studies have said that fish meat is very healthy. It was a rare thing in our house for the fish curry to be made, it was made occasionally once in a blue moon. We were more fond of having fried fish with khati daal and white rice yummmy, simply good. Like I said I've always loved fish but when I got pregnant that was when I had cravings for fish curry that mumma used to make with all the nice nutty spices that I had no clue of again how to make so I recreated the whole recipe for my self its not exactly the same but it does hit some of the right taste buds for me reminding me of mumma in the kitchen with one hand on her side and one on the counter over looking in the pan for checking the fish being cooked well or not then covering the pot and turning round to order us to change our school uniforms and back to help her lay the table for lunch, with all that aroma still going round in my head when I think about the whole senario wanting me to eat it right now. I miss her cooking the best thing about her cooking was that it was simple, easy, quick to make and yet so tasty and moth watering.
The major change that I brought to the recipe was exchanging ground peanuts to peanut butter smooth paste. Ever since I've used peanut butter I'm become a fan of it. Again I've always loved having peanut butter on toast with a nice cold glass of milk, some of you may not like that combo but beleive me try it in a curry and you'll always have a peanut butter bottle in your grocery list after that,because it not only gives a disticnt taste to your curry it also makes life and making curry easier. I lways have peanut butter in my closet because on the day that I don't feel like making too much effort I simply add peanut butter to the pan ith a bit of salt and yogurt ,voila my curry is ready. I have made this curry now for almost a decade and my guests and family have loved it hopefully this recipe will bring you great appetite and lots of great time entertaining family and friends.


  • 800g Haddock Fillet

  • 2Tbs Smooth Peanut Butter

  • 1 1/2 Cups Yogurt Smooth

  • 2-3 Tbs Coconut Milk Powder

  • 2-3 tsp Ginger & Garlic Paste

  • 1 1/2Cups water

  • Salt to taste.

  • Pinch tumeric

  • 1 tsp Red Cilli Powder

  • 1/4 Cups Tamarind ( I add alot of tamarind because I like t sour but you can add less if you prefer not to have it so sour)

  • Some Corriander to garnish

  • 1 Kari Patta Stick with leaves on

  • 2-4 Green Chillies

  • 2 tsp Rai Dana (Mustard seeds)

  • 1/4 Cups Oil (any oil tht you have easily available)

  • 1 tsp Zeera Powder
  1. In a bowl Add yogurt,salt,red chilli powder,peanut butter,tumeric,zeera powder, coconut milk powder and ginger galic paste mix well to a smooth paste.

  2. Add oil to the pan, when it starts to Crackle add the cardomoms and rai dana( mustard seeds).
  3. Once you see the cardamoms changing their colours addthe yogurt paste to it and start to mix well at this stage you have to be really alert since it can burn very easily, have 1/2 cup of water with you and as soon as you see the paste sticking to the pan add a few drops of water this process is called "bhunna" this gives color to you curry.

  4. When you see the color is changed to a nice golden brown and the the paste is separating from the oil, the oil has also change colour to red thats when you add the cup of water and kari patta.

  5. Bring to boil and add fish fillets to it and add tamarind paste and green chillies when the green chillies change their colour from being green to yellow green your taarind is cooked and so is the fish.

  6. Take a flat dish and place the cooked fish fillets first in the dish and then pour the curry over it, this prevents the fish fillets from breaking and helps dish out more easily.
This is such a simple recipe to make and best thing about this particular dish is that it tastes better on second day and is a lovely combination with warm white boiled rice and cold fish curry. In any hyderabadi house hold its a common excersise to have cold curry with reall nice warm rice the idea may sound crazy but its such a great comfort food that once had never forgotten. In this recipe I've used haddock fish but you can use any fish you like, red snappers and macarel are extremely good but have alot of fish bones so I avoid it for kids sake, but like I said any fish is good. Also i've used peanut butter but if you're allergic than please avoid it and add ground almonds instead of it or don't add all. Hope you will enjoy this recipe as much a my family and me have always done. ENJOY..:)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


I Call them do nuts simply because they're smell drives me nuts and takes me back in my childhood. Fist time ever I had a dough nut was in Florida fort Walton beach. we were on our summer vacations in 1983. Our uncle brought dough nuts every single day on his way back from work. The taste and smell has ever since stuck with me. I remember having them everyday sitting on a garden chair in his back yard and enjoy almost all the box. Yet it always seemed I'd not had enough of them. so as I grew older kept looking for the right recipe of it so instead of spending too much money I could just make plenty of them at home and have my own toppings. Have tried a lot of recipes and than came across this recipe which was easy to make and gave really good results my kids loved helping in making them as always and enjoyed them afterwards too. My advice while making these would be don't panic if they are a bit big in size or small in size just follow your instincts about the size and shapes. Its the taste of your food that would make it desirable to eat rather then size and shape of it. Its of course an added bonus to know how to present it. Hope you will have good family times making these...!
  • 250 ml/8.8 fluid oz Yogurt
  • 170g/6 oz Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 45g Butter melted
  • 500g Plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp Baking powder
  • 60g more flour for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 litre oil for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting if not using any other topping.


  1. Add eggs and sugar to a bowl and whisk them at high speed if using electric beater or whisk briskly till it changes its color and looks pale and fluffy.
  2. Then add yogurt,vanilla extract,salt,and melted butter and mix lightly.
  3. In a Bowl add all the dry ingredients and sieve before adding to the egg and sugar mixture.
  4. combine well just enough to bring the dough together not too much or the dough nuts will turn out too hard.
  5. Dust some flour on the work top and on your hands.
  6. Now roll the 1/4 of your dough to 1/2cm thickness roughly.
  7. Use any round pastry cutter or a cap or bottle anything that's easily accessible and can be used to cut the shape out of your choice.
  8. Cut all the doughnuts till there in no more dough is left.
  9. In a deep pan or a wok add the oil and bring warm it up and then add a piece of carrot which will help prevent from the oil to burn.-
  10. Fry your do nuts a minute on each side or until golden brown than place them on a paper towel.
  11. Once all done dust with icing sugar or dip in the topping of your choice.

I am creative so I like to make my own toppings and that too chocolate or white chocolate toppings with dessicated coconut or nuts. But I must say its what you like and everything that we do in life is a shadow of you and your personality even food. the food that we eat or share compliments you and tells others what you are like as a person. For example if some one Puts an omelet in front of their guests as a meal may not mean they don't care may mean they are casual fun loving and easy going. Its all in the way you look at it and i hope today you will have a new perspective of things in life....enjoy!


Next up is Mumma's fish Curry..stay tuned..:)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I'm in particular is not a big fan of pineapples but a few years back I read somewhere online that it helps in muscular pains especially the after exercise ones. which sort of inspired me to learn this recipe and work to make it work in best ways for me. I love baking cakes and experimenting different flavours, over the years I can just bake the cake right to my taste and thought its best to share my techniques and give the confidence that I have to others that anyone can cook if you know your basics well then all you need is practice them till you get to a point where not only your guests,friends and family say its yummy but you like them too.

In this cake the other main key ingredient is ground almonds that's add to the flavour of pineapples. I'm no chef and cook but I can certainly say this combination works well for reason of its own. when I first baked the cake it was the biggest disaster ever but over the last 3 years I made it over and over again so many times than tried making for school fare's,one dish parties and you name it first few times people said it was nice but as I kept making it people praised it more and more every time, even more which gave me two things in particular one the confidence to bake and two to try out things and practice even more. If a person ever looses the confidence then he can't do anything I would advice Don't start with the thought of being a pro because that can make one over confident resulting in a disaster.
In this cake you need to cut half way and people who are perfectionists may want proper tools but a knife works equally well if your hand is sturdy. You can use any sort of decorating ingredients for example if your like chocolate more you can have chocolate icing or strawberry frosting and so on but just plain double creams works best, yet again I would say anything that's works well for your taste buds will work well with others too. Fresh pineapple cakes are not normals cakes they do require some patience in terms of making with a relaxed mind would be best, and make sure you're not making or doing anything other than this sponge cake. Sponge cakes can go wrong greatly if the timing is not right. I hope your family will enjoy this cake for lots of occasions and festivities in all different parts of the world....:)

  • 1 400g Pineapple can.( keeping the syrup from the can)
  • 1/4 Pineapple juice.
  • 1 Cup Self raising flour.
  • 1/4 Cups Ground almonds.
  • 1/2 Cups caster sugar(you can add 1/2 cups more if you like it sweeter).
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder.
  • 5 Medium sized eggs separated.
  • 300g Butter (soft but not melted, leave it out the night before).
  • 1-2 tsp Vanilla extract.
  • Pinch Salt.
  • 200-300g Double cream for frosting.


  1. Line the tin preferably a round tin. (but if you don't have one its OK to use a square one too)
  2. Pre-heat oven at 180 deg.
  3. In a bowl separate egg whites and egg yolks.
  4. Mix sugar,vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat well at medium speed if using electric beater.Beat until its become airy and fluffy.
  5. In a bowl sift flour,salt and baking powder.
  6. Add to the egg an sugar mixture, fold in very carefully making the shape of 8.
  7. Then add ground almonds and mix very lightly not too much.
  8. In a bowl beat egg whites at high speed, until they start to form soft peaks. don't over do it otherwise the cake will not rise enough and won't be light and airy.
  9. Fold into the mixture now and with a spatula mix only till you don't see the egg whites, but still see the bubbles.
  10. Pour the mixture in the tin and bake for about 35-40 Min's.
  11. Once out of the oven let it cool down completely.
  12. Cut it diagonally in half keeping hand steady and in the center, keep them both on separate plates facing the insides out facing you.
  13. Now take the can syrup and pineapple juice mix them in a jug and with the help of a big soup spoon pour it oer both halves.
  14. Don't have to use all the juice just use enough to soak you cake.
  15. Leave them over night to soak well and the work well as a sponge.
  16. Beat the double cream to make peaks.
  17. Then apply a very thin layer of double cream to the side that you want to keep as the bottom of the cake.
  18. Cut your pineapple in small pieces and spread it all round the cake over the cream.
  19. Place the other half of the cake on top carefully since it will be ell soaked and fragile.
  20. Now cover the cake all over with the double cream as lavishly as you like or as scarcely as you like according to you liking and decorate to challenge your creativity.

Remember this cake is not difficult to make and every one can bake provided they're timing is right,the temprature is right. Your frosting can have food colouring added to it so don't just stop at decorating it white get colourful and add some variety to life. Also there in no hard and fast rule that you have to use double cream you can use single cream of no cream at all. Its always great to remember that this is adding and subtracting from the basic recipes to your liking these recipes are what I like but is not compulsory that you may like the same taste. So feel free to be wild and creative and confident enough to try new things in life so you know what's you ad whats not....hope you enjoy making this cake will soon update this particular blog with more pics to make it easy for everyone...tata...:)

PS NOTE:- next up is "DO NUTS"

Saturday, 9 May 2009


This soup is very close to my heart the first time I had it I was staying with my aunt( Aniya ma). Its been so many years since than but every time I have make it reminds of the good old days. I've always loved her cooking but this soup is just too good I think. its a whole meal in it self, healthy and great for kids. When I first time saw her making, she was adding cream and for some reason I thought she was adding yogurt and ever since than I've always used cream until recently when I realized it wasn't yogurt. I know its funny but after I found out I have still carried out using yogurt but now I also add cream. Aniya has always been an inspiration in all ways to me and to be able to have a recipe of hers is a privilege and an honor. This also reminds me of the carefree times that I've had nothing much to do all done by the elders and us enjoying life, culture and food. learnt a lot but also had more time to do nothing virtually.
The best thing about this soup is that's its easy to make and requires very little time to make. It takes about an hour or so and the whole meal is ready. We usually have it with bread and butter you can have it just on its own entirely up to your taste buds.
Thank you Aniya ma for sharing such a wonderful recipe with us and giving us the chance to hand this recipe down to our next generations. Also to let us enjoy the joys of life by having something so simple to make yet so so delicious....enjoy:)
  • 5-6 Tomatoes ( i like to use more but you can use less tomatoes also like 3-4 also if
    using the beef tomatoes)
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (you can also use whole chicken to make up the stock and make some sandwich spreads or use whole if you like more chicken in the soup)
  • 1/4 Cup yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup single/double cream (some for extra for garnish)
  • 2-3 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup macaroni ( I like lots of macaroni therefore I use more about 2 cups.)
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp salt ( or to taste)


  1. Wash you chicken well.
  2. Add chicken,garlic cloves,salt and pepper to the pan.
  3. Pour water over it this will help everything to mix well without stirring.
  4. Let it boil once and then lower the heat and let it cook covered for 20 Min's.
  5. Cook it till the chicken is well cooked than take out the chicken from the water and place it on the plate to cool a bit.
  6. Once the chicken is cool enough to touch and not burn your
    fingers, shred it and leave it aside covered till needed.
  7. Bring the stock to boil
  8. Now add macaroni to the stock and let lower the heat to medium and let it cook.
  9. Now place some water is a pan and bring to boil
  10. Add tomatoes on at a time with a cut on the side this will help to peel off the skins of the tomatoes more easily once they are half boiled.
  11. After adding the tomatoes to the pan cover and cook for 1-2 Min's on high heat. when you uncover it you'll see the slit has opened and the skins are soft enough to peel.
  12. Peel all the tomatoes and place them in a blender and blend till it becomes juice like consistency.
  13. Place sieve over the chicken stock and pour the tomato juice. make sure before you add the juice the macaroni is completely cooked.
  14. When the it starts to boil ,With a fork beat the yogurt and cream separatelyin different bowls.
  15. Add the cream first mix well then add yogurt and in the end add the chicken that was shredded earlier.
  16. mix well and bring to boil once.
  17. In a 1/4 cup milk add the corn flour and mix well.
  18. Stirring with a wooden spoon continuously add the corn flour and milk mixture stop stirring once its added.
  19. Take the soup off the heat once you see the soup thickening.
  20. Garnish with mint leaves and drizzle cream over it.
  21. The quantities of the cornflour can be adjusted accordingly to how thick you like the soup. Since I like to eat it as a whole meal my soup is very thick and creamy you can keep that to your liking. There is one more thing that I forgot to mention which is if your on a diet and don't want to use cream you can omit it and only use yogurt. It'll still be the same just with less calories. Me and my family has enjoyed this soup now for more than 10 years and I hope yours will too...healthy eating ..enjoy:)

Monday, 27 April 2009


Our baba ( father) loved cooking and he most definitely a great chef for us. we looked forward to his cooking which he rarely did because mumma was also great at cooking so he very rarely got the opportunity to cook but when he did he did a fabulous job. It was almost impossible to stop one's self from eating. I think his trick was to keep it simple and healthy, his recipe's were not complicated yet were really the appealing to the eye in the stomach. His opportunity to cook was when he was on his own while we were in Karachi on vacations, I'm not so sure if he cooked for himself or not because I remember he loved to eat with people around rather him eating on his own. but on the day we were to return he always cooked food for us all. It was like a religious thing for him to cook for our first day back home. He would never ever buy food on the way back home. And this was one of the things that he made even for dinner parties we had on request of our guests. i remember once some one had asked him specially to cook this bhindi curry. Bhindi is also known as lady finger or okra. Its a great dish for vegetarians and a quick fix kind of dish. takes about 20 Min's to make and it can't get easier than that. This dish is very close to my hear and helps me to calm down and brings back lots of good memories of old times. reminds me of my baba and I will always treasure this for its taste, simplicity and freshness hope you will too.
  • 1/2 Kg Fresh bhindi
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • 250 g Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1 tsp Chili powder more if you like it hot
  • 1/4 cup water if needed
  • 2 -3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole zeera
  • 1/2 tsp roasted powdered zeera
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • some coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Wash bhindi clean and cloth dry one by one making sure its dry before cooking. (Don't wash after cutting the bhindi Always do it before.)
  2. Cut the top and bottom of the bhindi, I cut the bhindi in half you can leave it whole if you like.
  3. Slice onions thinly.
  4. In a pan add oil , let it start to crackle add whole zeera than add sliced onions.
  5. Cook on high heat till your onions start to sweat and the curry starts to change colour.
  6. At this stage add all other ingredients except tomatoes and bhindi.
  7. keep mixing at very high heat adding some water from time to time.
  8. When the masala has turned a little golden brown than add the bhindi and mix well.
  9. When mixed well than add tomatoes and mix once.
  10. Don't add water once tomatoes added cover and cook on low heat till the oil starts to separates or at the touch the bhindi breaks.
  11. take it off the stove and put in in a bowl add green chillies and coriander leaves as garnish.

The trick is to remember while making bhindi /okra is to not add water after you've added it to the Curry masala. other wise it breaks very easily and also has some sticky slimy thing that easily puts one off eating bhindi. I think with cooking its easy if one knows the tricks and trade of it or else one can go wrong terribly ending in a disaster the down side is that no one will eat it except it where as if you do it right you can get a lot of praises and impress your family and friends. Hoping this will be another recipe you'll use to impress your friends and family. enjoy..:)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Alo meaning potato and gosht as most of you may know is meat.Alo gosht has a lot of sentimental values and childhood memories for me. It reminds me of a very hot afternoon in Karachi at my paternal grand parents house with a long dastar khuwan meaning a long table cover laid on the floor rather than on the table itself to accommodate more people at home. Back than there usually a lot of joint families and we had in a big three bed room house almost 10 people on one floor and second floor having the same number of rooms but less people living there, but at meals times usually they also joined in so you can imagine the number of people living in one house.So this curry if you can imagine was not made in minimalistic quantity in fact the quantity was so that one could feed whole of Manchester as they say it.

I've had alo gosht for ages so can't pin point a year or date but every time I eat it, it gives me comfort and I feel with every bite that people who made it for us are around even though they are not really there any more. Phupo ami's alo gosht was simply the best and I've not really had that taste after she passed away but I did have her recipe and keep trying to get to perfection and sometimes I do when and sometimes I don't. Cooking also depends on what mood you're in if your mood is not very happy or chirpy your cooked food will show, your mind has to be alert and very calculated, one miss take, a minute here and there your curry can get burnt. This certainly does not mean that you have to be tensed or not relaxed you can be both and have a great curry at your hand in the end most definitely. Alo gosht is most definitely a household dish for all Pakistan's. This Curry is mild in taste and usually eaten with chapatti's and tomato and onions salad called kachomar. you can have it with white boiled rice and raita or plain yogurt. I hope you and your family will enjoy this very traditional Pakistani style Alo gosht.

  • 4-5 Medium sized potatoes
  • 1/4 kg Meat (with bones, cut in medium sized pieces)
  • 1-2 tsp Coriander power
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp salt ( depending on how much water you've added)
  • 1tsp Red chili powder more if you like more
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-3 Green chillies for garnish
  • Some coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 2 Onions cut in four pieces
  • 150 g canned tomatoes / 2-3 medium sized tomatoes


  1. Wash the meat well.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut in big chunky pieces.
  3. In a bowl add water and 1/2 tsp salt than add your potatoes this will prevent the potatoes from changing color, and set it aside.
  4. Now in a pan add oil ,1/2 cup water,red chili powder,salt,meat,turmeric and coriander powder.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat, till the onions are sweating and change their color.
  6. At this stage the meat will be half done.
  7. Increase the heat and stir continuously adding water drops by drops don't add too much at this stage and don't leave your curry on the stove at this stage on its own. its the most crucial stage this will give your curry the color you're after.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes if using fresh or add the canned ones that also chopped and still continuously stirring on high heat for 2-4 Min's or till you see the oil separating from the tomatoes and onions masala.
  9. Now add your potatoes to the curry still stirring on high heat.
  10. now add 2 1/2 cups water let the curry boil once and than bring the heat to low cover and cook till the curry thickens a bit and the potatoes are cooked well but not over done otherwise they will break.
  11. This takes about 30-35 Min's approx
  12. Just before serving add chillies and coriander leaves.

Remember the coriander powder you use make it yourself by roasting the seed in a frying pan till they are golden brown. That's how you will get the most authenticated taste if you use the ready made powders they will give you some smell but it really won't give you the taste you're after. For me that's like the secret ingredient. you can be making it 100 times yet not getting the taste and that's the real reason for it. In the olden days in India they roasted all the spices that they used not since there is very little time that one has we usually miss out the real thing and really eat anything we get our hands on so we can be living but the real pleasure is in when we work hard and get a great result and that's what's cooking is all about..have fun..:)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Sorry first of all to all who follow my blog and are visiting here for something new every now and than .Have been extremely busy with studies and kids holidays. Finally got some time and thought for all who love cakes and that too a chocolate cake here's a treat.

The first cake that I ever baked was a chocolate cake when I was just about 10 years old. At the time had very little knowledge about the ingredients just knew there was flour,eggs and baking powder in it. But interestingly enough I did not know that this flour was not the wheat flour that we make chapatis with, it was plain flour I suppose its the language barrier because even when some one said plain flour the thought that came to my mind was that its simply plain flour. Any way I soon discovered that it was not the right flour I'm using and worked on my baking again and again and again. For me cake baking has become the easiest thing to do in the kitchen over the years. It took me some time to get the hang of it and the must thing that I learnt about baking is that one needs to practice a lot. sometimes the cakes go flat but that's the best thing about cake baking that even if its flat yet cooked properly its not a disaster its still successful cake baking in my opinion. Until a few years back I thought if the cake cracked in the middle it was not good enough to present in front of the guests but soon after I learnt a secret that's shouted out so loud that its no more a secret really which is that the icing is invented to cover up your cake cracks and hiding one's blunders.

Even though I've never been a very big fan of chocolate itself I still love making this cake with recently finding out facts that it has a lots of healing power and major health benefits, and the best two I found were that it helps muscles to recover from exercise and improves skin. It also helps in preventing blood clotting . As a child we got chocolates as treats and that too in ration and our mum always told us its not good for our teeth but what she didn't know was that later studies would tell us that it helps release mucus when we have cold and cough so in short its healthy if taken in moderation of course. With all that knowledge i hope you will enjoy making this recipe for kids, for yourself and or guests at a party.

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 300 g butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 deg.
  2. Grease and line the tin before making the cake mix.
  3. Put all the dry in a bowl through a sieve.
  4. In a separate bowl mix sugar and butter well until they change colour and feel light and fluffy.
  5. Make sure the butter being used is completely melted not in microwave just at room temperature.
  6. Now add eggs one at a time gradually mixing well.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and do this initially spoon by spoon and than all of it.
  8. while mixing add milk to it as well so that you have a smooth paste like consistency.
  9. pour the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 30-45 Min's in a pre- heated oven. check with a skewer or a butter knife.
  10. let it cool down before you turn it over.



  • 100 g cooking milk chocolate
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. melt chocolate on a double boiler.
  2. take it off the stove add the double cream and sour cream and mix well.
  3. as you will mix the cold cream you will notice that's it starts to thicken a bit and then just pour it over the cake and dust it with icing sugar or decorate as you like.

when making the cake remember if you like it to be chewy add more butter and don't over bake the cake. if you like it a bit on the crumbly side then bake another 5 Min's. enjoy the luxurious delight as a treat with coffee or coke anything you like. Use it for kids party or dinner party for adults its a simple and delightful cake to enjoy. hope you like it.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


This recipe is easy to make and everyone will love it and will be impressed by your skills, and the best thing about this recipe is that you don't have to put in a lot of hard work making it. This takes about 30 Min's to prepare. So if you're tired or have been to work today and want to make something easy and not time consuming than this is for you. Kids love it with juice and a fan of this savoury crepes. this basically came from a pack of plain flour but the original recipe had red grapes in it, if you like the idea you can try it with that since my family is not so keen on it so I used bell peppers and worked wonders for me. I remember the first time I made my in laws were visiting me from Pakistan and they instantly fell in love with these. I can't blame them because I'm in love with these too simply satisfying and sort of comfort food really. For me with kids around anything with less work works well. I've been making these crepes for the past 5 years and every time i make them they disappear from the dish in Min's. I hope that's what's going to happen when you make it to impress your partner or your family. The key to remember is that if your first crepe does not look like the one in the picture don't panic take your time to practice first 2 and than you'll notice they will come out perfect. Enjoy life like you were having a bar of chocolate and enjoy food like you were sun bathing great till its nice and warm isn't it??:)

  • 1/2 Cups plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 125 ml (1/4 pint) Milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 1Medium chicken fillet thinly sliced
  • 1 Medium onion sliced
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) Butter
  • 1 Bell pepper ( you can use any colored bell pepper )
  • 4Tbsp Yogurt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon
  • 2Tbsp Plain flour

  1. Place flour and salt in a bowl add eggs and half the milk.
  2. Beat well until smooth then stir in the remaining milk.
  3. To make each crepe heat little oil in a 17.5 cm /7 inch heavy based frying pan.
  4. Add enough batter to thinly coat the base of the frying pan.
  5. Fry gently till golden on one side and then toss over occasionally,than add the filling to it.

  1. Wash the chicken well
  2. Fry chicken and onions in a little oil until cooked.
  3. Melt butter in a pan and mix plain flour add milk and cook till it thicken a bit.
  4. Then add yogurt cooked chicken and bell pepper any colour and season to taste.
  5. Stir well and prepare this before making pancakes so you can add to it while their cooking in the pan.
  6. I use any non stick pan each batter mix makes 4-6 pancakes depending on the size of the pan.
  7. For one pancake(crepe) use a ladle full each.
  8. When you think the pancake is done on both sides add the filling.
  9. Now cross both sides like you would do in a dossa in the pan or like a you would in a cheese omelet not on the plate because they break very easily.

When add the bell pepper remember to add it right at the end just mix it don't cook it otherwise it will loose all the crunch and taste we need for the filling. You can also change the size of your crepes as depends what you really want to serve it as if serving as a main meal course than keep the size of the pan as mentioned above but if want to serve as tea time snacks than a small egg frying pan to serve as tea time savoury treats. be creative and use this recipe as you desire. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as my family and friends do.Until next time healthy eating.

Friday, 13 March 2009


Mumma usually made Bhunna salan with some daal,rice and chapati of course. Bhunna salan means curry with no gravy, this kind of curries are eaten with chapatis rather than with rice. Since my Baba was a mixture of Kashmir and Lahore cultures this curry comes from his side of the family meaning that this dish is more influenced by the Punjab side of Pakistan.
A lot of people have this misconception that curries are all the same and are from India only, which is totally wrong curries are made all over the world carrying influences of climate, geographical locations and traditions. Curries show there influences by the way they are cooked , the spices used and the even the vegetables used. The climate Also plays a very important role in suggesting which dish to have in what season, depending on seasonal vegetation available in particular areas. Like for example carrots are more easily available in the winters in markets around Pakistan and India so a lot of people would want to make the most of the season and make gajar halwa. Like wise this curry Mumma usually made during the season these two vegetables were available easily. Its simple to make and i love to have it with lots of yogurt just simply feels like heaven to me. We usually had had khatti daal which enhances the taste of this curry its so strange to have said that because this really means bringing two dishes of two different back grounds together khatti daal is sour daal made in Hyderabad India. For me this particular dish holds a lot of memories hope its does create more memories for you and your generations to come...:)
  • 1/4 kg Meat cut in cubes with or without bone your choice.
  • 2 Tbsp Any vegetable oil.
  • 1/4 cup water.
  • 1tsp Salt (you can have a little bit more to suit your taste).
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder (again if you like more add more).
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric.
  • 1 Medium sized kaddo(loki or bottle gourd) cut in small cubes.
  • 1 Big aubergine (baigan) cut same way as kaddu size of the cubes should be similar.
  • 1 tsp Ginger and garlic paste.
  • 150g -200g Chopped tomatoes.
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies.
  • Few coriander leaves for garnish.


  1. Wash the meat throughly.
  2. Prepare your vegetables by cutting them small cubes.
  3. While cutting Aubergines have a bowl or water with a teaspoon of salt in it and add you aubergines to it so they don't go brown.
  4. Now in a pan add oil and ginger garlic paste stir fry for just about 1/2 a min.
  5. Add all ingredients except the tomatoes.
  6. Add water and mix well now cover and cook on low heat for an hour or until you see the vegetables have left their water and its bubbling.
  7. Check if the meat is well cooked or tender to touch but not breaking.
  8. Then increase the heat evaporate the water and add tomatoes don't add tomatoes to the curry until you are sure the meat is tender otherwise the meat will be chewy rather than melting in the mouth.
  9. Add no more water to it let it cook in the tomato's water and keep stirring till you see it caramelizing and sticking to the pan add a little water spoon by spoon to save it from burning once you have attained the red color of the curry.
  10. Add green chillies and mix once.
  11. Place it in a bowl and garnish with few coriander leaves.

The best thing about this curry is that you can cut and freeze your vegetables before hand just add to the meat when you're making this dish it simplifies the whole process rather doing it at the same time or on the same day. if you like it fresh then that's a different thing but if you like being lazy then its always better to buy you vegetables fresh, clean clean cut and freeze this helps save you time when making curries. as this one is really simple but other curries are sometimes not so simple with having to grind and roast the spices. I hope you enjoy and like this recipe as much as I do in remembering Mumma.


I simply just love kebabs any kind but my favourite are the ones made from raw mince meat rather the cooked ones. When we were younger Mumma usually made shami kebabs which is made by cooking the meat before hand with daal. Its is Also quite easy to make but these ones were even better much more juicy and succulent. what I liked about this recipe was the inside being juicy and out side having a crisp layer of bread crumbs. For kebabs I have tried a lot of recipes but this one is my personal favourite as it take just about 10- 15 Min's to prepare and make. I usually make this when kids come back from school and want to have something eat I serve these with either humus or with carrot yogurt and pitta. The kids love it and its a healthy blend of textures and tastes in one meal. You can if you like add a bit of red crushed chili. As I make these for my kids I usually keep that to minimal use or none at all.

Kids love snacks and better they love to make it and see it in different shapes. When in a rush I tend to just do it myself but when I have time and they are off school I tend to get them to work and learn something new. They love to mix and experiment with spices, this way they are learning about the spices as well and increasing their kitchen vocabulary. Its also helping them to think more independently as I place spices and ingredients in front of them to mix up with their own choices. makes them feel more like a grown up and the best bit they eat it all up because they've worked hard to make it. I hope this will help you help your kids learn more about your kitchen and cooking...enjoy it while it lasts they say and am trying to do so hope you can too...:)

  • 1/4 kg Mince meat (lamb)
  • 1/4 Bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
  • Some coriander leaves
  • 2 Green chillies chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Butter (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper chopped really in small pieces as small as you can.
  • 2 Eggs for coating
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Golden bread crumbs


  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Put mince meat in a bowl and add butter and mix well,this helps to keep the meat juicy.But if you're counting calories you can leave this step.
  3. Now add red bell peppers,coriander leaves,flat parsley,salt,black pepper, 1 egg and green chillies if you like it hot.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Beat the 2 eggs add salt & pepper to taste and leave aside.
  6. Place golden bread crumbs in a flat plate.

  7. Now make the shapes you want oval, round or seekh kebab's
    shape what ever you like.
  8. Roll the kebabs in beaten eggs and then roll in the bread crumbs.
  9. Heat the oil to medium heat place a carrot stick to prevent the oil from burning.

  10. Shallow fry the kebabs 2-3 Min's on each side.

I don't usually add chillies to my kebabs just for the reason that my children eat these kebabs. But have tried having them with chillies and they taste even better. If you like being creative and want to make some other shapes like teddy bears or fishes simply place the cling film on the counter and rub some drops of oil on it ,then place your mince meat on it in a ball shape, now place another sheet of cling film and with the help of a rolling pin roll it to the 1/2 inch thickness. Now remove the top layer of cling film and by the help of cookie cutters cut out the desired shapes. I hope you will love seeing your kids make these kebabs for you....:)


As a child and as a grown up I've been a fan or fruits and chocolate equally. As a child i used to say to Mumma quite often can we not just have fruits rather having cooked food and she would laugh at me, now as a grown up I know that the obvious answer was no and why it was no. But i still can't understand why do we always have to cook food rather why not enjoy the raw food God has made for us meaning fruits and vegetables. The more raw fruits and vegetables we eat in the world the more obesity and health problems will disappear in my opinion. Any how i have seen this particular way of having strawberries quite often on the television but to have all kinds of fruits coated never since our kids love both i thought will give it a try. It turned out that kids fell in love the fruits that they did not or were not interested before. We tried red apples,banana's,strawberries we even tried canned peaches and pineapples. I think its a great combination of two of my favorite ingredients. These chocolate coated fruits can be used for cake decorations or just on their on in a party or just as a snack for kids and yourself.


  • 100g Milk chocolate(you can use unsweetened/semi sweet cooking chocolate also)
  • Fruits (can use any fruits but pineapple,banana's and strawberries work the best)


  • Grease proof paper
  • A glass bowl
  • A small pan
  1. Place your pan on the stove.
  2. Add water to it and bring to almost the stage of boiling.
  3. Remove from the heat now place the glass bowl in the warmed water .
  4. Leave the chocolate in the bowl in the water for about 2-3 Min's.
  5. Mix with a spatula gradually the chocolate will all melt giving you a liquid form.
  6. While the chocolate is melting prepare your fruits.
  7. Cut them in any sizes you like or keep them whole as they are if using strawberries or bananas.
  8. If using pineapple use fresh ones they work better than the canned ones.
  9. Lay a sheet of grease proof paper on your counter or wire cooling rack.
  10. Now very carefully dip the fruits in the chocolate, and place them on the sheet of grease proof paper to cool down.
  11. When its cooled down or hardened on the outside serve and enjoy.

100 g of chocolate is just enough for one banana and a punnet of strawberries of 300g. You can increase the amount of chocolate and fruits if you have more people to serve, or needed for decoration. i like to stick to basic amounts because its quite a lot for us. The simplicity and elegance of this dish just pulls me towards itself . Its simple, yet so elegant that you can create so much design on a cake using your creativity. I hope you will give this a try and that your kids will fall in love with it. I'm sure they will be ever so ready to help you make this for them. Have fun....enjoy..:)

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Raana auntie my younger sister's mother in law most creative person I've met of her age after mumma. Her creativity most definitely reminds me of my mumma in a lot of ways. She thought me unconscious way that lots of simple things can give you joy in life. The first time we went to her place she had made paneer as a part of salad. she served us with the simplest of lunches ever that i was not used to. Mumma always had everything so very grand even if it was having someone over friends for coffee morning or just simple tea in the evening. So to have simple meals at a lunch parties was such a new idea to me. The best thing about this cheese is that its the healthiest form of cheese not much to worry about weight gain. you can have this cheese in lots of flavours when you make it your self like when you add salt you can also add chives, coriander, mint, or dried herbs like sage,oregano,even roughly grounded chillies or other spices basically anything really to suit your taste buds,but if using in recipes to cook like in palak paneer then just keep it simple with salt and a bit of black pepper. Would like to thank Raana auntie for sharing her recipe with us its been now seven -eight years now that we've known her and her recipe. Every time I've made it, we have enjoyed it thoroughly as much as i did the first time i had it ever. Hope you will enjoy and treasure this recipe as I have done for all these years...!
  • 1 Litre Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Lemon's Juice
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper


  1. Add milk to a pan and on gentle heat bring to boil.
  2. Now add the lemon juice to the milk.
  3. Once the milk starts to curdle add salt and pepper.
  4. Mix gently once.
  5. Remove from heat and strain in a metallic sieve.
  6. Leave for an hour of so before turning it out into the plate.
  7. When straining you can shape it into desired shape but using the sieve is the easiest way of doing it.

    When you want to have it for salads you can make it fresh but if desired to make it for frying or using it in dishes like palak paneer make it a day before. This helps the cheese to keep its shape when frying, and makes it easier to serve without breaking. If you like you could use yogurt also to curdle the milk its much more creamier that way. For that use about 2 tsp of yogurt.I hope you will enjoy having healthy paneer as much as we all have for the last couple of years, thanks to Raana auntie. Its also a good way of teaching your kids how to make cheese at home and get them involved in the kitchen...enjoy healthy meals always...:)