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.