The Reluctant Chef

While it is fun to go out for Pakistani Brunch or as we say ‘Nashta’ with the family, it may not always be possible due to living abroad. Or sometimes not having a restaurant close by, or as with COVID now, simply keeping social-distancing. Here, I am sharing the two easy Pakistani Brunch Menu items; Suji Halwa and Lahori Channae. SUJI KA KA HALWA Ingredients: 1 cup Suji 1/4 cup Ghee3-4 Cardamon Seeds 1 tsp Coconut shredded Pinch of Yellow color1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup sugar or as per taste 1 liter boiling water  Recipe: Start by heating Ghee in a wok/karhai and add the cardamon. Add suji andRead More →

Tamatar ki chutney ho tou aisi! I was introduced to this chutney at my Aunty Sayedah’s place while growing up in Jeddah. This was staple at their household. However, it was a supremely yummy treat for me! I can easily eat spoonfuls of this. This chutney is cooked, so it can stay good up to a week. Or maybe more. We never have any left at the end of the week to know otherwise. INGREDIENTS Cooking oil : 1/2 cup Rai Dana 1 TBSP (black mustard seeds) Garlic paste: 1/2 tsp Fresh green chili: 2-3 slices (as per your hotness liking) Whole red chilies :Read More →

This perfectly straight forward cake can be made with kids, as it does not require any special equipment. We made this as part of joyful activities while practicing social-distancing. Plus, you will NOT believe the secret ingredient which makes this awesome! Its water! Ingredients 2 cups sugar 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup Cocoa 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water Frosting (recipe follows) Directions 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a baking pan of your choice. 2. Stir together sugar, flour,Read More →

Calgarian Fall means it’s time to break out the soup pot and make a wholesome yummy spicy pot of the Hot & Sour Soup! It’s perfect on its own or to serve as starter. My recipe is based on trying several online versions and creating this mix for myself. So if you make it, do share the source , thank you! Also, I know you will ask about the Chili Garlic Sauce I use, so here is an image. It’s available easily in Walmart and all other major grocery stores. Ingredients Chicken stock Shiitake mushrooms 1cup chopped Tofu medium hard 1 cup cubed small BeanRead More →

Cooking to feed and eat.  No other way of explaining my chef-hood. My joy of cooking has awakened only recently. Despite take a course on Food & Nutrition for 4 years in my Bachelors, I never gave  much thought to it. The sole purpose of food was to curb my hunger and move on. Having lived for the best part of my life in Jeddah; a city of superb eat outs, one never was bothered about what to cook. Returning to my ancestral city of Lahore, again the adventure of the vacation was to eat as many local foods as possible. However, having moved toRead More →

UPDATE: When I wrote the below post, I was trying to put my own twist on a basic recipe that I knew. Since my readership has grown, my fine readers have enlightened me that the one below is very similar to Mutabaal, an authentic Syrian recipe. I however, have since updated my recipe.. so will continue to Call this for me the same name ( You can’t teach an old horse new tricks 😉 ). But I have thankfully learned so much for you all! Read on to the original post: ———————————— The first time I tried this dish, I was young and foolish, andRead More →

Having attended the acclaimed College of Home Economics Lahore, one assumes that I would know recipes at my tips, and can mix up a dinner in mere hours! Well, sad but true, I need a week to plan a dinner, and at least two days to actually cook! In my earlier years of marriage, despite asking my mom for all her recipes, which all were based on apnea hasab sae concept, I soon searched around for an alternative! Shan Masala is a house-hold name in almost all desi homes, and it doesn’t hurt that they play up the sentimental value of food in our culture through advertisements! CheckRead More →