Thai soup..

Winter is arriving soon which means alot of great soups and amazing dishes are goning to be on the menu…

I always enjoy having piping hot soups though there are cold soups too but I prefer them warm. Among all soups, Thai soup had always been my favourite one. There are many variations of this soup but today the recipe which I’m sharing with you all is with my little twist and trust me , it tasted awesome..

If you’re the one who enjoys soups so,here’s a great one to start with.

Thai Soup:

Ingredients:

#: Chicken. 250gms jullienes

#: Garlic crushed. 3_4 cloves

#: Ginger jullienes. 1 1/2 “piece

#: Big juicy lime. 1

#: Lemon grass. 3_4 strands

#: Salt to taste

#: German peppers. 2

#: Turmeric powder. 1 1/2 tsp

#: Coconut milk. 1 cup

#: Chicken stock. 1 cube

#: Oil. 2_3tbsps

Preparation:

Take a pot and put it on the flame. First bring flame high and pour in the oil. Quickly add crushed garlic and stir. As it starts to get aromatic add chicken and salt stirring fast. As the chicken turns white in colour, bring flame to medium and add chicken stock cube, tumeric and mix it well. Add water to it as much required for the soup. As the stock starts to boil, add the coconut milk and stir. Now squeeze in the lime first half and taste if the sourness is sufficient as per your taste. If you find it mild , squeeze a little more . Now cover the lid for 10_15 minutes. Open the lid, check the consistency of soup. Remember this soup is supposed to be light and runny. When flavours are all combined properly add the ginger jullienes and the german peppers and cover lid with the minimum flame for a minute more then turn off the gas. Garnish with lemon grass while serving.

I usually serve this soup with either crackers or garlic bread. Do you want to give it a try!

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Bean it up…..

img_20180831_1735521We all know that protein is very important source of energy in our diets which is why it’s a common perception that eat alot of meat because it is a great source of protein. But now people are aware and smart enough to know other sources of consuming protein in diet in a much healthier way, pulses!!

Yes pulses are great source of protien yet far much healthier and lighter than meat. Some major pulses or lentils are kidney beans, chick peas, black beans etc. It is a very common belief that meat is much tastier that vegetables. Yes it is true that meat looks exotic , much royal and feasting than vegetables but….. if you are a player of ingredients and know the flavours… trust me vegetables and pulses carry such an amazing flavour that if you start having beans pulses more than meat, you won’t loose any healthy source in diet infact you will be consuming much fibre and protien in a much healthier way. So today I was thinking to share something I won’t say new bit still something very delicious, nutritious,easy and high in protien diet. Today I’m going to share  my recipe of “Red kidney beans Kababs”.

Try once and you’ll crave for more that’s for sure. So shall we start!

Ingredients:

Red kidney beans                       1cup

Onion                                            2 medium

Soya fresh leaves                        2tbsps

Green chillies                               1_2

Cumin powder                             1tsp

Garam masala powder               1tsp

Salt                                             as per taste

Ginger grated fresh                     1tsp

Garlic grated fresh                      1tsp

Cilantro fresh                      small bunch

Corn flour                                    2_3tbsps

Oil for shallow frying

Procedure:

Soak the beans over night. Strain them and in two cups water with a little salt keep on stove to boil. When beans are completely boiled and soft enough to be smashed with your finger take out of the hot pot and keep aside to cool down. Now in a blender , put all the ingredients along with the beans except the oil. Blend roughly not too fine.

Take out of the blender and put in the refrigerator for an hour. Agter an hour take this mixture out , put some oil in your palm a.d make kababs small or big as per your choice in a round shape. Can be done in an oval shape too. Take a frying pan , pour some oil in the centre about 2_3tbsp. Now slowly place your kababs in the oil not very frequently tossing and turning otherwise they will break. Patiently fry on a medium to low heat 2_3minutes one side and when its brown and crisp on one side ,turn it the otherside and fry the same way. Serve with any choice of yours dips or chutneys. Enjoy!

 

Butter Chicken

Ever tried this ultimate yummy rich delicacy from India. It is a must dish to try and I promise you won’t regret. It is an Indian curry very rich in flavour and texture. There are many variations to prepare this as per taste but some ingredients are very basic which cannot be substituted otherwise you will have a dish but it won’t be justified to call it butter chicken.

I remember very well some thirteen years back when I was visiting my maternal parents in Delhi. My uncle introduced this delicacy to us . This dish can be served either with herb rice or zeera (cumin) rice, parathas or naan . It is up to your choice. I had it with parathas and my my …. it was heavens!! The flavour of charcoaled chicken covered with thick rich yummy gravy with aroma of hot butter was a total divine. I can still sense it’s taste in my memory for it’s too good to be forgotten.

It is very rich dish so we can’t have it regularly but if there’s any special occasion so it’s the best choice to add in your menu as a main course. I’ve tried this dish at different restaurants and all had there own techniques but as I said earlier , few basic ingredients are must otherwise you won’t get what you’ve asked for.
So the wait is over because today I’m going to share this mouth watering ultimate butter chicken my way. I just hope you like it.

STEP ONE:

Ingredients to marinate Chicken

Chicken 1/2kg
Thick yoghurt 2_3tbsps
Tandoori masala 2tbsps
Oil 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Vinegar 2 tbsps
Coal for smoky flavour
Paprika powder 1tbsp

STEP TWO:

Gravy Ingredients

Butter 5_6 tbsps
Medium onion 1 sliced
Tin of tomatoes. 1 can or
Tomatoes 4_5 large
Ginger garlic paste 1tbsp
Cumin pdr 1tsp
Coriander pdr 1tsp
Salt per taste
Fenugreek dried leaves 1tbsp

Green cardamom 3_4 pods

Cinnamon stick 1 2″
Garam masala pdr 1tsp
Paprika pdr 1tsp
Green chillies 2_3 slit
Cream 5_6 tbsp
Fresh coriander small bunch

PREPARATION

Take a bowl and place all the ingredients listed in step one except the coal. Mix well all the spices in the chicken . If you’re having chicken with bone , don’t forget to put slits on it so that all the spices go thoroughly in the chicken. Cover the bowl and set aside. Now burn the coal till it turns white. Place this burning coal over a piece of aluminum foil and put this in between the marinated chicken. Drizzle a little bit of oil on the coal and cover it immediately making sure no air passes through the bowl. Let it be aromatic with charcoal for 10 mins. Now remove the coal and refrigerate the chicken for atleast 4_5 hrs.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set aside to come on room temperature. First we will prepare the chicken. I prefer to give a good steam to my chicken so that it’s well cooked from inside as well as outside before grilling . So now first put the chicken in a pot with half to one cup of water and when it starts boiling turn flame low and cover the lid. When you find that the chicken is well tender ,turn off the flame and keep your grill ready. If you don’t have a grill don’t worry because this can be grilled on stove as well . When you see that the chicken is well grilled all over ,turn off the flame and keep aside this chicken well covered with a lid so that the smoke and steam stays within the meat.

Now take a skillet or handi (sand pot), and place on stove.Keeping the flame high in the beginning, put the butter in it and as the butter starts melting turn flame to medium and add sliced onion. Keep stirring occasionally and as the onion turns translucent add ginger garlic paste and stir. When starting aromatic, add the tomatoes and purree from the tin. Now add all the ingredients from step two except the cream and fresh coriander . When butter starts coming up turn down the flame and set the skillet aside to cool down a bit. Pour this gravy in a blender and mix well into a fine paste. Bring this gravy back into the cooking skillet or pot and turn on the flame medium to low. When starts bubbling add the grilled chicken pieces to it and stir carefully . Finally add cream give a stir and turn off the flame. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with any of your choices that I’ve mentioned above. Hope you like it and do give your feed back .Enjoy!

Hook the right Fish!

Fish is one of the finest delicacies in the book of food. There are tremendous kinds of fish having colour,texture and taste difference. Every fish has different timings to be prepared. Few are served even raw as in famous”Sushi”. Fresh slices of salmon are used in salads as well . But one thing is for sure that cooking a fish can be quite tricky as if which type is it so how much time does it needs to be cooked .It can be fried, baked, steamed,broiled, cooked in a curry or even just as raw!

While picking the right fish we first have to know exactly which one we have to pick according to the dish. A fish having too many bones is not a good option to have it as finger fish . But there are few fish like “trout”, from fresh water whose bones are so tender that once fried you can eat whole even it’s bones and it’s amazing in flavour. Same is “king fish”, best to have as fried . But then we have “Rahu”, it’s meat is full of flavour but God spare …. It has uncountable bones… Such fish can’t be fried. Doesn’t mean you “can’t” fry it but making finger fish out of it’s meat won’t be easy.

It was a sunny day of summers when I started a trip to Khanpur Dam , in Islamabad, Punjab (Pakistan)..with my sister and daughters. Was a great trip by car , crossing Cantt of Texila and it took like around 1 1/2_ 2 hrs to reach the dam but how time passed I never realised because the route is very interesting. After reaching our destination we were so excited that we ran downwards where there were boats waiting for tourists to have a boat ride in the dam. Not realising how much the water level was low , we actually came down a long way but coming down is always easy. Now standing by the dam the scene was breath taking. Huge mountains all around and this beautiful dam in the center was something to gaze at for long. It was a huge open area ,of course it had to because of the dam , wind was blowing and the air was fresh. We had a ride in a boat and it was funnnnn. After our ride when we saw the way from which we came down , our jaws dropped! It was steep, it was high , it was hot and it was bad.. bad idea leaving the car up by the road side….. We huffed, we puffed and we finally made it up.. Too much of excitement ! Anyway , coming all the way up and a ride on a boat had really drained us and we were starving.

There were small cabins where it was mentioned “fresh fish available”, ” taste the best fried fish”. My sister and I went there asking which fish they had so the guy told he was offering kingfish fried. I never had tasted kingfish before so it was a risk but the way that guy was telling that how tasty the fish is …honestly we had to take the risk and secondly we were really hungry and the smell of fried fish in the open air was asking us to give it a try. We ordered 1kg fried kingfish. As our platter arrived….my my the colour, the smell, it was just a wow. And as we tasted it we couldn’t stop ourselves . We had it all and ordered a kg more. It’s really crazy having 2 kg fried fish just the two of us and small two girls but yes it’s true. I can taste it’s flavour in my memory even now when I think about it. Highly recommended… Whenever you visit khanpur Dam , do try kingfish fried. Was worth a try!

Chicken licken good….

When I think about a feast or something exotic on my platter , chicken is always one of the items that first come in my mind. Its easy to cook, though has no flavour of its own but adding spices  y gives it a great taste, texture, colour and above all the presentation of how it’s been served. There might be a million techniques and recipes according to culture how a chicken is prepared but here in Indo Pak ,  it’s prepared in the most delicately and with amazing spices because world’s best spices are found in  Asia. May it be coconut chicken curry or saffron aromatic chicken biryani, flaming hot chicken tikka or unlimited karhhai. Today I want to share one of the yummiest , easiest and really presentable ” Balochi Karhhai”. It is the speciality of sindh region of Pakistan which is why it is very easily available in Karachi specially on highways. This dish has gained so much popularity that one of my relatives prepared it in India, one in America and then there is mine. What I found that three people preparing same dish in different countries , though being prepared by same recipe , each having different texture, colour and a bit different in flavour too.

It really doesn’t matter if the recipe is the same , ingredients are the same , everyone has a taste of his own hand. So we cannot expect from everyone to have the same taste amd flavours .

So here’s my recipe for “Balochi Karhhai”

Because it is a dry dish , a little towards bar b que side, so the serving according to the below mentioned ingredients is for 2_3 persons.

Ingredients

Chiken _ 1kg cut into 8 pieces or according to choice

Kasuri Methi dry( fenugreek dried leaves) _2tbsps full

Salt_ 1tbsp leveled

Cumin seeds_ 1tbsp heaped

Corriander seeds_2tbsp leveled

Fennel seeds_1tsp

Black pepper corns whole_ 1tsp

Whole red chillies_ 4_5

Raw mango powder_ 1tsp

Lemon _ 1_2

Ginger _1″ julliens

Garlic_ 5_6 cloves roughly chopped

Ginger garlic paste _ 2tbsps

Fresh green chillies _ 3_4

Piece of coal

Method:

Place all the dry ingredients except ginger garlic, lemon and green chillies and roast them on medium to low untill aromatic . Then turn down the flame and set aside to cool. Then ground them not into fine powder but roughly ground. Now take a wok, add half cup of oil and add chicken pieces . Add ginger garlic paste and saute chicken till it turns into white in colour. Cover the lid and let the chicken cook on medium flame till almost cooked. In between keep stirring so that chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok. When almost cooked , add the grounded ingredients and give a good stir , turning the flame low. Now squeeze the lemon juice and add full green chillies and ginger garlic julliens and cover. Meanwhile, burn a coal till it turns white, place in the centre of the cooked chicken wok on a piece of aluminium and drizzle some oil on top of it. As the smoke rises cover the lid tightly and turn off the flame. Serve with naan or zeera (cumin) rice!Enjoy

Deciding right menu according to the event!

I was thinking where should I start from because talking about food is waa…y too much to write about. Then I thought that why not start about get togethers and preparing food according to the occasion. Ok now here is an issue where alot of people get tangled in like , not knowing whats appropriate menu for which occasion. Like for instance if a party or function is related to kids so always prepare small bite size items and with low spice level in food and make sure it should be colorful….. because children are very much attracted to vibrant colours and something that seems to be a surprise to them , these things will always attract your child to ask for more and bingo! There you go, mission accomplished😇whats more delightful than seeing your child enjoying each and every single bite of what you’ve prepared for them. Likewise, same goes for elders. We should always know the taste of our guest or client , their preferences, allergies, sweet tooth and savoury tooth.
Trust me , these little things mean alot. Let me tell you something about myself like when I’m having get together, I first prepare my list of guests, count down the number in total of guests , then divide children from elders . Now i have two columns where I can very easily divide menu according to size and taste….as it is said ” size does matter”… and honestly,  it’s always on the go, justified with your effort and cost. In this way you win hearts of all your guests and the appreciation that you recieve is like a medal for you as a chef …. and so here is from where my journey as a chef in me starts..

Sabeeha’s Pantry

Writing a blog about food isn’t something that’s new but what’s in your pantry may really matter. What my preferences are is what really matters to me because I prefer to focus on such ingredients that are more healthy, more fresh and of course rich in colour, texture & taste. Food is something that’s deeply connected with every single person but how you take your food and what it means to you like, is it for you just for the sake to fill your appetite or is it your passion of creative art on a platter.

For me, how you eat food, you make food, you choose ingredients, you display on a platter shows who you are . So let me tell you , food that we eat tells a lot about ourselves. I’ve been always very peculiar about what I eat . First of all what attracts me is the presentation of a dish. Then comes it’s texture and taste. You know, to enjoy your food it is very important that it should be feast for the eye first because if it doesn’t look good doesn’t really matter then how it tastes. I always try to focus even if I am preparing a lunch box for my children that the lunch should be tempting in its display so that my girls shouldn’t take a second thought before eating it.

I believe that whatever I do in my life I should put not just my efforts but my-love my heart-my soul in it and that’s exactly what I do with my food. And starting from today, I would love to share it with you too.