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!

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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.