Chicken Karahi Recipe

 

Chicken Karahi is arguably the most popular dish in both Pakistan and India and one that is my absolute favorite. But somehow, I could never achieve that flavor and rich brown color the number of times I tried to make it at home. Although it came out good, the chicken remained a tad bland; the spices never seeped into the meat specially because chicken does not take too long to cook. And then I realized the key ingredient missing from my recipe is yogurt!

 

Purists would say yogurt is not needed but for me it gives me restaurant-style Chicken Karahi right at home! I have also used yogurt in my Boneless Chicken Handi recipe. Yogurt helps to tenderize the chicken and allows the spices to seep in. Another key step is to make sure the juices evaporate. Until you see a lovely sheen of oil, keep stirring on high heat. The stirring does two things. It scrapes the lovely brown bits stuck to the bottom of the wok where all the flavor is hiding, and it also helps to deepen the color of the Karahi. My version is very different from my mother’s and even my grandmother’s. And between you and I, I love mine the best! But the ladies don’t need to know that.

Chicken Karahi Rookie With A Cookie

4.9 from 9 reviews
Chicken Karahi Recipe
 
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This is how I cook Chicken Karahi. It's the closest you can get to the karahi you probably eat at your favorite dhaba!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Pakistani
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 whole chicken, skinless and cut into 14-16 pieces (rinsed and patted dry)
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • ¾ to 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup water
  • Some cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit thinly lengthwise
Instructions
  1. In a wok over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, toss in the chopped onions and fry for 6-7 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  3. Next, add the rinsed chicken pieces and stir until combined with the onion.
  4. Add yogurt, cumin, coriander seeds, red chilli powder, salt, pepper and ginger garlic paste and stir until the chicken pieces are coated.
  5. Continue stirring for about 5-6 minutes on high heat.
  6. Tip in the tomatoes, cilantro and chillies and stir.
  7. Cover the wok with a lid, turn the flame to medium to low and let the karahi cook for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and turn the flame to high and let the water evaporate.
  9. Once the water evaporates about 10-15 minutes, start to stir again.
  10. You'll notice that the curry will release oil and you'll see a lovely sheen around the edge of the wok.
  11. At this point, add in some more cilantro and chilli and pop the lid back on and turn the flame to the lowest possible setting for 5-10 minutes. This is called the "dum" stage which is important to finish off the Karahi.
  12. Enjoy hot with pita bread or naan! Serves 5-6 people
 

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup Rookie with a Cookie

There aren’t too many things that speak of winter, rain, overcast and gloom quite like a steaming bowl of French onion soup. This soup that often intimidates newbies requires only caramelization and simmering of onions in a basic beef broth. That is it! But my goodness, this soup is all you need on that cold afternoon when the weather app on your phone is showing 50% chance of rain and all your friends have gone into hibernation.

Right after shooting this video, I came down with a nasty cold. And believe me when I say this… I had 6 cups of this soup throughout the day and was back to 100 within 12 hours without popping a single tablet! You may not think that’s a big deal, and Ill ask you when you’re cocooned in a blanket waiting for the Day/NyQuil to kick in.

French Onion Soup
 
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This is how I make French onion soup, complete with a slice of toasted french bread and the pungent gruyere cheese!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • French bread slices
  • Gruyere cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.
  2. Slice onions thinly and add to the pan. Stir for 5-6 minutes until onions are soft.
  3. Sprinkle salt and sugar and allow the onions to caramelize and brown on medium to low heat for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Next, sprinkle flour over the caramelized onions and mix really well. This will help to thicken up the soup just a little bit. Just a tad!
  5. Next, pour in beef broth and add bay leaves. Let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
  6. While the soup is simmering, slice french bread and toast it on both sides. I toast it under the broiler in my oven.
  7. To assemble French onion soup, pour a couple ladles of the soup into an oven-safe bowl.
  8. Place the toasted french bread on top, and grate gruyere cheese generously on top.
  9. Place the bowl into the oven under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown.
  10. Serve immediately!
 

Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Loaf Bread

Pumpkin Bread Rookie with a Cookie

Starbucks has a few things on display that I absolutely love, the number 1 being their pumpkin bread. It has the right amount of pumpkin in it to make you reminisce about fall. But nothing beats making your own loaf at home. It’s time consuming, yes… but there is a reason you are here reading this:)

Pumpkin Bread Rookie with a CookiePumpkin Bread Rookie with a Cookie

Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Loaf Bread
 
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This pumpkin bread is quick, perfect for this cold, gloomy, overcast weather! It comes together in no time and rivals your Starbucks pumpkin loaf...pumpkin seeds topping and all!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Pumpkin seeds to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, crack in eggs along with sugar and mix.
  3. Add in pumpkin puree and oil and mix well.
  4. In another bowl mix all the remaining dry ingredients except pumpkin seeds. (You can also add in the dry ingredients right into the mixing bowl the way I do it in the video.)
  5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until everything is mixed through.
  6. Pour the batter in an 8 by 5 inch loaf pan, sprinkle with chopped pumpkin seeds and walnuts and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  7. Let the bread cool for a few hours before slicing because otherwise it will crumble and not be as moist. (Next day bread is the best. The bread can stay on your countertop covered for up to 4-5 days!)
 

Flatbread pizza with caramelized onion!

Flatbread Pizza Rookie with a Cookie

This flatbread pizza came about one fine evening when I had no meat in the fridge and just tons of pita bread in my freezer. You can probably guess that I’m Pakistani by taking a quick peek into my freezer. It puts the bread section of the grocery store to shame.

Flatbread Pizza Rookie with a Cookie

I drizzle the flatbread with honey and my, oh my, do the flavors sing together beautifully! Honey makes all the difference in the world. When used sparingly, it brings out the caramelized onion even more and the chilli flakes add the perfect amount of heat. Please ogle at this charred edges for reassurance!

Flatbread Pizza Rookie with a Cookie

5.0 from 1 reviews
Flatbread pizza with caramelized onion!
 
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The best flatbread pizza you will ever make! Caramelized onions will solve your dinner situation any day.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middel Eastern
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Pita bread
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup cheese (any favorite works)
  • Cilantro
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Crushed chilli flakes
Instructions
  1. Turn on the oven to BROIL.
  2. Slice a large onion thinly and cook in a pan with a touch of oil on medium heat until brown and caramelized, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Next, toast the pita bread. I like to toast it directly on the stove so the bottom crisps up. This step is important if you like a slightly crispy flatbread.
  4. Next, divide the caramelized onion evenly between the two pita breads.
  5. Top with cheese and cilantro leaves. You can use cheddar or mozzarrella. I use a combination of both.
  6. Stick the flatbreads under the broiler directly on the first rack. Let the cheese brown and bubble for about 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it; the broiler can burn the flatbread if you're not attentive.
  7. To serve, slice the flatbread into quarters, drizzle with honey, sprinkle some chilli flakes and fresh cilantro. YUMO!
 

Spanish Flan

Spanish Flan Rookie With A Cookie

Flan is essentially a Spanish pudding that is baked.. or a custard that is baked in a water bath. It’s that one dessert that looks so fancy glazed in golden delicious caramel but requires literally the least amount of ingredients possible. Eggs, evaporated milk, condensed milk and BOOM…you’re about to have serious foodgasm! Because condensed milk is essential, flan is quite rich so don’t go ham on the thing!

Spanish Flan Rookie With A Cookie

The reason I like to add a combination of egg yolks and whole eggs is to give flan that richness that it is known for. Garnish with a sprig of mint and you have yourself the most gorgeous slice. Simple, yet elegant.

Spanish Flan Rookie With A Cookie

Spanish Flan
 
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The quickest dessert you can make without dusting yourself in flour! Flan is a baked Spanish pudding made with condensed milk and eggs and glazed in caramel. You'll be a rockstar at the next party and no one will know that all you did was pour and mix a few ingredients!
Author:
Serves: 10 slices
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. First, begin by making the caramel. In a saucepan over very low heat, cook sugar until it turns a deep amber color and all the crystals have melted. Tilt the pan so the sugar melts evenly. DO NOT USE ANY UTENSIL.
  3. Once sugar has caramelized, pour it quickly into an 8 inch round pan. It's okay if the sugar crystallizes because once the flan is baked, the caramel will melt.
  4. To make the flan custard, crack 4 eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together (I use my large 1 quart measuring mug).
  5. Slowly add in condensed milk and mix it into the eggs really well. (Condensed milk is quite thick so I like to add it before evaporated milk).
  6. Finally pour in the evaporate milk along with vanilla and whisk really well.
  7. Pour this mixture over the caramel.
  8. Next, place the pan in a roasting tray filled half way up with water. This is called water bath. This will ensure that the flan evenly bakes in the oven.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or just until the edges are set and the center still wobbles a little bit when you shake the pan.
  10. Let the flan cool on the counter before placing it in the fridge for a 3-4 hours to set.
  11. When ready to unmold, run a knife under hot water, wipe it clean, and then run it along the edge of the pan.
  12. Shimmy the pan a little and invert the flan onto a large serving dish. Make sure the dish has raised edges to catch all that melted caramel.
  13. Slice and enjoy!
 

 

Homemade Kulfi with Khoya

Pakistani Kulfi

Living in the states, I have yet to find a place that makes authentic kulfi–a creamy, grainy textured icecream with just a hint of cardamom. I picked one from a grocery store I get my meat from AFTER I made this kulfi. I inspected the ingredients, reassured that condensed milk was not listed and took a bite. Oh let me tell you that that sorry piece of kulfi did not even come close. I’m not saying it was not good. It was good but it just wasn’t kulfi.

Pakistani Kulfi-Rookie With A Cookie

The key ingredient in kulfi is khoya. Khoya is essentially those milk solids you see clinging to the sides of the pot when you let milk simmer for a long long time. Unless you want to stand over the stove and seduce the milk, I suggest you get a nice big 350g block of Khoya or Mava from a South Asian store. It’s about 7 bucks. For this recipe you will only need about 1/3 of that block so you can triple the recipe if you like.

Pakistani Kulfi

 

Homemade Kulfi with Khoya
 
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The best Kulfi needs a little touch of cardamom and a crumbling of khoya! This is how I make it.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp Sugar
  • ¾ cups crumbled milk solids (Khoya)
  • ¼ tsp crushed cardamom seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts, optional (almonds and pistachio)
Instructions
  1. In a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer until sugar has dissolved-- a couple minutes.
  2. Lower the flame and add in the crumbled milk solids.
  3. Continue cooking the milk on a low heat for 30-40 minutes so the milk solids can dissolve. The texture will remain a bit grainy. Make sure to stir every once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add in the crushed cardamom seeds and nuts.
  5. Pour the kheer in any freezer-safe molds (kheer molds are available online) and place in freezer for a few hours until the kheer is frozen.
  6. To unmold, place a toothpick or popsicle stick into the center of the frozen kheerand place the mold in hot water for 10 seconds. Run a knife along the edge of the mold to loosen the kheer using the popsicle stick.
  7. Enjoy!
 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice -Rookie With A Cookie

Have you ever made fried rice at home and felt that it somehow lacked that flavor you get from take-out? I have many times. Somehow the fried rice tasted like simple vegetable rice. It just didn’t have the oomph factor that would get my brother nodding his head in approval until recently when I cooked up this ridiculous 5-min dish! Oh you bet my brother told me that my fried rice needed to be on a restaurant menu!

This spicy shrimp fried rice comes from… you’ve guessed it! That same Thai restaurant whose portly, bearded chef taught me how to make this Pad Thai and this Thai Beef Chili. The trick is simple: use 2-day old cold rice and fry up with a lug of peanut oil on a high heat until you feel that the grains of rice crisp up just a tad. And BOOM! You’re done even before you begun.

Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this shrimp fried rice!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Shrimp Fried Rice
 
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This will be the best shrimp fried rice you ever stirred in your wok!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
  • Peanut oil (or any veg oil would work)
  • ¼ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 4 cups white rice (must be a day or two day old rice)
  • 1 tsp garlic chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce + 1 tbsp water
  • Chilli flakes, optional
  • Green onions or Scallions for garnish
  • Sesame oil (just a drizzle for flavor)
Instructions
  1. In a pan add a bit of peanut oil and cook shrimps one minute on each side until golden brown. Remove to a clean plate. (We will add the shrimps back and fully cook them with the rice.)
  2. In the same pan, add about 2 tbsp more of oil. Crack a fresh egg and scramble it.
  3. Next, add in the carrots and peas and sautee for a 2-3 minutes on high heat. Add a bit more oil if necessary.
  4. Next, add in the rice, along with the shrimps and stir to combine.
  5. To spice up the rice, add in garlic chilli paste along with oyster sauce mixed with a tbsp of water.
  6. Stir the rice really well on high heat for a 5 mins but be sure to be gentle so as not to break up the grains.
  7. Add chilli flakes if you like spicy fried rice. I DO!
  8. Garnish with scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Sesame oil will give it that take-out flavor instantly.
  9. Stir and serve!
 

 

 

Thai Beef Chilli Recipe

Remember that Pad Thai recipe I shared a few weeks ago that had me squealing with delight? This one is another favorite I stole from the chef. It is beyond delicious. Usually I taste my food and toot my own horn. So, for your benefit I pulled my best friend from Pakistan into the camera frame and shoved a spoonful of the Thai-spiced beef in her mouth telling her what to say. WATCH THE VIDEO!

Thai Beef

My friend sold it pretty well. The Thai Beef Chilli is indeed really delicious. And for a dish that comes together in less than 20 minutes, you have no excuse but to make this. It’s my go-to when I’m pressed for time and don’t want to grab processed fast food or even greasy Asian take-out. Because guess what? The only greasy take-out that I’m going to be eating would be taken out of my kitchen! HAH!

Thai BeefHere’s the recipe for ya!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Thai Beef Chilli
 
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A quick Pakistani Thai fusion beef chilli
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup peanut oil (flap meat/undercut)
  • ½ pound beef cut in strips (flap meat/undercut)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce + 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp garlic chilli paste
  • 2 serrano chillis sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 basil leaves chopped
Instructions
  1. In a preheated wok, add ¼ cup of peanut oil and let it heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Next, add the beef and let it brown on high heat.
  3. Add chopped galic, the sliced onion and green chillies and stir.
  4. Next, pour in the oyster sauce mixed with water along with the sugar and garlic chilli paste.
  5. Let the sauce evaporate until the oil starts to release. This will take about 10-12 minutes on high heat.
  6. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the sliced green bell peppers and the basil leaves.
  7. Stir for a few seconds. Serve over white or fried rice.

Namkeen Lassi Recipe


Can we agree that lassi is the ultimate cooling drink this summer? It’s refreshing and at the same time has tons of benefits for your digestive tract which, if you’ve been traveling and eating like me you definitely need to clear out. The best part is you only need yogurt, milk, salt and pepper and tons of ice!

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Lassi (Salty Yogurt Drink)
 
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Lassi is the ultimate drink in Pakistan!
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add yogurt, milk, cumin, salt and pepper to the blender and blend for 30-40 seconds until frothy. Dring up!