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!

Guava and Cheese Pastry

Right when I discovered my love for coffee, I discovered Tierra Mia. It’s my second home. You’ll usually find me there in the evenings either typing at my laptop to edit these videos, or sitting across from a new face. I love meeting people for the first time over a good cup of latte.

But of course this video is not about that Cubano Con Leche I have the baristas make piping hot for me; this video is about the delicious accompaniment to that latte. The cheese and guava filled pastry is a popular dessert in Latin America. Porto’s Cafe has a similar version. But that doesn’t matter because mine tastes so much fresher and better simply because that pastry is going from the oven straight to my mouth. It’s warm, flaky and that guava gives it such a delicious kick. And I didn’t lie when I said “I’m bagging these up and taking them with me to Tierra Mia,” because I did!

Continue reading “Guava and Cheese Pastry”

Channa Chaat -Pakistani Chickpeas Salad

Channa Chaat is nothing short of super food! Chickpea is Channa in the Urdu language and chaat is any snack that’s spicy and has the wonderful tang from tamarind. You’ll find Channa Chaat in the streets of Pakistan, and on the Eid and iftar tables. Since Ramadan started, I have been making a big bowl of this Channa Chaat for iftar. It also doesn’t hurt that it literally comes together in 10 minutes.

Channa Chaat
I’d be more than happy to toss myself a salad for iftar, but when your parents are in town, you just have to don on the dupatta and feed some desi appetite. Speaking of parents, my dad loves hanging out at the grocery store more than I do! Let’s just say my pantry is bursting with canned chickpeas and my fridge has never looked this full since I moved into my apartment.

Channa Chaat

I hope you guys give this nutritious, delicious, full of fiber, protein and gas (ahem) Channa Chaat a try! Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the month! I feel you bruh… 16 hours is no joke.

 

Channa Chaat -Pakistani Chickpea Salad
 
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This is how Pakistanis turn chickpeas into a delicious tangy salad!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Pakistani
Ingredients
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped (¾ cup roughly)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, boiled and chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped
  • Cilantro, a handful
  • 2 tsp Chaat Masala or Channa Chaat spice mix (you can find this at any Pakistani/Indian grocery store)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup Tamarind pulp (you can find this at any Pakistani/Indian grocery store)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump beans, onion, tomatoes, potato and green chili in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle chaat masal and garam masala. Toss.
  3. To make tamarind chutney, add tamarind pulp, sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and let this come to a boil. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes or until the pulp breaks down. Use the back of the spoon to help the process.
  4. Next, strain the tamarind liquid into a bowl. Make sure to press down on the pulp with a spoon to extract as much juices as you can. Discard the pulp (I chew on it:p).
  5. Now pour the liquid back into the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes. The chutney will be very liquidy.
  6. Remove from stove and let the chutney cool. as it cools it will thicken.
  7. Pour the cooled chutney into the chickpea salad and toss.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves and serve.
 

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

When you have the owner of the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada personally show you the secret to the best fish tacos, you know your taco-loving palate is taken care of. Being a regular customer of the taco joint, I secretly wished my fish taco game were stronger. And then lo and behold I run into the owner, Joseph, at the store and well… let’s just say my taco game never looked better! I had a lot of fun shooting this video with Joseph. Amidst the hilarity that ensued coupled with intriguing customers who thought that the taco joint would be featured on national television, I was able to get my act on and get this video to you guys!

Of course, I went back home to test out the recipe. OUTSTANDING! I think now I need Joseph to teach me how to make his secret salsas!

Fish Tacos

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fish Tacos
 
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This has to be the BEST fish tacos hands down!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • ½ pound white fish (Basa or any other kind)
  • ¾ cup complete buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ice cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut fish into thin strips.
  2. In a bowl, add the pancake mix followed by the spices. Whisk until combined.
  3. Next, pour the ice cold water and mix until the batter is lumpfree but don't over mix.
  4. Pour the batter on the pre-cut fish and mix well. Let sit in the fridge for half an hour.
  5. Next, heat up oil to 375 degrees F.
  6. Slide the fish into the oil and cook until deep brown and crispy.
  7. To assemble the taco, heat up corn tortillas on a griddle, place two to three strips of fried fish, top with salsa and creme fraiche and enjoy!!