RECIPES

Appetizer

Clam Chowder

  I don’t make soups all that often at the apartment. Usually, I throw down some tacos or a quick old-fashioned chicken curry with all the Pakistani spices to get myself out of a pickle on a work day. Honestly it’s more out of sympathy for my poor brother than anything. But when I make
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Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

At the time of filming this video, it was 80 degrees outside–temperature that definitely doesn’t warrant standing before a hot stove to cook soup. But if weather deterred me from making soup on a hot day, I wouldn’t take my coffee extra hot at the coffee shops I frequent. So my solution is to turn
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Jalapeno and Cheddar Focaccia Bread

I always say that the smell of bread baking in the oven adds warmth to a home. If you’re selling your home, get baking and you would turn a couple people into potential buyers. Heck, I’d buy a house that smells of baked goods. You know where I’m going?   I love baking bread for
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Crostini Three Ways

A cup of hot latte is remarkably satisfying. This past week I was feeling under pressure, under weather… really just “under” the world. Between editing videos, developing content, working a full-time job AND working out, I realized I missed my favorite coffee shop. One hot Con Leche at Tierra Mia and I was back on
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5-minute Zesty Honey Cumin Shrimp

I’ve been pretty relaxed these past few days. My parents are in town, so like a good daughter, I have taken two weeks off from work. I guess that is working well for me just right! Despite being jet-lagged, my parents agreed to a trip to San Diego. I want to make sure that their
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Cuban Stuffed Potato Balls

No food hits home like Hispanic food. The heavy influence of cumin and coriander remind me of Pakistan because this particular spice and herb are added in every traditional Pakistani dish. At times when I walk down the streets of LA past food carts selling tacos and burritos, I imagine I’m in Karachi. The familiar
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Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dip

I don’t eat deep fried stuff anymore, or  limit them to a bite (which is usually of something my sister would be eating– one french fry, one shrimp, one Lays potato chip. I know I’m weird. Often times when I go out to eat with friends, the appetizer just inevitably ends up being deep fried
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Main

Honey Roast Chicken With Sriracha Dip

I remember making this a long time ago for a potluck during summer. My friends raved about this chicken as they bit the juicy, tender meat off the bones. That chicken roast was a result of digging in my pantry for any spices I could find. It was a recipe that I created right on
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Chilli-Rookie With A Cookie

Ground Beef Chilli

Ok, I have something to admit. As much as I steer clear of fast food joints, I absolutely love the chilli bowl at Wendy’s. In fact, the first time I tried chilli (I used to call it chilli beans), was at Wendy’s. This recipe that I share is just as good if not better. On
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Chicken Karahi Rookie With A Cookie

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;
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French Onion Soup Rookie with a Cookie

French Onion Soup

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
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Flatbread Pizza Rookie with a Cookie

Flatbread pizza with caramelized onion!

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. I drizzle the flatbread
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Shrimp Fried Rice -Rookie With A Cookie

Shrimp Fried Rice

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
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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
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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
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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
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Pad Thai

Pad Thai Recipe From Thai Restaurant

One thing I have an itch for when it comes to food is to experiment in my kitchen and I’d be damned if I was making Tandoori Chicken everyday (even though I totally could) and not venturing over to my beautiful neighboring countries to become, say, Thai for a day. This may or may not
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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Oh where do I start about this dish–the only dish my non-desi friends know to be Indian. It pains every time I have to point out that Indian food and Pakistani food are really one and the same. The flavors running through, the spices lighting up the taste buds or really burning them up share
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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

I have to admit I am that girl you see at the grocery store sampling soups at the soup bar. And this Tomato Basil Bisque or soup (but let’s go with bisque because it sounds more sophisticated) was inspired from one of those samplings. Anything I try lights up a tiny bulb in my head
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Tandoori Chicken

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is probably one the most loved Pakistani BBQ items. I remember those late summer nights back in Pakistan when my dinner was only a good juicy tandoori chicken from Ambala foods. I would wait in the car outside the storefront with my sisters and watch the guy in his sweaty kurta effortlessly flip
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Chai

Chai. Not tea. Chai. It’s safe to say that all of South Asia thrives on chai. When guests come over, it’s customary to offer them “chai biscuit.” Similarly “evening chai” routine is ritually observed, at least in my household, and always taken out in the lawn in the company of mosquitoes that circle overhead. To
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Clam Chowder

  I don’t make soups all that often at the apartment. Usually, I throw down some tacos or a quick old-fashioned chicken curry with all the Pakistani spices to get myself out of a pickle on a work day. Honestly it’s more out of sympathy for my poor brother than anything. But when I make
Read more

Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

At the time of filming this video, it was 80 degrees outside–temperature that definitely doesn’t warrant standing before a hot stove to cook soup. But if weather deterred me from making soup on a hot day, I wouldn’t take my coffee extra hot at the coffee shops I frequent. So my solution is to turn
Read more

Chicken Alfredo

Having a sister who orders Chicken Alfredo at pretty much every restaurant she visits, I needed to make a better version at home. And trust me when I tell you, this is not better. This is the best! I love my spices. And I totally understand that I don’t need to throw in cayenne pepper
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The Sycamore Kitchen Mediterranean Salad

Ok so I have to be really honest. Salads on a restaurant menu do not particularly get me jumping up and down. I’ve had salads at a lot of nice places but they never wow me really. More often than not, I pick salads just so I can save up on the carbs that come
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The Easiest One Pot Pasta You Will Ever Make

One thing I need to get off my chest. I don’t enjoy cooking very much during the weekdays. Everything is rushed. My walk, my talk, my drive, my workout and my food. So, when in rush make pasta. Wait, let me correct myself: When in rush make a One-pot Chicken Pasta. Less mess! A red
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Fish Tacos + Spicy Mango Salsa

I smell fish tacos! I have been frequenting Best Fish Taco in Ensenada–a small hole-in-the-wall taco joint in LA. And they really do have the best fish tacos there. But what makes a brilliant fish taco is really the salsa. They have an open bar and you can load up your taco as much or
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Pakistani Seekh Kebab + Yogurt Raita

What’s better than lounging out on your patio, flipping burgers and hot dogs on the grill ? I’ll tell you what is. Making Seekh Kebabs at home. In your oven. With meat that is marinated in Pakistani spices and grilled to perfection. With the month of fasting coming to an end to welcome Eid in
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Blackened Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I think its safe to say that my body has plenty omega 3 fatty acids. I have salmon thrice a week. Talk about fitness! It’s healthy, yes, but that’s not it. The reason I turn to fish is because it’s so easy to prep. It cooks in literally ten minutes and requires no marination time.
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Jamaican Brown Stew Pakistani Style -Rookie With A Cookie

Food is a such a powerful tool to familiarize yourself with a culture. I always love to make foods that are new to me. It keeps things interesting. The inspiration for this one actually came from a friend who posted a picture of the dish on Facebook. You know how that goes. But what I
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Easiest Beef Stew

Let’s talk about the wonders of slow-cooking, crock-potting. It starts out as a messy concoction of sauteed ingredients and ends in a marvelous meal on the table. I love that this requires minimal effort. A crock pot makes life so much easier! Imagine all the things you could accomplish in your day while the stew
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Roasted Chicken and Kale Mac and Cheese

This Mac and Cheese skillet will make you sing! I bought this cast iron skillet for this mac and cheese. If I buy any kitchenware with a purpose, you know this is serious business. Mac and cheese in a skillet is the only way I shall ever make mac and cheese again. Now let’s see
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Dessert

Sheer Khurma Recipe

  Sheer Khurma is a popular Pakistani dessert prepared around religious holidays to add just the right amount of sweetness to the Eid table. Similar to desserts like Kheer and Kulfi, Sheer Khurma is also made with milk that is thickened slowly with the help of roasted vermicelli. Essentially, vermicelli is a type of pasta
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Spanish Flan Rookie With A Cookie

Spanish Flan

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
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Pakistani Kulfi

Homemade Kulfi with Khoya

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
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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
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Best Carrot Halwa Recipe

I was pretty absent from my blog this past month. In between traveling back home to Pakistan to see my family, eating a lot of deliciously spicy Pakistani food, I had time only to snap some pictures for Instagram. I held myself to my promise and did not do any cooking back home except for
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No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

I’m sure you’ve had those glorious cheesecakes at fancy restaurants that are so creamy that you positively squeal with excitement as your fork just slides down the velvety silky layers.The ganache is congealed on top of the layers as if to announce the revival of the original cheesecake. That congealed ganache truly is everything in
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No Bake Raspberry Cream Cake

I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. After this NO BAKE monstrosity that I built over the weekend, I want to pull it out. No-bake desserts make me anxious because they are always ready. Every step is ready. Every layer of cake daring me to break rules. I’ve swooped up some of that luscious custard, licked
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Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Truffles

Pumpkin Pie is a classic fall dessert. But what do you say to a pumpkin pie truffle? I say yes! It’s really the most delicious little bites of fall that you will giddily munch on. The pumpkin pie filling comes together in no time. And can I tell you a secret? This was my first
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Velvet Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bread

Excuse the poor photography but Holy Guac! This bread is the best pumpkin bread I have come up with. I absolutely love it when I am able to create a recipe that gives me the best results. This one came out so perfect, it would give coffee places a run for their money any day.
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Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Tis the season…. for PUMPKINS! Holy Guacamole. Excuse me but these are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had and made. Because it’s pumpkin season AND because I have never made a pumpkin recipe, I had to make these. Everything from the soft dough, to the caramelized filling, to the candied pecans to the
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Best Ever Chocolate Cream Pie

A lot of the foods that I have lately started to make have been inspired by the restaurants I visit. And why not? Isn’t it the best when you recreate something you had at a restaurant at home and make it even better? I have had chocolate cream pie quite a few times, but all
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No Bake Potato Chip Cake

Yes, that is right! A potato chip cake! Layers of sweet whipped cream sandwiched between crushed potato chips. i know I know this sounds really odd, but just trust me on this! It tastes delicious and ridiculously simple to make!

Homemade Pop-Tarts 3 Flavors

  There are so many things I appreciate about homemade baked goods. An all-butter crust is definitely one of them. A crust that does not smell of butter is just disappointing. In short, store-bought Pop-Tarts make me sad. So naturally when I made Pop-Tarts at home, I was drooling over the whole shebang: the buttery
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Churro Ice cream Sandwich

You know sometimes you make those desserts that you promise you will only take a bite off of but end up scarfing down? Yep this churro ice cream sandwich is it! But then again it is coated in cinnamon sugar. It is loaded with a healthy scoop of salted caramel truffle ice cream. It is
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Easiest Panna Cotta + Strawberry Sauce

Ah I love Panna Cotta! It’s one of those desserts that requires no effort whatsoever but is oh-so-fancy. Desserts made with cream and milk are very popular in my neck of the woods. So when I had my parents try the Italian Panna Cotta, they naturally loved it because the mildly sweet and dairy flavor
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Chocolate Coconut Oat Bread

I’m a sucker for having something sweet with my tea. It always ends up being either a pound cake, banana bread and now this quick bread. For some reason, denser breads just go perfectly with tea. I wanted to make a quick bread that was a tad healthier. This one is chock full of fiber
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Best Lemon Bars with Almond Crust

The weather in LA is pretty bipolar. Even in the summer, you never really know when you’ll need your sweater. But for the most part, the sun has begun to shine and bathe the city in bright summer colors. So it just made perfect sense to make lemon bars. I cannot even begin to run
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Apple Crumble Cups

Nothing brings me greater joy than baking with apples. The aroma of sweet and zesty cinnamon-scented apples baking in the oven is so exciting. The inspiration for these cute cups came to me as I was staring at a bunch of apples sitting in my fruit basket. You are probably wondering why the extra effort.
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No Bake Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars

Do you love coconut, chocolate, peanut butter and oats? I hope that is a yes because this is a treat for a quick sweet tooth fix that demands attention when you get back home after spending a weekend in Vegas. Everything was so quiet and slow and lethargic when I got back. And you already
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Super Easy Smore’s Tart

This past weekend I took my parents up North to Yosemite. Like normal people we do not plan our trips months in advance or even a few weeks ahead of time. They happen spur of the moment. This trip was no different. Wanting desperately to escape the ever so smoggy and bustling Los Angeles, I
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Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes With Lemon Glaze

My mom has pretty much turned my apartment right side up in the past few days. My laundry closet no longer looks like a dump and the washing machine groans almost every day as I mother does our laundry. Electricity bill…no biggie! Down to the rusting sink, mom scrubbed everything down. She even insisted we
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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Butterscotch Blondies

I love making desserts that can be cut into tiny squares. Because they feed a crowd without the knives. And because they are tiny so you soon lose track of how many squares you ate. Piece of advice: Always make bars when you have a lot of people eyeing you hustle in the kitchen. Gladly
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2-minute S’mores Fudge

I appreciate little things in life. A nice gesture, a friendly smile, a genuine compliment and right now while my eyes are locked on this little thing, this fudge. I keep telling myself to make healthier sweets that wouldn’t instantly put me in sugar coma, but this only takes four basic ingredients to wreak havoc.
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Chocolate Chip Pizookie Made Straight in the Pan

Well isn’t this just sweet. A big fat abnormal chocolate chip cookie in a deep pan with a mountain of icecream. Since that glorious day at BJs a few years ago where I discovered this outrageous cookie, I have been making these so often that I don’t know what to do with myself. Before, I
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Ultimate Banana Bread

Let me tell you a story. This banana bread is a staple in my kitchen. It’s the first thing I baked when the art of baking grabbed my attention all those years ago. So many years later, I still rely on this bread to give my coffee some much-needed company when I’m sitting out in
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19 comments

  1. Izza, you are a charming young woman. Your recipes look very tempting. I have copied a few to try. Good luck to you and I will be back to see what else you come up with.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Donna! I hope whatever you try comes out just as good as they did for me:D I hope to read more of your comments on here:D

  2. Where is your no bake nutella cake not cheesecake only nutella

    1. Hi Baneen,
      I started the website after my YouTube channel. But I’ll definitely add the Nutella Cream Cake as soon as possible. Thanks so much!

  3. Izza you are awesome young girl.God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much Humaira! Please keep watching and share with your friends:)

  4. Izza I accidentally came upon your blog while looking for recipes, I decided to try Chicken tikka recipe and Seekh kebab with raita recipes. They were amazing!!! everyone loved them, so now I’m back looking to try more .

    1. I’m so happy you stumbled on my blog! Thank you for trying the recipes:D I’m cooking up a lot of desi food so keep checking on here and my YouTube page.

  5. Izza — you’ve helped me so much with learning how to cook traditional Pakistani dishes! Seriously a life saver when my inlaws come over ❤️ I can’t wait to see more!!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Brianna. It makes my day when I’m able to connect with people through food! Much love:)

  6. Loooooove your recepies! I made your shish recipe the other day and everyone loved it.
    I do have a request, if that’s ok :p
    Buuuurfiiiii! Could you make a recipie pleaaaaase

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment, Dee. I’m a little backed up but going to be shooting some more recipes in the coming weeks:)

  7. Hiiiii! I love your recipes! I tried the kheer and it was amazing! My husband said that it was the same taste from Pakistan, because he’s from there. I am Mexican so, I was afraid to never learn how to make dishes with an authentic taste. Thanks again for posting so easy and delicious recipes!. I will always keep an eye on your blog and youtube channel!

    All the best

    Anny

    1. Hi Anny! Thank you so much for trying this recipe. Pakistani men love desi food so add some more of mine to your arsenal haha

  8. Hey Izza, like to “attempt” cooking and trying a to make more Pakistani dishes.

    Your videos are awesome – I’ve tried a couple and they turned out AMAZING!

    My parents (Pakistani) said it was one of the best chicken tandoori they’ve ever had.

    Of course typical Pakistani parents, they than asked me “do you think she’s married?” Lol.

    One request, looking for a lamb biryani recipe. Any chance you would put one up?

    1. I love reading cooking success stories! SO happy your family enjoyed the Tandoori chicken. I’m going to be honest about boryani. I haven’t gotten around to trying out a whole lot but once I have time to perfect it, I will put them up:)

  9. Hey, why no more recipes on YouTube ? It’s been a while.

    1. It’s been pretty hectic since I relocated. But I plan to shoot videos sometime soon! Thanks so much for checking in:)

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