Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)

Daal, not dull! Hah I tried.

It’ s a proud moment for this blog because I have finally mastered the art of cooking Daal. After many failed attempts (partly because I didn’t own a presuure cooker), I have finally nailed Daal Chawal. This recipe is a version of the one my cook in Pakistan used to make and is admittedly a tad spicier. I also took the liberty to deepen the color but don’t worry, I’ll share the more classic yellow daal very soon!

If you’re in the same boat as I was a few weeks ago, this is for you! Just get yourself a mini pressure cooker featured in this video and you’re golden!

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Restaurant- Style Boneless Chicken Handi

Nothing says desi more than fingers dripping with curry! Allow me to bless your kitchen with my coveted chicken curry recipe. In the most traditional sense, you call this Boneless Handi. Handi is vessel (usually terracotta) in which this dish is traditionally cooked. But trust me when I say this, your favorite restaurant is not cooking their famous Boneless Handi in an actual Handi. I cook all my curries in a stainless steel saucepan or wok and absolutely love the curries that come out of those vessels.

I have already covered the basics of how to determine when the curry is done in my Chicken Karahi post. For me, the key to the most flavorful curry lies in 1) yogurt 2) red juicy tomatoes and 3) continuous stirring towards the end until the masala releases that orange-tinted oil. If you do not see the oil glossing the surface, your curry is not done. Let it continue cooking on medium to low heat. This recipe itself is not a huge departure from my Chicken Karahi recipe. Both require yogurt and both require a whole lotta stirring. However, in my Boneless Handi, I create the curry base prior to adding in the chicken. This is also the technique that is traditionally used to make Boneless Handi.

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Pound Cake with a fine crumb

Ever wondered why your Pound Cake always came out so crumby? The secret to making a Pound Cake that is fluffy and has a very fine crumb is to get all the ingredients at room temperature. This is truly the only secret! Butter should be soft because it just creams a whole lot better with sugar. Eggs should be out of the fridge at least an hour early (I soak them in warm water for 10 mins). And milk should not be chilled. If you have the patience for it, I’d say go ahead and sift in the flour because sifting helps to lighten it up. All your hard work will pay off when you slice into this Pound Cake.

A handy tip when you bake cakes: let the cake cool completely before slicing. Cakes need time to cool. If you slice into a cake fresh out of the oven, you run the risk of leaving crumbs all over your cutting board. Be patient. I also like to use a baking pan that has sharp corners. God knows it took me so long to find the right pan. Mine is from Chicago Metallic (no, this is not an ad.) I just really like how the cake turns out. The slices come out sharp and clean but a loaf pan with rounded corners is fine too.

You may be wondering if I have tried making Pound Cake with a leavening agent. I have actually, with a scant 1/4 tsp baking powder which indeed lifts the cake ever so slightly. To be honest, the result of that cake is just as good. However, a traditional Pound Cake relies on creaming the ingredients to naturally raise the cake without the help of a leavener. I like to keep things traditional every once in a while.

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Pakistani Chinese Chicken Corn Soup

This soup takes me right back to the hospital room where my aunt is ladling her famous Chicken Corn Soup into bowls for the kids as we younglings excitedly watch another heavily pregnant aunt breathe through her labor pains on the hospital bed. We slurp the soup. The pregnant aunt heaves a sigh. That’s a really strange memory. This aunt was a “soup bearer” and would always bring a huge stainless steel pot with a giant ladle along with her to family picnics, dinners and funerals.

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Crispy Chicken Keema Burger

One of the reasons I seldom make crispy chicken burgers is that it demands time and extensive cleaning as you set up your coating station which includes eggs and flour. I wanted to create a recipe that is easy and quick. In this Crispy Chicken Burger recipe, I do without eggs and found that the fat in chicken is enough to hold together the ground meat.

Adding in garam masala and ginger garlic paste gives it a Pakistani flavor, which along with the raita that I shared with my Seekh Kebab fills the kitchen with a familiar aroma of Pakistani cooking. Follow along and you’ll be quite amazed at how crispy and easy it is to make these burgers. Continue reading “Crispy Chicken Keema Burger”

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 the spot as I slid. This recipe is an improved version that has a slightly sweet Asian kick to it.

It’s a one-pot recipe that will save you numerous trips to the grocery store. Serve it with my Sriracha dip and your friends will beg you to make this on your next potluck! My Sriracha dip is what In N Out calls their “secret sauce.” Let me tell you there’s no secret to this sauce! Just some mayo, Sriracha and mustard!

Honey Roast Chicken With Sriracha Dip
 
Cook time
Total time
 
This Honey Roast Chicken will save your work week! Serve it with my Sriracha dip and you have yourself a takeout meal right at home!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 chicken thighs with bones
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 tbsp vinegar (to deglaze)
  • 2 carrots, slices
  • 2 red potatoes, sliced in wedges
  • Sriracha Dip:
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry chicken thigh pieces and create slits on the surface at a diagonal angle.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, soy sauce and honey. Now rub this mixture well into the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for half an hour and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (It's okay if you don't have time to marinate; the flavor may be a little less intense but it's still delicious!)
  3. Next, in a stainless steel pan over high heat, add a few tbsp of oil and sear your chicken. All we want to do at this point is to brown the chicken pieces. Sear three minutes on one side, and then flip the pieces for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Next, turn the flame to medium and pour a few splashes of vinegar to the pan. The pan will sizzle and hiss. The vinegar will lift those brown bits stuck to the pan during the searing stage. With a wooden spatula, scrape the brown bits of and stir your chicken around. You will notice a beautiful brown color develop on the chicken slowly.
  5. Now, toss in the carrots and potatoes along with the chicken and stir in the juices from the chicken.
  6. Transfer the vegetables from the pan onto an oven proof tray or casserole dish. Now place the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. This will allow heat to circulate around the chicken and help crisp the chicken pieces. Putting the chicken at the bottom will make the underside soggy.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F flipping once half way through.
  8. After 30 minutes, turn the broiler on and broil the chicken pieces for 10 minutes--flipping once halfway.
  9. To make my secret sauce, mix mayo, Sriracha and mustard and serve.
 

Ground Beef Chilli

Chilli-Rookie With A Cookie

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 those overcast days that threaten to burst open the heavens, I shuffle to my kitchen in my sweatpants to stir a pot of thick, chunky chilli. And to get the right consistency and flavor, the trick is to finish the chilli on high heat! The recipe is incredibly easy. I use leftovers to make tacos–the kind you get in Taco Bell (sorry, sometimes I cheat). Continue reading “Ground Beef Chilli”