Many years ago when my baby girl finished her plate of biryani and came and cuddled up next to me on our comfy couch while I flicked through a magazine. She looked up to me with her big brown eyes and said, “ Mom, you made such a good biryani”. I smiled at my satisfied little ten year old in a blue night gown with white clouds on it. She kept asking me how I made the biryani while I absently kept going through my new magazine from Pakistan…After all the question about how I made it she looked at me frowning and said, “Aap mar jai gay tou hum khana kaisey khai ge”? (How will we eat when you die mama?)…….After bursting into a huge laughter I realized it was a real question. It was then that I had promised her that I would make her a recipe book.

Here you go baby girl!

Amma ka khana

Nani meri jani ke Shamee kebab (Beef)

Those who feed you, teach you how to cook…..she taught us how to live — and life without shamee kebabs is badmaza (tasteless).

Let the experience begin:

Ingredients :

  • 2 pounds beef cubes (alternatively use chicken but do not cut into cubes-just use chicken breast and cut each breast into three pieces)
  • 2 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 tspn sabut zeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 tspn sabut kali mirch (black peppercorns)
  • 1 1/2 tspn red chilli powder
  • 2 pieces each, 4 inch of fresh ginger peeled
  • 1/2 tspn long (cloves)
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tspn chilli flakes
  • 2 cups cut onion (sliced)
  • 1 black aliachi (cardamom)
  • 1 1/2 bark of dalchini (cinnamon)
  • 1 cup chana dal (split pea yellow lentil)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green chilli
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 eggs whipped
  • Oil as needed for shallow very shallow frying
  • Put everything except eggs, cilantro, diced onion, mint, and diced green chilli-in a pot and add 3–4 cups of water — the water should be two inches above the beef.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat.
  • Once the water has completely dried (make sure it is completely dry), take it out and let it cool.
  • Once cooled put it in a chopper and grind it till it is smooth enough to form patties.
  • Once it looks like the above picture, take it out in a bowl and let it cool.
  • Now add the above four ingredients(onions, chillies, cilantro and last gradually add egg) into the grounded pattie mixture.
  • Mix everything well, so that all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Take a tray and spread aluminum on it and coat it with oil.
  • On any table or counter top, spread some aluminum.
  • Then spread an even layer of the beef mixture on it.
  • Take a round cookies cutter and start cutting shamee kebabs with it.
  • Cut the kebabs
  • pick it up one at a time smoothen the sides with wet hands
  • Put them on the oil covered aluminum tray, layer after layer.
  • Make sure to put oil on each layer of aluminum.
  • Now you can freeze them overnight.
  • The next day you can take them out of the tray when they are frozen and put them in zip log bags and keep them frozen.
  • Fry as many as you need whenever you need them.
  • Take little oil for shallow frying.
  • Heat oil. Then reduce heat to medium low so the frozen kababs can get cooked throughly.
  • Put as many kebabs as you need.
  • Heat one side -approx 3–5 minutes
  • Turn around, do the same.
  • When both sides are light brown-it is done.

Qeema Alo

Ingredients

  • 15 oz ground chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander pwdr ( dhanya pwdr)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Kauri Methi
  • 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 cup cubed 1/2 inch each potatoes
  • 3 green chillies cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup Oil (Avocado)
  • Start with heating the oil on medium heat
  • Add the sliced onions
  • Once the onion is brown add ginger and garlic paste
  • Add salt, chilli pdr, Coriander pdr, turmeric pdr.
  • Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water.
  • Let it cook till the tomatoes get completely cooked and oil comes up

• Add the ground chicken and mix well

  • After you throughly mix the ground chicken in the base cook on high heat for 3–4 minutes while stirring.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups water.
  • Cover and cook for up to 30–40 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Keep checking every seven minutes or so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. If heat is too high it will start sticking to the bottom.
  • Stir every time you open the lid.
  • When the water evaporates and the oil has come up you can increase the heat and keep cooking till oil is visible on top like you see in the picture.
  • Now add the cubed potatoes with 1/2 cup water in the pan with the chicken.
  • Mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15–20 minutes.
  • After fifteen minutes the potato cubes will be easy to break with a fork- like a boiled potato. Oil would have come up there would be no traces of water in the pan — just oil.
  • Add Kasuri Methi, cilantro, ginger and sliced green chillies.
  • Mix well on med- high heat. Don’t stir so hard that you mash the potatoes. Stir gently till everything is mixed and bubbly oil is coming out.

ENJOY WITH SOME NAAN/PITA/RICE


Methi Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4.12 lbs Chicken with bone or boneless as you prefer (close to 2 kg)
  • Oil 1 cup (Avocado, Mazola, Olive- any one of these)
  • 15 Curry Pata
  • 9 Pods Garlic chopped small (3/4 tblspn)
  • 2" by 2" Ginger chopped small (3/4 tblspn)
  • 1 level tblspn Garam masala pwdr (All spice)
  • 1 level tblspn Zeera pwdr (cumin seed powder)
  • 3/4 tblspn salt
  • 2 tblspn koti Mirch (crushed red pepper — like we use for pizza)
  • 2.6 Pounds sliced tomatoes (4–5)
  • Green chillies chopped 4–5
  • Cilantro 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 Cup Kasuri Methi
  • Dice the onions in medium piece.
  • Slice the tomatoes.
  • Dice ginger & garlic.
  • chop cilantro, green chillies and keep everything ready.
  • Measure oil and take that out in a container.
  • Measure everything out and keep it ready to use
  • Heat oil.
  • Add curry pata and wait for 30 seconds or until you can smell the leaves releasing the flavor.
  • Add onions fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped ginger and garlic let is all cook on high heat for about 2– 5 minutes.
  • Add salt and koti mirch and fry for another minute.
  • Now add all the tomatoes.
  • Let them cook till they look like the third picture on your right above. The oil should release and the tomatoes should be completely cooked.
  • Add the chicken mix it well it changes color from pink to whitish.
  • Now add garam masala and zeera powder.
  • Now make the heat medium and cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Please keep checking every 8 minutes or so, and stir the chicken when you open the lid.
  • Once the oil starts coming out and the water has almost finished, add the green chillies, kasuri Methi, and Cilantro.
  • Once it is ready take it out in a dish and serve with naan or rice (plain, or pulao) ENJOY!

Chicken Salan-step by step

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3.7 lbs approx cut up chicken
  • 9 0z or 1 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup yougart
  • 1 tspn Sabut Zeera (cumin) regular safaid
  • 2 tspn heap Dhanya powder (coriander)
  • 1 1/2 tspn red chilli pwdr
  • 1/2 tspn Haldi (Turmeric)
  • 1 1/2 tspn garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tspn ginger minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2–3 green chillies sliced long
  • 1/2 tspn black zeera (cumin) seeds
  • 1/3 tspn black pepper pwdr
  • 1/2 tspn garam masala pwdr
  • 4 cups water
  • Take approx 9 oz of onion close to 1.5 cups and slice it up.
  • Put all other ingredients in small bowls in quantity given and heat .5 cup oil in a pan.
  • once oil is hot approx 3–5 minutes toss in the onions and saute till brown on med flame.
  • Add zeera once the onions are golden brown- saute the zeera for about 30–45 seconds
  • Add fresh garlic
  • Add all other ingredients like ginger, salt , chilli per, haldi, and dhaniya with 1 cup water.
  • Saute till oil comes up on med heat.
  • Add water and tomatoes and cook on low to med heat.
  • Once tomatoes are stewed add green chillies.
  • Add yougart once all ingredients are mixed well and oil has come up.
  • Once oil is up and everything stewed take the hand blender and mix everything, cover and cook on v low heat.
  • In 5–7 minutes the oil will come up and the consistency will become thick at this point add chicken and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low heat- cook for 45 minutes on low — med low heat- keep checking- once chicken is ready and oil is up with some gravy almost 2 cups add the ingredients below.
  • Add above ingredients once chicken is ready- chill, cilantro, black pepper, black zeera, garam masala.

VOILA!!!! let the Naan/Roti and Rice dance begin!!!

Alo Gosht- My Baba’s Fav

Here is to the joy of cooking with one of his favorite songs that we grew up watching him dance to in front of that long mirror ;)

Ingredients:

  • 2.12 approx lbs of goat meat/lamb/beef
  • 3/4 cup Oil
  • 2 cups (10 oz ) sliced onions
  • 1 tomatoe
  • 1 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 tblspn red chilli pwdr
  • 3/4 tspn turmeric
  • 3 tspn dhanya pwdr
  • 1 tspn sabut zeera
  • 1/2 tspn garam masala pwdr
  • 1/2 tspn black pepper pwdr
  • 1/2 tspn sabut black zeera
  • 4 green chillies
  • 3 tbspn chopped green cilantro
  • 4 potatoes cut in halves/quarters- 2 inch thick
  • 4–5 cups of waters
  • 1 tbspn ginger paste
  • 1 tblspn garlic paste
  • Start with getting all the ingredients out and organized.
  • Heat the oil in the pan.
  • Once the oil is heated, add the onions.
  • Once they are light brown in color add the sabut white zeera seeds- let it cook for 20 seconds till you can smell the aroma — let the heat be medium or the zeera burns quickly.
  • Make sure not to blacken the zeera- burnt zeera spoils the taste.
  • Once the zeera starts giving the nice aroma, add ginger,garlic,salt,chilli, dhanya, and tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes are sauted and they are atleast half cooked, add the whipped yougart to the pan.
  • Keep cooking on low to medium heat.
  • Once the oil comes up — add the meat and mix well for 10–12 minutes.
  • Mix the meat well with the masala.Toss in one cut jalapeno(green chilli)
  • Add 2–3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pan and let it cook in slow heat.
  • Open the lid and stir every 20 minutes or so.
  • It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour and a few minutes for the meat to be tender.
  • To check it the meat is ready take out a piece in the spoon and put in a plate and try to break it with a fork if it breaks easily (it should not be over tender- there is a slight effort needed) it is ready.
  • Once the meat is ready and the water has completely finished and oil is seeping on the sides in the pot add the potatoes.
  • Stir/mix this whole thing.
  • Add 1 1/2 cup water lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Open the lid and check with a fork if the potatoes are 3/4th soft.
  • The water should have a thin layer of oil come up on top.
  • Add another 1/2 cup water if you feel the gravy is too thick.
  • Bring to a boil on medium heat
  • Add pepper pwdr, garam masala pwdr, cilantro, green chillies and black zeera seeds.
  • Yummy!
  • Eat with boiled white rice or Roti or Naan!!!!!!!!!!!

Tandoori Masala Burger

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tblspn Tandoori Masala (Raja optional) with enough water to make it into a thick paste.
  • 3 tspn salt
  • 1.5 tspn black pepper pwdr
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tblspn cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pounds Chicken minced
  • 1 bottle Mayonnaise
  • Burger Buns
  • 2–3 Sliced Onions
  • 2–3 Sliced round cucumbers
  • Make sure that minced chicken does not have any water in it.
  • Add salt, tandoori masala paste, cilantro, green onion, pepper, onions, and eggs. Mix all these ingredients with the chicken mince.
  • Mix all the ingredients in the minced Chicken.
  • Take a tray and put some parchment paper on it and brush the paper with oil.
  • Make patties the size of a burger bun from the mixed minced chicken and spread them on a tray.
  • You can freeze these if you want to use them over a period of time or you can grill them right away.
  • Heat the grilling pan on high heat and brush it with oil.
  • After about 3–5 minutes when the pan is well heated put a pattie on the grill- keep the fire high.
  • Let the pattie cook on one side for about 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes turn it around and let the other side cook. You will see the grill marks on the top of the patty.
  • After three minutes on each side the patty should be cooked but do keep an eye on it. There should be no water seeping through the sides.

Burger Chutney

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yougurt whipped
  • 1 tblspn finely grated ginger
  • 2 tblspn chopped cilantro
  • 1 tblspn lemon juice
  • 1/2 tspn cumin pwdr
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • Whip the yogurt in a bowl.
  • Add salt, cumin, lemon, cilantro, and ginger.
  • Mix well together.

Assembling the Burger

  • Toast the burger on the grill.
  • Heat the grilling pan and brush it with oil on high heat.
  • Place the sliced burger white side down on the grill for 2–3 minutes.
  • Once it is toasted it will have grill marks on it.
  • Spread some mayonnaise on the grilled bun.
  • Put the grilled hot burger patty on it.
  • Put a table spoon of the yogurt chutney on it.
  • Add the sliced onions on top.
  • Add sliced cucumbers (optional)
  • Top it with the other side of the grilled burger make sure that side also has mayonnaise spread on it.

ENJOY:)!!

Mughlai Chicken Masala

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken 1 lb cut in 1" pieces
  • 1 tomatoe
  • 1/2 bell pepper green
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn black pepper
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 2 tblspn coriander leaves/cilantro
  • 1 tblspn finely sliced ginger
  • 4 tblspn Oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Chopper- ize (Put in a food processor and chop up)

  • Put onion, bell pepper, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor and chopperize.
  • Heat oil
  • Add the processed mixture in the hot oil
  • Cook till the mixture becomes a little brown
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Add the chicken cubes and keep stirring (add 2 tblspn more oil if you find it difficult to cook the chicken )till all chicken changes color
  • Now add chicken stock and bring to a boil on high heat
  • Once you see chicken come to a boil once, lower the fire to medium low cover and let it cook 10–15 minutes.
  • Check if the water has dried and oil has come up.
  • Add green chillies
  • Cilantro
  • Finely sliced ginger
  • If you like it spicy sprinkle a pinch of black pepper -oil should be seen in the dish as above — after adding chillies, cilantro and ginger let it simmer for a minute or two
  • It is ready! Enjoy with pita bread or rice!!

My Sally my Ami-

Sally’s special Galawat ke Kebab (Salma Kizilbash)

To my beautiful Salma who hated us dedicating this cheesy cheap song to her every wedding:)…but we couldn’t help ourselves…we needed to see Daddys grin!

Ingredients:

  • 2.2 lb ground chicken or beef
  • 1/2 cup roasted dried chicken peas (bhonay chanay)or chick pea powder (baisan)roasted slightly in the dry frying pan
  • 3 onions sliced and fried till golden brown
  • 3 tspn salt
  • 2 1/2 tspn red chilli powder
  • 40 kali mirch balls (black pepper balls)
  • 18 long (cloves)
  • 3 tblspn sabut zeera (cumin seeds)
  • 3 tblspn crushed green papaya
  • 1 small onion cleaned and sliced
  • Brown three onion on low temperature in 1/2 cup oil.
  • Get all the ingredients in one place after measuring them.
  • Defrost chicken or beef qeema (ground beef or chicken).
  • Lightly roast the Zeera seeds in a dry pan over medium heat- take off the fire in one minute.
  • Put all the dry ingredients (cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds, chickpeas) in the coffee grinder and grind till it turns into powder.
  • Put the grounded meat into the food processor.
  • Add onions, papaya, salt, chilli powder and raw onions in the food processor with the meat.
  • Now add the grounded ingredients from the coffee grinder in the meat.
  • Turn on the food processor till all the stuff inside gets well mixed and turns into an even consistency.
  • Take it out and let it sit in the fridge for an hour.
  • After an hour take it out of the fridge.
  • Take a baking tray, cover it with an aluminum sheet.
  • Spread oil on the sheet with a brush.
  • Wet your hand with some water and start making long kebabs 3 inch long and 1 inch wide.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degress and once its head put the tray in the oven.
  • The kebabs are cooked uncovered.
  • Take them out after 40 minutes.
  • Slices onions to decorate them.
  • Enjoy with the Biryani, Naan or Pulao:)