Baked Potato Salad


Potatoes 6-8 large
Olives, sliced, 1/4 cup
Capsicum, chopped, 1/4 cup
Sausages, chopped, 1/2 cup
Sweet corn (canned), 1/4 cup
Mushrooms, chopped, 1/2 cup
Cheddar/mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1/2 cup
Butter 2 tbsp
Black pepper, 1 tsp
Salt, to taste


Prick each potato with a fork and wrap individually in aluminium foil, set in a tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 C for 50-70 minutes or till they are cooked through. While they are still a little hot, peel them and mash. Add the butter, black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Now add all the vegetables, the sausages and mushrooms and mix once again. Cover with shredded cheese on the top, and put under the grill for 3-5 minutes till the cheese has melted. Serve warm with garlic bread!

*I've used canned sausages in the recipe. You may blanch the frozen sausages for a minute in boiling water, slice and use in the recipe.
*The baking time of the potatoes depend on the size of the potato and your oven.

Pizza Olivetto

Pizza topped with smoked chicken, chicken sausages, onions, olives, and two kinds of cheeses.


For the dough:

All purpose flour 2 cups
Instant yeast 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Milk powder 2 tbsp (optional)
Oregano (dried/crushed) 1/4 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Water/milk as required

For the sauce:

Onion 1, small chopped finely
Garlic 1 clove, chopped finely
Oil 1 tbsp
Tomato purée 1/2 cup or as required
Salt to taste
Oregano 1/4 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp
Crushed red chillies 1/4 tsp


Chicken sausages, sliced 1/2 cup
Smoked chicken slices, 3, chopped
Black olive, pitted and sliced, 1/4 cup
Mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup
Onion, 1 medium, chopped


In a large bowl, mix in all the dry ingredients. Now add oil, butter and using water (or milk), knead it in to a dough - soft but firm. Cover with a damp cloth or a cling film and keep aside for at least half an hour for the dough to rise to twice it's size.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add finely chopped garlic and onions. Stir till light brown. Now mix in the tomato purée, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook for 5-7 minutes, but do not let it dry. It should have a nice medium thick consistency.

Now punch the dough in to take it's air out and roll it out to make the base for the pizza. It's up to you whether you want a thick crust pizza or a thin crust. It makes one large pizza or two medium sized ones. Lay the rolled out dough in an oiled pizza pan and spread the sauce over it. Now start topping it with smoked chicken, chicken sausages, olives, onions and finally the cheeses.

Preheat the oven to 200 C for ten minutes. Now slide in the pizza pan and let the pizza bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C or till the cheese has melted and the crust is brown (for a brown crust, brush with oil or melted butter.)
I use an electric oven, so I have both upper and lower shelves heating. If you have a gas oven, first bake the base, let it brown and crisp, then grill and melt the cheese from the top.

Chicken Burger

A very easy to make recipe of a basic homemade chicken burger.


For the burger patties:

Boneless chicken 600-800 gms
Salt & pepper, 1 tsp each (levelled)
Garlic 2 cloves
Green chilies 4-5
Onion 1 (medium sized) or you could also use green onions
Bread slices 2
Egg 1
Red chili flakes (optional) 1/2 tsp
Chinese salt (optional) 1/2 tsp

For assembling:

Burger Buns as much required
Cheese slices
Ketchup/Chili Garlic sauce
Jalapenos (optional)
Ice-berg lettuce (optional)


Mince everything together in a food processor. Once minced finely, make balls from the mixture and give them the shape of flat, rounded patties - not very thick, not very thin. This quantity of chicken will make about 10-14 patties (depending on the size you give to each patty).

Heat a gridle or a non-stick pan. Add around 2 tbsp of oil in a preferably non-stick frying pan and fry the patty for 2.5 minutes each side or till it's done. Slice the burger buns in half and toast them till they're warm (or crispy. Your choice). Now start assembling it: A lettuce leaf, a cheese slice then some mustard, a little ketchup/chili garlic, mayonnaise and then the patty (you can also add jalapenos if you want) and now cover it up. Voila. It's ready to serve :D

Featured Recipe of the Week: Makhmalai Koftay

Best for traditional dinners. Photo and recipe by Fati Naz.


For the koftas:

Mince meat 1/2 kg (grinded in 1/4 cup water in a food processor)
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
Red chilies (crushed) 1 tsp
Roasted chickpeas 50 grams or roasted gram-flour 4 tbsp
Couscous (Khashkash) 1 tsp
Green cardamom 3
Black cardamom 1
White cumin 1 tbsp
Cloves 5-6
Black peppercorns 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg (jaifal) 1/4 piece
Mace (javetri) 2 leaves
Green coriander 2 tbsp
Fired onions 3 tbsp
Raw papaya (grinded with it's peel) 1 tbsp
Green coriander 1 tbsp

For curry:

Tomatoes 4-5 meduim chopped
Garlic, chopped 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Green chilies 4
Coriander for garnish
All spice food ½ tsp


To make the meatballs (koftay) grind all the spices and mix in the minced meat. Then add raw papaya paste, fried onions and green coriander. Mix well and make into koftas. Do not let the mixture sit. Make the koftas instantly. This will make around 15-18 large koftas.

Heat half cup oil and shallow fry the koftas (preferably in a non-stick pan), one minute each side and keep aside.

Take a big pot (in which all the koftas would fit in a single layer) and using the same oil in which you fried the koftas (approx 1/4th cup) add the sliced tomatoes and cook them for 7-10 minutes or till soft. Now add garlic, chilli powder, salt, green chillies and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Now add the koftas and let it cook on a low flame for about 5-10 minutes. Do not stir after you've added the koftas. Garnish with coriander, all spice powder (garam masala) and green chillies.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

As much as I love eating food, I also love to take pictures of the food. Here are some shots I took of Hobnob's Chocolate Fudge Cake:

Classic Lasagna

Lasagna Sheets – 8-12 (depending on the size of your dish)

For Mince-meat:

Beef mince 1/2 kg
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Crushed chillies 2 tbsp
Tomatoes 1/2 kg (take pure red ones)
Onion 1
Salt to taste
Chinese salt 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Garam masla 1 tsp
Coriander Powder 1/2 tsp
Yogurt 1/4 cup.

For the tomato sauce:

Tomato puree/chopped tomatoes 1 tin
Tomato paste 3 tbsp
Oregano 1 tsp
Mixed herbs 1 tsp
Red crushed chillies 1 tbsp (or as per your preference)
Ketchup 1 cup
Garlic cloves, 4 chopped
Onion 1, chopped 
Green chillies 2 chopped.
Sugar quarter tea spoon
Salt & pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).
Heat oil in a pan and fry onions till light brown in color. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes. Fry for another minute or two and now add the rest of the mince-meat ingredients. Stir well and cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring off and on. Once well cooked, turn off the heat. It’s ready.

Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic cloves, onions and green chilies.  Now add the puree and paste and all the spices. Stir and let it cook for 5-8 minutes.

Finally, cook the pasta, 3 sheets at a time, in a large pot of boiling, salted water for half the recommended time or until the pasta is pliable but slightly hard at the center. About 4-5 minutes.
In a buttered ovenproof dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. Lay 3 sheets pasta, over the sauce. Spread a quarter of the minced meat over the pasta. Spread a quarter of the sauce over the minced meat and sprinkle with a quarter of cheese. Starting with another 3 layers of pasta sheets, repeat layers. Repeat layers again to finish, ending with mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven until golden and bubbling, 30 minutes. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving.

Recipe by Daniya Ahmed.

Brownie-Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache


For the cupcakes/brownies:

Castor sugar 2 cups
Butter (unsalted) 1 cup
Vanilla essence 2 tsp
Cocoa powder 3/4 cup
All purpose flour 1 cup
Eggs 4
Salt 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Chocolate chips 1/2 cup

For the ganache:

Cooking chocolate (use good quality cooking chocolate for better taste) 250 gms
Cream 1/2 cup


Beat the eggs with an electric beater until fluffy; add melted butter, sugar and vanilla essence. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and mix in the egg mixture.

Preheat the oven at 185 C for ten minutes. In an 8 by 8 inch baking tray or the cupcake tray pour in the mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Will make at at least 6 cupcakes or one tray of brownies.)

Let the brownies/cupcakes cool. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool a little and mix in the whisked cream. Use an icing bag or just a plain palette knife and cover the brownies/cupcakes in ganache.

Photo and recipe by @sushee_m

My Bakra Eid Experience!

This bakra eid, my parents had gone for Hajj, leaving me behind. So naturally, the duty to wash, cut, trim the meat fell on my weak little shoulders. The morning which I was dreading, finally came. And my brother started bringing in the meat, filling up the kitchen table. So much meat! But this was the moment, where I had to fight back the feeling you get when you see too much raw meat - and blood. 'Brace yourself!', I said to myself. I then changed my clothes, rolled up my sleeves and got working. First cut I got hold of was the neck of the goat. Not much fat, just a bit here and there and easier to clean. Then I chopped up the liver and the kidneys, putting them straight in the marinade I had prepared for it, to be later bar-b-qued. Then came a huge leg of mutton, with a bit of fat. Also, washed it then marinated and it's now in the freezer. I made my own spice mixes (you can make them your self too, click here). After the mutton, next up was Beef, which really wasn't much of a hassle and was gotten over quick. The most interesting and challenging meat to wash and trim was the Camel's meat. It had, THREE layers of fat, out of which two were not edible and had to be removed. One was transparent, and of a very gooey texture. The second layer was a little pinkish, with a very slippery touch and the third layer was edible, and also, which didn't have to be removed. So, since making faces at it didn't help, I took out my cleaver, two chef's knife and one carving knife. All of which played important role in the cleaning of the meat. First, the piece of meat had to be chopped smaller, for which I used the cleaver; to remove the fat, first it had to be scored with a sharp chef's knife and then later removed by a carving knife - and hence my struggle began! The thin layer of fat kept slipping from my hand and it became absolutely impossible to peel or tear away that layer of fat! First because it was transparent and second I kept losing it's grip! I tried nonetheless, held it in my fingers, wrapped it around and got to it. Eekh. Just don't ask me how I felt and how I did it. I was trying hard not to feel nauseous. It took me 25 minutes to trim a 400 gm piece of meat, off fat. It was one tough task. Finally, got done with the meat in almost two hours! For me, this was more of a fighting-my-self-and-gathering-the-courage-to handle meat. The feeling of being successful, is just awesome (though, I've promised myself never to touch camel meat again, EVER!)

Bakra Eid Special: Roasted Mutton/Lamb Leg

A delectable dish for all the meat lovers!


Leg of a lamb/mutton
Carrots 2 cups roughly chopped
Potatoes 4-6 large, roughly chopped
Peas 2 cups
Red onions 4 large, roughly chopped

For the marinade:

Yoghurt 1 kg
Cumin seeds (roasted and crushed) 4 tbsp
Coriander seeds (roasted and crushed) 4 tbsp
Salt 3-4 tsp
Meat tenderizer 2 tbsp (or raw papaya, crushed with the skin 4 tbsp)
Crushed red chillies 3 tbsp
Five spice powder 2 tbsp
Black pepper 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Juice of 4 lemons

Clean the leg of lamb/mutton, score it/make deep cuts with a knife and apply lemon juice all over. Put it aside. In a bowl, mix in all the spices and raw papaya/meat tenderizer in yoghurt for the marinade. Mix well and apply on the lamb leg. Let it marinate for at least 6 hours. Best would be a day before you plan on cooking it.

Set the oven on the highest temperature and let it pre-heat. Pour oil in the baking tray before putting the leg of lamb in. Add the vegetables too over and besides the leg. Pour a little more oil on the top, and cover with foil. Lower the temperature of the oven to 180-200 C, and let it cook for at least 4 hours or till it's cooked through (the cooking also depends on the weight of the leg).

When I made the leg of lamb, I cooked it at 200 C, for 6 hours. I like slow roasting it so that the meat, when carved, and eaten, melts in your mouth.

Generally, a two kg leg of lamb takes about 2-3 hours to cook.

Make your own spice mixes: Tandoori Masala

Roasted cumin seeds 2 tbsp
Roasted coriander seeds 2 tbsp
Cayenne pepper 3 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Ginger powder 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp
Few drops of red food coloring


Grind cumin and coriander seeds using a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar. Add ginger powder, garlic powder, cinnamon powder, cayenne pepper, salt and food color and mix well. Now store in a small, airtight jar for up to 2 months.

*The above amount of Tandoori Masala can be used for 500-700 grams of meat.
*The image is not original.

Bakra Eid Special: Grilled Mutton Chops

One of the favorite Bakra Eid treats. Spicy grilled chops. Juicy, tender and scrumptious.


Mutton chops 1 kg
Yogurt 500 gm
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Lemon juice 4-6 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Crushed red chilies 1 tbsp
Roasted and crushed cumin 1 tbsp
Roasted and crushed coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Paprika (crushed/grounded talhaar mirch) 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp
Meat tenderizer 2 tsp (or crushed raw papaya with it's skin 1 tbsp)
Oil as required


Apply lemon juice on all the pieces of mutton chops. Mix all the spices and the ginger-garlic paste in yogurt except the chops and oil. Mix well. Now apply the entire marinade over the chops and let it marinate for at least 2 hours.
After two hours, they are ready to be grilled or fried. You can also roast them in a pre-heated oven at 180-200 C for 40-60 minutes or till done. Keep the chops moist by brushing them with oil once in a while.

Bakra Eid Special: Haray Masalay kay Seekh Kebab

One of the delicious ways to utilize the bakra-eid meat!


Minced meat 1 kg
Onion 1 medium
Green chilies 8-10 (medium sized ones)
Coriander leaves 2 bunches
Mint leaves 1 bunch
All spice powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Gram-flour (chick-pea flour) 2 tbsp
Meat tenderizer 1 tsp or raw papaya paste (crushed with skin) 2 tbsp


Making sure that your minced meat is completely dry and has no water in it, add all the ingredients except oil in a food processor and process it till all is mixed well. Make small balls of the minced meat mixture and wrap them around the oiled skewers. Now give them a flat oval shape and then grill/bar-b-que or simply fry them till cooked.

*It's preferable if you use meat which has a little fat in it.
*Keep the kebabs moist by occasionally brushing them with oil/ghee.

Winter Special: Badaam Ka Halwa

A sweet delicacy made with almonds and brown sugar. It's not as sickly sweet as most other Pakistan delicacies, thus more enjoyable. Its soft, warm and chewy.

The recipe given below serves one person.


Almonds 100gm
Brown Sugar 25 gm
White Sugar 25 gm
Ghee (clarified butter) 2 tbsp
Cardamon 2 to 3
Water/Milk 1 cup (I used milk)


Soak the almonds in water overnight. Then remove the peel and grind/blend them in water. In a pan, heat the ghee and add the cardamons till they've turned light brown. Now add the almond paste. Add sugar and mix well for about 10-13 minutes and continuously keep stirring on medium-low heat. And voila, it's ready! Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy: Ahsan Mukhtar's mother.

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