ashu's Blog

Archive for the ‘Kitchen Social Media’ Category


Posted on: July 8, 2010

Entries tagged as ‘Pakistani Cooking’
March 6, 2010 · 4 Comments
Made some Indian dishes for guests last weekend. I strive to produce new and unusual dishes each time I have guests, and although the Hyderabadi pullao was a little under-cooked, the brain-nihari went down very well, as well as the fish kebabs and cucumber-garlic-mint-yoghurt.


Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Slow Food, Pakistani Cooking, Indian Cooking

Today’s Tiffin
February 26, 2009 · 4 Comments

Tarka daal; Sindhi-style lady’s fingers; basmati rice.

Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Expat living, Pakistani Cooking, Slow Food

Today’s Tiffin
February 5, 2009 · Leave a Comment
Hot hot karhai chicken, tarka dahl, plain basmati rice.

Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Pakistani Cooking, Slow Food

Some Frontier-Style Dishes
December 12, 2008 · 2 Comments
just to let you know I am still alive. Still no internets at home, hopefully this will be sorted out this weekend; I have a long post about my recent trip to the hot spring at Heda coming up, but for the time being here are pictures of some of the dishes at a meal I made recently for guests.

Chappli kabab – reshmi kabab – burani – lamb biryani

These were suitably accompanied by walnut-mint chutney (a superb dish, with extra flavour from crushed anardana seeds and hot raw green chillies) and a stack of flatbreads. The biryani was an unusual one, made from uncooked meat layered with parboiled rice (usually the meat is cooked first separately) and flavoured with milk, apricots, almonds, saffron and rosewater: a real Mughal treat. I didn’t have a suitable le Creuset-style crockpot to bake it in, but my trusty Japanese stone donabe did the job admirably and it came out fairly well, considering this was my first attempt at this recipe.

Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Culture, Pakistani Cooking

Chappli Kebab Reshmi Tikka Kebab
September 21, 2008 · Leave a Comment
After nearly a week of eating cod and flounder, I had a hankering for some spicy and/or meat dishes. With a typhoon over our heads in Tokyo and me being pretty fagged out from my Iwate trip, I stayed in and made kebabs. Not the rather sordid variety you find in the lower sort of fast food restaurant back home in the UK, but one of my favourites of all time: chappli kebab. I also had some cream leftover from my cod cooking so I bought some chicken and made reshmi tikka chicken kebabs also, which provided a suitable accompaniment. One rarely finds the chappli kebab on offer in restaurants in the West, and my particular variety is as tasty as it is simple to make. Containing plentiful green chillies, anardana seed, tomato and cheaper cuts of beef I minced myself by hand, they came out quite spectacular. The secret is of course, not to grind the coriander or cumin seeds too finely, to leave a nice texture, and to use browned besan flour rather than egg to bind them. A real chappli kebab should be deep-fried in the lard rendered from the dhumba fat-tailed sheep, and be enriched with plenty of beef bone marrow, but I could not reproduce either of these conditions at home for obvious reasons; instead I shallow-fried the kebabs in ghee and used a cheap cut of stewing beef for a bit of extra fat and connective tissue. Otherwise they came out quite authentic and probably not very different from the kebabs eaten today on the northwest frontier, since antiquity. I ate mine with unleavened flatbreads, straight off the fire, and with copious lashings of hot walnut-mint chutney (if you haven’t tried this, do, as it is incomparable) on the side.

Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Expat living, Indian Cooking, Pakistani Cooking, Slow Food

Nihari Revisited
August 29, 2008 · 1 Comment
With no fishing these last two weeks due to the poor weather, I had another bash at making nihari (transliteration of South Asian languages into Roman script is always difficult; you may also see it written as nehari or neyari). Thanks to the really nice folk at Kobe Halal Foods I obtained some beef shank, this time with no bone so the nihari would have to be without nilla. I don’t think I have ever seen this dish on offer in restaurants back home in the UK, despite the profusion of north-west Indian dishes (or at least, inspired or bastardised derivatives of them) and the fact I am sure it would be very popular. Curiously enough, the cut of meat is rather similar to what the Japanese butcher would refer to as suji or ‘lines’. Like nihari it is often considered a poor man’s dish (usually served up in cheap izakaya bars) and the meat is braised for eight hours or blasted in a pressure cooker, seasoned with soy sauce and mixed with potatoes, onions and konnyaku.


Categories: English
Tagged: Cooking, Culture, Pakistani Cooking, Slow Food

Lahoree Nihari
July 30, 2008 · 2 Comments
I finally got round to attempting to make nihari. Sadly I was lacking some of the main ingredients to make it truly authentic; I used cheap cuts of boned leg rather than shank, I had no mace, no chunks of bone with delicious marrow in it, and no brain. I looked forward to making some hot naan or other bread to go with it, only to find that whilst I was in Okinawa, my bag of atta had become infested most thoroughly with weevils of some variety and I threw the whole thing out and had my nihari with rice. It was however, blazing hot and the meat very tender and delicious; it made a quite excellent breakfast that also removed the requirement for eating lunch. I have now found a halal butchers here that will sell me shank on the bone and sheep brain, and a short trip to Ojima will provide me with mace, so the next time I make it it will be even better (and probably, hotter).

As the basis of my nihari, I used a recipe from one of Madhur Jaffrey’s excellent cookbooks. The first Indian cookbook I ever read – “borrowed” from my mother who never used it – was by her, and she is by far my favourite. In addition to the wide variety of recipes she describes, many of them come with a short introduction about the origins of the dish or how she first encountered it. Her knowledge of Indian history, culinary and colonial, is great and her anecdotes relating her early life in a well-to-do Delhi family (she makes no attempt to hide her privileged upbringing) are wonderful reading.

Hopefully next year I will be able to eat real nihari for myself. I definitely want to fish the Arabian Sea and by starting or ending my trip in Lahore, I can have the real thing (in addition to trying a host of other local specialties). In the meantime, I can continue experimenting here in Tokyo.


Use trans fat-free margarine – soft tub or liquid margarine instead of
hard stick margarine. Generally, the softer the better and liquid is
better yet. A tablespoon of stick margarine has about 1.9 grams of
trans fat; a tablespoon of regular tub margarine, 0.8 grams. Check the
label for trans-free brands. All Promise margarine is trans fat-free
as are Fleishmann’s in tubs.
Also trans fat-free are all
Country Crock products
By government standards, trans-fat means
less than 0.5 grams per serving.

When eating out, avoid deep fried foods. A batter-dipped whole fried
onion – an appetizer popular at steak houses – has 18 grams of trans
fats, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Other trans fat horrors: cheese fries, onion rings, fried seafood and
fried chicken and fish.

Restrict foods made with “partially hydrogenated” oils as noted on
labels. The higher those words appear in the ingredient list, the more
trans fat. Half the fat of a cookie may be trans fat. A doughnut
contains four to nine grams of trans fat. If a label does not list
trans fat, add up what is listed (saturated, monounsaturated,
polyunsaturated) and subtract from the total fat grams. The difference
is trans fat
. Also, be sure your food is low in saturated fat, a
partner that brings on heart disease.

I made a huge mess last night trying to flip a burger like the Pros do it on TV.

It ended up falling between the metal thingies on the cooktop & burning badly. (Smells bad too.)

Are there ANY cleaning experts out there who can advise me on the proper way to clean this mess?

I left it there thinking it would be better to let it dry out.
(That is the tactic I use when the cat barfs on the rug)

But now I think removing the meat would have been the better choice.
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