All posts filed under: Pakistan

besan doodh recipe

Besan Doodh: A Drink Worthy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Malala & Kailash

One thought crossed my mind every time I took a sip of the Besan Doodh. The thought overwhelmed the bold cardamom and it distracted from the warm milk tinged with saffron. A small thing, really – a sentence, again and again, bringing tears to my eyes. “I didn’t clip her wings.” These are the words of Malala Yousafzai’s father. Malala is a young woman from Pakistan – just 17 years old. She is easily the greatest superstar in the peace movement right now thanks to her unapologetic opposition to those who would keep girls from receiving an education. Though she’d been blogging for the BBC since she was 11, the whole world paid attention when she took a shot to the head on the way to school at age 15, two years ago. As of Friday, Malala is the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and the first Pakistani winner. In a nice nod to her work for children’s education, she found out about the award during chemistry class. Malala’s father was the first person to write a girl’s name on the family …

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Monday Meal Review: Pakistan

Keith once told me that he hated cilantro. He despised how green and soapy it felt in his mouth and how the little green bits snaked through his teeth, sticking with him throughout the day like a tag-along little brother. This was in the days before our Global Table Adventure, a time when he also hated tomatoes, had no idea what eggplant was, and had never had fresh spinach. A time when one salad per year was a major accomplishment. So, naturally, when I pop the platter of garlic rice on our rough, wooden dining table, I neglect to mention it is tossed with cilantro. After all, cilantro and parsley look remarkably alike. I heave the extra wide spoon into the rice and scoop him a large serving. Leaning in, I say “this is garlic rice,” purring over the syllables as though they themselves are made of ghee. He leans in, sniffs his plate, and digs in. A few stray bits of cilantro flutter dangerously on the edge of his spoon. He chews a moment …

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Pakistani Mixed Bean Salad

Next time you go to a potluck,  spice up everyone’s life with pakistani mixed bean salad. Each bite has bits of chickpea, northern white beans, tomato, onion, and peppers. The salad can be spicy or mild, tart or savory. It all depends on how you mix it. Either way, it’s fresh, healthy, and – thanks to being seasoned with lemon juice, cilantro, and garam masala –  just on the other side of unusual. Be sure to make this salad at least a few hours before you need it, to give time for the flavors to meld. Overnight is best. Recipe adapted from Laura Kelley at Silk Road Gourmet. Ingredients: 1 (15 oz) can northern white beans, drained 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained 2 tomatoes, chopped 1/2 large onion, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped green chili pepper, minced (to taste)* 1- 1 1/2 lemons juiced (to taste) 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (vegetable oil may be substituted) 1 tsp garam masala ** pepper salt 1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed & torn roughly *I used part of a hatch chili …

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Pakistani Coffee with Cinnamon & Cardamom

I’m not a sadist by any means, but I will take any chance I can get to make my sweet Mr Picky drink coffee. For years now, he has claimed to hate the stuff. I maintain that coffee simmered gently with milk and spices is not the same as the sludge served at the local gas station. I’ve tried making him Nauru’s “Recycled” Iced Coffee (no luck), Arabian Cardamom Coffee (no luck), and even an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, complete with popcorn (he exhibited mild curiosity but only ate the popcorn).  I’m not disappointed at my lack of success, however. I look at this as a challenge, one of the few hurdles we still have to tackle with his picky ways… I’m determined to find a winning combination that he’ll at least tolerate by the end of this Adventure (and open to any suggestions you might have). Today’s coffee, inspired by Pakistan, is a milky mixture of sweet cardamom, the most haunting whisps of cinnamon, and a lingering sweetness that is sure to bring out anyone’s smile. I …

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Garlic Basmati Rice with Pine Nuts

I’d like the record to state that I’m ready for a big hug. It’s the end of summer, times are changing, and I’m ready for that love-filled feeling that comes with a smooshable hug. I see people doing it all the time – their bodies smiling as they pull to each other. My husband still hugs me, which is the best kind of snuggle-hug I can ask for. But I want more. I want the kind of hug that can’t come from him. Or any person. It’s the kind of hug that comes from taking a giant bite of garlic bread. It’s the cozy feeling I get as I methodically tear apart a tray of buttery garlic knots. But even that kind of hug seems so… ordinary. Today I want the extraordinary. Actually, every day I should want the extraordinary, but that’s something I’ll need to work out with my life coach. Enter Pakistan and an ambling line of garlic goodness. This grand garlic is going into a heaping platter of Garlic Basmati Rice sprinkled with Toasted …

Pakistan-menu

Menu: Pakistan (& Giveaway)

Whenever I cooked our Pakistani Global Table, our little family was swimming in sweat. Each day soared well over 100F (at times over 110F) and my air conditioner had all but decided to go the way of the puffin. So please forgive me if the menu feels a bit summery – a bit light on, well, cooking. While simmering curries for hours are a wonderful hobby for the bone-cold winters of Pakistan, I still managed to eek out a beautiful Pakistani menu for summer livin’ here in Oklahoma (with the exception being the coffee, if only because it whips up in a flash). Interestingly, the island nation of Palau (up next week on our Global Table Adventure) eats very similar food, so stay tuned for more options (I’m thinkin’ there’ll be a tandoori dish… and who knows what else!). All three of this week’s recipes were inspired by Laura Kelley’s Silk Road Gourmet. The recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Garlic Basmati Rice with Pine Nuts  [Recipe] Take everything you love about …

Children in Pakistan near the Boarder to Iran. Photo by Graef.

About the food of Pakistan

Pakistan is said to be the birthplace of the tandoori oven, where white-hot walls glow and crackle with spit-fire. These incendiary cylinders char-roast kebabs and breads alike. Although it is only the exceptional hostess that has a tandoori oven in her private home, if I had one, I would use it to cook our cumin seed naan (the one we made back in Afghanistan. P.S. This bread which would also work for a Pakistani meal. P.P.S. Oh, how far our recipes have come haha). Even though I swoon for naan day and night, there’s debate from the Pakistani highlands to the plateaus, as to whether a traditional meal goes best with bread or rice – there are local devotees to each. For those who choose flatbreads (typically naan or roti), the meal is easily enjoyed with the fingers. For those who choose rice, a lovely assortment of biriyani are available. Basmati rice can be seasoned simply with saffron (as we did with Rosewater & Saffron Rice for Bahrain or the Azerbajani Saffron Rice with crusty potatoes) or perhaps …