Jump to the Ghar ki Maash ki Daal Recipe
I come from a long line of sentimental folk. Whenever my mother made ghar ki (homestyle) Maash ki Daal she would always tell me that this particular daal with it’s simple flavours was my grandfathers favourite. My Dada (paternal grandfather) died when I was a few months old so I don’t have any memories of him.
I wish I did.
What I do have are the stories of others, stories that make me think that he was a man much like my father. He would stop the rickshaw away from the house when he was out because he didn’t want it’s noise to wake my sleeping brother. He spoiled my brothers rotten, another trait my father has inherited (one word: Claire’s). He was an avid reader, a writer and a professor. His favourite color was light blue. I know this because if I wear that color my aunt will break into tears because it reminds her of her father. When my fastidious mother reorganized his books, putting away the ‘ugly’ ones no matter how useful he took great pride in showing off the color coordinated shelves to strangers. I know all that and that he liked a simple ghar ki Maash ki Daal.
Jump to the Chana Daal Recipe
When we were kids we took a trip to the Northern parts of Pakistan, to Swat and Kaghan with their beautiful peaks and glacial rivers. I would share pictures, but I have some izzat (i.e. self respect).
Those weren’t necessarily my best years.
I don’t remember many details about the trip, but I do remember those delicious bags of chana daal that we would pick up from the nearest restaurant for dinner. When I say bags I am serious. The chana daal or chanay ki daal actually came in clear plastic bags that I would clumsily try to serve myself from, using roti to scoop up what I could, spilling some in the process. It was one of my favourite things about that trip and I really wish that I could recreate that kind of nostalgic magic.
Jump to the Soya Aloo Recipe
Yes, I am a mathematical genius like that. Don’t beat yourself up about it, all of us just aren’t wired that way….
I kid, although now that I am on the subject of math I should point out that baking really helped my fraction game. Half my life my mother would say “Oh yeah, this recipe that feeds 12 people, go ahead and make 3.5 times the amount.” Now if only calculus and baking were somehow related.
Jump to the Instant Pot Tandoori Roast Chicken Recipe
I am slowing down with age. That’s a thing right. Is it a thing at 35? If not let’s pretend I am 55 and excuse my laziness. Here is the plain truth. I am all about everything from scratch meals. But sometimes, sometimes, I want to be able to make a no muss no fuss meal that’s inviting and impressive. And sometimes, sometimes I think it’s okay to take some short cuts. Like bust out a Shaan Masala packet (or two) and make some quick Instant Pot Tandoori Roast Chicken that literally falls of the bone. Imagine being so tired and being able to easily pull that off. Nothing feels quite as good as using some hot naan to break off some tender masala-licious chicken, scoop up a little of that spicy gravy and savour all that deliciousness.
People go to weddings for the korma. I don’t. I am straight up there for the Lahori Fried Fish and the dessert. For most of my life my “shadi” plate has been half a plate piled with hot naans and the other half with savory unctuous battered deep fried, but so damn good Lahori Fried Fish. My father would always warn me about the perils of eating seafood in the summer, but fish over korma any day.
So in my head Lahori fish always has a spiced chickpea batter and then. Well, and then, my brother got married. That was exciting and all, but there was this fish at his nikah (the Muslim wedding ceremony). This crunchy, spicy, punchy fish. It had all the flavors of a lahori fried fish, but the CRUNCH people, the crunch.
I was so excited that I immediately went into the hosts’ kitchen in my “chamak challo” (glitter and sparkle) dressed for a wedding state and enthusiastically began complimenting a confused catering staff who told me where I could leave my plate.
Leave my plate. Pffft. I had just started eating.