A No Tomato Smoky Highway Karhai Chicken

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If you had asked me if I had ever had a Karhai Chicken without tomatoes I would have firmly insisted no. And then I did and it all came back to me. Cramming into cars to go to the highly recommended highway restaurant, the charpoys and takhts scattered over large areas, the waiters deftly going by with their hot naans, and the smell, that amazing smell wafting through the air. It is the spices, but more than the spices its charcoal. Really, there is something about that smell that makes you feel like you can almost taste the best tikka in the world or perphaps the best karhai chicken. 

karhai chicken

Please note that the spice level in this recipe is quite high, but please do feel free to take it down a notch. I personally like the whole my mouth is on fire where is the cold bottle of coke when I need it feeling. But that’s just me.

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Yakhni Pulao Made Quicker with an Instant Pot

Yakhni Pulao

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I recently ran a poll on my Insta Stories where I said cooking for me ranges from feeling like therapy to full on torture and asked where you stood. Most people leant towards therapy, but the bulk of you that messaged me said that it is compulsion that kills it for you. I agree. Wholeheartedly. The difference between I want to and I have to is significant.

For instance, take Yakhni Pulao. I really love it, but there is never a have to attached (I may love it  a little more than everyone else lol). So for me cooking Yakhni Pulao with it’s heady aroma is therapy. That said, the traditional way (stovetop) it takes well over an hour just to get the stock ready if you are making it with beef. I am used to slow cooking meat so that in itself does not bother me. However, that’s a solid hour that the aromas I find delightful when I am eating full on move into my couch and rugs and the house smells for days on end. I don’t find that quite so delightful.Yakhni Pulao

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Gobi Gosht – a Meat and Cauliflower Stew for the Soul

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There are some foods that have a visceral appeal, where even before you take a bite, every sense of yours knows what to expect. The tender tear of the paratha, the firm delicate swoosh into the masala, a piece of bread picking up heady spiced beef and the gentler cauliflower. You know just how good it will be before you take your first bite. And then when you do it’s tough to stop. In case you cannot tell because I am so subtle, Gobi Gosht is one of those foods for me. I can’t remember if my mother made it (must ask), or when and where I discovered it, but I am undeniably a fan.

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Shallots with Coconut and Tamarind

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If you start cooking Pakistani food somewhere in your teens, out of compulsion more than passion, then at some point it is starts feeling mundane. Like you’re running through the motions to achieve a certain result, but none of it excites you. Maybe you’re cooler than I, but I have definitely been in that rut a little lately. Now I am happily, safely, and deliciously out of it thanks to My Indian Cookbook by Amandip Uppal. 

Shallots with Coconut and Tamarind

Pakistani cooking puritans will be aghast at my blatant undying love for an Indian recipe book. Three words: Get over yourselves.

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