Author Archives: Ayesha Haq

About Ayesha Haq

A versatile chef ...

Dam Ka Keema

Dam ka keema is one of my favourites in Pakistani home cooking. It is an ideal dish for all sort of parties, lunch or dinner & sehri/ suhoor in Ramadan. It is best served with plain paratha & rumaali roti but goes good with daal chaawal as well.

Try it & let me know how you go….


  • 1 kg mincemeat (mutton/ beef)
  • 6 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tbspns ginger garlic & green chilli paste
  • 1.5 cup yogurt (a bit sour)
  • Coal, for tempering
  • 4 desi moti green chillies/ 2 Bengali green chillies
  • 4 tbspns coriander leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 7 – 8 almonds
  • ¼ cup roasted chickpeas
  • 2 tbspns ginger juliennes
  • 1 lemon


  • ½ tspn poppy seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbspns red chilli flakes & powder (heapful)
  • 1 tspn turmeric (heapful)
  • 1 tbspn meat tenderizer (raw papaya paste)
  • 1 tbspn coriander powder
  • 1 tbspn roasted and crushed cumin
  • 1 tspn black pepper
  • 1 tspn kasuri methi, ½ tspn nigella seeds & 2 tbspns pomegranate seeds (make powder together)
  • 1 tbspn Shan Bihari masala
  • Garam masala


  • Ginger juliennes
  • Green chillies
  • Mint & coriander leaves (chopped)


  • Heat oil and fry onions until they are golden & crispy but not dark. Take it out in a plate and leave the oil in the pan. Turn off the flame as we will be using the same oil to make the curry.
  • Combine fried onions, coriander, mint leaves, 1 green chilli, roasted chickpeas, poppy seed, almonds, yogurt and all the spices (except kasuri methi, nigella seeds, pomegranate seeds, garam masala & bay leaf) in blender and make a smooth paste.
  • Mix this smooth paste in mincemeat and keep it aside until needed.
  • Heat the same oil in the same pan (as it has the onion flavour) and fry bay leaf, ginger, garlic & green chilli paste until fragrant and a bit golden. Add the mincemeat mixture and start breaking it with the help of spatula.
  • Cook until it changes the colour.
  • Cover the pot and cook on low medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Now mix in the other spice mix which is kasuri methi, nigella seeds, pomegranate seeds and garam masala. Add ginger juliennes & squeeze a lemon as well and cook further until the oil comes out and the water evaporates.
  • Heat the coal on flame until it is fully lit, place an onion peel or a piece of aluminium foil on keema and place the burning coal on it. Drizzle some oil and cover it with the lid for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with green chillies, mint, ginger & coriander and serve hot with Rumali roti/ paratha or chapatti.

Bhindi Gosht (Ladyfinger cooked with Mutton)

Bhindi gosht…… a very beloved dish in Pakistani home cooking but not my favorite. There was a time when I would know my mother has cooked Bhindi & I will run to my Dado (grandmother) or Chachi (aunt) for something good to eat 😀 Then I got married and my husband loves bhindi so I had to cook for him. I knew how to cook it as I have seen my mother, my chachi & my dado cooking it but I never tried it. So when I cooked it for the first time, no one liked it 😀 as you know I am the master of only my favorite recipes 😀 I cooked bhindi only 4 times in my 13 year marriage. Then my bestie who is also a great chef, Sumaira told me this recipe and I cooked it for my husband & my brother (who also loves bhindi) in last Ramadan (2020) during lockdown and they both loved it ❤ I ate it too and I liked it. Then I add some of my own ingredients like anar dana, carom seeds & fenugreek leaves to make it more interesting and viola!

here we are….. the legendary recipe for Bhindi gosht is here. Try it and let me know ❤


  • 1 kilo lady finger/ bhindi (ends trimmed, cut into pcs)
  • 1 kilo mutton (backstrap & chops)
  • 7 – 8 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbspns crushed ginger & garlic
  • 4 – 6 moti desi green chillies/ 2 – 3 Bengali green chillies/ 2 – 3 Thai green chillies
  • 4 tbspns freshly chopped coriander
  • 1.5 cup oil (divided in 3 parts)
  • Salt 1 tspn/ to taste
  • 1 tbspn red chilli powder & flakes
  • 1 tspn turmeric powder
  • 2 cloves
  • A generous pinch of dried fenugreek leaves/ kasuri methi
  • 2 tbspns pomegranate seeds/ anaar dana (crushed to powder)
  • A generous pinch of carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 tbspn cumin powder
  • 1 tspn coriander powder
  • A generous pinch of garam masala


  1. Combine half of the onions, 1 tbspn ginger & garlic, 2 green chillies, salt, cloves, meat and a glass of water in pressure cooker. Mix and cook until the meat is tender. I cooked for 30 to 40 minutes in pressure cooker on medium heat. Open the pressure cooker and add the 2nd part of oil. Stir fry the meat until there is no water remaining and the meat looks & onions look like masala. Remove from heat.
  2. While meat is being cooked, take a part of oil in a wok and stir fry lady finger until it is light brown and the slime is gone. Take it out in a plate until needed.
  3. Now in the same wok heat the 3rd part of the oil and add 1 tbspn ginger garlic paste. Sauté’ until fragrant and add tomatoes. Cook for sometime on medium heat until the tomato is mushy. Add all the spices except fenugreek leaves, anaar dana, garam masala & carom seeds because we will add these spices at the end as over cooking fenugreek leaves spoils its taste and frangrance & anaar dana, garam masala & carom seeds together give a dark color to the curry.
  4. Cook the tomatoes well, splash some water if needed. Cook until the oil starts separating from the curry. Add the remaining onions and stir fry until the onions are translucent.
  5. Now add fried ladyfinger and mix. Sprinkle some garam masala.
  6. Transfer the meat from the pressure cooker to wok of bhindi and mix. Sprinkle some coriander, leftover green chillies, fenugreek leaves, crushed carom seeds & anaar dana. Cover the wok and cook for 10 minutes on very low heat.
  7. Serve hot with roti.


A very simple and easy word to say but if cooked with this recipe, has a lot of flavor and chatkhara in it…. This is my very own recipe which is a crowd pleaser because I work hard on my daal roti ❤ 😀 Daal roti/ daal chaawal (daal with rice) is everything; its easy, its quick, its cheap, it is a great comfort food, it is nutritious, it is high in protien, it satisfies all the desi cravings….. what else you need from daal? 😀 (It is great for weight loss as well…. if not cooked this way 😀 because I make it rich by adding butter, sometimes ghee and cream to it)

But 1 thing for sure….. This is the best recipe for daaaaaal….. you will not find another one! I sometimes pair it with chicken haandi or any vegetable curry like aloo bengan, bhindi fry, aloo katli, etc. and sometimes with keema tikkian or shaaaaami kebab, hence it is a friendly dish which can create a spicy duo with anything 😀


  • 1 cup moong daal
  • 1 cup masoor daal
  • 1 cup channa daal
  • 2 chicken cubes/ 2 tbspns heapful chicken powder (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 tbspn chilli flakes & powder
  • 1 tspn turmeric


  • 2 scoops desi ghee & a splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion (cut into thin rings)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 8 – 10 curry leaves
  • 2 desi green chillies


  • Fresh cream
  • Green chillies
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Some garam masala (optional)


  1. Combine all the lentils in a mixing bowl and wash. Soak in warm water for about 2 hours. Discard the water.
  2. In a deep cooking pan, add lentils & 6 cups of water along with salt (if you are not using chicken cubes/ chicken salt), red chilli flakes and powder & turmeric. Bring everything to a boil and cook until it reaches the consistency of daal.
  3. Remove from flame and add some chopped green chillies & coriander.
  4. In a frying pan, melt some ghee and add a splash of oil. Fry onions until they are golden and crispy and add the other ingredients given for tadka. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and add it to daal. Stir.
  5. Scoop out in the serving bowl and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle some fresh cream/ cooking cream and garnish with leftover green chillies and coriander. Serve with boiled rice or paratha.

Aloo Kofta Curry

Another gem of Pakistani home cooking…… let it be any sort of family gathering, this dish is everyones’ favourite ❤



  • 500 gms good quality chicken/ beef/ mutton mince (fresh) (if defrosted, put it in strainer for at least an hour before using it to drain access water)
  • 1 medium sized onion, peeled and cut into half
  • 4 – 5 desi green chillies
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 tbspns chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbspns crushed ginger & garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbspn red chilli flakes & powder
  • A generous pinch of turmeric
  • A generous pinch of garam masala
  • A generous pinch of fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tbspns bhuna chana powder/ roasted gram flour
  • An egg (optional)


  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled & cut into big chunks
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbspn ginger & garlic paste
  • A piece of cinnamon
  • 2 pieces of cloves
  • 2 pieces of green cardamom
  • 3 – 4 peppercorns
  • 1 ¼ tspn cumin powder
  • 1 tspn coriander powder
  • 1 tspn anardana powder
  • A pinch of nigella seeds


  • Some coriander leaves (chopped)
  • Some green chillies (cut into slices)
  • A pinch of garam masala powder


  1. Combine everything given for meatballs and process in the food processor until everything is well combined. Add egg if the meat is not sticking properly. I use 80% lean with 20% fat to make meatballs so the meat sticks together better.
  2. Make golf ball sized balls out of this mixture and shallow fry until the koftas come in shape. Do not cook them all the way through because they will be simmered in curry at the end to absorb all the juices & flavour.
  3. Keep them aside until needed.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry onions until they are lightly coloured. Add ginger & garlic paste and cook until the garlic is fragrant and add tomatoes. Cook on medium to high heat to soften the tomatoes. Add a splash of water if needed.
  5. When the tomatoes are soft, add all the spices and cook on low to medium heat with constant stirring and splash some water whenever needed. Keep on stirring to cook the masala and use your stirring spoon to mash the tomatoes as well.
  6. When the oil ooze out add the potato chunks and cook stirring for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are half cooked. Add 2 cups of water and cover the pot with the lid. Let it cook for 10 minutes on low to medium heat.
  7. Now add the meatballs and give a final stir. Cover the pan and let it simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes and then reduce the flame to low and cook for further 10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves, garam masala & green chillies and serve hot with home made chapattis.

Alu Mattar Gaajar

In Pakistan we have got the best carrots, which can be used in number of desserts, sweet pickles & cooking. So this is a very traditional home cooking recipe which is almost every middle aged woman’s favourite 😀 because they love cooking it as it saves a lot of time thinking what to cook today?

This is my version of this dish, I like to make it slightly spicy and aromatic in traditional matti ki handi with all the flavorsome temper.


2 large size potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

3 large size or 5 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into slices

1 ½ cup peas

2 large size onions, sliced

3 medium size tomatoes, chopped

4 – 5 desi green chillies

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

1 cup oil

2 tbspns ghee

1 tspn of freshly crushed ginger & garlic


Salt to taste

1 chicken cube (optional)

1 tspn heapful of red chilli flakes & powder

1 levelled tspn of turmeric

1 tspn heapful of coarsely crushed cumin (fresh)

1 levelled tspn of coarsely crushed coriander

1 tspn of garam masala (2 cloves, 4 curry leaves, 4 peppercorns, 1 green cardamom, an inch of cinnamon, 2 generous pinches of dried fenugreek leaves, a generous pinch of nigella seeds & a small pinch of carom seeds)


  • Wash, peel and cut all the vegetables as described.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick skillet or matti ki handi and fry onions until they are very lightly coloured. Add ginger garlic paste and saute’ until the garlic is half cooked. Add tomatoes and cook on medium to high heat until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add all the spices except garam masala and give it a stir.
  • Now add potatoes, cook for 5 minutes on low – medium heat, then add carrots and cook covered for 5 minutes. Add peas and stir. Cook covered on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes & peas are cooked through.
  • Heat ghee in a frying plan and add garam masala when it is melted. Cook for 5 – 10 seconds and add it to the vegetable curry. Stir & remove from flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves & green chillies and serve hot with home made chapattis.  

Chicken, Potato & Cheese Croquettes

Easy and light snack for your tea parties or another exciting crowd pleaser for your next party ❤


  • 4 large size potatoes, boiled & peeled
  • 1 small size chicken breast, boneless (boiled in 1 cup water, a pinch of salt, a generous pinch of black pepper, 2 tbspns soy sauce, 1 tbspn hot sauce & a generous pinch of chicken salt)
  • A block of cheddar cheese (cut into small cubes or slices) You can use sliced processed cheese as well
  • 3 – 4 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbspns fresh chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbspn finely chopped mint leaves (optional) (sometimes I feel like it sometimes no)
  • Salt to taste
  • A generous pinch of chicken salt
  • ¼ tspn mustard powder
  • ½ tspn chilli flakes
  • ½ tspn cracked black pepper


  • 1 cup flour seasoned with some salt & pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten with 2 tbspns full cream milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Peel the boiled potatoes while they are hot and add all the seasonings and mash.
  • Shred the boiled chicken with hands or electric beater (pro tip) for hassle free and smooth shredding.
  • Add the chicken, green chillies, coriander & mint (optional) to the mashed potatoes and mix until the mixture is uniform.
  • Now take a small portion of this mixture and make a round or oval shaped ball with cheese pressed in the middle. Dust it in the flour given for coating, roll it in the egg mixture and then coat it with the breadcrumbs and keep aside.
  • Do the same with the remaining potato mixture. Refrigerate the balls for 2 hours.
  • Heat oil to 180 degrees Celsius for deep frying and fry the balls in batches until they are golden brown.
  • Serve hot with ketchup.