Author Archives: Ayesha Haq

About Ayesha Haq

A versatile chef ...

Aloo Kofta Curry

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

Ingredients

FOR MEATBALLS

  • 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)

FOR CURRY

  • 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

FOR GARNISH

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

METHOD

  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.

Ingredients

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

SPICES

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)

METHOD

  • 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 ❤

Ingredients:

  • 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

FOR COATING

  • 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

Method:

  • 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.

Chicken Chilli Dry

My top favourite dish in Pakistani – Chinese cuisine….. something I eat at least once a week when I am in Pakistan and crave almost everyday when I am in Australia. So just to satisfy that craving in a land where no one knows how to make it, here I am who has mastered this unique recipe after several trials 🙂

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

FOR CHICKEN

  • 1 large size chicken breast (cut into paper strips)
  • 2 tbspns lemon juice
  • 4 tbspns oil
  • 3 tbspns corn flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • A generous pinch of red chilli flakes
  • A generous pinch of garlic powder (about ½ tspn heap full)
  • A generous pinch of ginger powder (about ½ tspn heap full)
  • A generous pinch of chicken salt
  • 4 tbspns dark soy sauce
  • FOR STIR FRY
  • 2 tbspns sesame oil + 4 tbspns cooking oil
  • 4 – 5 large green chillies (seeds removed & cut into julienne)
  • 1 tbspn ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tbspns oyster sauce
  • A splash of hot sauce/ chilli sauce

Method:

  1. Combine everything given for chicken in a mixing bowl and mix. Keep aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan for shallow frying. Fry chicken pieces in batches for 3 – 5 minutes per batch until the chicken is golden. (medium heat)
  3. Once all the chicken is done, keep it aside until needed.
  4. Heat some oil & sesame oil in a wok and sauté ginger garlic paste. Increase the heat to high and add ginger julienne and fry further for 2 minutes and then add green chillies. Stir fry and add oyster sauce.
  5. Add fried chicken pieces, stir and coat the chicken in the sauce and dish out on to your platter with rice.
  6. Serve.

Egg and Cheese Croissant

My variation of Egg n Cheese croissant, a perfect combo for winter mornings…..

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 4 all butter croissants
  • 4 eggs + 4 tbspns cooking cream
  • Some room temperature butter
  • 8 cheese slices (I use Devondale processed)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I use Heinz, it is the best)
  • Some salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Cut the croissants from the middle horizontally and get them ready to toast.
  2. Cut each cheese slice in 4 triangles.
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggs with salt, pepper & cream and make 4 small omelettes in butter. The cream and the whisking will make it fluffy with folds.
  4. Apply some mayo inside the slit of toasted croissants and lay a layer of cheese, then omelette and then another layer of cheese. (2 slices of cheese per croissant)
  5. Serve hot with steamy hot chocolate or coffee.

South Indian Fish Curry

A very easy pleasy summer squeezy fish dinner, light on stomach & time 🙂

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms boneless fish chunks (I use Gummy in Australia, you can use any) + 2 tbpns lemon juice & salt
  • 1 onion (grated)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 8 – 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tspn nigella seeds + 1 tspn fennel seeds + a pinch of carom seeds + 1 tbspn coriander seeds + 1 tspn cumin seeds (crushed together)
  • 1 generous pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tspn Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¼ cup cooking oil + ¼ cup cooking mustard oil
  • 1 tbspn ginger & garlic paste
  • 4 green chillies (sliced)
  • Some warm water

Method:

  1. Marinate fish chunks in lemon juice & salt and keep refrigerated for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil (cooking + mustard) and fry onion & ginger garlic paste until it is light golden in color but not brown or dark brown.
  3. Add curry leaves and green chillies and saute for 2 minutes until the flavour comes out.
  4. Add tomatoes and, salt, chilli powder & turmeric and cook covered on medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are mushy.
  5. Add some hot water and cook the masala. You may need to add little water multiple times to cook the masala. Do not add all the water at the same time otherwise the masala will be very over cooked and bad in taste. This process is called “Bhoonna” in Pakistani cooking.
  6. When the oil oozes out and the masala looks cooked, add fish and the spice mix and give gentle stir. (We add these spices at this point because we don’t want them to burn or over cook and it affects the color of the curry too)
  7. Add 1 cup of warm water and cook covered on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is cooked and the curry oozes out the oil.
  8. Garnish with some coriander if you want and serve.