Author Archives: Ayesha Haq

About Ayesha Haq

A versatile chef ...

Home-made American Diner Style Hash Browns

There are more than 10 ways to make hash browns depending in which part of the world you are eating. This is the most easy & authentic recipe for American diner style hash brown which complements anything you make for breakfast.

Ayesha’s Kitchen

ALERT: It is highly addictive!

The buttery crispiness of potatoes is so irresistible!

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes (Russet/ Australia/ Ruby/ any potato of your choice)
  • Some butter at room temperature
  • Some cooking oil
  • A generous pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Grate the potatoes and put the gratings in a sieve. Run cold water through until all the starch is gone and water runs clear. Turn off the tap.
  2. Keep the water draining for 10 minutes and then spread it on a clean and dry kitchen towel and pat dry the potato gratings. Put the potato back in a clean dry bowl.
  3. Heat the frying pan and melt some butter and oil. Take a handful of grated potatoes and place it in the oil and spread it even. With the flipping spoon give it a shape and let it cook for at least 5 minutes on medium heat or until the side is crispy. Flip it and season with some salt and let the other side cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Splash some oil on the sides to give it the extra crispiness.
  4. Take it out on the plate and serve with some poached eggs, mushrooms & smoked salmon or anything you like.

Chicken Lasagna

Chicken lasagna….. Honestly there is nothing as such! it is just a variation made by people who prefer chicken over beef. I can eat it, like it but I can never give it the place of traditional beef lasagna 🙂

The recipe below is a very Pakistani version of Lasagna, loaded with cheese, overused herbs & garlic & of course black olives, because that it what makes every recipe Italian or Mediterranean in Pakistan 😀  but it really handy for kids play dates, birthdays, tea parties & all kind of showers.

Ayesha’s Kitchen

 

Ingredients:

FOR RED SAUCE

  • 750 gms chicken mince
  • 2 tbspns ginger garlic paste
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup fresh button mushrooms (sliced) (optional)
  • 2 cans tomato
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbspn dried Italian herb mix
  • ½ cup sweet chilli sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste

FOR WHITE/ BACHAMEL SAUCE

  • 50 gms butter
  • 1 tbspn heapful plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooking cream
  • 1 cup cheese mix (cheddar, mozzarella & parmesan) (shredded)
  • A pinch of salt & pepper
  • A generous pinch of chicken salt

FOR LASAGNA

  • 1 packet/ carton instant lasagna sheets
  • 1.5 cups cheese mix (cheddar, mozzarella & parmesan) (shredded)
  • Capsicum (cut into slices)
  • Tomato (cut into slices)
  • Some sliced black olives
  • Italian herb mix mixed with red chilli flakes to garnish

Method

FOR RED SAUCE

  1. Heat oil in a wide sauce pan and fry ginger garlic paste until it gives a cooked look which is light gold and light crispy. Add chicken mince, break it into pieces while cooking until all the moisture dries and oil oozes out. Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce, salt, pepper & Italian herb mix and let it simmer until the tomatoes break down and the mixtures starts looking like Bolognese sauce. (on low – medium heat – the process should take around 30 minutes)
  2. Add mushrooms and let it cook on low heat for further 5 minutes. (We didn’t add mushrooms with chicken because no one likes over cooked mushrooms)
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool.

FOR BECHAMEL SAUCE

  1. Mix milk & cream.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add flour. Cook until the flour is light gold in color. Gradually add half n half (milk & cream mixture) with constant whisking until all the mixture is poured. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese and continue mixing.
  3. Add salt, pepper & chicken salt, stir & remove from heat. Let it cool until needed.

FOR LASAGNA

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Now is the fun part….. “assembling lasagna”. In a rectangular Pyrex baking tray, lay a thin layer of bechamel sauce, followed by Bolognese sauce and lasagna sheets. This layer of sauce at the bottom will help in the cooking of lasagna sheet by providing a moist environment.
  3. Continue layering until the final layer is red sauce. Add shredded cheese on top with some capsicum & tomato rings, sprinkle some Italian herb mix and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until the lasagna sheets are cooked through & the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  4. Take the dish out of the oven and let it rest for 7 – 8 minutes before cutting into portions.
  5. Serve.

Beef Chilli Dry

Beef chilli dry is a Chinese – Pakistani dish available in Cafes, oriental restaurants and continental restaurants in Pakistan. It is my favorite because I love the flavor of green chillies, garlic & braised tender beef.

I have created this recipe after numerous failed recipes….. here it is 🙂

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

BEEF:

  • ½ kilo chuck steak/ beef schnitzel (cut against the grain into thin slices)
  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 2 tbspns ginger & garlic paste
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • ½ tspn black pepper
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tbspns soy sauce
  • 2 tbspns lemon juice
  • 3 tbspns corn flour

FOR STIR FRY

  • Some oil for frying
  • 2 tbspns sesame oil
  • 1 tbspn ginger garlic paste
  • 4 large green chillies (remove seeds and julienne cut)
  • Some green part of spring onions chopped
  • 2 tbspns oyster sauce
  • Some sesame seeds to garnish at the end

Method

  1. Cut steak into thin slices and marinate in all the ingredients given for beef. Mix and keep aside for 40 – 50 minutes, refrigerated.
  2. Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying and fry beef slices in batches. 5 minutes on medium heat per batch. Do not over crowd the pan while frying.
  3. Keep the fried beef aside until needed.
  4. In a wok, heat some sesame seed oil and fry ginger garlic paste until fragrant. Add green chillies, spring onion sprigs and saute’ for a minute on high flame.
  5. Add oyster sauce, mix & add beef strips. Give a final stir for 1 minute on high flame and serve hot with boiled rice with garnish if sesame seeds.

Aussie – English Breakfast (Breakkie Platter)

So, this is my other favorite breakkie platter which is an infusion of Aussie & English favorites. I miss staying at B&Bs due to Covid 19 lockdown so why not use the quarantine time and create something you miss at your own royal deluxe home suite 🙂

Ayesha’s KItchen

Ingredients:

  • Bacon Rashers (I use turkey or beef bacon) (grilled)
  • Tomatoes (Grilled)

BAKED BEANS

  • 2 cups (453 grams) great northern beans, navy or haricot, rinsed
  •  1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •  10 ounces (284 grams) yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  1 cup (87 grams) carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  •  1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  •  2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  •  14-ounce (400 grams) can/tin crushed or whole tomatoes
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  •  1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

SCRAMBLED EGG

  • ¼ cup cream
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 2 tbspns soft butter
  • 2 eggs

SAUTTED MUSHROOMS

  • ½ cup button mushrooms/ portobello (sliced)
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • A pinch of dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tbspn cream

HOME MADE HASHBROWNS/ AMERICAN DINER STYLE HASH BROWNS

  • 1 large potato (grated)
  • Butter & oil

METHOD

SAUTE’ED MUSHROOMS

  • Melt some butter in a pan and sweat the mushroom slices. Add cream and season with some Italian dried herbs. Ready!

HOME MADE HASH BROWN

  • Grate the potato and put the gratings in a sieve. Run cold water through until all the starch is gone and water runs clear. Keep the water draining for 10 minutes and then spread it on a clean kitchen towel. Make sure it is dry. Put the potato back in a clean dry bowl.
  • Heat the frying pan and melt some butter and oil. Take a handful of grated potatoes and place it in the oil and spread it even. With the flipping spoon give it a shape and let it cook for at least 5 minutes on medium heat or until the side is crispy. Flip it and season with some salt and let the other side cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Splash some oil on the sides to give it the extra crispiness.
  • Take it out on the plate.

FOR BAKED BEANS

  • To a large bowl add 4 cups (2 pints) of warm water to a bowl and add beans, soak at room temperature for 8 hours. After 8 hours drain, discard the liquid and rinse the beans.
  • To a large saucepan, add 6 cups water and bring to a simmer. Add the beans, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often so they don’t stick to the bottom. Cooking time will depend on your beans so check them often for tenderness.
  • Preheat oven to 320°F/160°C.
  • While the beans cook (15 minutes before they finish boiling) add the oil to a large, oven-proof skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (if using whole, crush with hands) ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Be mindful if your ketchup is salty, you may need to adjust the salt. Stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup (50 ml) water and stir, simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 cup (236 ml) water. Use a hand blender or a blender, working in batches to blend until smooth. Return back to the same pan stir in 3/4 cup water. Taste for seasoning.
  • Drain the cooked beans and discard the water. Add the beans to the pan with the cooked vegetables and stir.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes uncovered.

SCRAMBLED EGGS

  • Whisk eggs, salt, pepper & cooking cream in a bowl. In a saucepan or a frying pan, melt some butter and add the egg mixture. Stir with the spatula until the eggs are cooked and scrambled. Please don’t overcook 😊.

FOR BACON & TOMATOES

  • Heat a grill pan to max. Place bacon rashers and tomatoes on the grill and grill for 1 minute on each side. Ready!

Now that everything is ready, arrange them onto your serving dish and serve.

The Atlantic (Breakkie Platter)

So this is my favorite breakfast platter inspired by Jolly Miller (local Melbourne café). Melbourne is in lockdown stage 4 due to Covid 19 and all the restaurants are closed. I was missing this beauty from my local café “Jolly Miller” so I decided to give it a go….. and it turned out better than them 😀

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Pro tip: make the hash browns first as they are time consuming. Rest I have tried to explain everything here, if unsure about anything, please ask in the comments.

Ingredients:

  • 50gms smoked salmon
  • 2 light rye sourdough
  • A lot of butter at room temperature
  • Some greens to garnish
  • A pinch of smoked paprika to garnish

POACHED EGGS

  • 2 eggs
  • A saucepan full of water
  • Some salt
  • A splash of vinegar

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

  • 2 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • A splash of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup butter (melted)

SAUTTED MUSHROOMS

  • ½ cup button mushrooms/ portobello (sliced)
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • A pinch of dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tbspn cream

AVO SMASH

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbspn lemon juice
  • Some cracked black pepper

GRILLED HALLOUMI

  • 2 sticks of Halloumi cheese (fresh Halloumi please!)
  • HOME MADE HASHBROWNS/ AMERICAN DINER STYLE HASH BROWNS
  • 1 large potato (grated)
  • Butter & oil

METHOD

POACHED EGGS

  • For poaching the eggs, fill your 22cm saucepan half with water and bring it to a boil. Add distilled vinegar. Now crack the egg in a small bowl and very carefully take it near the boiling water. Dip half of your bowl in the water and leave the egg in the water. Do same with other egg. Let them cook for 30 seconds and then remove the saucepan from the heat and cover it for exact 3 minutes.

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

  • Whist 2 egg yolks with a pinch of salt and lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk well and gradually add hot melted butter with constant whisking. The constant whisking will cook the eggs with the heat of melted butter. Microwave for 20 seconds and voila!…… Hollandaise sauce is ready.

SAUTE’ED MUSHROOMS

  • Melt some butter in a pan and sweat the mushroom slices. Add cream and season with some Italian dried herbs. Ready!

AVOCADO SMASH

  • Remove the pit and the skin of the avocado and combine it in a bowl with a splash of lemon juice & a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. Smash it with the fork, leave it a bit chunky and it is ready.

GRILLED HALLOUMI

  • Make sure the Halloumi cheese is at room temperature. Cut two or more sticks from the slab. Heat the grill pan to max and grill the cheese 1 minute per side.

HOME MADE HASH BROWN

  1. Grate the potato and put the gratings in a sieve. Run cold water through until all the starch is gone and water runs clear. Keep the water draining for 10 minutes and then spread it on a clean kitchen towel. Make sure it is dry. Put the potato back in a clean dry bowl.
  2. Heat the frying pan and melt some butter and oil. Take a handful of grated potatoes and place it in the oil and spread it even. With the flipping spoon give it a shape and let it cook for at least 5 minutes on medium heat or until the side is crispy. Flip it and season with some salt and let the other side cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Splash some oil on the sides to give it the extra crispiness.
  3. Take it out on the plate.

 

Apply some butter on the sourdough bread and toast until golden and crisp.

Smoked salmon should be on room temperature so it doesn’t feel cold when served.

When everything is ready arrange them onto your serving plate and serve.

 

 

 

Missi Roti aka Besan ki Roti

Missi Roti is also known as Besan ki roti and it is very famous in Pakistani & Indian home cooking. Not something you will find on every restaurant’s menu like paratha or tandoori roti but at home everyone knows this. So next time someone from Pakistan tries to be a burger and say they dont know missi roti don’t believe them 😀 they all have eaten it once in their life.

Ayesha’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wholemeal flour (aata)
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 – 5 small green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbspns chopped green coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli flakes to taste
  • A generous pinch of carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 tbspn cracked coriander seeds
  • ½ tspn crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 tbspns crushed pomegranate seeds
  • Some luke warm water to knead the dough
  • Ghee/ butter/ oil for frying the roti (I prefer ghee as it smells, tastes and feels more traditional)

Method:

  1. Mix everything (except oil & water) in a mixing bowl and knead a dough by mixing in water gradually. The dough should be firm to touch and not sticky.
  2. Pour some oil over the dough and keep it aside covered with a kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 parts and make balls. Flat those balls like a roti/ chappati by dusting some aata on it and with the help of rolling pin.
  4. Preheat the griddle/ tawa on medium heat and place one roti on it.
  5. When it starts changing its color flip the side and apply some ghee on it. Flip the side and apple some ghee on the other side and cook until the roti is light brown.
  6. Do the same with other 3 rotis and serve hot with Lassi, achar, raita, chutney or Pakistani mangoes.

Ayesha’s Kitchen