Everyone thinks their mom is the best cook in the world. But my mummy is seriously yummy! And this is the proof! My mother Gulnar, came from Basra, Iraq to Karachi in 1965 and brought recipes the likes of which Karachi had never seen (well, maybe). Here's some of her signature recipes that should try. Some of them are my experiments and food experiences from around the world. You can check out the menu and order details on facebook.com/yummymummyandme

Friday, 28 March 2014

It's Official

It's been a while since I posted a recipe or a review here.... I can explain... I promise!

My mother's catering business, aptly called 'Yummy Mummy And Me' is now up and running, hence, I have been employed in the kitchen (away from the internet). However, I assure that this day on wards, I will keep you posted on what's happening in the Yummy Mummy kitchen, what we eat on our travels at home and abroad, special deals and discounts.... 

We are now a grown up business!

But first.... do check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Happy Eating!


Saturday, 2 November 2013

That's A Wrap!

It has been a while since I posted a recipe on the blog, mostly because I've been busy eating, working and helping out with my mom's catering business. However, today I was feeling rather inspired. And I had some store bought rotisserie chicken. And then, my mother got me some water chestnuts. Recipe ideas in over drive!
You need ( 4 servings):
- 1 spicy rotisserie chicken breast. Tikka chunks will also do.
- 4 chapatis or any kind of flat bread (no naan please)
- cucumbers
- olives
- cheese
- boiled, peeled water chestnuts
- your favorite dressing. I used the Mama Sita hot sauce.
Spread out the chapati and spread a table spoon of the sauce down the middle. Next, lay out the chicken and cucumbers side by side. Top it off with chopped cheese, olives and water chestnuts. Wrap it up and you're good to go.
The chapati I used is the one made on an upside down wok/karahi and is thinner than a regular chapati.
The wrap is filling, healthy and really  fun to put together. Kids will love it and you can even sneak in some greens. Try it and let me know how it turned out.
Happy Eating!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Karachi Eats: The Noodle House, Dolmen Mall Clifton

Quite frankly, I love The Noodle House but it is a bit too pricey to be indulged in every now and then. However, their current lunch deal for Rs 799+ tax is quite stellar - a drink, starter and a main makes for a big lunch break. The service was also fantastic in spite of a full house.

Let's start with the starters.

Prawn Bags
Perfectly fried and stuffed with fresh prawns. I say fresh only because it's not rare to find smelly prawns in dishes. But the real perfection was to be found in the sweet chilly sauce.

Chicken Guilin with chilli mayo
This dish was a fantastic surprise. Thinly sliced, deep fried battered chicken served with a chilli mayo. The only trouble was two slivers of chicken does not really qualify to be a starter quantity even. Can we have at least three sliver please?

Thai Beef Salad
I am usually wary of Thai salads as they can be a bit too tangy to finish up. This Thai beef salad was high on the beef and low on the tangy factor - a good thing in my opinion.


Spicy chicken dumplings
I love dumplings which is why I am so scared of getting a set of cold, chewy dumplings. The last time I had dumplings at Dynasty Avari they were a nightmare. But we hesistantly ordered them at Noodle House anyway. Surprise, surprise .... they were soft, smooth and slippery. Two were not enough!

On to the Mains...

Chicken Chilli with Fried Rice
Standard chicken chilli. I have never really grasped the idea of 'chicken chilli.' I suppose each chef/cook can interpret it his/her way. In any case, it's a safe bet here at Noodle House. Not stellar but safe.

Crab fried rice with prawns
I am not an ardent fan of shellfish so I passed up on the crab. However, my sister who swears by her seafood told me that the crab chunks in the fried rice were fresh but the fried prawns on the side....not so fresh after all.


Sweet & Sour Fish with Fried Rice
Big. fat chunks of fish in a sweet and sour sauce that was not overpowering - and we all  know sweet and sour done wrong can be rather nasty.

Cashew Nut Chicken with Fried 
Basic soya sauce stir fry chicken recipe with crunchy cashew nuts thrown was my favorite dish of the day. The cashew chicken is my favorite thing to order at the Noodle House. And it is likely to appease palates that aren't always fond of Asian flavors.

Special shout out to THE BEST fried rice I have had in Pakistan. Soya sauce, egg, chopped vegetables and firm rice fried to perfection. This fried rice had actually been in a wok, unlike most other fried rice served in respectable 'Chinese' restaurants which is just a glorified 'pulao'.

So the final verdict: Noodle House is the closest Karachi has come to South-East Asian flavors. It still remains on the very pricey side of things. This Lunch Deal is good time to indulge in some Noodle House. Would I visit again? Yes.



   

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Islamabad Eats: Kabul

Islamabad eats Kabul. Geddit? I will stay away from political commentary and stick to what I know best - food! Kabul Restaurant in Islamabad had been on my 'to eat' list for a while but for some reason, I kept missing it. Luckily, on my last two trips to Islamabad I was staying right next to it and it was kind of impossible to miss it.



Located in F-7 or otherwise known to visitors as Jinnah Super (right?) - Kabul is not fancy but more of an old Karachi style eatery like Subhani Chulo Kabab and the like. Here's what to order at Kabul....




Beef manto! An extension of my love for the Nepali momo! Minced beef stuffed dumplings topped with channa dal and a tangy yogurt. Ask your waiter to serve them hot - because mine were served a bit not-hot-enough. A plate of 8 dumplings go for Rs 300.




The humble 'baingan'/eggplant is my new found love. 'Burani' is very similar to a Pakistani 'baingan ka bhurta'. It is a simple tangy eggplant mash with lots of tomatoes and topped with yogurt. Rs 250 for this plate. Good to be shared between three people as a side dish.













Ah! The legendary Afghani tikka. Sexy, succulent and simple pieces of barbecued meat and.... fat. It is one of the most flavorful dishes I have ever had (and not just at this establishment) - whether it's in Kabul, Islamabad or Karachi. There's got to be a secret to making such great meat! 12 skewers cost Rs 410 - good for two big eaters.


There's also Afghani kababs to be tried. I did not fill up any stomach space with naan - so order bread wisely- the meat is quite stellar. There also seems to be roasted chicken available which looked rather tempting but we were too stuffed to try anything else.



Kabul is affordable and delicious. It's also a fun place to hang out, some how. On my first trip there with a Filipino friend, we promptly made friends with some Egyptian patrons. The next trip was a girly Sunday lunch and the staff was rather helpful with our changing orders and questions.

Don't give Kabul a miss in favor of fancier Islamabad eateries. Kabul is hot, hot, hot.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Karachi Eats: Fatburger

Yayy! Another burger joint comes to Karachi - and this time we beat Lahore to it.





American fast food restaurant chain Fatburger launched it's first Pakistani outlet in Dolmen Mall Clifton, Karachi yesterday (January 4th)  with an invite only/media/celebrity guest list. Located on the top floor of the mall with the rest of the restaurants and food court, Fat Burger was packed! Packed like a can of sardines! I couldn't really get a feel (or a close) look at the decor because of the crowd - so I diverted all my attention to the food....

Skinny + Fat Fries
The Skinny Fries was golden, crisp and just beautiful - is there anything better than the perfectly fried and salted potato chip? I think not. The Fat Fries were a bit too fat to be crispy enough for my taste - but definitely a more bodied chip than the Skinny one. My vote goes to the Skinny Fries!

Onion Rings

I don't like onion rings to begin with. I wish I could enjoy the crisp golden batter with the sweet, most onion in it - but deep fried onions are not my kinda food. 

The main event! Beef Fat Burger!
I can safely admit that I really, really like the Fatburger beef burger. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy, the pickles weren't over powering, the tomatoes were firm and didn't make the burger soggy. As for the beef itself, it was lean and full - just good old fashioned MEAT! I liked the fact that the mustard and sauce weren't dripping out of the burger of my mouth. I hate unnecessarily messy burgers - there is no reason, really. Although, I could have done with more cheese in the burger. All in all, that's a thumbs up for Fatburger!



I picked up a copy of the Take Out menu but sadly there were no prices on it. So here goes:

The Fatburger - Fresh ground, grilled beef with options of single, double and triple patties with a choice of free condiments - lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, relish, onions and pickles. It seems you can ask for BBQ sauce, grilled onions and jalapenos 'on request' - not sure what that means? Add ons to the burger include - egg, bacon (I'm assuming beef or turkey bacon), Cheddar or Swiss cheese or chilli.

Jalapeno Fatburger - chilli mayo, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos and beef patty on a toasted bun. 

Jalapeno Chicken - Chilli mayo, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos and crispy chicken patty on a toasted bun.

Western BBQ Fatburger - Beef patty with BBQ sauce, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on a toasted bun.

Chicken Sandwich - choose from a grilled, crispy or a spicy Cajun patty.

Turkey burger - Turkey patty grilled on a whole wheat bun

Veggie burger - Soy patty on a whole beat bun

Sides:
Fat Fries
Skinny Fries
Chilli Fries
Chilli Cheese Fries
Homemade Onion Rings
Chicken Nuggets
Jumbo Chilli Dog
Fatwings
Fat Chicken Salad
Bacon and Egg Sandwich
Chicken Strips

Milkshakes & Drinks:
Ice-cream shakes: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and cookies and cream
Sodas
Lemonade
Hot Tea & Green Tea
Coffee

Phew!

I love American food. I really do. Simple, flavorful and feel-good. And it seems like Fatburger is bringing some healthier options to the fast food scene in Pakistan too with the salad and turkey and veggie burgers. 
I can't wait to try the full menu!

Fatburger opens for public today in Karachi. 

FATBURGER!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Karachi Eats: Gardenia at Port Grand

Port Grand has quite a few eateries that I often walk past and wonder 'I wonder how their food is' but never really to dare to venture in there, especially when they're empty! Gardenia was lucky to catch me at a weak time. I was craving Khao Suey like the deserts miss the rain. Gardenia was serving it. I walked in....

Golden Khao Suey
Isn't that beautiful? After my initial cravings for Khao Suey were satisfied, I was a little bit less impressed. The curry was rich but lacking that extra zing. I wanted more crispy bits served separately - putting them in the bowl makes them soggy in a few minutes. Priced at Rs 350 a bowl, there should have been more chicken and noodles with that curry.


On the upside, this is the only commercial khao suey I've had that's served with boiled egg - like we do at home! Regardless, khao suey is a welcome addition to Port Grand cuisine.

However, the other food served at Gardenia is best avoided. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Crumbed chicken breast
tWhat a disappointing plate of food. The crumbed chicken breast was pretty much just a film of chicken with lots of crumbs. The dipping sauce seemed to be soya sauce. The side salad had an odd slice of deep fried eggplant. The whole thing really confused the kids and myself. Crumbed chicken is so easy to get right and this was all wrong...


Masala Dossa
I know and love my South Indian food. The dossa was not crisp enough - it was stretchy and chewy. It's a dossa, not a naan. And do you see the size of the serving of the chutneys? TOO LITTLE

The service at Gardenia was also rather slow and we were the only people there! Thumbs up for the khao suey on a winter evening by the sea. For anything else on the menu, please don;t do it.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Kabul Eats: Sufi



You can not go to Kabul and come back without eating at/from Sufi. Sufi will find you. Any gracious host in Kabul will make sure that Sufi is one of your first food destinations in Kabul. Sufi also offers catering services around the city so you're bound to run into a Sufi meal at some point in Kabul.

Sufi is located in the Karte Parwan area - which is about 30 minutes away from the central districts of Shar Nau and Wazir Akbar Khan. As with L'Atmosphere, the road to Sufi is long and broken. You will have skip  across a ditch to step into the premises.


The perilous road to great food

Sufi serves authentic Afghan food and culture. There is an art gallery and crafts store on the premises.  There is also live music on some nights. Call them in advance to find out when the shows are. It might also be a good idea to order the food in advance if you are familiar with the menu. We were a group of about 20 odd people and our host had pre-ordered the food knowing that the food takes a while to get to the table.


Hot, clear,chewy soup
The Afghans are very creative with their soups. This soup had a base of chicken stock with diced carrots and potatoes, lots of herbs and whole wheat kernels. The wheat kernels were cooked to perfection - giving them just enough time to dance around on your palate. However, it was the smoky, dried lemon flavor in the soup that excited my taste buds the most. So perfect for a cool Kabul evening!

Hot mess mantu


Dumplings - soft and chewy - stuffed with mutton, chicken and vegetables and stopped off with a lentil sauce and yogurt. The Afghan 'Mantu' deserves as much attention as it's Chinese, Central Asian and Nepalese cousins - it is absolutely delicious! The mantu at Sufi is perfectly crafted but the yogurt sauce was a little too sharp for my taste.

Kabuli pulao (again) with dried fruits this time

You can't go wrong with meat and potatoes

I have admit, I have  been really spoilt when it comes to Afghan food -so I'm going to say that Sufi is worth visiting but may not be the best Afghan food you will eat. The chicken and lamb kebabs you can just keep on eating without any remorse. There is no need for any naan to go with it. However, the fresh juices here are superstars! No sugar, no ice - just pure fruits blended and chilled to perfection. Try the peach and/or anar.

Peach burst!

Sufi is fantastic caterer too as we learnt. They came to the office and set up in 10 minutes flat!

Kabuli pulao (again)

Burani - roasted eggplant with tomatoes and yogurt


Spinach

Chicken Korma

Mutton Korma

Sufi is a safe bet. You should visit it for the art gallery and the live music. A meal with drinks and dessert will cost you no more than USD 15. However, you MUST drink the fruit juices! There is better, cheaper Afghan food out there in Kabul. Keep watching this space for more  of Kabul Eats!

This blog was written as part of the FES Af-Pak Journalism Exchange Fellowship 2012