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

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Karachi Chicken Rice

The best things in the life are often the simplest - ones that are comforting and familiar. Chicken Rice is my favorite comfort food. No contest there. There was a chicken rice stall called 'Warong Saga' in Johor Bahru, Malaysia where I lived for some 5 years that started this love affair of mine with chicken rice. Chicken rice and myself are currently in a long distance relationship. But some mutual friends of ours, helped us get together earlier this week.

Before, we get into the 'date' - for those of you who are not familiar with Chicken Rice, here's a quick introduction. It's actually Hainanese Chicken Rice - originating from China and popular in Malaysia and Singapore. The chicken is poached with a few simple ingredients. And served with fragrant rice cooked in chicken stock. Sounds simple but the preparation must be meticulous, when dealing with such delicate flavors. The chicken may be then steamed, roasted or barbecued. The entire dish consists of chicken, rice, chicken soup, chilli sauce, pounded ginger and dark soya sauce.

This is what it usually looks like:

Chicken Rice @ The Chicken Rice Shop in Vivo City Singapore
Roasted Chicken sprinkled with cucumbers, scallions and soya sauce
So back to my encounter with an old flame in Karachi. My friend Abu Bakar at the Malaysian Consulate in Karachi was kind enough to have me over for some authentic chicken rice. And home made too! Special thanks to our friend Azmir and his wife of course for cooking up a storm. But this was by far, the fanciest, classiest chicken rice I have ever had! Beautiful glassware, silverware and gorgeous blue and white plates and bowls monogrammed with Jata Negara (Coat of Arms of Malaysia). I could not have asked for a more gratifying meeting! Ah, to be reunited with an old fried, lover and care-taker is one of the greatest gifts ever!

What we have above is the best food money can never buy. Rice cooked and flavored to perfection; the chicken chewy and crispy. Ah and the authentic chilli sauce to go with that! The soup was packed with flavors and yet so light. Mix it all up in a spoonful and that's a warm hug right here. I think I closed my eyes on the first bite - rush of memories taking me to Johor Bahru and of course the joy of being reunited with a loved one!

And to just completely render me useless for the rest of the day, there was agar-agar for dessert! Agar-agar is basically a kind of light, sweet jelly.  Agar-agar is derived from sea-weed and sold in powder form for cooking (not in Pakistan, of course). The one we had some lychees and sago worked in to it. The perfect dessert for a hot Karachi day. Light, refreshing, cool and sweet!

Here's hoping that the Malaysian community in Karachi brings more of their culinary heritage to Karachi! Thank you Abu Bakar and Azmir - keep inviting me over! Terima Kashi!


  1. The way you wrote this blog is rather irritating. Who the heck wants to know such a vague description about your 'lover'? You weirdo.

  2. The way you wrote this blog is rather irritating. Who the heck wants to know such a vague description about your 'lover'? You weirdo.