Sunday, 15 December 2013

a pakistani teatime treat: chicken patties with sriracha

a pakistani chicken patty with sriracha
chicken patties always remind me of the monsoon in pakistan. it is a memory of grey skies that burst into heaving showers. the earth would release trapped heat, allowing it to waft up in warm steam laced with the smell of earth. in one of the houses where we lived, i had a monsteria plant outside my window. during the monsoon it would grow threefold, its large waxy green leaves balancing fat raindrops. i have a memory of a weekend, in which i am curled up on my beanbag, reading fiction. as the breeze cooled, baba opened the doors and windows, and the house came alive with the sound of rain. you could feel the warm air moving out on a cooler current. reshma’s husky voice serenaded the breeze.

and soon after there was the call for afternoon tea.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

on baking fails and cookie swaps

smitten kitchen's brownie roll-out cookies
do you have days when your efforts in the kitchen go awry? when recipes that should work fail? well, that is what i experienced in the fortnight of baking for the great food blogger cookie swap. i was keen on sub-continental khatai, a wonderful snow white biscuit that dissolves in the mouth like fine sand under the feet on a beach. i have memories of eating these with late afternoon tea at my phoopi’s house in lahore. the batch that i made was a variation on the traditional khatai as they had a fair bit of gram flour. they tasted lovely and were much appreciated by colleagues at work, friends and family but the recipe proved to be tricky. the second try involved ghraybeh, a shortbread like lebanese biscuit that echoed the feel of khatai, gently scented with orange blossom. once again the recipe i used failed me because the consistency of the dough did not match the description.