Dahi Bhallay (Lentil Dumplings)

Dahi Bhallay (Lentil Dumplings)

These fluffy little dumplings have my heart. I have always loved dahi bhallay. It was a weekly ritual to have chai at my Khala's (Mom's sister) house and on our way, we always stopped halfway and picked up 2 plates of Bhallay from "Jamal's" right before merging onto the Nehar and driving all the way to her house. We never really had home made bhallay, but forward a decade to a suburbs of Chicago, with no "Jamal's" in sight, and you have yourself a problem. Last year, during Ramadan, I finally decided to give these darn bhallay a try, and I haven't gone back since...

Easy Homemade Ketchup

Easy Homemade Ketchup

This recipe is very near and dear to me. It's my late Nani's (Maternal Grandmother's) recipe and it's something we all enjoyed growing up. It's not your classic thick and sharp Heinz ketchup. It's more of a desi ketchup, think the ketchup served in bazaars (markets) with those chaat masala fries. A little more sweet, spiced with laal mirch(cayenne) and bhuna va zeera (toasted cumin seeds), and it is absolutely delicious. It goes perfect with your classic trolley foods; samosas, sandwiches, fried chicken, pakoray and so much more.

Easy Imlee Chutney (Tamarind Chutney)

Easy Imlee Chutney (Tamarind Chutney)

...This recipe is basic, classic, and just the thing you need to keep those family traditions alive. I use imlee ki chutney all year round, but there's something about the time of year when Ramadan is coming closer, and you just want those classic comfort foods to surround you as you fast the month away. Food has memories attached to them, which is why we make certain foods for certain holidays, and a good old imlee ki chutney is just what you need this Ramadan...

Chicken with Almonds

Chicken with Almonds

This recipe is one that I have been after for many years. It was written in a cookbook by my mom, then ripped out and placed in another, then it was misplaced and lost forever. One day, I was in the kitchen, about to fix up some Spicy Chicken Manchurian, when I decided I was going to attempt making Chicken with Almonds from memory. I vaguely remembered my mom making it, and with just half of the ingredients in mind, I began mixing and experimenting with sauces until I had my "Aha!" moment, and it was definitely worth the effort.

Chicken Corn Soup

Chicken Corn Soup

I love how the way we eat changes with the seasons. Light, fresh ingredients in the summer, and hearty, warming bowls of comfort in the winter. This Chicken Corn Soup is said warming bowl of comfort. I love the pops of corn and silky ribbons of egg nestled in a comforting bowl of yakhni (chicken stock). It's so beautifully balanced with robust vinegar and hints of sesame. This fool proof, quick version of soup is ready in under 20 minutes, which is perfect for a cold winter evening, isn't it?

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

...It reminds me of my kitchen in Lahore. I can see myself sitting on the marble counter, kicking my feet against the cream colored cabinets. I can smell the apples and cinnamon, and I impatiently wait for the crumble to get that perfect golden brown so I can take it out, spoon a heaping amount of crumble into my bowl and top it off with vanilla ice cream and devour it before my mom finds out I'm baking at 2 am again! Oh the memories!