Orange Butter Cake

She would make it in the winter, when oranges were in season, bustling about her kitchen, using a tea cup as her only measuring tool. She would fill it up with as much fresh Malai (fresh cream) as the milk could conjour up, then add oil to fill the cup to the brim. She’d use her mini chopper to crush up the large granules of sugar, native to Pakistan, then crack in the eggs, one at at time. She’d add the flour and then tell me my nana (maternal grandfather) had brought some fresh oranges that morning, so she would add some juice to the batter and it would taste really good. The cake would come out just as the chai was brewed, in those small metal bowls everyone used to freeze ice in. I was the fat kid so I ate half the cake just like that, and I wouldn’t even feel bad about it…

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chicken ka salan

…In my family, although bone in chicken with a beautiful shorba is very much appreciated, we’ve gotten into the habit of making boneless chicken just for the ease. Kids are hungry and cranky? Quickly defrost that boneless chicken and throw it in the pot! Home after a long day and want something quick to eat? Throw together that boneless chicken salan! So here is my family’s recipe of boneless chicken ka salan. You won’t miss the flavor on bone in chicken because the ingredients add such an intense flavor to this, you might just hang up your whole chicken to dry and switch to this for good…

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chicken karahi

I love love love Chicken Karahi/karhai however you spell it. The tomatoes add an intense tang and for once, the onions aren’t stealing the show and letting other ingredients shine. You can taste the ginger, you can taste the garlic, you can taste the hari mirch. It’s all there in every bite, and it’s beautiful!

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gur wale chaawal

Zarda was something that came into our home from a neighbor’s house. In our home, gur wale chaawal are king, and whenever a batch of fresh gur came from the village, we knew what it meant. I shamefully admit I haven’t made them as often as I’d like to, but whenever I do, I’m a child again, sitting on the couch with my family, watching my dad dollop some homemade yogurt onto a pile or gur wale chaawal while I pick out the kishmish and coconut slices in my plate.
It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it? Food. It not only nourishes you, but it holds such strong memories that can instantly teleport you to the past…

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Malai Boti

Can I tell you a secret? I like Malai Boti better than Tikka! It felt so good to say it aloud 🙂 I feel like tikka has been done to death, not that I don’t love it. I just have something against tikka masala. Like please leave the bbq alone, no need to add a gravy to it. But Malai Boti is just so fresh. Maybe it’s the coriander that gives it it’s green color, or the cream that cools down the whole dish, whatever it is, I love it…

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