Spiced mango fruit leather – Sweet summer memories and new inspirations

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Much awaited mango trees laden with tiny sour green ‘kayris’ (raw mango) would call to me during March to May every year, I would get a bitter telling off from my grandmother when I sneakily stole these tiny piquant bursts of flavour as she waited expectantly for them come to full fruiting glory – As… 

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A trio of Maash, Moong & Masoor daals with a tempering of red chilli, cumin and garlic

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I could go on about my saviour, the simple daal – The ultimate non stodgy comfort food that I reach out to each time I feel blue or homesick. I look back at moments in my life where I sought out this humble bowl full of loving care and I don’t quite recall why I… 

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Kalay Chanay – Black chickpeas tossed in white poppy seeds, tamarind and red onions

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  Those endless moments of loss – Nights dark with the struggle of separation from the one you loved who has left this world forever.. I have felt those moments many more times in my life than I hoped, not just by the loss of close family or friends, but drastic changes in my life,… 

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Masala Monsoon, a dream is born

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  Spice has always defined who I am. My first sensory memory would be the intoxicating aroma after a monsoon shower in my beloved Karachi, where I grew up. Since then, of course I have inhaled many a delightful smell, from flowers to foods, but there is no other grounding and nostalgic scent that takes… 

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Daal aur Chawal: Comfort memories & the true flavours of Pakistan

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Ultimate Pakistani comfort. No other food so simple, frugal and wholesome can give one such depths of bliss –  the humble daal soaked up in plain boiled basmati. A blank canvas for flavour, absorbing any indigenous culture, tradition or wealth of family secrets – Daal cooked the South Asian way to me  is a never-ending journey… 

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Tamarind Lamb Cutlets with Spicy Chickpea Chaat Salad

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RECIPE APPEARED IN THE GUARDIAN COOK SUPPLEMENT 5TH OCTOBER 2013 Chickpeas with spice, herbs and lemon are a street snack in Pakistan called Chaat, with bursts of Chaat masala, made up of piquant black salt, dried mango powder, cumin, coriander seeds and black pepper, its a salivating heady mixture that entices all the senses. Topped… 

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Walnut, cardamom and rosebud kulfi served on Himalayan Salt blocks

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 Pale pink Himalayan salt blocks mined from my native Pakistan are not only visually ethereal but also wonderfully versatile. Stunning for presentation of raw ingredient, food can also be either cooked on it when the block is heated or served cold, under a chilled block, (by chilling the block for up to 30 minutes in… 

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Carrot, Coconut and Pistachio Halva – Memories of anticipation, excitement & the joys of Eid

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This carrot halva recipe was the winning recipe for  The Guardian COOK supplement 14 Sept 2013, UK picked by Felicity Cloake  The 29th Roza (fast). A night of  such mixed emotions. Anticipation, excitement and joy all rolled into one. The much awaited ‘siren‘ after the sighting of the moon – knowing that it’s Eid tomorrow, was filled… 

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Himalayan Pink Salt from Pakistan, my memories of it & my interview for Cocoa Hernando

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Recently I met Paul from Cocoa Hernando at a book launch party – seeing his wonderful collection of world flavoured chocolates, what drew me in what his Himalayan Pink Diamond Milk chocolate – now I am a dark chocolate fan, but anything that boasts the star ingredient being Pakistani, has my attention. Growing up with… 

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