Certainly not KhanaPakana

KhanaPakana is a Pakistani cooking show. They also have recipes on the net. I have also looked at many Indian/Pakistani cooking recipe sites. Imran and I are still dating. We are not living together, But, he visits – comes over to eat. I need to admit that neither of us have lots of money. I can’t just go to the Indian store and purchase expensive products. Yogurt, spices and halal meat costs lots of money. Last time I was at the Indian Restaurant: “Indian Garden,” on Delaware Street in Indianapolis (plug plug), they told me that they make their Mango lassi with canned mangos. I was disappointed because I thought that they used fresh ingredients: yet, excited that I might be able to make them — that is, if I could find canned mangos.

It is not that I don’t want to buy these things. It is a combination between:
1. I can cook rice and lentils (Dahl) but don’t want them all the time and I can’t just cook enough for two.
2. Some of the other dishes that I want to cook require lots of ingredients and I am not even talking about the Saffron and Rosewater.
3. Even if I do get the ingredients to make them: if it doesn’t turn out, then I have wasted lots of food and lots of money. I can’t stand to be wasteful and wasting two things at once feels like a mortal sin. (smile)
4. I usually need assistance when grocery shopping and I must admit that most people can’t find Garam Masala, Chickpea flour, canned mangos, the right type of yogurt or the hottest chillies ever. (Jalapino and Jabinero just won’t cut it).

So, I have had to improvise.
I have to kind of “indianize” some of the American dishes. You can do this with vegetarian tacos, twice baked potatoes and even stir fry. I make eggs and add some peppers and spices. Actually, if I make mini Quiches, I can put mushrooms in mine and extra green chillies in his. But, it is not “Pakistani Food.” And, tortilla shells are sad incomparable replacements for Naan, so we forgoe them accept when making wraps. I have tried the greek flat bread and it is a bit better. And, amazingly enough, I could not find canned mangos when visiting the grocery store. I settled on two fresh mangos, but they were quite tart. They were hard to juice. So, I ended up chopping them into small pieces, steaming them until they were soft, adding honey or sugar and milk. Ok, it was not Mango Lassi. But, it was drinkable.

Sometimes, I worry that I am not cooking things that he likes to eat.
I know that if I were Pakistani, our relationship would be quite different.
This is a fact that none of us can deny.
Yet, I believe that it is important that we admit the differences, talk about their importance and see if we can come to a compromise, if necessary.
As far as the cooking goes: Imran has said multiple times that (while he loves Pakistani food) there is also other food that he enjoys eating. No mashed potatoes, Macaroni and cheese or bland pasta dishes for him. But, he doesn’t have to always have biryani, dahl, Qema or seekh kibobs every night.
I hope that he means it and is not just being polite for the moment.
Now, I have visited the web site of
She has some great recipes.
And, some of them are
1. quite simple
2. quite inexpensive
3. quite accessible with their ingredients.


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4 Responses to “Certainly not KhanaPakana”

  1. blonde.bahu Says:

    I have a giant jar of fenugreek seeds sitting on top of the fridge right now. They are probably four years old at a minimum. Every once in a while we’ll eat something that calls for one teaspoon, but that’s about it. That and asoefoeteda–we never use that stuff. Food is one of those areas where my husband an I clash a little bit. He barely likes any vegetables or fruits whereas I like most edible plant life. My husband is OK with the occasional veggie chili, enchiladas, pad thai, or stir fry, most of our food is straight up desi.

    • jamily5 Says:

      ok, I can get him to eat vegetables, but not mushrooms and not spinach or Cauliflower (unless it is in pakoras) and never broccoli. You’ll have to tell me about Pad Thai. Hey, I have Fenugreek seeds in my cabinet, as well. I also have: saffron (it is so expensive, I am afraid to use it if the recipe does not turn out right), kewra, (it smells more like a perfume than food), rosewater (I meant to buy the raoosa “sugar rosewater drinks served in restaurants” and bought two bottles of rosewater, but might make a lotion with it instead of putting it in food), chaat masala (what do you make with it?), and that sour mango spice, I think it is called “Achur,” or something similar.

      But, I run out of Garam masala quite quickly. (smile)

      And, I am looking for foods that he and I both like that don’t take forever to cook. (smile)

      Again, thanks for your responses. Your suggestions are always helpful! (smile)

  2. blonde.bahu Says:

    I don’t have good ideas for rosewater, but I do know what to do with chat masala! I had an AMAZING salad last time we were in India and, though it’s more of a summer thing, it’s good any time of year. The salad was always one of my favorites since it was a fresh and crunchy contrast to the often mushy curries that are so common in the part of India my hubby’s from. You just mix fresh shelled peas, raw corn kernels, diced cucumber, halved green grapes, and a chopped red pepper, a teaspoon of chat masala, and a little bit of salt and you have something surprisingly delicious.

    We seem to go through garam masala, turmeric, and whole cumin really quickly, but so much of this stuff just sits around because we bought it for one or two recipes. I think I came across a daal recipe that needed that mango powder stuff, but that’s it!

    • jamily5 Says:

      Hi Blonde Bahu,

      Well, I will keep that recipe. Yes, I tend to like the crunchy vegetables and he says that they aren’t done, yet.

      The problem with whole cumin seeds and diced cala jeera is that I don’t have a spice grinder. He does not like the whole spice, he likes it ground to a powder and then superbly mixed so that you can not exactly identify one specific spice, but the entire mixture gives a certain flavor.

      I’ll let you know how the salad goes over.

      Oh, we modified gaszpacho to add some minced green chillies and a bit of tabasco sauce to the juice and he liked it. Jamily5

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