Tag Archives: recipe


My condo in Charlottesville was on first floor. Directly below me lived Mia. Her parents had shifted from Malaysia. Mia had married a white American, and had two adorable twin boys, who were two years old. I could see the two boys racing their cars on the sidewalk from my sitting area. They would be watched either by their father, or mother.

Mia’s mother still dressed in a Malaysian dress when she would come to call. She would be talking loudly in her native tongue. In those days I wasn’t friends with Mia, so I was quite confused as to whether the people down below could speak English. That cleared up when I met Mia in the local mosque. Her husband had converted to Islam from Christianity. Mia came regularly to the mosque, and when I would climb the stairs to my condo, I could hear the Quranic verses being played in her home.

During the Ramadan period I had there, she sent me a couple of times a Malay dish for Iftari. The filling was mouth watering. It was chicken, and vegetables. I loved it, and wanted to know the recipe. There never came a time when I could learn it from her. When Son came for me after his divorce, and asked me to shift back to Houston to live with him, I said good bye to my neighborhood.

Yesterday it was quite by chance, I came upon the recipe, and learnt the name (I didn’t even know the name) of the dish I liked. It’s Chinese by origin. The different countries around China have adapted it to their own liking. My Afghan neighbors next door in home country had their own version which was uncooked. I never liked it, but never had the gumption to admit. It would have been terribly rude, and I can never be a rude person. Every time they sent me, I was forced to sing platitudes.

Insha’Allah I will be trying my new found recipe after a day, or two. Let’s see how my version comes out.


A view of Son’s previous home. I had to delete the overall view to keep out its number.

Son’s house in Sugar Land went to his ex after his divorce. He let it be, because of his three sons. Mushrooms would occasionally show up on the front lawn. I was tempted to gather them, but I didn’t know whether they were safe to eat, so other then to take a photo, or two (looked through photos, I must have deleted them) I didn’t pluck them. 
My late husband’s sis in law K was fond of mushrooms. They grew abundantly on her father’s agricultural land. We tasted those mushrooms, when husband, and I visited with his brother A and his wife. I wish I had asked K for the recipe. The taste was simply divine. I have never come across mushrooms cooked so deliciously. K died in 2004 of breast cancer, while A died recently on November 6. They had no children. A used to go, and lie beside K’s grave for hours on end. He didn’t marry after his wife’s death.

Today is the end of our internet, and Son, and I are leaving on Monday. I will try to post via my phone’s hot spot if it’s possible. It may be a week I will be able to visit my favorite blogs, or write. So bye for now. Be safe, and be happy. Sheen.



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The first time I tried Gen tso chicken recipe I went along with it exactly the way it was written. It was too much corn flour, and too many eggs. The recipe called for separation of the egg yolks, and whites. Using egg whites only, the chicken pieces weren’t getting brown. I wanted them golden, and they were bent on remaining white.

  It was one big hassle looking for a recipe to use the egg yolks. They waited in the fridge for me to look up recipes. I forgot, and after a week I threw them into the trash. I know I wasn’t being prudent. 

The second time around I used one whole egg for the slurry, and got the desired golden color. Now I use one egg for one chicken breast, and add broccoli, green onions, bell pepper, and carrots too. I enjoy my chicken plus the veggies.



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Unsung Friend

Unsung Heroes
by Ben Huberman
We all have our semi-secret, less-known personal favorites — a great B-side, an early work by an artist that later became famous, an obscure (but delicious) family recipe. Share one of your unsung heroes with us — how did you discover it? Why has it stayed off everyone’s radar?

My neighbor Mrs. N lived on the right side of our home. We were new in the neighborhood. The first time we met was, when she decided to cross a gap in the hedge between her home, and mine. She rang our bell, and introduced herself. She told me (very self righteously) that she had waited for enough period for me to visit her.

She was a lovely lady with a peach, and cream complexion, and green eyes. An inch, or two taller than me she took me to task for not wearing heels. Soon I was tottering behind her in four inches heels to our Ladies Club, to trips to tailors, and markets.

She was the one to teach me Chinese dishes. You must have noticed, that Chinese dishes vary from country to country. Here in the US, it’s an Americanized versions of the originals.

Another thing I have noticed is, that every cook does the cooking in a different way. If you don’t believe me, ask your friends to make the same dish (don’t tell them). Every dish will have a different flavor.

Leaving aside Chinese dishes, Mrs. N taught me how to tenderize Chickpeas. My Chana Chaat was a mess. The Chickpeas would be hard as rocks. Every time I attempted to make Chana Chaat, it was a disaster.

She taught me what others never revealed. Many people never really gave away their recipes. They only gave a general idea.

The first time I managed to make mouth watering Chana Chaat, it seemed I conquered Mt. Everest. It was one of my (late) husband’s favorite dish. Please bear in mind there weren’t recipes to google at the click of a button, and no tinned Chickpeas readily available.

I was fortunate to have Mrs. N as a neighbor, and her memory will stay ever bright in my heart.


Keema and Karalay

Amrit asked for this recipe.
For those who don’t know what Keema and Karalay means: keema means finely minced meat, and karalay is bitter gourd.
If you are totally vegetarian forego the meat. If you don’t eat beef or mutton you can use minced breast of chicken.

For the recipe I had the following ingredients:
300 grams Keema
4 bitter gourd
Salt and red chillies (the amount you like)
Haldi (turmeric) 1tea spoon
Coriander 2 tea spoons
2 large size onions
2 large size tomatoes
Garlic 8 large cloves minced
Ginger 1 inch piece minced
Olive oil, or any oil you use. Oil 2 serving spoons, or as you like
First thing is to scrape the outer skin from the bitter gourds while whole.



Then you slit the bitter gourd open and remove the inner seeds. Scrape the white pith too. Boil them till tender.

Drain the water. Squeeze them and chop them finely.

Sauté one onion in oil till light brown. Add minced garlic, and ginger. Fry for a little bit of time. Add turmeric, coriander, red pepper and salt. Fry for a few seconds. Add minced meat. Keep on stirring and break the lumps till it is browned.

Now add the karalay. Mix and keep stirring. Finally add 1 finely chopped onion, and 2 chopped tomatoes to the mix.


Stir the mixture. Put the lid on the cooking pot. Turn the heat low. After ten minutes your keema karalay is ready.
Serve it with Roti, or bread.