A PANCAKE STORY

I usually keep myself away from kitchen, more for its well being than mine. So you can imagine my surprise when I felt like preparing my own breakfast today. It is highly unlikely of me, trust me, but the recipe I saw on a fun food blog seemed too easy, even for an amateur like me.

And so I got down to making chocolate pancakes, the recipe of which is as follows:

INGREDIENTS:

  • An egg
  • 2 bananas
  • Peanut butter
  • 2 tsp ugar
  • Half a cup of lour
  • Chocolate/cocoa powder (I used milo powder as a substitute)
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

STEPS:

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend them into a viscous batter.
  • Add some butter to a frying pan and put a scoop of your batter on it.
  • Let it heat until it is properly cooked and bubbles start forming on the surface. That’s when you know that it is time to flip it.
  • Cook from the other side in the same manner until the pancakes are a nice brown colour.
  • Pour chocolate sauce on them and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So that is how it should have gone, except I was a first timer so my pancakes turned out pretty out of shape and really dark ( but that is probably because I went wild with milo). In my defense, they tasted just fine! My sister, who is a picky eater, liked them too, so that is a score. Also, I did not have any ice cream so I made use of whipped cream instead.

snape with a pancake

Relevant stuff in between 

It was a fun experience overall and I think I might just befriend my kitchen from now. I am sorry I cannot share my pancakes’ pictures, but they really did taste good. Take my word on it. That is all for now, let’s hear your kitchen stories?

DEL FRIO DRAMA

There are not many places I visit as often as Del Frio in the Sindhi Muslim society, but that is always for dessert. There is something about the cafe that makes me feel awfully at home. Be it the welcoming and courteous staff, the tantalizing aroma of baked goods or merely the book stand (it lacks variety) you encounter as you enter the place, Del Frio promises food for both your tummy and soul.
We ended up there for my friend’s birthday lunch on my suggestion (even though I kept clarifying that I have only just tried desserts at Del Frio). Being one of the few customers there, the waiters were quick to come to us to take our order. The ambiance was peaceful as usual, and my favourite cake-y smell was wafting in air as usual (That’s a bonus!) My friend had already decided on their orders (Penne Arrabiata and Chicken tikka pizza) but I was really indecisive, so I sought the waiter’s help. He recommended me their specials, out of which I picked Chicken Fajita.

While we busied ourselves in taking pictures, another waiter placed complimentary garlic bread basket on our table. I do not want to sound ungrateful, but they were a bit too try for my taste. The taste was fine though.

We got served with our meals 20 minutes later. The dishes were piping hot and looked good enough. I could not wait to dig in!

CHICKEN FAJITA:
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Served in a sizzling wooden tray with a side line of Mexican rice (I am not a fan), a wheat tortilla, sour cream, salsa and veg salad, it was just too spicy for me and the rice too bland. I could not eat more than a bite so I complained to their manager, who was really helpful. To make the dish edible for me,he served me some white rice and they did drown spices a bit, but the dish failed to leave an impact on me. The fajita was a bad experience and I left it half way through.

Rate: 4/10

PENNE ARRABIATA WITH CHICKEN:
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Penne Arrabiata with chicken was a much edible meal than my Fajita, but it was still a disappointment: Its sauce was too spicy and the chicken too dry, but at least the pasta was well-cooked and quite filling.
Rate: 5.5/10
CHICKEN TIKKA PIZZA:
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This piping hot, thin crust, chicken tikka pizza was deliciously satisfying with a suitable amount of chicken chunks and lots of threads of cheese! I particularly loved the dip (it’s not in the picture) that came along. Yum!
Rate: 8/10

After having a rather disappointing meal, we finally got to the dessert part and THANK GOD it was as the former!

FERRERO ROCHER CAKE:
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The slice of Ferrero Rocher cake was every chocolatey sin you would willingly commit. Sweeter than your sweetest dream, super moist and decadent, with chunks of hazelnut coming into your mouth, it has to be my new favourite indulgence at Del Frio now.

Rate: 9.5/10

The cake was a total saver and it boosted my foul mood (read: post bad food depression) in no time. Definitely going back to Del Frio. Just not for their main course!

OF KARACHI BEACH AND FALOODAS

I woke up to a beautiful morning today.

The sky looked satisfyingly cloudy and the air smelled of fresh, dew-bathed grass. The day seemed perfect for a long drive and that is exactly what we did; hastily gulped down our breakfast and geared up for the road trip. We kept our stash of eidi with us too. Just in case, you know.

We were halfway through the city when we decided to hit the beach. The Karachiite in me often craves for beach (not to mention pakoras) the first thing when it begins to rain. Although it was not raining then but the forecasts had already given us the glad tiding, so we were expecting a downpour. The grey clouds looked far more delicious than candy floss and I felt as excited as a kid on Chaand raat; it was going to rain!

You can guess our surprise when we stepped out of the car and there it was, the scorching sun, boiling over our heads! The sea side looked extremely crowded and the police did not let us anywhere near the water due to high sea level. Nevertheless, I managed to take a few decent shots of a camel. It was, undeniably, the only thing which made me stay there for 15 minutes.

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Casually inserting my camel shots for you to admire

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Another one. I am shameless.

With the hot weather a turn down and the sadness of returning from a beach with not as much as wetting my feet mingled with the angry growls from my stomach and I knew it was time to eat.

Yay!

We made our way to Burns road, the oldest food street of Karachi, to dig into some street food (read: soul food). The weather seemed too hot for biryani and haleem, so we went for gol gappas instead. (Already missing them while I type this) They tasted as good as gol gappas should; light and crispy with tangy tamarind water and boiled chickpeas, the sweet dip and the sour chutney (yum, yum, yum). I legitimately ordered one plate after another and stopped only when my mouth corners started hurting from all the cuts I had subconsciously made while trying to eat gol gappas too big for my mouth.

Being on Burns Road and not trying its rabri or falooda is definitely a food sin you do not want to commit. (Or at least, I did not want to) Delhi Rabri House was our next stop where some of us ordered ice creams (Chocolate. Duh.) While some of us opted for their world famous (okay, I might be tad bit exaggerating) special falooda. We did not have to wait long for our sugary delights. The ice creams got served as soon as we placed our order followed by faloodas. I know I had ordered the latter for myself but I could not keep myself from trying their ice cream, only to disappoint the food enthusiast in me. It had some crunch in it but the ice cream itself was not very tasty. My falooda was way better (much to my delight); it had plenty of nuts, came with two scoops of ice cream (strawberry and kulfa, which were definitely tastier than chocolate, surprisingly), jellies, basil seeds and rice noodles. While everything else was on point, what I did not like about my float drink was the ice cubes at the end of it.

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Chocolate ice cream, although it looks very less like it.

 

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And that right there is a divine drink, y’all.

Overall, it was a pocket-friendly experience (would even pass it on as good if our ice cream was better.)The dessert did help us loads in combating the heat though.

The cherry on top definitely had to be the moment when, by the time we returned home, it had begun to drizzle and now it has been incessantly raining cats and dogs since we got here!

We can totally count on Karachi’s weather to take a 360-degree turn.

Happy pakoras, everyone!

xxx

Aliza

A DESI LOVE AFFAIR

It is something we all dream about. Be it a wedding or a funeral, a birthday party or a graduation ceremony, we desis just cannot get enough of it. It is piping hot, spicy and the most beloved of rice delicacies. The one that always steal all praises at a party, it is the subcontinent’s favourite comfort food; biryani.
Understandably enough, biryani is the first thing that comes to my mind whenever my mother asks me what to cook and that is what I replied when the question was put before me after breakfast today. What followed can be easily guessed; While my mom busied herself in fixing the world’s best meal (Excuses if my opinion reeks of bias), I salivated profusely in anticipation of it.
My wait finally came to end when my mom called me downstairs for lunch and lo and behold, there it was! The sight for sore eyes. The reason behind my existence. It rested in the middle of our table, looking hella fine.
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Dayyum girl.

Sooner than later, I dug in and my mouth burst with flavours; there was the deliciously satisfying taste of salted potatoes paired with myriads of spices that a biryani sports. Got myself a glass of chilled 7up to wash it down followed by sheer khorma and that was that: The magic meal to wholly satisfy all your craving at all hours.
I am sleeping a happy person tonight.

CREAMELLO; A TREAT OR A NIGHTMARE?

It is not every day I get to go out for iftar in Ramazan (that is because I live too far), but yesterday was different. One of my best friends is off to United States for a summer program at Stanford University (yup, she is a brainiac), so my dad so benevolently allowed me to visit her.

After stuffing our faces with an assortment of pakoras (onion, chilli and POTATOES!!), we still had a weird craving which, we eventually deduced, could only be satiated with sugar and so we headed out.

The choice of venue was left upon my meagre shoulders, but being  as indecisive as Karachi’s winter, minutes went past and I still could not decide on a place (In my defense, there are just too many options on the University Road!). Well, so we finally settled at this new ice cream parlour in K-town called Creamello, which is right next to Sizzlers.

On entering, the ambiance felt nice; it was sufficiently cool and welcoming and they have the coolest tables (quite literally), shaped like ice cream cones!  Not to mention, their wall-length mirrors which makes Creamello a PERFECT spot to take a million selfies. There were cute and artsy frames on walls as well, so the place is definitely nice, I would give it that.

wall

My friend did not take long in placing her order: She had wanted a coffee since iftar so that’s what we got her. A cold coffee. As for me… obviously I ransacked the entire menu multiple times but still could not pick on what I wanted to try. I wanted a cake or a brownie but then I also wanted an ice cream so the manager suggested I get their ‘Ice Lava’- which sounded safe enough so I went along with it.

Cold coffee

We killed time taking pictures but I would be lying if I say that our orders took long. They didn’t. In fact, my friend’s cold coffee got prepared within five minutes after we placed our order. My dessert took a tad bit longer but one look at it and I knew it was worth the wait.

Well, so the food blogger that I am now, I forbade my friend to touch her coffee until I had taken myriads of Instagram and blog worthy pictures (she couldn’t wait! Her ice cream was melting) but I managed to get some decent shots of my ice lava. So far, so perfect.

Ice lava

It was my first bite of the cake that ruined it; the brownie was too dry and well, HARD. It was not as sweet as I expected it to. The cream was not much sweet either and it was more of a melt than a puff. The brownie came with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and even that was a disappointment. I have just had way better ice creams. Ironically, my ice lava was kind of cold and there was no lava in it (what a huge disappointment, because I was so eagerly awaiting that warm, chocolaty burst!) I am a cake enthusiast—people who know me know that I am not kidding. The fact is, in fact, understated. But that was one piece of cake that I was struggling to finish. I tried to get my friend to share it with me (her coffee was actually pretty good, sigh. I am jealous) but even she refused to eat any more of it after her first, and the last, bite.

That is when a waiter showed up with a feedback card and you know who must have complained furiously (in the card, of course. The poor waiter had nothing to do with my order). In case you are thinking that I am a finicky eater, I am not. I am rather easily pleased. But Creamello’s ice lava was just that bad. The ambiance is good but heck, if I cannot get good ice cream from there, I AM NOT GOING BACK.

 

Venue: Creamello (New Gulshan branch)

Order:

Cold Coffee (Rs.220) 6.5/10

Ice Lava (Rs.250) 3.5/10

Ambiance: 7.5/10

 

 

Knowing Aliza

Human brain is a miraculous object. It has the capability of retaining memories, as flimsy as breath, for a long time.

I remember reading a quote once, which more or less goes like this: All round me my silent servants wait… My friends in every season.

While many people would associate different meanings to this couplet, my brain projected a vivid picture of a man so engrossed in reading that his friends and servants know better than to disturb him.

I saw myself in that man.

I have been reading for as long as I can remember. It was not long when I discovered that I could write too. And then as I grew up, I developed a strong love for food and travelling as well. This blog is a meagre attempt of a girl, in her early twenties, to merge all her talents and likes in one platform and do something for once. Make her name in this world. Vent. Comment. Rant. Babble. Create.

I hope you enjoy her journey while she is at it.

Hello.