Food Diaries

Cooking with produce from another country is always exciting. you never know quite how its going to taste or turn out. I was asked by family & friends to recreate a typical Persian & Middle Eastern banquet.

A Persian Banquet in my parents hometown of Islamabad, Pakistan

Back in October 2013, The Hampstead Kitchen had just launched its website and I then visited my parents in Pakistan. Everyone was shocked and excited about me leaving my lucrative career in Banking & Finance to set up my catering business.

Inevitably I was asked to showcase my talent, and created a meal for family & friends. Using local produce & ingredients was interesting as it was limited, but I managed.It was challenging in a kitchen which was incredibly hot and not having all the ingredients. This is what makes cooking fun improvising, however it did make me mis the diversity of the produce available in London. Your food is only as good as the produce. Vegetables & meat are pretty much organic in Pakistan so it was rather easy, just missed my spice cabinet, perhaps I should carrying them around like an aunty jee. Remember the scene from Bhaji on the Beach where the lady takes our her chilli powder and sprinkles on her crisps.


Fattoush salad - gem lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes with mint & honey dressings

Morassa polo- bejewelled rice with nits & berries

Joojeh Kebab - slow cooked baby chicken

Booraniyeh Esfenaj - spinach, onions, garlic & yogurt dip

After the meal I was given praise & blessings that I was on the right path, which was reassuring.

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