Chinese cuisine

Karachi Butter Chicken

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Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food


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This  dish of course got got its world wide fame from the omnipresent version sold in Indian restaurants all over the planet, and since India existed long before Pakistan, it is safe to say that Butter Chicken was born in India, not Pakistan.
However, the version I am featuring here is the version which my sous chef Said taught me while I was working and living in Karachi, Pakistan.
If you wonder – Pakistan  was  one of the most beautiful, interesting and fascinating places Maria and I have lived. We only met very nice, gracious, openhearted, kind people who wanted to have nothing to do with the stuff that has turned the world off to this wonderful place.
Sadly, as in many other areas around the world, ignorant, devilish minorities spoil the country and make it a hell for hardworking, straight, honest people who want to live their life in peace and harmony.
But – this is of course another subject for another time and place to discuss……
Ok now, back to happier, tastier thoughts:
The  food in Pakistan’s  larger cities is marvelous, varied and highly seasoned, mostly  Indian in origin but with a great influx of Persian-, Chinese- and Afghan-cuisine among others. While I was living in Karachi, I was lucky to be able to learn a lot of home-style recipes from my cooks and sous chefs, (besides the commercial food we served in the hotel), who took special pride in showing me the great food their families had cooked for generations. The meals Maria and I had in Pakistan were truly among the best we were lucky to enjoy anywhere in the world 🙂
So many happy memories of gracious people, amazing food and wonderful friendships……….
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more info about Pakistani Food
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Link to Garam Masala

Link to Naan
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Pakistani Butter Chicken

Pakistani Butter Chicken

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Pakistani Butter Chicken

Pakistani Butter Chicken

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Lunch At The China Pavillion

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One  should think that living in a city like Miami will offer the opportunity for endless good food. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Good restaurants are hard to come by around here, especially on a down to earth budget. ( Say $50 Per person for lunch, food only). While some  (few) great restaurants and a bunch of acceptable joints do exist, sadly, most folks around here still think seared mahi mahi with mango salsa or a breaded fish sandwich with coleslaw and fries is on the forefront of culinary innovation. Therefore, I usually stick to the handful of great ethnic restaurants I have grown to love and enjoy over the years. I know where to find great portuguese, italian, korean, vietnamese, russian and chinese food.
Last sunday I went to my favorite dim sum place, “China Pavillion ” in Pembroke Pines.
On weekends during lunch time the place is frequented by mostly chinese customers, which is usually an indicator of authentic food. Maria and I have been going there for many years, sometimes three times a week. The decor is your standard crappy shabbiness and most of the waitresses would not win awards for friendliness. But here is where “the bad” ends.
The food is extremely reasonable and very good, the service usually is fast and efficient. All in all a great lunch experience when the craving for authentic dim sum at a reasonable price level wins out on your lunch choice. I usually order ten to twelve portions for me, but that will then be my only meal for the day.
Great place to meat with friends and share the menu up and down again until somebody finally moans “enough” 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Steamed Honey Comb Tripe , Ginger, Scallions

Steamed Honey Comb Tripe , Ginger, Scallions

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Braised Veal Ribs, Fermented Black Beans

Braised Veal Ribs, Fermented Black Beans

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Fried Crab Balls

Fried Crab Balls

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Steamed Crab Dumplings

Steamed Crab Dumplings

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Roast Pork "Paste"

Roast Pork “Paste”

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Steamed Buns With BBQ'd Pork

Steamed Buns With BBQ’d Pork

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Steamed Buns With BBQ’d Pork

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” More Rice ” 飯 – Fan (Chinese Steamed Rice)

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One of the comments to my ” Rice ” post yesterday came from one of my former
students at “Le Cordon Bleu”, Christine, who post’s at: The Perky Poppy Seed

Thank You Christine  🙂

” I was thinking about your class last night… so I made my Perfectly Steamed Rice 

from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook:) You might find it amusing to read…
it may bring back memories from class:) LOL:) “

Below find Christine’s post from The Perky Poppy Seed

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

September 1, 2012 by The Perky Poppy Seed

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

Tonight I thought I would share my Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook.  This recipe comes from my Cuisine Across Cultures Day 2 notes.  My Chef … my oh my:)  He was one of the best instructors at Le Cordon Bleu.  Chef Susser would never accept excuses for anything.  Things had to be done the way he said or forget it, you just wasted your time.  Chef really taught us to do things properly and in an orderly fashion.  Now, sometimes I thought he was a bit nuts… but… it all paid off in the long run.  Chef Susser wanted to teach us things that would stay in our head forever.  He wanted us to do things properly without thinking:)  I am not sure about the other students, but he certainly gave me a whole new second nature!  I never, and I mean never walk past a pot that is boiling without attempting to turn it down.. I never let a tomato get mushy when blanching…. I am always cognizant of the dishes that I dirty.  I stop in the middle of things sometimes to clean them:)  I am always aware of the rules of sanitation…. which I like to call the rules of sanity:)   If at all possible, before anything I make a ” sample” to make sure that the outcome is going to be what I had anticipated.  I have Chef  Susser to thank for my second nature in all these areas and in all the other areas that he stamped on my brain.  Before his class I had to think.. and in the kitchen thinking takes up valuable time.. time that just cannot be wasted on lolly gagging… Now I go into the kitchen and I am thinking but it is not about things that Chef Susser taught us, those I just DO!…:)  Thank you, Chef Susser:)  This one is for you:)

Now a word about the rice.  This is the simplest no- fail way to do rice.  I have done it with all sorts of rice.  It always works:)  It turns out just like the rice in Chinese restaurants.  The other day my boyfriend wanted to buy pre-made rice in a microwave bag.  Are you kidding? I told him there was no way I was paying that much money for rice!  This recipe is great for making ahead and freezing in vacuum sealed pouches.  It is also great for children, since there is no flavoring in it.. it is just rice, which most children like to eat.  It is great anytime you want rice as a side dish.  This rice is great for company, when it is soaking shower & finish setting the table… have a drink.. then make sure your silverware has no spots or fingerprints on it… make sure all the glasses are sparkling..( a newspaper is great for this.. http://theperkypoppy.com/2012/07/20/no-more-dirty-glass/ – check out my post on dirty glass- use a mixture of vinegar and water for your drinking glasses.) Then when and hour is up, drain the rice & bring to a boil; simmer for five minutes, then off heat and let sit for 10 minutes and that is it! That is it… Perky Perfection:)

 

 

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

 

1 cup of rice makes 2.2 cups of rice 

 

  • 1 cup of rice ( for this you can use any kind of rice…the cheap rice at the grocery works..plain white rice (just make sure it is not par cooked.. basmati rice works.. jasmine rice, etc)
  • 1 cup of water

 

  1. Put rice in colander and rinse… rinse … rinse 

    See the cloudy water… this rice needs to be rinsed MORE!

  2. Do not skimp on this step (if you do you will have gross rice that just sticks together & and is a glob of starchy yuckiness)
  3. Keep rinsing until your water comes clear (once again … DO NOT skip this step, it is vital to the final product’s success) 

    See the clear water? This rice has been rinsed properly:)

  4. Once water runs clear for the rice, place in a large bowl fill bowl with water so that it covers at least 2 inches above the rice.
  5. Then let the rice soak for an hour..Set your timer for this, the time is very important.  You do not want the rice to absorb too much water, or not enough water… ONE HOUR-NO MORE -NO LESS  (if you doubt me just ask Chef:)-
  6. Then strain the rice in a fine strainer (a larger strainer will let too many rice grains through) 

    Using a fine strainer to strain the rice

  7. Then put rice in a sauce pan with equal amounts of rice to water ( ie: 4 cups rice, 4 cups water)
  8. Then place on stove top.  Bring to a boil, meanwhile take a piece of aluminum foil that is at a little larger than the size of the saucepan; and get a heavy pot that is at least the size of the mouth of the sauce pan.
  9. Once rice & water come to a boil, quickly turn down to low, as low as it will go..
  10. Then cover the saucepan with the foil, making a tight seal ( be careful, as the pot is very HOT) 

    Tight foil to seal in the steam

  11. Then cover the foil covered saucepan with the heavy pan that you gathered earlier.  If you see steam escaping, crimp the foil tighter around the pan. (Be careful STEAM IS VERY HOT!!!! ) 

    Heavy pot over the foil to seal in the steam. This may look a little ghetto, but when properly done, it seals in the steam!

  12. Set the timer for 5 minutes.. yep just 5 minutes.. no more no less!!!
  13. Once timer goes off immediately remove pot from the heating element.  (Do not disturb the foil or the heavy pot.. KEEP THEM ON)
  14. Then once pot is off heating element, set the timer for 10 minutes (Remember to keep the foil & heavy pot on at this time)
  15. After 10 minutes, your rice is ready!!!
  16. Take off the foil & heavy pot, then fluff with a fork 

    Fluffing with a fork

  17. At this point, you can serve your rice.  Personally I like a little pink sea salt from the Himalayan mountains on my Himalayan Mountain Basmati rice & a touch of extra virgin olive oil.  Or you can place this on a sheet tray or a cookie tray to cool then package up for the vacuum sealer:)  Or put a little milk & honey or maple syrup on it with some freshly grated nutmeg & cinnamon. Anyway you make it, this is some tasty rice:) 

    Himalayan Basmati Rice & Himalayan Pink Sea Salt go perfectly together:)

  18. Enjoy your fluffy,  Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook :) 

    Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

 

 

 

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