Turmeric

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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Kare Kare



So,  everybody and their mother have the one, the only, the very best  Kare Kare  recipe. Of course, having lived in the  Philippines  for almost five years, I have my very own “best” recipe.
As for the protein, the most common is ox tail, but of course you can substitute it with any protein you like, even omit it completely and make a vegetarian version. The most important part of  Kare Kare  is the peanut sauce, of which a million of fine variations exist 🙂  (and maybe some not so fine)
Here now is my humble version of this wonderful dish:

Saute beef neck bones, seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, in peanut oil until browned. Remove bones, reserve. Saute chopped carrots, onions and celery until caramelized, return neck bones to the pot, cover with water. Add lots of garlic paste, a handful of rice, a good amount of turmeric, a few annatto seeds, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly for about two to three hours or until meat is tender. Add a large amount of peanut butter and simmer until sauce has thickened. Add  Patis  and calamansi juice, check /adjust seasoning. While the meat simmers, blanch zucchini batons, eggplant batons, whole chilies and baby bok choy, shock in ice water, drain. When the stew is done, add the vegetables to it and simmer until vegetables have heated through. Serve with white rice.

Mabuting Gana !   Buhay Ay Mabuti !

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare



Preparation :

saute beef neck bones, seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, in peanut oil until browned

saute beef neck bones, seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, in peanut oil until browned

remove bones, reserve

remove bones, reserve

saute chopped carrots, onions and celery until caramelized

saute chopped carrots, onions and celery until caramelized

return neck bones to the pot

return neck bones to the pot


cover with water

cover with water

add lots of garlic paste, a handful of rice, a good amount of turmeric, a few anatto seeds, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer

add lots of garlic paste, a handful of rice, a good amount of turmeric, a few anatto seeds, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer

ook slowly for about two to three hours or until meat is tender, add a large amount of peanut butter and simmer until sauce has thickened, add  patis  and calamansi juice, check /adjust seasoning

cook slowly for about two to three hours or until meat is tender, add a large amount of peanut butter and simmer until sauce has thickened, add patis and calamansi juice, check /adjust seasoning

while the meat simmers, blanch zucchini batons, eggplant batons, whole chilies and baby bok choy, schock in ice water, drain. When the stew is done, add the vegetables to it and simmer until vegetables have heated through. Serve with white rice

while the meat simmers, blanch zucchini batons, eggplant batons, whole chilies and baby bok choy, schock in ice water, drain. When the stew is done, add the vegetables to it and simmer until vegetables have heated through. Serve with white rice

this weeks herb bush :  Opal Basil

this weeks herb bush :
Opal Basil

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare

Kare Kare



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please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry / Coconut Soup

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Last night I wanted to have a spicy snack at around midnight. Had to be quick and easy. Here is what I prepared. It took about 3 minutes of actual prep time and less than 15 minutes from start to finish. (I had some blanched rapini and cooked lai fen in the fridge from yesterday’s lunch and green lips on the half shell in the freezer). What a convenient product fresh frozen seafood is. If you make sure you buy quality merchandise and handle it with care, frozen seafood will make for a great snack or quick meal in no time. This soup was just awesome  🙂
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Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry/Coconut Soup

Green Lip Mussels, Lai Fen Rice Sticks And Chopped Broccoli Rabe In Red Curry / Coconut Soup


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Ingredient’s :
Green lip mussels,   frozen, on the half shell
Lai fen rice sticks,   cooked, tossed with sesame oil
Rapini,   blanched, coarsely chopped
Clam juice,
Coconut milk,
Tomato,   chopped
Onion,   julienned
Chilis,   julienned
Scallions,   sliced
Almonds,   slivered
Limes,   juiced
Curry powder,
Turmeric,
Garlic,    paste
Ginger,   grated
Fish sauce,
Red curry paste,   canned
Maggi seasoning,
Scotch bonnet sauce,
Kosher salt,
Peanut oil,   to saute

Method :

Saute onions in peanut oil until translucent, add tomatoes and chilis, saute for one minute. Add curry paste, garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and almonds and saute until fragrant. Add all other ingredients except mussels, noodles and cilantro and simmer for 7 minutes. Strain. Add mussels and noodles. Return to heat until heated through. Remove from heat.  Add fish sauce and scotch bonnet sauce to taste  (be careful with the fermented fish sauce, check  HERE   first).  To serve, top with cilantro.
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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video below.  ( You don’t have to watch it, just click once )   Thank you 🙂
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Mee Noodles, Straw Mushroom & Chicken In Curry/Coconut Soup

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At  first I was going to do a “authentic”  Malay, or Burmese ,or Thai, or Indonesian, or Indian, or whatever “authentic” coconut / curry / noodle / chicken dish. But then, for what ? There is a million and one recipes  (more or less “authentic”)  out there in the internet and book world available to anyone. But by now I believe  (hopefully)  that most of my readers subscribe to   “ChefsOpinion”  because of my interpretations of dishes and the ease  of which they can be duplicated more ore less closely  (adjust to whatever tickles your fancy).  So here we go,  Hans’ authentic  🙂  version of :  Mee Noodles, Straw Mushroom & Chicken In Curry/Coconut Soup.  Enjoy. Don’t break a leg running for authentic ingredients. Use what you’ve got available, what you like and what you can afford. The single most important authentic ingredient required for most dishes is love and passion. If you cook it and folk’s and you yourself love it –  Voilà ! Success !
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Mee Noodles, Straw Mushroom & Chicken In Curry/Coconut Soup

Mee Noodles, Straw Mushroom & Chicken In Curry/Coconut Soup

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Ingredient’s :

Chicken legs,  deboned, cubed
Mee noodles,   cooked, tossed with sesame oil
Chicken stock,
Coconut milk,
Straw mushroom,
Tomato,   seeded, julienned
Avocado,   diced
Onion,   julienned
Chilis,   julienned
Scallions,   sliced
Almonds,   slivered or crashed
Limes,   wedges
Curry powder,
Turmeric,
Garlic paste,
Ginger,   grated
Fish sauce,
Maggi seasoning,
Scotch bonnet sauce,
Kosher salt,
Peanut oil,   to saute

Method :

Saute chicken, add vegetables and garlic, saute for one minute. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and almonds and saute until fragrant. Add coconut milk, chicken stock and salt and simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add fish sauce and scotch bonnet sauce to taste (careful with the fermented fish sauce, check  HERE   first).  To serve, sprinkle with scallions and/or cilantro.


Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !

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” Tandoori Inspired Baked Chicken “

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Many years ago when Maria and I lived in Karachi, Pakistan, we developed a deep passion for Indian and Pakistani Food. The  chicken I made for dinner tonight was not cooked in a tandoori, nor was it seasoned with the “proper” spice blend a cook wood actually use to make a traditional tandoori chicken.
Nevertheless, this dish came out of the oven smelling, tasting  and looking like the best of them  🙂
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All about  Tandoori Chicken

All about  Tandoor

Ingredients :

Chicken,                    Breast and legs, cut in half
yoghurt,
Garlic,                        paste
Ginger,                       grated
Turmeric,
Hot sauce,                 preferably scotch bonnet
Kosher salt,
Butter,                         melted, in a spray bottle
Scallions,                   sliced fine, for garnish
Chili,                           roasted, for garnish

Method :

Cut deep slits into the chicken, about 1/2 inch apart.
Mix all seasonings with the yoghurt, rub onto chicken
and into the cut’s until well covered. Marinate overnight.
Bake in a 410 F oven until done. During baking, spray often
with the melted buter.
To serve, top with roasted chili and sprinkle with scallions

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