A Grandmother’s Love

Growing up, I was blessed to know and spend time with all of my grandparents. I had a special and different relationship with each of them.

Today, I am only left with my Nani. Nani and I have always had a special relationship. I don’t even call her Nani, but rather, Ummie. I try to spend as much time with her as possible, as I know what a blessing it is to have her in my life.

Friday night, I picked Nani up and brought her to my mom’s house. We love a Friday night sleepover and since I live right upstairs, it’s a great way for us all to get together. The next day, we made basaar together!

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Just some of the ingredients we used for basaar!

 

Now I realize everyone doesn’t know what basaar is, but I mentioned it in this post. It’s a Kashmiri spice mix. I’m not ready to share the entire recipe here, since I’m still learning (and Nani doesn’t measure ANYTHING!). We spent an hour toasting spices, grinding them up and mixing it all.

 

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A sample of the spices we ground up! Seen here: cinnamon, cumin, methi seeds and black elaichi seeds.

Part of the reason I wanted to learn Nani’s recipe was to have something of hers that I can have for the rest of my life. Nani is one of those people in my life that I can call whenever I want and ask her how to make something and she’ll tell me. She tells me even when I don’t ask her. We talk a lot about food and recipes, life, work and family. I can sit with her for hours watching cooking shows and judge them harshly, and then laugh hysterically afterwards.

Even when my grandmother scolds me, I know she does it from a place of love. And even though I’m almost 35 years old, I still listen to what she tells me to do. After I had my second daughter, she told me to eat lots of fruit and drink milk.

If you still have your grandparents in your life, treasure them. They are so full of wisdom, love and they have our past within them. So much of what we do in the kitchen has been passed down from our ancestors. Whether it be basaar, the way you cook daal or what kind of atta you use for roti, you have more history in the kitchen than you think.

On that note, I think we should end with the best advice my grandmother has ever given me and will apply to EVERYONE. “Cook with love, because if you don’t, nothing will taste good.”

 

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The Kitchen is the Soul of a Home

Gathering in the kitchen is a typical pastime for women across all cultures. I know whenever I need to have a talk with my mom, it’s usually in the kitchen when she’s cooking. She has a stool that I can sit on and just chat with her about anything. I also know that it’s a great place to have a private conversation because no one else will really come in there!

I truly believe every kitchen should be beautiful, with small touches that reflect personal style. I found adorable printables from this site that I used to add some color to my kitchen. I printed them on 8.5″ x 11″ glossy photo paper and just taped them to the wall. You can always get a cute frame and hang them for a more elegant effect.

Every kitchen needs a comfy stool to sit on. Especially when mom needs a break and wants to sit for a few minutes! I love this stool from Target because it’s really beautiful and the seat is comfortable! Plus, it’s not too big, so it can be taken from room to room as needed. And if your Big Pakistani Family is anything like mine, you’ll definitely need extra seating from time to time!

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These stools are the perfect height and oh so comfy!

 

A really good way to make some quick and cheap updates are peel and stick tiles. I know, I know, you’re hesitating. Please don’t! I purchased these tiles for a quick update in my bathroom, and THEY LAST! Seriously, they don’t move! And it looks really beautiful. I’m planning on getting more for my kitchen, for the wall on the side of the stove. Because if you cook like I do, there’s probably grease on there. Which I hate. These are easy to wipe clean!

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It might not look special, but it really is!

 

Everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE peacocks. It’s an obsession. Really. That’s why I love these peacock magnets! They add that little bit of pizazz to the fridge and they are small. I hate large magnets, so these 2″ x 2″ are perfect for hanging another picture on the fridge.

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PEACOCKS!

 

What are some of your favorite ways to add personal touches to your kitchen?

 

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Desi Mom Hacks!

We’re all short on time. It’s just a fact of life. My kids love a homemade meal every single night, but it gets exhausting! Here are some of my favorite shortcuts when cooking (especially desi food!)

  • Soak kidney beans for at least two hours before cooking, then cook in the pressure cooker
  • Use pre-made ginger-garlic paste
  • Grind tomatoes so they will cook down faster
  • Marinate different meats and freeze for quick weeknight meals (lamb chops, chicken wings, legs, etc.)
  • Make dough for roti in the KitchenAid Mixer! (This is my favorite hack, and I have not made atta by hand in YEARS!)
  • Brown chicken while making the base (tarka)

 

What are some of your favorite hacks to get meals on the table faster?

 

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If you cook Pakistani food, you need this cookware set!

Vremi Yellow Cookware Set

Every desi cook needs a cookware set that will stand up to oil, turmeric and chili powder. This set does the trick.

Vremi has created this beautiful nonstick ceramic cookware set  that I have used for about 8 months already. I have cooked countless items, such as cauliflower, chicken, rice, eggs, potatoes, and more! I have washed it over and over and there are still no stains on it.

I also love the bright yellow color! It’s very different from traditional stainless steel cookware. It’s also available in blue and green.

 

  • COOKWARE MADE for SERVING – Premium quality 8-piece ceramic cookware set includes 2 dutch oven pots, 1 casserole pot with lids and 2 angled fry pans for omelette flipping. Designed to double as serveware and go directly from stovetop to dinner table
  • CERAMIC COATING for EVEN HEATING – With ceramic nonstick marble coated surface that heats quickly and evenly, and releases food effortlessly with no scraping. Crafted with safe and durable die cast aluminum body. Scratch free, non toxic and BPA free
  • STEAM RELEASE for MESS FREE COOKING – Each lid includes small gap between lid and body to release steam without a mess. Also features bakelite ergonomic handles accented with wood-tone colors, that allows each saute pan or pot to be maneuvered easily
  • INDUCTION FRIENDLY – Cookware kit features an induction-compatible spiral bottom that works on gas, electric or halogen stovetops too (IMPORTANT: For induction, burner diameter should not exceed pan or pot diameter base)
  • DISHWASHER SAFE with 3 COLOR OPTIONS – Cookware set comes in modern green, blue or yellow colored options with white accents, and looks beautiful on an open shelf or storage rack. Clean in dishwasher or hand wash with gentle soap

 

 

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