Pakistan (Asia) 11 July 2021

Pakistan is located in the continent of Asia. It has Afghanistan to the north and northwest, Tajikistan, and China to the northeast, India to the east and southeast, the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to the south, Iran to the west.

The capital is Islamabad.

The official languages are English and Urdu.

The climate is erratic due to the various temperature and geography. It is located on the edge of a monsoonal system where they get rain, intermittent winds, and tropical storms from the Arabian Sea. The winters are cold at 20F, and the summers are around 127F.

The staples are rice, wheat-based flatbread (roti, chapati, paratha, puri), lentils, vegetables, yogurt and fruits, ground beef, lamb, and many great spices!! (https://togetherwomenrise.org/customsandcuisine/customs-and-cuisine-of-pakistan/).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Pakistan

RED LENTIL DAL WITH YOGURT RAITA (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/274080/red-lentil-dal-with-yogurt-raita/):

  • 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1-1/2 C red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 C water
  • 18 oz diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz container of plain yogurt
  • ½ C grated cucumber
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh mint
  • 1 pinch garam masala
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ C chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over high heat and add mustard seeds; fry until they begin to pop, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils, coriander, salt, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour in water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until lentils are soft (15-20 minutes).
  2. In the meantime, mix yogurt, cucumber, mint, and garam masala together for the raita.
  3. Add lime juice and cilantro to the lentils. Serve with the raita.
Here is the Red Lentil Dal with Yogurt Raita. This had an amazing flavor with everything put together!!

NANKHATAI (Indian Shortbread Cookies) (https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/nankhatai-recipe/):

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • ¼ C gram flour (Chickpea Flour)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBSP sooji (fine rava or cream of wheat) (Farina)
  • 2 to 3 pinches nutmeg or grated nutmeg or 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ C ghee (semi solid) or butter at room temperature
  • ½ C sugar
  • ½ TBSP yogurt
  • 1-2 TBSP milk
  • Few almonds or chironji

Making Nankhatai Mixture:

  1. Powder the sugar finely in a grinder.
  2. Then cream the ghee and powdered sugar with an electric mixer or blender. You can also cream in a food processor.
  3. The mixture should become smooth, light, and creamy.
  4. Sift the following ingredients: all-purpose flour, gram flour, baking powder and baking soda. Keep the sifted dry ingredients aside.
  5. Add yogurt to the creamed ghee+sugar mixture. Mix very well.
  6. Now add the sifted dry ingredients. Also add the sooji, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
  7. Gently mix everything. Do not knead.

Making Nankhatai:

  1. Just mix and gather to a smooth dough. If the mixture is too crumbly and you cannot bring together to a dough, then add 1-3 TBSP milk. Mix lightly and bring the mixture to a dough.
  2. Pinch medium sized balls from the dough.
  3. Roll them evenly in your palms. Slightly flatten them. Press almonds or chironi on the top lightly.
  4. You can also make some crisscross designs on the nankhatai with a fork or toothpick.

Baking Nankhatai:

  1. Place the nankhatai in a baking tray.
  2. Keep some space between them as they expand while baking.
  3. Bake the nankhatai in a pre-heated oven at 356F for 20-25 mins till light golden.
  4. Remove and place them on wire racks, so that they cool down.
  5. When cooled, store the nankhatai in an airtight container.
Here are my Nankhatai (Indian Shortbread Cookies) Very yummy !!!

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