Category Archives: Special Occasion

Salgirah Khushialy Celebration(2020)

Birthdays are a time to express affection and thanks to those we love.

Today we express our love and gratitude to the Imam on his 84th birthday.  We would have started with a devotional program, flag raising ceremony and a breakfast in Jamat Khana, but due to covid we can not get together.

The breakfast would be paratha and sambar, raita, some kind of a square/cake and chai.

In the evening we would have Thal sufro and Gatpat and then have cake and sorbet and entertainment, dandiya ras.  This year we are celebrating virtually from

our living room.  There is all kinds of entertainment and program on the Ismaili T.V.  I am sure the immediate family will share a meal together.  We would have 

shared a meal in Jamat Khana yesterday evening with live entertainment, mehindi(henna) dandia and ras.

Back in the days when the jamat was small, cake and Khadho(Saffron Milk) was served after khana.  Now we serve Sherbat and cake. 

Khadho is a hot drink, popular in India and Pakistan, it is usually flavoured with  cardamon, nutmeg and saffron, making it very aromatic and flavourful.  It is sprinkled with almonds and pistachio..  It is a celebration drink.  It is served at parties, engagements, weddings, Birthdays and announcing the birth of a child.  It is a very delicious drink but at the same time it is also rich both in texture and also in calories.  It is not something you drink everyday.

Sherbat is a Milk shake(cold drink) flavoured with rose essence, Takmaria(basil seeds) and almonds and pistachios.  It is a celebratory drink and is served at wedding and parties, Eid and Khushiyali.

Since we are celebrating Salgirah Khusiyali on the 13December 2020, and are celebrating virtually, I made a Pistachio Cannoli Cake, Khadho and Sherbat for my family.













Serves 6


  • 1           lt Homo milk
  • 1           can evaporated milk
  • 1/2        can evaporated milk or (sugar to taste)
  • 1/4        tsp freshly crushed Cardamon seeds
  • 1/4        tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 20         strands of saffron
  • 1           oz each sliced almonds and pistachio


  1. In a coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle, crush cardamom seeds, nutmeg and saffron into a powder.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat bring the milk to a boil, stirring constantly so that the milk does not burn.
  3. As soon as the milk reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, add evaporated milk, condensed milk and the spices and cook over low heat for 5 min. stirring continuously.
  4. Pour it into cups, sprinkle with almonds and pistachio and serve.


Pistachio Cannoli Cake


salgirah Mubarak









The flavour of this cake is inspired by Sicilian-style cannoli, which is stuffed with chopped chocolate  and candied orange zest.


  • 5              oz unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2        cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2           cup plus 3 tbsp unsalted pistachios(3.5 oz)
  • 1 1/2        tsp baking powder
  • 1/4           tsp baking soda
  • 1/4           tsp orange-flavoured water(optional)
  • 2              large eggs plus 2 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1              cup sour cream


  • 2 3/4        cups ricotta(about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 3/4           cup whipping cream 
  • 1/4           tsp salt
  • 1              tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4           tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4           cup icing sugar
  • 4 oz         semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2        oz melted chocolate
  • 4              oz candid orange peel, cut into a 1/4 inch dice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degree.
  2. Butter 2 – 8” round cake pans, bottom and sides.
  3. Line them with parchment paper.
  4. In a food processor finely grind pistachios.  Remove and reserve 1/4 cup ground pistachios, then add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to processor and pulse to combine.
  5. Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.
  6. Add orange-flower water, beat to combine.
  7. Beat in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, throughly combining after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed.
  8. Add pistachio mixture in 3 batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with pistachios mixture.
  9. Divid batter evenly between cake pans’ smooth tops with an offset spatula.
  10. Bake, rotating pans once, until tops spring back when lightly touched, 30 – 35 mins.
  11. Transfer pans to a wire rack; let cool 10 mins. Turn cakes out onto a rack; remove parchment paper and let cool 1 hour.  wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hr or overnight.


  1. Meanwhile, combine ricotta and cream in a bowl of food processor;  process until smooth.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and confectioner’s sugar; process to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowling stir in chopped chocolate and orange peel.
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.


  1. Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers.  Stack on a cardboard cake round or a plate;.
  2. Brush edges with melted chocolate, then pat some of the reserved pistachios onto chocolate.
  3. Separate, then refrigerate in a single layer until set, 10 minutes.
  4. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand, bottom-side down; spread 1 1/2 cups filling evenly over top, then place second layer on top.
  5. Repeat with remaining filling and cakes, finishing with a cake layer, bottom side up.
  6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and remaining reserved pistachios.


Paya is a traditional food from the Indian Subcontinent.
Paya is a soup made with Lamb or Mutton trotters.  Paya means leg in Hindi.
It is also served at various festivals and gatherings, or made for special guests.  Paya 
is served for breakfast or brunch and is served with bread or Naan.  












  • 5          lbs Paya
  • 10        cloves
  • 1          tsp black pepper
  • 1          cinnamon stick
  • 6          cardamom
  • 1          tsp cumin
  • 2          lbs sliced onions
  • 1.5       lbs tomatoes
  • 1          tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1          tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2          jalepino chopped
  • 1          tsp chilli powder
  • 2          tbsp dhana jeera
  • 1/2       tsp haldi
  • 1          can tomato puree(6 oz)
  • 2          tsp salt

For decoration

  •             juice of lemon/lime
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1          tsp garam masala


  1. Rinse paya in cold water and put it in a large saucepan with 4 cups of water.  When it starts to boil, remove it from the heat, drain it and rinse the paya.  Return it in the saucepan.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, add 5 lt of water and bring it to boil, lower the temperature to med, and cook it for an hour, to till everything starts to fall apart.
  3. Add lemon juice, 
  4. Sprinkle it with cilantro and garam masala before serving.

Serve it with french bread/naan.

You can slow cook the paya in a preheated 350 degree  the oven for 2 hrs.


Bring the paya to a boil. drain, and rinse it.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook for 40 minutes


Paya Ingredients

Stollen(Jamie Oliver)

This rich German fruit bread is particularly popular in the city of Dresden, where a huge stollen is traditionally paraded through the streets at the annual Stollenfest.


  • 1.5           oz candied peel
  • 2               oz glace cherries
  • 1               orange
  • 4               oz raisins, sultanas and currants
  • 1               oz dried cranberries
  • 2               tbsp brandy or rum
  • 3-4           cardamom pods
  • 1               tsp dried active yeast*
  • 1               oz sugar
  •  1/4          cup whole milk, plus a little extra
  • 10             oz all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2           tsp mixed spice
  •  2              oz unsalted butter(at room temperature)
  • 1               medium egg
  • 1               tsp vanilla extract
  • 1               oz almomds
  • 8               oz marzipan
  •                  olive oil, or vegetable oil for greasing
  •                  icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Finely chop the candied peel, and quarter the glace cherries.  Finely grate the orange zest.
  2. Place all the diced fruit into a bowl with the orange zest.  Squeeze the orange juice into a pan, add the brandy or rum and heat to just below boiling point, then pour it over the dried fruit.  Mix well, then set aside for 1 to 2 hours to allow it to plump up.
  3. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar(roughly 1/4 tsp)
  4. Spoon the yeast into a bowl of a free standing mixer, then add sugar.
  5. In a pan, heat the milk until just warm, add to the yeast and whisk to combine.  Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes, until the yeast has formed a thick foamy crust on the milk.
  6. Add the flour, spices and 1/2 tsp of sea salt.  Using a dough hook, combine the butter, egg and vanilla, then mix for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  7. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
  8. Roughly chop the almonds and pistachio.
  9. Pour away about half the liquid from the soaked fruit, then add the fruit and remaining liquid to the dough, along with the nuts.  Mix again.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for 1 minute.  Shape the dough into an oval shape, about A4 size.
  11. Roll the marzipan into a neat log, about 4cm shorter than the length of the dough , and place in the middle of the oval.
  12. Brush one long edge with milk and fold it over, completely encasing the marzipan, and press the edge together to seal.
  13. Carefully lift the dough onto a baking sheet, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees/gas mark 4.
  15. Remove the clingfilm, then bake the stollen for 30 minutes, or until golden, risen and the underside sounds slightly hollow when tapped.
  16. Leave to cool on a wire rack before dredging with icing sugar.

*Not to be confused with fast action dried yeast, which comes in a tub.  Unlike fast-action, it needs to be activated with warm liquid and sugar before adding to the mixture.

Reunion in Houston


We had a reunion in Houston from October 3rd to October 8. We were 5 couples and all the guys have been friends from elementary school. Over the years we have met them all individually, but this was the 1st time in 45 years we all met together. We all came from different directions, one came from England, one came from Kenya, one from Toronto, we came from Vancouver and one lives in Houston. We all flew in at different times in the day and then had dinner together which was prepared by our Host.

  • Chicken Curry and Rice
  • Masoor Biriyani
  • Fresh fruit

We all set around and talked till quite late.

For the next 4 days we all went around to different places in a a 10 – sitter van.


Saturday morning, after breakfast our first stop was at a Mexican Market. They had all kinds of fresh fruit, vegetables, Mexican candies, spices, arts and crafts. Some of us had fresh coconut water for a drink. The store vendor then peeled the coconut, sliced it, sprinkled it with salt and red chillies and we ate that.

Sliced Fresh Coconut

Sliced Coconut


Gauve Pastry

Gauva Pastry
Our next stop was at the Mexican Bakery, they had all kinds of bread, pastries, and cookies. We bought Gauva Pastries to take home and have it with coffee. We drove through downtown and visited some points of interests. We had a late lunch at a Mexican Resturant.EL TIEMPO CANTINA 1308Nachos and SalsaMeat and Chicken Fajitas
Meat and Chicken Fajitas
Later in the afternoon we went for Coffee at All Bengal Sweets and Coffee House. This was a neat little coffee shop. They had all kinds of different coffees. Coffee was served in a stainless glass and a vadki (stainless steel bowl). You are suppose to pour some coffee into the bowl and then pour it back into the glass. You do this a few times to cool the coffee.
After coffee, the ladies went shopping for Indian clothes and men went for a drink. That night everybody was too full to eat, so we had our Gauva Pastry, tea or Coffee and sat around talking till early morning.

Sunday was Idd ah Adha. Namaz was at 10.00am. Some of our friends went for Namaz. After Namaz they were served Sheer Khurma* in Jamat Khana. They brought some home for us to have. We had that for Breakfast and left for Galveston.

Sheer Khurma

Sheer Khurma

Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas.We stopped for lunch at a small famous Fish and Chips place. This was right across the beach, so we had a beautiful view of the water. We had fried Fish, Shrimps, Oysters and lobster balls. The food was delicious.After Lunch we had a walk on the beach and drove around town. We returned to Houston in the late evening and went to Aga’s for our Idd Dinner.

Galvaster Fish Fry –BENNO’S




Fried Oysters





Aga’s is a famous Pakistani Resturant in Houston. Since it was idd a lot of people had come out for dinner in large groups. The food was delicious. We had the BBQ. We also had their Daal and Bhindi Masala.

Drinking Falooda
We had a quick breakfast at Panera and then left to go to San Antonio. We got into San Antonia in the early afternoon visited the Alamo (The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, commonly known simply “The Alamo”, was originally known as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. It is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound and the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. It is now a museum in the Alamo Plaza District of downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. Built by the Spanish Franciscan priest, Antonio de Olivares, and Payaya Indians, it forms the genesis of the present city of San Antonio, Texas, along with the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar and the Acequia Madre de Valero.)and then watched the Movie Alamo, after the movie we went on a River Boat. They have some nice restaurants and hotels on the river, some of the hotels were New hotels. People we sitting on the patios enjoying a meal, drink or coffee. Later we had dinner at the Country Line BBQ. This was a Taxes style BBQ. We had Beef Ribs and Salads. We went around town and returned home quite Late. At home we had Tea and Tres Leche (three milk) cake.
Beef BBQ
Potato Salad









We got up late and left the house late. We went to the Premium outlets and spent a few hours shopping. We had an early dinner at MAHARAJA BHOG. This is a vegetarian Thali place. That is all they serve. You go and sit down, they will serve you water and Lassi. A woman came around with copper jug and a basin to was your hands and the waiters and waitresses served the food. It was all you can eat.



  • Kachumber
  • Chutneys
  • Monthal
  • Fried undavo
  • Dokari
  • Dahi Wada
  • Mango Shirkhand
  • Patli Daal (watery Daal)
  • Turka Daal
  • Kadhi
  • Cabbage Carrots and peas curry
  • Bhindi curry
  • Potato Curry
  • Kidney Beanscurry


Mixed Mithai

Top centre is  Sindhi Pak. (finely chopped almonds and pistachio in a sugar syrup) 
Right is Tal Sankadi(sesame brittle made with jaggery(palm  sugar) 
Topra Pak (also Known as Kopra Pak, Is a coconut Barfi)
Badam Pak(slivered almonds brittle made with jaggery)  
Kajoo Barfi(ground cashews in a sugar syrup) 

Mixed Mithai










Sindhi Pak

Sindhi Pak











  • 1/2                cup almonds 
  • 1/2                cup pistachio 
  • 1                   cup sugar 
  • 1/2                tsp butter


  1. In a food processor finely chop the nuts.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt sugar on high heat until half the sugar has melted.
  3. Lower the heat to minimum and continue cooking until all the sugar is melted.
  4. When light brown, add nuts.
  5. Add the butter.
  6. Spread thinly on a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Cut into diamond shapes while still hot.

Tal Shankari

Tal Sankdi is Sesame brittle made with sesame seeds and jaggery(palm sugar or natural sugar)

Tal Sankadi












  • 1            lb sesame seeds 
  • 1            lb jaggery 
  • 1            cup water


  1. Roast sesame seeds. 
  2. Boil jaggery and water until jaggery melts. Strain with a fine sieve. Return to saucepan, and continue cooking on medium heat until thick. Test by dropping few drops in cold water. It should be at hard crack stage(150 degrees) on candy thermometer. 
  3. Add sesame seeds and mix well. 
  4. Quickly spread on 17″ x 15″ x 1″ cookie sheet. Roll thin with a greased rolling pin. 
  5. Cut into desired shapes while it is still hot.

Coconut Barfi









  • 8                 oz butter
  • 3/4              cup half and half or homo milk
  • 2                 cups  sugar
  • 1/4              cup powder milk
  •                    a few drops of pink food coloring
  • 1/2              tsp elechi seeds(cardamom seeds)
  • 1/8              tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1                 lb unsweetened coconut


  • 1                 oz each coconut, chopped almonds and pista.


  1. Melt Butter.
  2. Add the half and half and sugar and boil it till the mixture thickens about 5 min.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the mixture is thick and starts forming into a ball.
  4. Set it in a 9 x 9 Square pan.
  5. Sprinkle with coconut chopped almonds and pista and let it set.
  6. When cool cut it in square or diamonds.
Almond Pak












  • 1                   lb jaggery
  • 1                   cup water
  • 1-1/4             lb blanched roasted peanuts or
  • 1-1/4 lb         slivered almonds


  1. Boil jaggery and water until jaggery melts.
  2. Strain with a fine sieve.
  3. Return to the saucepan and continue cooking on medium heat until thick.Test by dropping few drops in cold water. It should be at hard crack stage(150 degrees) on candy thermometer).
  4. Add peanuts and mix well.
  5. Quickly spread it on 17 inch x 13 inch x 1 inch cookie sheet.Roll thin with a greased rolling pin or a roller.Cut into desired shapes while still hot.


You can use slivered almonds, crushed almonds, Pistachos, walnuts or a mixture of all.

Kajoo(Cashew) Barfi

The name is derived from the Persian word barf which means “snow”, since burfi is similar to ice/snow in appearance, this is why it is served cold. 
Burfi is a sweet confectionery from the Indian subcontinent.  Burfi is made from milk cooked with sugar until it solidifies.  Burfi is often flavoured with fruit(such as mango or coconut) or nuts(such as cashew, almonds, pistachio) and spices such ass cardamom, nutmeg and saffron.  Burfi is sometimes coated with a thin layer of edible metallic leaf known as Vark.  They are typically cut into squares, diamonds or round shapes.  Different types of Burfi vary in their colour and texture.

Burfi is one of the most popular sweet enjoyed at any Indian festival.

Kajoo Barfi












  • 1              can 12oz evaporated milk
  • 1              lb ground cashews
  • 1              lb sugar
  • 1/2           lb unsalted butter
  • 6              cups powdered milk
  • 1/2           tsp cardamom powder
  •                 Few strands saffron


  1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter, add milk and sugar.
  2. Add cashews, cardamom and saffron.  Cook for about 5 min stirring constantly.  Add powdered milk and mix well until it becomes a thick paste.
  3. Pour mixture in a greased 10” x 12” pan and spread evenly.  When completely cool, cut into squares using a sharp knife.





  • 2 1/2         lt homo milk
  • 2               lb. sugar
  • 1/2            tsp yellow coloring (optional)
  • 1 1/2         lb butter
  • 2               lb sooji
  • 1/2            lb powder milk           
  • 1/2            lt boiling water
  • 1               tsp saffron
  • 1               tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2               tsp cardamom
  • 1               can (370ml) evaporated milk


  1. In a large saucepan boil the milk.  Add the food coloring and sugar and mix well.
  2. In a large saucepan melt the butter and fry the sooji till it turns golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the powder milk and fry  for 5 min.
  4. Remove from the heat and add boiling water.  Stir well.
  5. Return the saucepan to the heat and add the milk mixture, stirring well.
  6. Lower the heat to low.  Add saffron, nutmeg and cardamom and continue to cook.
  7. When almost dry, add the evaporated milk and put the saucepan in the preheated 300 degree oven for half and hour.    

Christmas Cookies

For  Christmas I have made the following Cookies:-
On the platter starting at the top left,
Kifli – is a Hungarian  Cookie.  It is a soft flaky pastry around a sweet walnut filling.
Shortbreads – can not have Christmas without Shortbreads.
Cuccidati – theses are Sicilian cookies and they have a spicy fig-and-nut filling enclosed in a cookie crust and finished with candy sprinkles.
Crunch Drops
Linzer Cookies-This is a crisp nut cookie, sandwiched together with raspberry filling..

food pictures Dec 2012 002

 food pictures Dec 2012 010







You can make a basket with all the cookies you have (I have bagged the cookies
and then made a basket) and give it as a gift or you can arrange it on a platter to serve to your guests.

Cookie Basket 2Dec 2012 006






Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea finger foods                                 A cup of Tea

Fruit  and Cheese Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam

Fruit and cheese scones








Afternoon tea is a small meal snack typically eaten between 2pm and 5pm. The custom of afternoon tea originated in England in the 1840s.  At the time, the various classes in England had a divergence in their eating habits. The upper classes typically ate lunch at about midday and dinner  at 8:00 pm or later, while the lower classes ate dinner at about 11:00 am and then a light supper at around 7:00 pm.  For both groups, afternoon tea filled a gap in the meals. The custom spread throughout the British Empire and beyond in succeeding decades. However, changes in social customs and working hours mean that most 21st Century Britons will rarely take afternoon tea, if at all.

Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar   Afternoon tea is  accompanied by luxury ingredient sandwiches   (customarily cucumber, egg and cress,  fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam),  and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). In hotels and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins or crumpets]

Nowadays, a formal afternoon tea is usually taken as a treat in a hotel or tea shop.

Afternoon tea was served in the garden where possible; otherwise it was usually taken in a day room, library or salon where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs.

We had  an afternoon tea for our seniors today with a debate on “Times now and times than”.  We had a lot of fun.

We had Cream Cheese and Cucumber sandwich, egg Sandwich, spanakopita, scones. cream & Jam,  French pastry, Fruit cake and chocolate covered strawberries.