Cooking Beyond Borders with Fatima

My name is Fatima Tauqir. I am a housewife, mother of two, passionate home cook and food blogger at Pots ‘n Curries. Through Pots n’ Curries, my aim is to promote traditional & modern Pakistani flavors and cooking techniques beyond borders. I write to understand and explore the evolution of Pakistani food. I want to preserve the recipes of our elders – something that is lost over the years. My cooking style is traditional yet modern. I love cooking with modern techniques and ingredients yet keeping classic recipes  and methods alive.  

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan. Being an Army brat, I spent my childhood travelling all over Pakistan. Lahore is my hometown, but parents decided to settle in Rawalpindi, the twin city next to the capital. I have spent almost half of my life in Pindi. I have done my bachelor’s in Information Technology from NUST and later served there for seven years as a Student Affair Officer. I got married to Ali eight years ago yet it seems like I have known him for ever. He is a man of principle and of his words. All my family and friends are always on his side ☺. 
Ali is in the teaching Profession and with career opportunities we moved from Pakistan to Jeddah and then to the US. Currently we live in Fredonia, NY. We are blessed with two amazingly energetic kids, Mohib and Zoyaa.  

After getting married I changed my career path and started writing food blogs, since then there has been no looking back. I didn’t start this as a business. Since early age, I have been passionate about cooking and baking. Few years ago, a friend encouraged me to start writing on her food blogging website. It was a great experience and I learned so much. Since then, I am writing food blogs to promote Pakistani cuisine. My website came much later. Recently, I realized that if you want to promote a cuisine, you must increase the exposure. This was the driving force behind me taking it to the next level. I do it part-time and I am very much invested in the opportunities that it brings. 

 

Life Aspirations 

I want the world to know what Pakistani cuisine is. Our cuisine is our culture, and it is so rich that sometimes we forget about it. When I write about a particular dish, I do research and that increases my knowledge. There are cooking techniques and dishes in Pakistan that not many people have heard about and then there are those that are classics and most favorite. There are special recipes that have been passed down generations but there are also those that have been forgotten over the years. I want to bring to light the latent wonders of Pakistani cuisine for the world to see. I am trying to do my bit and I love it when I see other people working in the same space for promoting Pakistani cuisine.  

 

Pakistan’s Journey of Tiffan Boxes to Lunch Boxes

Tiffin boxes have always been an integral part of my childhood. Who can remember steel tiffin boxes stacked with food during train journeys?  My father was an army officer and packing his tiffin box with nutritious a meal was daily morning ritual at our home. The three or four layered tiffin container was made of steel. The compartments locked together and would keep hot meals warm and fresh. With time and globalization, the tiffin boxes got modernized and were replaced by lunches boxes. The lunch boxes were definitely inspired by the bento boxes. 

 

My Pakistani Bento Box

When I saw the Takenaka Bento Box, I felt so connected to their concept and design and wanted to create a Pakistani inspired Bento Box. This Pakistani inspired bento box talks about my love for food, family, and life. The elements added in this lunchbox express our traditions and memories and this beautiful teal blue color inspires positivity in me. Through this bento box I am sharing Pakistani cuisine in a box. After all, we live in a global village and commonalities should be appreciated and celebrated.  

I have created my Pakistani inspired bento box which my husband would be taking to his office. It has all the classic staples that can enjoy in any Pakistani home. I packed his favorite cumin rice, chicken roast and spilt channa daal with achar. Fresh salad is always a must. Tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, iceberg and broccoli bring freshness to the meal. For dessert there was fresh seasonal fruit – peaches along with dates. Lastly an apple muffin and the classic naan khatie biscuits to enjoy with the tea. Is it even possible to enjoy tea without biscuits? Well, not in Pakistan!  

Takenaka Bento boxes are extremely versatile and beautiful. For me, they inspire creativity and an urge to cook soulful food. These boxes took me on a nostalgic journey with a modern twist. I am going to use these bento boxes for my kid’s lunch boxes and build their memories with it which they will cherish like I cherish mine.   

I am sharing the recipe of Chicken Steam Roast for you to recreate and enjoy the flavors of Pakistan with your loved ones. 

 

What’s Next for Pots ‘n Curries?   

There are a number of things in the pipeline and some still in the design phase. 

I am planning on starting regular online cooking classes. I will try to help beginners, especially the international community in learning the basics and in understating flavors of Pakistani Cuisine. I would also like to focus on menu preparations and fusion of different recipes. 

I bake for the farmers market for my local community at Fredonia and hope to continue doing the same for this year. It is a great way to engage with the local community. I post on Instagram @potsncurries and on my newly developed website potsncurries.com.  

Thank you for your support and for giving me this opportunity to work with Takenaka Bento Box. 


Fatima’s Recipes

Pakistan Chicken Steam Roast 

Every cuisine has its own special way of making a roast. Today I am sharing a very Pakistani way of making the chicken roast. The chicken is marinated with aromatic spices, initially, it is steamed and later fried to give that perfect charred texture. Here is the recipe for you to enjoy. 

Ingredients:
Chicken Tikka cut pieces - 4 (3 lb) 

Hung Yogurt - 1/2 cup 

Olive oil - 2 tbsps

Lemon juice - 2 tbsp

Vinegar - 2 tbsp

Chili garlic sauce - 4 tbsp

Soya sauce - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 tsp 

Ginger garlic - 1 tbsp

Roasted n crushed cumin and coriander - 1 tbsp

Salt - 1 tsp 

Paprika - 1.5 tsp

Black pepper crushed - 1 tsp

Chat Masala - 1 tsp

Garam Masala - 1.5 tsp 

Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

Kolanji - 1/2 tsp

Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp

 

Directions:

  1. Take the chicken pieces and make deep cut marks on it. Marinade the chicken with above all ingredients and let it rest in the fridge overnight. 

  2. In a big pot, place a large strainer and fill the pot with water. The water should not touch the surface of water the steamer. 

  3. Place the chicken pieces in the steamer and cook them until 80% done, flip them halfway through. Remove from the strainer once almost tender. 

  4. Frying the steam roast: 

  5. Now in a skillet pan, heat oil & butter and fry the chicken pieces until u get that charred color on top and they are completely tender. 

  6. Garnish with fresh salad, lemon wedges, chat masala. 


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Website: Pots ‘n Curries