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come · con · ella

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{notes on the colour white + a recipe for conchiglie with labne, spinach and almonds}

this recipe is for a. it is an accidental recipe. i had intended to make o’s favourite spinach and ricotta pasta only to find that there was no ricotta. labne was the substitute. it worked so well that o asks for it often. the pairing of yoghurt with pasta is not unusual. the turks make tiny dumplings called manti cloaked in a yoghurt sauce. the afghan’s use kashk (sour yoghurt) to garnish mantu. the wrapper for mantu is much like pasta. i liken them to ravioli. iranians drizzle kashk into bowls of hearty ‘aash’. the soup is thick and fortified with greens, beans and stubby sticks of noodles like spaghetti.
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Every time I ask O what he wants for brunch, he says 'Harissa Eggs'. I have been making these for a while now. They are very simply a combination of chickpeas with a soft set omelette. I dot the surface with Greek yoghurt and Harissa. O loves having these with pita or hot naan.

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{new on the blog; notes on the marion burros' original plum torte with a recipe for my version with peaches and raspberries}
the original plum torte was first published in the new york times in 1982 and was published every year until 1989. the editorial decision to discontinue its annual appearance was met with much resistance and so it was reinstated. i discovered it on lottie and doof last year where tim’s simple and assertive opening line ‘make this cake’ is what dispatched me to my kitchen. it was a still warm afternoon and the first of the season’s plums were sitting in the fruit bowl. in pakistan, mama had just made a plum crumble cake inspired by her polish heritage. o wanted tea and i figured a slice of warm cake thick with fruit would be perfection.
 
this cake has been a firm favourite since then. i have adapted the recipe very slightly by playing around with the spices and fruits. 
#nytcooking   #recipes   #comeconella  
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The husband, he loves rice. So today it is nutty red rice. Folded into it is a large bunch of scallions, prawns and edamame. A few tablespoons of fermented chilli bean sauce give it heft and heat. Plus a scatter of almonds. 
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When I was growing up there was a brunch tradition in my house on rainy days and Sunday's that saw quarters of naan bring fried, salted and eaten with hot sweet tea. My husband likes to add a fried egg with a messy yolk. A mixture of runny and cooked. That is precisely what we had for brunch today. I always add a bruised cardamom pod to loose leaf tea. #pakistani #brunch 
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{gajaar halva} a favourite pakistani dessert made with red carrots that have been cooked in milk and sugar until pudding-esque.

when it comes to gaajar halva, i draw a firm line. simply put, i think mama’s is best. i like my gaajar halva to be vermillion hued with a balanced sweetness. mama achieves this by frying the carrots with the sugar until they caramelise and darken to vermillion. this process is called ‘bhuno’ and is an essential technique in the repertoire of a south asian cook. most halva making is time consuming and it makes sense to make a large batch, neatly packaging and freezing the halva to keep through the winter. 
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For those of you who like to 'drink' rather than eat your fruit, head over to Wholegood's blog for my recipe for Peach and Orange Blossoms Smoothies.
Peaches are best had with little embellishment, preferably standing over the sink where it matters not if their juices run down your hands and chin. This is a recipe to use when you have one too many peaches that need to be eaten because they are ripening fast. It serves two and is easy to scale ...
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One of our favourite weeknight suppers has found its way into the Reader's Recipe column of The Telegraph. It is a recipe for Orzo with Courgette and Ricotta.

Leah Hyslop writes - “But my favourite was Mehrunnisa Yusuf’s recipe, below, which involves cooking the vegetable down into a caramelised, jammy mush. It doesn’t sound particularly attractive, but mix it with ricotta, lemon and chilli, and you’ll have a delicious pasta sauce that really showcases courgettes’ delicate flavour. Even more importantly, the recipe uses up half a kilo of the vigorous veg in one fell swoop. Courgette glut, be gone.”

Readers' recipes: cracking courgette recipes
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/11756554/Readers-recipes-cracking-courgette-recipes.html

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{new on the blog} remembering choti eid along with a recipe for mama's tangy tamarind laced channa chaat. 

eid in london lacks the charm and magic that it did in pakistan. i think this is partly because adulthood diminishes the excitement. but mostly because close family is missing; a casualty of distance and urban nomadism. i miss the custom of eid lunch with my parents and sibling followed by hours of tv series box sets and re-runs of the godfather trilogy. i miss bowl after bowl of kheer and dhood seviyan and mama’s spiced kofte and channa chaat. the latter was a refreshing mixture of chickpeas, fresh herbs, tomatoes and chilli united by a tangy tamarind chutney. mama served it in a glazed paraat (shallow earthenware dish). the tamarind chutney was a tamer, sweeter version of the mouth puckering packets of ‘rita imli’ that i loved. 

#pakistan  #eid #chaat #recipe  
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Leftovers are so much better when you put an egg on it. Curried rice, scallions and a fried egg with frilly edges. Not pictured. A squiggle of chilli sauce. 
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{new on the blog} aloo bukharay ki chutney plus some notes on making achaar.

there is a colony of jars in my kitchen. they come in assorted sizes with gingham patterned screw tops, clip tops and embossed glass surfaces. they are home to all manner of pickles and preserves, both sweet and savoury. i have been preserving in earnest since that first jar of diana henry’s fig and pomegranate molasses jam. there has been marmalade in tones of amber and caramel, strawberry jam with the fragrance of rose petals and maroon tomato jam to be had with cheese and eggs. to these i added the more familiar condiments of my childhood like achaar and this aloo bukharay ki chutney. 

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It turns out that the post does not always bring bills. Sometimes it brings good news like awards for #marmalade jars from The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival at #Dalemain. It turns out that my Treacle Marmalade got a Bronze in the Dark and Chunky category. And the Seville and Quince Marmalade that M and I made together got a Silver.
“The post does not always bring bills. It also brings @MarmaladeAwards; Bronze for Treacle.”
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Have them in circles
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the chronicle of m and o's appetite.
Introduction
come · con · ella came about in i's flat. the one with the bathroom in which the shower didn't really work. how she managed to wash her really long hair under a shower that ran scalding hot or cold with the merest trickle was a little beyond me.

one night, towards the end of our post-graduate degrees at the london school of economics the three of us met there for dinner. i made a risotto and m a chocolate and pear cake. by this point our non-wine drinking italian friend i had been initiated into the wine drinking club and so we had a bottle of white wine too.

food had been a constant in our friendship. much of what we did centred around eating and aside from foods that were familiar to us - italian, french and pakistani, we loved trying new things. in fact whilst most women we know went shopping for clothes and shoes i, m and i would walk through markets and lanes, popping into cafes, bakeries and eateries making mental notes of places that we ate at, places we want to eat at, places that we shouldn't eat at and places we definitely wouldn't eat at.i'm not exactly sure what led us to start writing this blog only. what i do remember is that i christened the blog come con ella which roughly translates as 'eat with her'. it was inspired by her love for all things pedro almodóvar films, in this case the film hable con ella (talk to her). in october twenty o eight the three of us graduated from the london school of economics. although our friendships have continued to grow, our work and lives took us to different places. i moved to uganda in the early part of twenty ten and has now moved to ethiopia where she is working with the international rescue committee. m spent some time working in turkey and is now in france her home country. i got married to o in twenty o nine and remained in london. come con ella as it is a chronicle of mine and o's appetite. and sometimes that of i's.