Vegetable Tempura Recipe

Tempura is the very popular Japanese dish used with sea food or vegetables.  It is the lighter version of Pakora. The key for perfect tempura is batter and the temperature of oil.

The temperature has to be between 320-356°F (160°C – 180°C) depending on how long it takes to cook through the ingredients.  To check your oil if its perfect for frying just put a pinch of your batter into the oil and after few seconds it has to fry and float on the surface, if its settles down at the bottom then your oil is not ready for frying. Cold batter is absolutely necessary for the unique fluffy and crisp tempura. To keep it cold I put it over the bowl filled with ice cubes.

Tempura Batter

Tempura Batter

Ingredients:

1 carrot
1 capsicum
1  potato
1/2 eggplant
Oil for deep frying

For tempura batter:

1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup  ice  water

Vegetable Tempura Recipe

Vegetable Tempura

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a deep skillet until smoking.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add enough water to make a thin batter.
  • Cook the vegetables in batches by coating in batter then deep frying in the oil until crisp.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately.

Stargazing trip to Kund Malir Beach

2016 ends with meeting a foreigner and 2017 starts with meeting a foreigner. Last month I met Cassandra de Pecol aka Cassie is an American woman  who wants to break the Guinness  World Record for the  fastest  female to travel to all 196 Sovereign Nations and on 6th Jan. 2016 I met an astronomer Steve Bonnar, who was invited by YPO to conduct an astronomy session. 

I was invited by Ramiz Qureshi to be a part of the team of Karachi Astronomers Society  to conduct an Astronomy session at a private trip of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

For the first time I had an opportunity to travel with the legendary Sir Hanif Bhatti  (Founder at PakWheels.com) in his Pajero.  Our trip  starts at 10:30am we reached Kund Malir beach at 3:30pm. Here we met the organizers of YPO’s trip, they introduced us to Steve Bonnar who is Dubai based photographer, physics teacher and loves astronomy.

Hanif Bhatti

From L: Steve Bonnar, Waqar Ahmed, Hanif Bhatti

We were so delighted to meet a fellow astronomer. He showed us his Stellarvue 115mm APO Triplet Refractor Telescope  with CGEM Computerized Mount and Iron Meteorite which has some magnetic properties.  For the first time I hold  a meteorite in my hand and I can’t explain that feeling.

Iron Meteorite

Iron Meteorite

Then we spend our evening at the beach with coffee watching beautiful sunset. As the sun goes down Steve and Waqar set his telescope for telescopic viewing.

Steve Bonnar with Telescope

 

When we started the trip from Karachi, it was hazy  and we were afraid if it will be the same weather conditions at Kund Malir but  sky was clear  after the sunset.  I climbed to the mountain and capture the jewels of the night sky.

Taurus and Orion Constellation

Taurus and Orion Constellation

M42 (Orion Nebula) located in Orion Constellation is the only nebula visible to the naked eye while Aldebaran is the brightest star of the Taurus Constellation.

Astronomy at Kund Malir

In the above shot first I thought it was a meteor but later realized it was some satellite passing by.

Steve started the telescopic viewing session with the little sky tour and showed Moon with his telescope while Waqar bhai introduced them to the Karachi Astronomers Society and showed Venus and Orion Nebula with the  SkyWatcher 6″ Dobsonian Telescope. People were so amazed to see amazing details of the night sky objects. We answered all their queries about the stars and the planets.

Farman Shams

Steve Bonnar and I

After the dinner we left for Karachi, on our way back at 11pm at Makran Coastal Highway we hit by sand storm which lasted for 30mins.

We reached Karachi at 2:30am. Overall it was one memorable experience.

Anaya by Kiran Chaudhry exhibits her Festive Chiffon Collection 2016

Kiran Chaudhry, recently held an exhibition at Labels Karachi to celebrate the New-year with an Exhibition of Anaya by Kiran Chaudhry, the collection showcased her latest Festive Chiffon Collection, in addition to selected styles from their upcoming pret line.

anaya by kiran chaudhary

After the successful exhibition in Lahore for Anaya’s Festive Collection the exhibition took place in Karachi at this festive season with their new bestselling Festive Chiffon Collection (Vol. 2)!

anaya by kiran chaudhary

Nazeen Tariq

Talking about the latest collection, Creative Director Kiran Chaudhry shares, “With the wedding season upon us, we wanted to bling thing ups a bit and showcase our signature style with a somewhat bolder style statement.”

anaya by kiran chaudhary

It’s a fun, feminine and contemporary range in light pastels for daytime affairs and more formal ensembles that are perfect as an evening or wedding wear.

anaya by kiran chaudhary

Every piece is made with pure finesse and there are subtle elements that are sure to catch your eye.

 

For more information visit:

Web: http://www.anayaonline.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anayaonline/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anayabykiranchaudhry/

#DSFKHI The Biggest Shopping Extravaganza

On 16th Dec. 2016  Pakistan’s leading group of shopping malls launched 17 days shopping festival ‘Dolmen Shopping Festival’  (DSFKHI) across the three malls in Karachi. The festival is filled with fun contests, exciting discounts and delicious food

Dolmen Shopping Festival

The launch event kicked off by the surprise arrival of stars Iman Ali, Anoushay Ashraf, Faizan Haqque and the musical sensation Zoe Viccaji.

 

Dolmen Shopping Festival

Faizan, Zoe, Iman, Anoushay

The celebrities revealed the ‘Match & Win’ game and ‘Magical Doors’ which allow shoppers to play for a gift hamper.

Dolmen Shopping Festival

They also kick started the lucky draw which will have daily winners as well as a grand prize of 1 Million Rupees at Dolmen Mall Clifton, powered by Summit Bank. The prizes for Dolmen Mall Tariq Road and Hyderi are 500,000 PKR and 250,000 PKR respectively, which will be announced along with the grand lucky draw winners at the closing ceremony on the 1st of January 2017, making someone’s new year really special! And not just that, shoppers can also win gifts from Dolmen Mall brands through five lucky draws every day.

DSFKHI

To participate, regular shoppers will have to show their receipt of a PKR 10,000 purchase whilst Dolmen Loyalty Card holders would be eligible to play with a purchase receipt of PKR 5,000.

DSFKHI

With each floor at the malls designed to bring with it a new set of activities to entice the audience to explore further, Dolmen Malls truly appear as a shopper’s paradise. Dolmen Mall Clifton, Tariq Road and Hyderi feature a beauty lounge that is a treat for makeup enthusiasts who have a chance to learn tips from experts and get free makeovers. Children will also get a chance to play our life-sized games and win for themselves in the Carnival while families can enjoy exhibitions of Home n Décor, Dolmen Bazaar and various other festivities.

As an added treat, Sunny Day brunch will be hosted every Sunday in the food court at Dolmen Mall Clifton and Tariq Road to encourage people to try new food and reignite the ritual of having Sunday breakfast with the family to the soulful sounds of live music.

DSFKHI

Sunday Brunch from Chachajee

Careem also started the special promo code for the Shopping Festival, just book a  ride with Careem to get 20% off to/from Dolmen Shopping Festival. Use promo code ‘DSF2016’. Code is valid till Valid till 31 Dec 2016.

DSFKHI

The management at Dolmen aims to provide quality events year after year, giving their audience a chance to celebrate.

World Record Challenging Traveler Comes to Pakistan

On July 15, 2015, a young American woman, Cassandra De Pecol (Cassie), departed on an international expedition to travel to all 196 Sovereign States of the world, in an effort to break a Guinness World Record, while promoting World Peace through the International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT).  She hopes to inspire the world through her travels under Expedition 196, and connect with citizens of the world as she personally carries the banner of World Peace in traveling as a ‘World Citizen’.

Cassie in Pakistan

Cassie at Mazar-e-Quaid

Cassie has covered about 193 countries already so far. She is now in Pakistan for a few days and will be visiting Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Her programme in Pakistan is being organized by PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Pakistan Chapter, supported by the country’s leading PR firm, Asiatic Public Relations Network, or APR as it is better known.

Cassie in Karachi

Cassie with the Mayor of Karachi

“Tourism plays a vital role in promoting peace and understanding between the countries and the peoples of the world, and we are sure that Cassie’s visit to Pakistan will go a long way in projecting the real Pakistan to the world – a Pakistan of hospitable and peace-loving people, and a Pakistan of a rich diversity in every way,” stated Akbar A. Shareef, Chairman, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Pakistan Chapter.

Cassie in Karachi

While in Pakistan, Cassie will be delivering talks at leading universities in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and at a Rotary function, meeting the travel trade, visiting some important cultural and heritage sites, meeting the Karachi Mayor and participating in a tree plantation activity, meeting the media, and interacting with youth and social media activists, among still other activities in a hectic itinerary.

Cassie in Pakistan

Cassie at IBA Karachi

Speaking about his agency’s involvement in Cassie’s Pakistan trip programme, Zohare Ali Shariff, the CEO of Asiatic Public Relations Network said, “It is a great privilege for us to not only meet Cassie, but to also be directly associated in planning and executing a productive itinerary for her Pakistan visit, which we have thoughtfully worked out to give Cassie as wide an exposure as possible in the limited time available, to our people and especially to our youth, and to our rich and diverse heritage and culture. We are sure Cassie will leave Pakistan with indelible fond memories, and we wish her the very best for her world record attempt and her mission of promoting global peace.”

Cassie in Pakistan

Cassie planted a tree at KMC building

Cassie’s dream since high school has been to see every country on Earth, and it wasn’t until her 25th birthday that she realized her life-long dream was in plain sight, just waiting for her to make a move. There was no better time to pursue her goal of seeing every country on earth. So, she spent one month sweating over a wall map and planning her itinerary for what would be, Expedition 196.

Cassie in Pakistan

Cassie with the bloggers

“I choose to live my life in a unique way. To live in iconic, low key lifestyle where I do what I want, when I want, and inspire those along the way.” – Cassie De Pecol.

Cassie de Pecol

Hershey’s Kisses Cookies Recipe

Last month my friend brings lots of chocolates from Budapest, Hungary. It includes 50 Hershey’s Kisses. So I got an idea to use them in a recipe.

Ingredients:

36 Hershey’s Kisses

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter

1½ tsp baking powder

Half tsp salt

2 cups flour

2 tbsp butter, melted

About ¼ cup sugar

hershey's kisses cookies

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter.
  3. Mix in baking powder, salt, flour, and melted butter.
  4. Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll into sugar.
  5. Place on an non-greased cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes.
  6. Once removed from oven, immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss in center of each cookie ball.
  7. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.

Cassie de Pecol visiting Pakistan to Promote Peace

Cassandra de Pecol aka Cassie is an American woman  who wants to break the Guinness  World Record for the  fastest  female to travel to all 196 Sovereign Nations in less than 3 years and 3 months.

She starts her journey on 1st July, 2015. In 17 months she has been to 193 countries including North Korea, Iraq, Palestine and Kosovo. Her favorite region is Middle East.

She wants to promote  peace through sustainable tourism. All details about her expedition can be found at Expedition 196.

Pacific Asian Travels Association  (PATA) Pakistan Chapter and Asiatic Public Relations (APR) bringing her to Pakistan to visit Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Here she will be visiting cultural heritage sites, giving lectures at the universities and meeting media and press.

 

Cassie De Pecol in Pakistan

Yesterday with Karachi’s Mayor Mr. Wasim Akhtar she planted Cedrus Deodara tree (the National Tree of Pakistan) at the Karachi Municipal Corporation Building.

Cassie and Wasim Akhtar

She also presented the peace declaration to the Mayor, Mr. Waseem Akhtar as a token of peace from her country to ours.

Last night APR & PATA organized a Bloggers Meetup where Cassie shared her traveling stories from around the world. It was a  casual meetup where she shared her traveling stories from around the world followed by a Q&A session.

 

 

 

At the end of the meetup she shared some tips for the travelers:

  • Do not research about a country before traveling, keep all perceptions about a country outta the door.
  • Always pack light. You don’t need to look like a diva while you are traveling.
  • Use apps like  couchsurfingairbnb , skyscanner and  google maps to save costs.
  • Do not hesitate in exploring new foods, new experiences, new trips, new places
  • Buy one way ticket and don’t worry about the rest. Find job and experience the real life in a country. That’s the best way to travel.
 Cassie de Pecol

Me with Cassie de Pecol