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Buttered Up: A slow-roasted duck pasta for the sensible

By Sarah Khanna I pressed a thin veil of tissue against my wounded knuckle, watching it absorb the red seeping out. “Stupid grater,” I mumbled as my husband laughed, reasoning with me that it was in reality a simple gadget, incapable of stupidity and that I was what my squash coach once called me — butter …

DNE

Buttered Up: Branching out with a makeshift dal makhni

By Sarah Khanna I never thought I would miss Malaysia but I find myself regressing, filling myself with nostalgic desires, hoping to smell the salty stench of tandoori chicken as I lower my window to Cairo’s smog. For close to four years, I stalked the streets of Kuala Lumpur, comparing the dated and the new of …

DNE

Buttered Up: Fears, regrets and crust-less quiches

By Sarah Khanna I stretched, laying flat, fingers flopping around my side table in search of something to pull my hair up and away from my pillow-creased face. Happy to see some sun moving stealthily into the farthest corner, my corner of our room, I turned to find our bed empty — my husband already stirring …

DNE

Buttered Up: The content producer who loves aubergines

By Sarah Khanna I am so uninterested in shopping with friends that I cannot hide my indifference. A lone shopper, I saunter through the passages of ladies’ fashion inattentive to the new styles emerging in place of past fads; I buy what sits comfortably on my hips, pieces I would take pleasure in feeling against the …

DNE

Buttered Up: Unboxing fluffy vanilla bean pancakes

By Sarah Khanna There’s a calming medicament in our home for the common cold; it paints in tinges of pink the cheeks of the runny-nosed, enlivens the spirits of the feverishly faint, and layers the room with the luxurious scent of true vanilla: pancakes. Taking short minutes to measure and mix, the batter comes together with …

DNE

Buttered Up: Breaded fish tikka for the picky eater

I’ve been on a bad food binge. Throughout years of conscientious Asian-influenced eating in Kuala Lumpur, I missed the grease that many Egyptian dishes brought to the many mouths I’ve shared meals with. “Bring it on, Cairo!” I squealed as my big feet clumsily trampled onto the Egyptian soil that they so sorely missed, warm …

DNE

Buttered Up: A roasted tomato macaroni for the unpresent

I know a boy with a golden smile that outshines his speckled eyes and curly locks woven with tones of clear honey and pale lager. A deliberately early riser, he gets high on dancing in front of the television and playing air guitar while the rest of our home sleeps. There are days I hear …

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Buttered Up: A cooking crisis makes a bright lemon curd

I stepped into a friend’s cramped kitchen, cluttered with crusty teaspoons taking a mud bath in coffee-stained mugs, working to sustain the whims of a bachelor who would order out more often than not. Despite my friend’s phony cries for help, there was not much I could do with a shiny fridge that housed a …

DNE

Buttered Up: Celebrating failure with bread rolls

How do you celebrate failure? Do you examine your inner self, well hidden under a poised smile? Do you shatter like tempered glass crumbling into dull-edged pieces? Do you try, try again? A year has passed since the events of last January and I’m baking bread. Symbolic as it may be, I have failed. I …

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Buttered Up: A sweeter smell to a basterma pasta bake

A particular smell connects me to both my home countries. It is a scent that I do not care for much but will not cower away from when it is presented to me — sweetly creeping up on me, playfully tickling my nose, at times coming a step too close for my own comfort. Keeping …

DNE

Buttered Up: Three-cheese baked eggs in tomato cups

I will never run after donuts, long for frosting or fantasize about a smooth square of chocolate coating my tongue with its melted magic. Shiny black olives, bubbling cheese, crunchy pickled carrots and crusty bread smeared with salted butter — this is what I crave. On naughty days, my leering appetite lends itself to crispy …

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Buttered Up: Food myths and a roasted aubergine salad

We sit in the sticky tropical heat, a lone cat observing us from afar, wondering with a tilt of its head, why we have occupied her bench with our derrieres. In reality, it is not the cat’s fault. We rarely sit on my friend’s bench in her garden except for when she forces me to …

DNE

Buttered Up: On voting and sausages

There is no greater way to describe how I feel after voting other than that I feel like an idiot. Did I know any of these people I voted for? No. Had I even heard of them before? No. Could I find any decent reading material about what these people are trying to bring closer …

DNE

Buttered Up: Predatory instincts and a Spinach Chicken Roulade

I put my new clothes on, tugged on my pretty jacket and straightened my back with my head held high, trying to preen in front of the mirror. Watching my mother from the sidelines applying a sleek stroke of liquid eyeliner, I wondered when I too would be able to watch my own face transform …

DNE

Buttered Up: Half-browned rice – a family tradition

When my mother is in the kitchen, she likes to talk about my grandmother; I don’t think she realizes that it has become a pattern. As she stirs, today a creamy mushroom soup, tomorrow some strawberry jam thickening on the stove, she remembers her own mother’s hands, how they tailored dainty dresses and kneaded soft …

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Buttered Up: Occupie – a movement beginning with pizza

I have placed my fingers on the keys, waiting for an idea to take control of my hands, to lead the way to thoughts that might hold some significance in light of our recent events. What can I say in a column based on food experiences, based on informing those who read that we Egyptians …

DNE

Buttered Up: Microcupcakes because Egypt loves gimmicks

When you visit a restaurant, what do you look for? The things that have me coming back are simple. Welcoming service and an attentive staff, palate-pleasing food and no conspicuous hygienic horrors – these are the only things I require. Pleasant lighting is a much loved added bonus. There is no need for a glassy-eyed …

DNE

Buttered Up: A cherry and oat crumble on a cold morning

Some people prefer to turn their ovens on in the colder months. Come autumn, they start devoting hours, curled up in their most comfortable spot at home, researching recipes that require the warmth of a preheated oven. Food bloggers worldwide type in what I read to be loud voices, about the exciting winter recipes they …

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Buttered Up: Zucchini fritter cakes for the simple gardener

I recently met the gardener taking care of our quaint patch of grass. Wanting to get into gardening for a year now and taking it upon myself to research what needed to be done, I could not wait to finally speak with him about what we could do to transform a sunny but lonely strip …

DNE

Buttered Up: Candy-like crusted cocoa brownies

Despite readily agreeing that it is ideal to end a meal with a chocolate-based dessert — especially when hosting a dinner party — on regular days I find myself picking a non-chocolate option. A pavlova, crème brulee or a neat slice of lemon meringue pie will usually fill the void that others opt to satisfy …

DNE

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