May 2, 2010

Foodie Crib: Azizah Hines

Azizah Hines

Foodie Crib
East Grand Rapids

Pharmaceutical sales rep, model and mom to beautiful daughters, Maliha and Aneesa

Foodie Morsels
I met Azizah a few years back when she came to my family's table at Bombay Cuisine to compliment my wife on her hair and also for " having such beautiful kids." With her striking exotic characteristics and genuine charisma, Azizah is one person you don't necessarily overlook in a crowd. Born to a Pakistani mother and American father, Azizah grew up
in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, London, and in Oklahoma where her father was stationed as a petroleum geologist when she was in grade school. 

Azizah majored in microbiology at the University of Oklahoma where she also taught after college. She moved to Grand Rapids to teach at Grand Rapids Community College. 

Her Pakistani upbringing is very evident in her cooking and her affinity for bright colors. Her home is a splash of happiness on a gloomy day with art pieces from local artists and a cornucopia of colors in her kitchen appliances and kitchenware. On this day, Azizah prepared classic Pakistani dishes for our dinner. Her menu consisted of basmati rice, chana chat (an aromatic dish of chickpeas, potatoes, onions and spices),  a delightful okra dish called kutchhi bhini (okra sauteed in oil and spices) and Pakistani kima (ground beef, peas in spices). But what really lured me to Azizah's kitchen is to try her Pakistani flan. I am not much of a dessert person, but mention flan (or Haagen Daz coffee ice cream) and I'm there. I knew that her flan was going to be good given the earlier courses. And it was certainly delicious! To my surprise, her flan was not too sweet, which is always my fear when eating Pakistani or Indian desserts. As much as I wanted to eat seconds, I thought I should stop while I was still standing. 

Pakistani Flan

9 Eggs
2 Cans of Evaporated Milk
1 Can of Condensed Milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
¼ cup of water
8 tbsp. sugar

This recipe makes enough flan to fill 12 ramekins or two glass pie dishes.

Begin by caramelizing the 8 tablespoons of sugar.  To caramelize sugar place it in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat.  When you notice that the sugar is beginning to melt, start stirring slowly.   The sugar will begin to turn a straw color.  After a few minutes the sugar will be syrupy and a golden brown.  When this has happened quickly spoon or pour the caramelized sugar into the base of the ramekins or pie dishes.  You only need enough sugar to form a film over the bottom of your dish.  The caramelized sugar will harden within a few seconds.  The sugar must be hard before you add the egg mixture.

In a sauce pan, add 1 cinnamon stick and 3 cardamom pods to ¼ cup of water, boil for a few minutes.  Most of the water will evaporated.  You will need to make sure you have about a 2 tbsps. of the solution remaining.  Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, and save the liquid.

In a blender combine the eggs, evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla, 2 tbsps. of cinnamon, cardamom infused water.

Blend 10 seconds.  Pour the mixture into your ramekins or pie dishes.

Places your ramekins, pie dishes into two baking pans.  Fill the baking pans with water until the water reaches half way up the ramekin or pie dish.

Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees and then for an additional 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Stick a knife in the flan to make sure it has cooked through out.  When you remove the knife there should be little or no flan on it.

Remove the flan from the oven and allow it to cool.  Then place it in the refrigerator for a few hours until it has chilled.

When you are ready to serve the flan, run a knife around the exterior of the container to loosen the flan.  Turn the container over on a dish.  The flan will remain on the dish and the caramelized sugar will run over the top.

Chana chat, kutchhi bhindi, kima and basmati
Azizah plating her amazing flan
"leaning" glasses
Roohafza - a refreshing muslim drink concocted out of herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers and roots. 
Painting on the wall
A slight breeze was the perfect backdrop to our Pakistani dinner
Wooden Bowl
Roohafza with water
Green chair
Azizah with daughters Aneesa, Maliha at her sister Aisha's wedding.


Anonymous said...

George, where could one get Roohafza??

Anonymous said...

You can get Roohafza at the market on Eastern and 44th St.

My Hotel Life said...

You can find roohafza in any middle eastern market

Cheap hotel rooms London said...

you may purchase Roohafza from any city, from any shop in India.

Hotel In India said...

George, where could one get Roohafza??