I have, over the years, overcome the fear of the unknown when it comes to cooking. I can fairly easily try out new ingredients and I am not afraid of failures. I must admit it took a lot of time to be comfortable with not getting the desired result the first time around. I derive inspiration from shows like Master Chef, professional chefs on social media and other sources for trying out new things. If something goes wrong, I can come up with a fix for damage control. It does require thinking on your feet, and I believe it comes with experience.

I feel challenged every Ramazan to create something new for Iftaar time. This time, when I invited a few friends over for Iftaar, I cooked a recipe that was on my mind for a long time – infusing chickpeas with cottage cheese to make kebabs. I ground chickpeas, made cottage cheese at home and combined them with spices. When I tasted the mixture, it was awesome. Instead of making kebabs, I decided to make sandwiches with this thick dip-like mixture. The sandwiches turned out great.

During Iftaar, I was skeptical about whether everyone will like the sandwiches. I knew people will take one because they looked very tempting, but will they go for a second one? I was not too sure. To my surprise, everyone loved them, but they could not tell what the filling was made of.

These sandwiches are very healthy and can be incorporated in a diet plan as well. I’m sharing the recipe with you and hoping that you will include this on your Iftar table and surprise everyone.

 Recipe

  • Chickpea – 1 cup, boiled and grinded
  • Cottage Cheese – 1 cup
  • Spring Onion – 1 or 2, finely chopped
  • Green chilies – 1 or 2, finely chopped
  • Fresh Coriander leaves – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon or as required
  • Black pepper – ¾ teaspoon
  • Greek yogurt / hung curd / Cream Cheese – 1 or 2 tablespoons

Method                                                                                                                           

  • In a mixing bowl, add ground chickpea paste. Mix in cottage cheese, spring onion, green chilies, coriander leaves, salt, and black pepper. Mix it well, until everything is well combined. In the end, add cream cheese or Greek yogurt to give a creamy smooth texture to it.
  • Spread the prepared mixture on a slice of bread. Cut the sandwiches diagonally with a sharp knife and serve with any dip or ketchup.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: Nil

Serving: 4 -6

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.