Father’s Day is just around the corner. Celebrated on the third Sunday of June, the day is dedicated to men who are the foundation and support of our families. They are (usually) the most silent, yet most impacting presences in our lives. The best thing about a father is that he is always composed, and gives out vibes of strength and stability to the whole family. And that’s certainly what my father has been for us.

I really have no words to describe my relationship with my father. He has been my biggest critic, and yet my greatest support and inspiration. Back in the day, he would put mehndi on our hands with tooth picks, and even buy our clothes and shoes. Everyone would ask us where we got them from and I would proudly say, “My father got them”. I cannot remember a time when we asked him for something and he did not bring it for us. Not just that, but he would often bring us things we wanted but never asked for, and I would always wonder how he would know.

Abu, as I call him, encouraged me to cook and keep trying until I get the perfect results. He would pinpoint all the shortcomings in my dishes very diligently. He never praised me if I cooked well. I would wait for his verdict and he would smile and say, “If the food is finished without a word, that means it is good”.

Similarly, my husband is an excellent father. His relationship with our son is one of friendship, or at least it looks like it is going to turn out that way. I can foresee that they will become a team very soon 🙂 I guess all fathers are heroes to their children.

So what do all fathers like to eat? I think it’s safe to guess desi fathers enjoy qeema – beef qeema (minced beef curry) to be precise. According to Ali, “Qeema hota hi beef ka hay”. I leave you with a delicious recipe for Dumm Qeema (simmered minced beef) to treat your father to on this special day.

I love you Abu, and thank you for everything.

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Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Minced Beef – 250 gm
  • Onion – 1, large (finely chopped)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin – 1 teaspoon (roasted and ground)
  • Coriander – 1 teaspoon (roasted and ground)
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder – ¾ teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cardamom Seeds – 2
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Green Chilies – 3 to 4 (finely chopped)
  • Oil – ¼ cup (though I used ghee)
  • Fresh Green Coriander Leaves – a pinch for garnish
  • Lemon Wedges – for garnish
  • Green Chilies – for garnish

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat
  • When the oil is hot, add onions and ginger garlic paste. Cook and stir until light brown
  • Add minced beef and give it a good stir. Then add a quarter cup of water to the mince and let it cook with the lid over the pan
  • Meanwhile, roast the cumin and coriander in a frying pan and then coarsely grind them into a pesto
  • Once the mince is tender and the water has is dried, add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cloves, cardamoms, ground cumin and coriander. Give it a good stir and let it cook
  • After 5 minutes, add yogurt and mix well. Let it simmer and mix until the oil rises to the top
  • Add green chilies on top. Cover with a lid and leave on low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes
  • Garnish with coriander leaves, lemon and green chilies
  • Serve with parathas or roti

Tips:

  • Don’t hesitate to add a sprinkling of water when required to prevent the mix from burning
  • Add meat tenderizer or raw papaya if you think the mince will not cook thoroughly (though I added none of these and it worked out just great)
  • Always add the garnish just before serving, otherwise it will turn black if cooked on a simmering heat

Cooking time: 20 – 25 minutes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serving: 2 – 3

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.