burj al arab by the sea

Food, Chopping Boards, Coasters & Other Random Stuff

This post is strewn with random photographs that I’d taken over the last few months, in no particular order whatsoever. It’s an update post of sorts; a peek of what’s been going on in this blogger’s life.

You may have found me sharing this beautiful, dreamy picture of the Burj al Arab on my social media accounts…

This picture gives the illusion of a weather that is perfect for a summer vacation. A picture that may entice you to pack your suitcases and hop onto the next flight to Dubai …

burj al arab by the sea

Here’s the reality:

summer temperature in dubai

That’s 104°F that feels like 106°F. At 8 in the evening. We, the residents of the UAE, habitually bring up the topic of the oppressive heat each year, but due to various reasons, we remain here and actually love it here. No complaints, alhumdulillah.

In the UAE even small, inconspicuous restaurants offer the best food.

simple salad

chicken sizzler

dal fry

Unfortunately, this particular restaurant closed down. Not only was the food delicious and affordable, their customer service was great.

I love the wooden chopping board from the Global Village.

wooden kitchen utensils

Olive wood is said to last many lifetimes. In France, families pass olive wood bowls and dishes to the next generation. Olive wood is very hard, strong and durable. It is deep brown in colour with beautiful grain patterns.

They say that olive wood is not so good for chopping boards because it’s hard on the knives, but I haven’t had any issues so far – my knives are doing very well.

olive wood chopping board

The reason why I love these chopping boards (I have two) is because olive wood is fat-resistant, does not hold odors and is anti-bacterial due to its high content of tannic acids and lignin. Neither vinegar nor mold can destroy olive wood salad bowls and cutting boards.

Plus, cleaning olive wood product is a breeze. I simply wash them using my regular dishwashing soap and wipe them dry with a paper towel or cloth.

Visit the Tunisia pavilion when Dubai’s Global Village opens in October this year.

I miss posting recipes but can’t seem to do anything about my indolence in styling the food and taking pictures of them.

 Paneer kadhai

Contrary to what some of my readers believe (that I mostly eat in fancy restaurants), I cook on a regular basis. I experiment when I’m in the mood (and have the time and energy), but mostly they’re simple, home-cooked meals.

That is a dish called Karahi Paneer. I followed this recipe, and it turned out very delicious. It’s a combination of homemade cottage cheese, capsicum, tomato, onion and whole spices cooked in ghee. It is a main course which is generally served with Indian breads like roti, naan, kulcha, paratha, etc.

nihari and dal fry

I also cooked chicken nihari, although I must admit to using Shan’s masala. It does taste like the nihari you’d buy from a restaurant. Then I made mash dal fry, dhaba style, using this recipe. Masood loved them both. I don’t believe he remembers eating the karahi paneer, considering it’s been a few months now and I hadn’t made it again.

My Eid gift: pretty crochet coasters made by Ammi!

crochet coasters

My mom frequently gives me crochet gifts, but I must say these are my favorites! This year I have spent the entire month of Ramadan with my family, attending to religious obligations, inviting friends over, and feasting on homemade meals. Also, work hours are shortened during Ramadan, which gave me extra time for myself. It was absolutely fantastic.

Presently, our guest bathroom is filled with plants. 

photo 5

So that’s the latest update. Those are our indoor plants, and Masood has the responsibility to care for them. Currently, his mind and interests appear to be occupied elsewhere and he feels it tedious to carry the water container and attend to each pot separately. Therefore, he picked them all up and placed them in the bathroom to give them all a shower in one go.

Hopefully, I shall return with a proper post – most likely after I finish reading this book that I’d downloaded: a biography of Saudi’s King Faisal.


  1. Your temperature screenshot reminds me of my Californian friend posting a picture of 78°F (25.5° C), wearing a sweatshirt, and saying how cold it is. 78°F is perfect weather for us Midwesterners, but you would probably find it super cold too in comparison! But after the Karachi heatwave news this past summer, you guys are admirable for withstanding such heat! 106° is crazy!

    Also, Shaan nihari is amazing, probably my favorite food of all time. No judgement for choosing to make awesome food the convenient way! (My mom is a huge Shaan masala fan. I think that’s looked down upon in some circles? Haha)
    Maria recently posted..DIY Henna World Map

    1. I totally understand your Californian friend because people here in the desert also start feeling cold once the temperature drops below 25 C 😉

      Yay to Shan’s Nihari! You are right, it is looked down upon in some circles, but really … who cares? Making nihari has become so convenient 😀

  2. I miss the Indian and Pakistani food in Dubai more than anything hehe. But my waist is getting an inch off so maybe you really can’t have everything together at once hehe.

    oh oh, I used to be like Masood when caring for the only plants we have back then in the French balcony. Hubby returned home to dead plants from a 6-mos assignment in Qatar and yet he didn’t reprimand me because it is certainly useless. I wanted and have no time for plants back then hihihi. How life finds way to teach us a few, important things. Now I love working with soil more than anything lately. And thought how could I have been so cruel for the past 35 years?
    Kero Pinkihan recently posted..Getting Down and Dirty for the Flowers

    1. Oh, I’ve been following your posts and instagram pictures! Your gardening skills are really improving and you’re doing such a great job with the landscaping. I’d love to have a garden in the future.

      Try cooking simple curries at home. You’ve already cooking and baking more complicated dishes, so Indian food should be easy for you 🙂

  3. Never heard of olive wood boards before but now I want one 🙂

    If there was one thing I miss so much from UAE over others it’s the food – pretty much any restaurant is a good restaurant and you get to eat all types of food and it’s all halal,
    Mezba recently posted..Tobermory and Cottage

    1. The olive wood boards are pretty good, Mezba. I highly recommend them.

      Organic shops and cafe are the latest trend in the UAE – the focus is on using local produce as much as possible.

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