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Malala’s Magic Pencil dinner menu

Malala's Magic Pencil Pakistani theme dinner from

This month’s theme for Family Dinner Book Club is Bravery, and our lead book is Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children. Head over to Growing Book by Book for a full reading list of books about Bravery. Then visit Sunny Day Family for family activity ideas. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook or Instagram page!

Malala Yousafzai has to be one of the most inspirational people of this century. She is the epitome of Bravery, a fantastic example not just for young girls but for all people to look up to, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. To top it all off, she just turned 21 this year in 2018! If you don’t already know who she is, it is well worth your time to look her up and read her story. She has written her memoir in a more adult-format book, rewritten it for younger readers, and now brings us this wonderful picture book. Suffice it to say I am enamored with Malala and you should be, too.

Chicken Karahi dinner from

While planning this month’s menu I looked up interviews with Malala to learn more about her. I learned that her favorite dish is her mother’s Chicken Karahi, a fragrant Pakistani curry that is very popular, and actually quite simple to prepare. I tweaked the recipe here to make it very mild because my children are not fans of spicy dishes. I’m trying to change that! But for now I choose to not torture them with dinner. Malala enjoys drinking English Breakfast Tea to help her de-stress during homework and exams. It might not be a perfect fit for dinner, but we’re drinking it in her honor anyway.

Malala’s Magic Pencil
Family Dinner Book Club

Mild Chicken Karahi (recipe below)
Masoor Daal
Garlic Naan
English Breakfast Tea

Malala's Magic Pencil Pakistani theme dinner from
Yield: serves 4

Mild Chicken Karahi

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 tablespoon safflower (or other neutral) oil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. 2. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt, and turmeric, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. 3. Add the cubed chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the tomatoes and poblano. Stir to combine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to simmer an additional 10-15 minutes to thicken the sauce a bit.
  5. 5. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired, and serve with rice or naan.

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