Category Archives: Food and Drinks
Food, it keeps us going. It satisfies our hunger. It gives us a pleasing effect. It is mostly there when we want it to be. But food is actually more than that. Food is what connects people and is a keeper of tradition. Through food, one can know more about the culture and tradition of any place. And so today I will arrange for you a big buffet with food from my country, Pakistan.
Pakistan does not actually have a singular traditional food, because “khana”, which is food in Urdu, comes from the four different provinces. Muslims are forbidden to eat pork or consume alcohol and strict Halal dietary guidelines are observed. Hence, Pakistanis being mostly Muslims, follow the same food code.
Pakistani cuisine uses spices, and one way of putting it would be “we love spices like we love food”. Meat cooked to the core, is a favorite of almost every one. But Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the largest meat lovers. The most famous food in KPK would be Meat Karahi. Karahi is merely a thick circular pot, and it is called so because it is cooked in this pot. Meat Karahi is an infusion of spices in a form of thick curry, and the succulent meat is enriched with this flavor. It is eaten with the popular form of bread in Pakistan, Naan, which is roasted inside a hearth.
Chapal Kebab, literal translation “shoe kebabs”, are the most famous and the most delicious form of food. It is made from minced meat, and given the shape of the welt of a shoe, and fried on a plain cooking implement. A rice dish called Kabuli Palau is also a specialty. Pashtuns are known to make the best green tea to finish off the food. It is called Peshawari Kehwa, “Green Tea from Peshawar”. They add many fragrant herbs and some spices and cook it till it is pink in color.
A famous dish from the land of valiant Balochis, is the meat Sajji. It is a roast meat: either chicken or goat, the whole of which roasted on an open flame. It is cooked till the meat is tender. Another form is whole roast, which is called Dam Pukht. This is a very special dish, and goat meat is always used in it. The whole goat is used, and the centre is filled with rice which is cooked with nuts and carrots. The interesting thing about Dam Pukht is that the meat is roasted by digging a pit inside earth and putting coal on top of it. Naan is actually a favorite throughout Pakistan. And everywhere you go and whatever you eat, Naan is eaten with almost everything.If I talk about Punjab, I will talk about Lahore first, because it is considered as the food hub of Pakistan. Their motto is, “We live to eat and not eat to live”. Food cultures from all over Pakistan are celebrated here. Gawal Mandi is a famous and most old hangout for food lovers here. You can find the best Fried Fish over here, which has perfect balance of spices and is cooked to perfection. Dahi Bhalla (balls made from flour and ground grain, fried and served with yoghurt) is another popular dish. But what kind of food is famous in Punjab, you ask? To start with, a good breakfast this includes a large dose of buttermilk taken with Halwa Puri. Halwa is a very common and delicious dessert of South Asia. There are many types of halwa, like almond fudge, semolina halwa, carrot halwa, gourd halwa, pumpkin halwa and many more. It is made up of Butter and is garnished with lots of dry friuts. Puri is made from wheat flour and is deep fried in oil. It is served with a kind of gram curry or Halwa and other vegetable. Nihari is another popular dish, it is basically a curry stew made with either beaf or lamb.
Barbeque is a favorite among Pakistanis all over. Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan, is famous for barbequed Quails. If you want anything lighter, then Daal is something you should not miss. Different types of pulses, made into a curry like form and taken with either boiled rise or chapatti, is a well known form of food supplement around here.
Qulfi, a frozen milk based dessert, came to our native land from India, served with pistachios and almonds is something no one should miss. Other desserts include Ras Malai, Sweet Rice, which are called Matanjan, and assorted confectioneries.
Moving on towards Sindh, Sindhi Biryani is the king of all biryanis. Biryani is a rice dish with meat, potatoes and spices and herbs for flavor and smell. Sindhi Curry which is vegetables mixed with chick pea flavor is a special food item from Sindh. Meethi Aloo, a famous dish from Sindh and eaten almost everywhere in Pakistan. To make this dish, you need to combine hot chili peppers, garlic, and fennel leaves (fresh or dry). With these ingredients, you can easily convert a simple potato into a curry to be consumed with puri, chapati, rice or bread. In Sindhi cuisine, you will find several dishes that have unique recipes such as the ones above. Fish curry is another very unique dish made in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a land of an incredible culture and tradition. And like everything else, our food is also a huge part of our heritage.
So yes, this was a big buffet. And no this is not the only food we are into. But due to less space and less time, this is all for now.
Written by: Amna Javed
Biryani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. Biriyani is derived from the Farsi word “Birian” which means fried or roasted. Based on the name, and cooking style (Dum), one can conclude that the dish originated in Persia and/or Arabia. Trade relations have existed between Arabia and the Indian subcontinent from ancient times. Early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders, in the pre-Islamic era, Arab traders used to visit the Malabar region, which linked them with the ports of South East Asia. According to Historians Elliot and Dowson in their book The History of Subcontinent, the first ship bearing Muslim travelers was seen on the Indian coast as early as 630 AD. In the 8th century, the province of Debal(Sind)- Pakistan was conquered by an Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi (c. 31 December 695–18 July 715) Sindh became the easternmost province of the Umayyad Caliphate. Arab traders used the rout from Yemen – Iraq – Iran and they entered to Sind and then to Bombay and beyond. Biryani originated in Persia and might have taken couple of different routes (travelers and merchants) to arrive in Pakistan then India and beyond. One legend has it that (Timur, from the Perso-Arabic 1398) brought it down from Kazakhstan via Afghanistan to Pakistan.