Hello everyone! Today I felt an urge to write about Pakistani food. Every country has its own taste and style of food. Pakistan has a rich culture. Our traditions and norms are very similar to India. Many of the recipes of our dishes are similar to them. Despite that the flavors and spices of a particular region add their own touch. Every province in Pakistan has its own special regional dishes.
Punjab is the hub of meaty and spicy food. Be it tandoori, gravies, desi ghee delicacies or vegetables (esp. sarsoon ka saag) the Punjabis are true to their roots. Though the new generation is into fast food and Chinese, you will always find the mutton gravies, parathas, haleem and Bar B.Q beside them in a buffet style dinner. Punjabis and especially Laborites are famous for their appetites of desi food.
Even their breakfasts are an elaborate affair. Halwa puri, Nehari, Hareesa, siri pai, Nan Chaney and pathoray are only some of the dishes they offer. On the other hand the list of sweet dishes also goes on and on. Rus malai, jalebi, kulfa falooda, kheer and firni are their summer offerings. Winter brings along different types of halwas, sweet rices and gajreela. Sweetmeats are an all year round treat.
The food in KPK is influenced by their neighboring country Afghanistan. Their namkeen lamb, Afghani pulao, huge chappal kababs and dry fruits are legendary. The tikka they cook over open fires add smoky flavors to the ready items and this tradition may have originated from necessity when hunters found it hard to cook without proper stoves.
Baluchistan on the other hand found ways to use the hot desert sands as desi ovens. Their widely known dishes Sajji and Dumpukht were once cooked over time in the hot sand. Though modernized in the hotel kitchens today, the true tradition continues in their far-fetched areas.
This brings us to Sindh which also provides us with a diverse variety of foods and flavors. Believe it or not it is from where all types of biryanies originated. Sindhi biryani, meiman biryani, pulaos, tikka biryani and so on and so forth, all came from this region. Hyderabad was the centre of the most sophisticated mughlai foods. The different types of seafood like prawns, crabs, finger fish etc. are also their forte. Now a day, other regions might claim fame but hey give credit where it’s due.
As you can see Pakistan has a vast variety of foods and cultures to offer. We only have to explore them. Now I am going off to investigate what’s cooking in my own kitchen. Happy foraging!!
Written by Ali Nawaz