10:22 am - Sunday August 20, 2017

Pakistani cuisine is addictive

Christopher Columbus embarked on a journey to look for India not because he sought gold but because Indian spices were much sought after commodity. He could not find India but the South Asian spices are one of the fastest growing cuisines in the world. Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America are increasingly exploring and adopting Indian cuisine.

Pakistan appeared on world map after the division of India into two independent states. Since its inception Pakistani cuisine are slowly assuming a unique identity. The reason is that India is a Hindu majority country which means that meat recipes are not part of their mainstream cusines because of Hindu religious abolition of its use. Pakistani recipes of nihari, biryani, haleem, kata kat, handi, chapli kabob are defining a unique Pakistani cuisine.

Nihari literally means to morning meal but it has evolved into a main course meal for lunch and dinner. Speciality nihari restaurants can be found in major cities of Pakistan. Haleem which is mixture of different lentils was considered a poor man’s food but now it has become part of the main stream cuisine. Chapli Kabob originated from Kisakhawani Bazaar of Peshawar but now it can be found all across Pakistan.

After independence many Indian Muslims migrated to Pakistan and brought with them recipes of specialty meals like Reshmi Kabob, gola kabab, nargisi kofta, and paratha. Pashtoon have contributed Chapli kabob and karahi gosht. Punjab contributed nihari and haleem. Baluchistan came up with dampokht and full roast lamb. Sindh offered its own cuisine. All these together are now forming a unique Pakistani cuisine.

Some of these items are increasingly assuming an eating out item and rarely cooked at home. For instance Nihari and Haleem are usually offered by specialty restaurants that are experienced in these recipes. Similarly Karahi gosht has also become a specialty product of some upscale restaurants.

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