Stories about Pakistani food

When pizza meets French toast, love transpires

During my time at LUMS, if there was one thing I looked forward to before going to those early morning classes, it was the Pepsi Dining Center (PDC) French toast with a cup of steaming illaichi chai. Another thing I remember from university was the all-nighter sessions, where pizza was our staple, our means for survival… let’s just say pizza saw us through many a tough one. We owe pizza a lot. I have already done a piece on pizza bread and one on French toast so today, I am going to be very creative and combine the two to turn ...

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Pakistan may be poor, but it has a rich culture – much richer than any country in the west

As I grew up in the 90s, every couple of months I would see my mom and dad pack up their bags and go on official tours around the world; America, Europe, you name it. My sister and I would eagerly await their return, not because we wanted to see our parents, but because we wanted to open up their suitcases full of goodies. They would be stuffed with clothes, toys, chocolates and things that we apparently couldn’t buy in Pakistan. We would wear these international clothes with pride and we felt “better” than everyone else, because we had ...

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Calling all cheese lovers, this one’s for you!

What I baked this weekend was a rich-indulgent and succulent macaroni and cheese casserole. Layers of macaroni, spicy meat sauce loaded with cheese white sauce, baked into an awesome weekend dinner. The recipe involves several steps for preparing the different layers but I am sure it will be worth all the hard work when you enjoy this scrumptious casserole with your family and friends and receive a lot of praise. I began with boiling my pasta. The best way to get it Al Dante is, throw your pasta in the water after it has begun boiling. Let the pasta boil for ...

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This food street inspired white chicken karhai will leave those desi taste buds drooling for more

As we know, Lahore is well known for its gastronomic treats, and is considered one of the culinary titans of Pakistan. I recently had the chance to visit the city and the famous food street. Upon entering the street, my mouth automatically started watering. The atmosphere was thick with steam, oil, and smoke from the countless karhais loaded with chicken and marinated kebabs on the charcoal grills. Watching the chef add green chillies to the wok was nothing short of torture. But it was one well worth waiting for. As soon as the dish was placed in front of me, I jumped at it. It was ...

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Hello, I am a man and I cheat… on my diet

Hello! I am a man and I cheat on my diet. I cheat on my diet with cheese burgers, kebabs, lamb legs, mutton chops, cheese omelettes, macaroni, pastas, lasagne and deep fries. Sometimes I cheat in the day, sometimes I cheat at night. Sometimes it has been days that I have not cheated, while others I cheat many times a day. There have been incidents where I promised my wife that I am going to an office party involving nothing but salads but have ended up in a posh restaurant eating promiscuously the whole night. Do I feel guilty? Yes, I do! Every time! But there is an animal inside ...

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Baingan ka bharta: Baba ghanoush with a Pakistani twist

In Pakistan, baingan (aubergines) are available only during peak summer season. Perhaps that’s why whenever summers are here, I immediately think of the nice old baingan. The Urdu word bharta means mashed. Essentially, roasted aubergines are mashed and spiced in this recipe. It can be served at lunch with hot chappatis and salty lassi, which would automatically put you in a siesta. The long summer days along with the intense heat in Pakistan makes one lazy and sleepy after lunch. The only thing needed then is a dark corner in an air-conditioned room. Ammi (mother) would slowly char the round purple aubergines on her gas stove over open flame. The whole house would smell of it. I, however, roast the aubergines ...

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Craving for carbs or had a crazy day? Potato bhujia is the way!

There are days when nothing is more comforting than a meal as basic and simple as a potato bhujia. Whether it’s the plunging mercury which makes one crave for carbs or a crazy weekday when you don’t have time to cook an elaborate meal for the family, this humble dish never fails to satisfy and delight everyone. Leftover bhujia either becomes a sandwich on a weekday or becomes a stuffed paratha served with milky, sugary tea on a weekend. There is no waste and no matter how much you make, the cooking pan is always wiped clean. I tend to slice potatoes, tomatoes, onions and chillies all together in ...

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This Eidul Azha, go Kheer a la mode!

For me, there can’t be an Eid without the ravishingly delicious Kheer – the ultimate sweet indulgence. A new twist to this traditional delight will surely bring a smile to your lips and, while the tongue revels in its milky glory, its creamy decadence will keep you entranced and craving for more. Food aficionados like me are fascinated by the Mughals who brought their rich, aromatic food culture, and thereby refined cooking to an art form. The exotic use of spices, dried fruits and nuts makes Mughlai cuisine undeniably unique in style. Extravagant connoisseurs of beauty, they left behind an enduring legacy of culinary ...

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Welcoming Autumn with tamarind lamb cutlets and a spicy chickpea chat salad

Chickpeas with spice, herbs and lemon are a street snack in Pakistan called chat, with bursts of chat masala, made up of piquant black salt, dried mango powder, cumin, coriander seeds and black pepper; it’s a salivating heady mixture that entices all the senses. Topped with lashings of sour tamarind chutney and coriander mint chutney, these are tantalising combinations that speak of a flavour of Pakistan. This salad of mine combines many attributes of my homeland, barbecue lamb is quintessentially Pakistani and I have combined it with an easy chickpea salad based on chat on the streets of Pakistan. I also combine some ...

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Shocking, funny and likeable experiences of Pakistan

My friends and family were concerned about my health when I told them that I would be fasting during Ramazan, but my Pakistani friends all assured me that I would go back home “fatter than ever”. Food coma The tables are set up and the feast includes biryani, samosas, pakoras, jalebi, gulab jamun, naan, paratha, daal, chicken, yoghurt, dates and much more. It is a spread fit for a king and we all stand around looking at the food, then our watches, waiting for the clock to tick over to iftar time with our mouths salivating. The call to prayer is heard and ...

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