Stories about biryani

‘Tis the season of mangoes and biryani: These delectable recipes will make your Eid extra festive!

Festival season marks an ebullient change in our otherwise monotonous lives. After a month of fasting, Eid is welcomed across the Muslim world all too enthusiastically, wherein food symbolises the various hues of happiness. Families and friends gather to cherish the festivities and amid this chirpy laughter and instances of celebratory spirit, food has a vital part to play. I bring you three such delectable and sumptuous recipes that are sure to win you all praises for your Eid feast! Chicken Handi Biryani Biryani is not just food but it is synonymous with life in our part of the world. It is ...

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A Lahori’s first visit to Karachi

This summer, I had the chance to pay a short visit to Karachi – a city I’ve never had the opportunity to visit before. Soon after landing and taking a cab to the hotel, we started hearing stories of locals out and about in the city. This aged driver, who drove us to our hotel, told us how, for the last few months, Karachi has been a lot more peaceful because of the Rangers’ operation. He also said, “This operation should be extended to the entire province to ensure complete implementation of law and order.” That driver was not the only one who felt that the Ranger’s ...

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How ‘mastani’ is this biryani?

The king of South Asian cuisine and a universal crowd pleaser, the versatile biryani, needs no introduction. It’s rich, it’s royal and it’s right up everyone’s alley. Eat it today or a day later, with raita or kachoomar, during winter or in summer, your love for biryani will be the only constant that will stand the test of time and taste. It’s a no brainer then that countless eateries and stalls have risen to meet the unparalleled demand for this revered rice dish. From Hyderabad to Bombay, Lucknow to Sindh, the quest for the best biryani has sent many biryani ...

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Quetta: Where hospitality has no bounds

When I received an invitation from the University of  Balochistan informing me that five of our engineering projects had been accepted for the first Invention to Innovation Summit – the first comment my director made was,  “Umair, do you know the halaat (conditions) in Quetta? Taking students there can be risky!” The 1st Invention to Innovation Summit in Quetta It wasn’t easy trying to make him understand that all universities from Sindh and Balochistan were participating; hence it was mandatory for us to attend. However, we were finally able to convince him. There were nine of us, out of which seven were visiting ...

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Eid lunch – For the love of family and food

Eid will always remind me of my childhood and growing up in Pakistan. I have a clear sensory memory of awakening to aromas of cloves and cardamom wafting from the kitchen into my bedroom. This is a day that revolves around family togetherness and a celebration of food, after a month of abstinence and contemplation. Though a global Muslim festival, Eid is celebrated differently in each country, highlighting the fact that this is not just a religious day, but a time to celebrate our culture and identity. But, the one unifying similarity is that Eid is a celebration of food, authentic flavours ...

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So last week we went to the Karachi Eat Food Court at the Frere Mall

As a city, Karachi yearns for entertainment. Unfortunately, the only entertainment we seem to think of in this part of the country surrounds itself around food. Now, no one’s saying food is a bad thing – I mean being a Karachiite automatically means you are an inherent foodie. But when you combine food and a festival together, your expectations automatically rise. Since the past two years, Karachi has been hosting what is called the Karachi Eat Food Festival. This consists of lots of different (already established) restaurants coming together in a big beautiful lawn at Frere Hall, with a stage ...

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Following the evolution of biryani, all the way to New York City

Derived from the Persian word ‘Birian’, biryani is a spicy rice and meat dish which is prepared by mixing layers of rice, meat, tomatoes, fried onions, spices, and food colour. Biryani making is an art – one has to know how long rice should be cooked for, before it can be arranged in layers along with the meat and tomatoes. The rice can become soggy if boiled excessively, or even remain undercooked if not boiled for an appropriate amount of time. All biryani lovers take their biryani very seriously. They feel irked if the biryani isn’t yellow enough or if there’s no ...

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What is Pakistan’s national dish? Hint: It’s not daal roti!

During lunch, a colleague asked us what is the national dish of Pakistan, and everyone present provided a different answer. I said that’s easy, it has to be daal roti (lentils and flat bread), right? This was quickly rebutted by someone mentioning that it has to be a rice-based dish and that roti is not as common as you may think, especially in the past decade or so.  One would assume the answer is biryani? I mean who does not eat biryani? But no, it cannot be. Biryani is too elite a meal and too limited to certain regions of this vast and culturally diverse country. ...

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Five reasons why Karachi is better than Dubai

I have been living in Dubai for the past three years, and since my immediate family is based in Dubai, I haven’t gotten a chance to travel home much. But being an expat, I still miss Karachi. The city still feels like home because I was born and raised there and have numerous memories attached to it. Recently, I had the chance of visiting Karachi after a very long time and ended up enjoying it way more than Dubai. Turns out, Karachi is better than Dubai in a number of ways. 1. When it comes to food, there’s no comparison I feel this is an obvious ...

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The decadent and royal Shahi Tukra with a flavourful twist

Bread pudding is one of the most frugal yet comforting and heart-warming desserts ever created. Though most people choose simplicity with their addition of spice, it should be known that those creamy oozing layers of custard can do with and compliment any spice in the cabinet. Here I have used traditional saffron and cardamom. In my home in Pakistan, my nani (maternal grandmother) used to make Shahi Tukre every Sunday for lunch amongst the biryani and accompaniments. Even though it’s a heavy dessert, there are ways to make it more suitably lower in calories – use skimmed milk and less sugar – though ...

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