Stories about food

Keep the hope alive, dear Pakistanis

We are no messiahs and we are certainly not asking you to turn a blind eye to all the problems that we face. It is always good to remain cognizant of the challenges that lie ahead of you ─ it can help you plan better. But there must never be any room for you to lose hope. Hopelessness, we have been told, is faithlessness. And we have faith. We have faith in the people of this country. We have faith in our belief that the people of this country will complement each other. ‘The Pakistanis’ is a celebration of the little ...

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Let us be known for our hospitality

Thanks to the world media, we are known around the globe by our various identifiers – some good, some not so good and some which are just plain wrong. We are cricket fanatics, extremists, terrorists, we even think that giving polio vaccine to our children will make them infertile! Don’t even get me started on how the Indian media depicts us ─ that falls, without a shred of a doubt, in the ‘just-plain-wrong’ category. Pakistan, however, is a lot more than what the world perceives it to be; Pakistanis are hospitable, kind and generous people. Keep on reading and you might well ...

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Stuffed chicken breast with pineapple sauce the Salt n’ Pepper way!

Stuffed chicken breast with pineapple sauce is a dish served at Salt n’ Pepper (SNP) in Lahore. It brings back a lot of fond memories from my postgraduate days. I associate this phenomenal recipe with some of the happiest times in my life.  I happened to visit Lahore a few months ago and luckily, SNP was just around the corner from where I was staying. Needless to say, this restaurant was my first stop after a long and tiring day of travel. As I took my seat, I couldn’t help but reminisce all the good times I had had with my friends. ...

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Ramazan packages: Disguised acts of benevolence to win votes

With the holy month of Ramazan upon us, the federal and Punjab governments have announced subsidy packages for the poor public to facilitate price cuts on edible items as a goodwill gesture. The Punjab government has earmarked Rs4 billion to provide subsidies on kitchen items to the poor during the holy month. In a similar initiative, the federal government has reserved Rs 2.532 billion to extend subsidies on various food items and edible commodities. The prime objective of the packages is to ensure relief to the low-income segment of society. This is an election year and the PPP has thought about the ...

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Once upon a monsoon in Khulna

“Sit still, Shona!” yelled an agitated Tara, washing her younger sister’s feet, “I will pour this water on your head if you move your feet again!” “I am NOT Shona,” protested Naina, who was now six-years-old and did not like her childish nickname very much. “Leave me alone. Mashima washes my feet better than you, anyway. Somebody help me! Didi is trying to drown me!” she yelped. The 400 yard house echoed with Naina’s routine bellows. Everybody knew that her daily tantrum had begun. Mashima – otherwise indifferent to Naina’s behaviour – told her to be quiet. “Shut up! Can you not ...

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Penne Arrabbiata with Marinara Sauce

When cooking Italian food, it is always good to spend some time in deciding what pasta should be used. This recipe is sauce based and penne pasta will work best with it. The sauce clings on to the exterior surface of the pasta and also accumulates inside each pasta piece ensuring that each bite has a bit of everything in it. Spaghetti or linguini is not a good choice for such a dish as the sauce simple runs off the surface of the pasta and settles at the bottom of the bowl or serving platter instead. So let us start. Ingredients Penne ...

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The Singaporean Rice saga

Karachi wedding receptions are very different from those in any other region of Pakistan. While the bride and groom are (supposed to be) the main attraction, it’s the food that takes the limelight. A menu can either make or break a wedding, and you’d be darned if you selected something the guests end up hating – and don’t even get me started on the menu-bashing uncles and aunties who’ll torture you for weeks (and even months) to come! Keeping in view Karachiite’s mindsets, caterers try adding new and exciting dishes to their portfolios, giving the gossip-mongers something positive to talk about. Fish ...

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Bella Vita: Satisfy that sweet tooth

Desserts do make life sweet; this is exactly what I thought as I entered Bella Vita in Karachi – the new classical and trendy Italian gelateria and dessert bar that was formally launched on May 19.  Serving a variety of gelatos, shakes, sorbets, coffee and a range of unique Italian desserts, this place is strictly for those with a sweet tooth. The brains behind Bella Vita are Omer and Hassan, two young business graduates who have started this venture after the success of Del Frio. The cozy outlet offers a relaxed atmosphere; the high backed chairs are comfortably cushioned, there is wood ...

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Treats from the street: Delicious and affordable

Traditional street snacks are a significant part of Pakistani culture. Originating from rural areas, they have also earned popularity in big cities over the years. Not only are they affordable but very delicious too, with a tinge of the typically rural taste. Despite the advent of international fast food chains, the desi roadside snack hawkers continue to run a thriving business; serving eager customers on the streets, at signal stops and outside schools. Most of these snacks are made out of locally grown fruits, vegetables and kernels; thanks to the year round crops of our country. The cooking methods employed use little or no oil ...

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A foreigner’s love for Pakistan

My exposure to Pakistan was limited. I classified it as one of those countries that was created on religious concepts, was racist toward the rest of the world and wanted the Americans dead.  Call me ignorant, but with the way Pakistan is portrayed in the media, as a foreigner it is hard not to be deterred. Then, by sheer luck and forged destiny, I met a Pakistani woman and fell truly, madly and deeply in love with her. There was beauty resonating from deep within her and it came out in her dark, soulful eyes. Little did I know, that in less than ...

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