Stories about pakoras

Has Eid ‘modernised’ with time?

Eid shopping is easy these days. Just saunter in any of the malls, check out the popular brands, take your pick and head back home while enjoying any of the easily available branded snacks. For the parents, this is a job well done. For the kids, it’s one of those shopping trips which is topped with a favourite place to eat out, as celebrating Eid for them is just another holiday. However, decades ago, when I was a child, Eid was a different affair. As we prepared for Ramazan, my father would visit his mother – my grandmother – to ...

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The neglected and forgotten residents of Youhanabad, Lahore

My foot got stuck in the sewage, and closing my eyes I half prayed that it doesn’t consist of human waste. The groan from a friend watching from across the road, though, was enough to warrant a shudder from me. I had slipped and now was standing, ankle deep, in two days’ worth of rain water and human sewage. The terrifying part regarding this story is the repeated variation of this occurrence. My favourite part (yes, there was one) about these streets though, was covering our heads and making our way down the road to the rairiwala, the man who ...

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Five variations of pakoras that are light on the taste, heavy on the waist!

The month of fasting (and over-eating) is progressing towards the end, but what makes this Ramazan more special is the fact that it is coinciding with monsoon. The clouds in Karachi seem ready to pour any moment now – please, God, please? Monsoon and Ramazan have nothing in common save for a garma garam (piping hot) plate of pakoras. This Pakistani staple is a must-have for iftar and any dastar-khuwan (dining table) is incomplete without a variation of this. The popularity of pakoras lies not only in their unique flavour profile but also in their affordability. Pakoras or Bhajiyas are ...

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Naan khatai, the biscuits that make tea time Pakistani

I always remember our house being well stocked with biscuits. There were the regular and perfectly shaped ones from cardboard boxes that included Peek Freans Peanut Pik with slightly soft peanuts; cumin laced Click and the plain Marie. Lu brand biscuits were crisper and more interesting. The scalloped shape of Prince Chocolate Sandwiches was akin to laser cut paper doilies. A snack pack of these often graced my school lunchbox. Candi, a brown sugar biscuit had little bits of caramelised sugar. Gala usually made an appearance when we had guests as they had a dainty design and a richer ...

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Traditional Pakistani pakoras with a Chinese twist

Pakistanis’ love for pakoras cannot be described in words. Be it Ramazan, monsoon season, a lunch or a casual tea meeting, one just can’t get enough of them. The blend of different spices and aromas truly depict the taste of Pakistan. Indeed, it is because of our love for pakoras that we have come up with varieties of it. Hardly any household is complete without the aroma of pakoras in the month of Ramazan. No matter how much popularity burgers, pizzas and other fast foods have gained in our generation, the love for pakoras will continue till the end of time. I have been eating gram ...

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Soggy rains and crunchy okra pakoras

We have had some rainy days in Karachi but, while I was there, they were always welcome and for some reason just very ‘happy’ – I call it ‘happy rain’. We would go out in our clothes and get drenched and love it. There was something liberating about the rain, maybe it was freedom from the constant 35 degree weather in the summer and the oppressive humidity. And that it washed the dusty hot city clean – though I can’t say the knee deep puddles and traffic jams as a result were enjoyable. Nevertheless, rainy, hot days laced with the ...

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Karri Pakora: Finger lickin’ good, literally!

Karri is loved in almost every household in Pakistan. But the cooking procedure can intimidate even the most well seasoned and skilled cooks. I learnt how to make it whilst watching my mother cook it in her kitchen. But my love for karri goes back to my barri ammi’s (maternal grandmother) cooking skills and generosity. In her house, the rule was simple. Karri was never cooked in medium or moderate quantity. It was always cooked as if 30 people were coming over for dinner. Bari Ammi would send a bowl each to all her friends and relatives living close by. Hence, her karri was not just loved because it was delicious ...

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Pakoras galore: Let the Ramazan feast begin!

The month of fasting is finally upon us, and what makes this Ramazan more special is the fact that it is coinciding with monsoon; the clouds in Karachi ready to pour any moment now (Please, God, please?). Monsoon and Ramazan have nothing in common save for a piping garam garam plate of pakoras. This Pakistani staple dish is a must-have as any Iftar is incomplete without a variation of this. The popularity of pakoras lies not only in their unique flavour profile, but also in their affordability. Pakoras are savoury snacks deep-fried to a crisp and served with a dash of chaat masala with ketchup, ...

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