A Short Note On Pakistan Cuisine
Pakistani foods are greasy, rich in red chilies, but those who taste these once, can never resist to devour these again and again. Pakistan cuisines are heavily affected by the palette of the neighbours – the areas bordering India have similar foods but may differ in variety and taste to some extent. While areas adjoining Iran and Afghanistan have similarities with Iranian and Afghan cuisines. Meat is a major part of Pakistani diet, whereas vegetables and lentils are also widely cooked and liked. As for the indigenous drinks, “Lassi” is very famous, specially in the Punjab. It is made by blending yogurt with water and salt, until frothy. The Lassi of the Punjab sometimes uses a little milk and is topped with a thin layer of malai, a clotted cream. Lassi is generally enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment.
Wheat is the main staple of Pakistani diet, whereas rice is also popular. The main dishes include chicken karahi, chicken tikka, kofta, mutton korma, chicken korma, shab degh, chicken/mutton handi besides biryani, pullao and nihari, haleem, siri paya. Another special dish is Sajji, which is very common in Balochistan, made of lamb stuffed with rice – now its popularity is spread all over the country. Lentils (commonly known as “Dal”) also form part of the diet of the Pakistanis. In fact it is known as the poor man’s chicken, though lately its prices have surpassed even that of the chicken. One very famous and hearty dish made of lentils is called haleem. It contains a variety of lentils along with meat. Generally, the dishes are made in the form of curry, to be eaten with the pieces of “Chapati” – a rounded thin bread baked over a flat or curved iron piece called “Tawa”.
The content of spices in the food can range from very spicy/hot to mild, although spicy/hot seems more popular. Pakistani food menus are peppered with baked and deep-fried breads (roti, chapattis, poori, halwa and naan), meat curries, lentil mush (dhal), spicy spinach, cabbage, peas and rice. Street snacks include pakoras, samosas and tikkas. Recently, Chinese and American cuisines have also been adopted by a few segments of Pakistani urbanites as well.
A wide verity of desserts is available which is almost a must after the dinners. Popular desserts include Gajar and Dal Ka Halwa and Gulab Jamman in winters and Kulfi, Falooda, Kheer, Rasmalai and ras Gullay in summers. Besides, a large variety of sweets, commonly known as “Mithai” is also available on nook and corner every street. Some of the specialties in Mithai are Barfi, Kalaqand, Laddo, Jalaibi, Amratti, Cham Cham and Sohan Halwa.