1. Pakistani – Not Indian
Pakistani food is not the same as Indian food. They might feel similar, as similar as Japanese, Chinese or Singaporean cuisine might be. Are they?
2. Traditional Breakfast
Our breakfast consists of eggs, half fried or mashed up in an omelette. We have bread either shallow fried in little oil, or toasted up. We also serve parathas – flat bread which is kneaded, made into soft dough and then fried. These also come as ready-made varieties – thank God for that. For a heavier, more festive brekky, we have puris – very thin pancake style only deep-fried in buckets of oil. We have that with potato curry, chickpeas curry and sweet halwa.
3. Take a Piece of Bread, Dip in the Curry. Eat
We also eat with our hands – akin to Chinese eating with chopsticks. Children learn this with practice. They complain more often as they grow up rather than accepting this gracefully, which the adults do. I am telling the truth.
4. What is a Starter?
At homes, we only serve one main course meals, unless you live in a fancy hotel or like to think of your local restaurant as your own kitchen. Desserts are usually served after Dinner. Not at my house they are not, hubby eats them every chance he gets.
5. Ramadan Feast
Most people gain weight in Ramadan – the month where Muslims fast from sunrise till sunset. A whole book can be written on the specialities of food offered at Iftari- when everybody breaks their fast- Samosay, Pakoray, Chaat, Patties, Rolls, Fruit Salad. And this is just for the entree. Main meal is yet to come.
6. Watch Out for Oil Stains on Your Evening Dress
There is another kind of food variety – the food that is especially reserved for serving at Shadis or in other words, weddings. Heavily spiced curries with tons of oil loaded on top, grilled kebabs, chewy breads, mouth-watering Biryani (rice dish with meats and few vegetables – a complete meal in itself) and a wide selection of dips and salads. Don’t ignore the desserts or you will be sorry.
7. Introducing Pakistani French
Pakistanis are champions at embracing food from different cultures. Desi referring to local, we have desi Chinese, desi Italian, desi Continental, desi Thai … All these flavours are redone – to perfection – to suit local palette.
8. Food Street
The street food is something to swear by. If you have a heart of a lion and the will to try, check out street vendors selling Gol Gappe, Chaat, Shawarma, paan and much more. All these terms will be explained in subsequent posts. One day.