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Pakistani / Bangladesh / Sri Lankan


Jason Perlow
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Suman

i don't know about chapli kababs but shammi kababs, haleem and nihari are not pakistani dishes per se--they're subcontinental muslim dishes, and you get very good variations wherever there are large concentrations of muslims. does anyone know how pakistani variants of these dishes differ from the different indian and bangladeshi ones?

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perhaps one way to think about this might be to ask the following questions:

1. muslims from all over india migrated to the new nation of pakistan taking with them various regional forms of their cuisine, some of which may have remained distinct in their new home and others of which may have blended/hybridized. in other words, could there be a pakistani shammi kabab which comes into existence after this population exchange?

2. in addition to the muslims migrating to pakistan, pakistan also encompasses existing regions: sindh, baluchistan, north-west frontier province etc. are there dishes from these regions that are much more distinct from dishes in what became india?

3. how have 1 and 2 themselves intermingled?

of course, the same exercise can be done for parts of north india, bengal and east-pakistan/later bangladesh (one of the things we forget in thinking about bangladeshi culture is that lots of muslims from bihar and eastern u-p also moved to east-pakistan rather than west-pakistan--in other words east-pakistani/bangladeshi culture/cuisine isn't just east-bengali muslim).

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a review of a very nice Tamil-Malay restaurant here in Honolulu, called India Cafe It has on its menu dishes similar to the ones mentioned here - its nasi lemak with spicy eggplant poriyal is a great eating experience.

It is indeed a very strange restaurant . But in other ways not : :smile: In a moment of weakness, we misjudged the geographic mishmash that the restaurant presented to be a fad. It turned out to be surprisingly decent meal.

anil

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perhaps one way to think about this might be to ask the following questions:

1. muslims from all over india migrated to the new nation of pakistan taking with them various regional forms of their cuisine, some of which may have remained distinct in their new home and others of which may have blended/hybridized. in other words, could there be a pakistani shammi kabab which comes into existence after this population exchange?

2. in addition to the muslims migrating to pakistan, pakistan also encompasses existing regions: sindh, baluchistan, north-west frontier province etc. are there dishes from these regions that are much more distinct from dishes in what became india?

3. how have 1 and 2 themselves intermingled?

of course, the same exercise can be done for parts of north india, bengal and east-pakistan/later bangladesh (one of the things we forget in thinking about bangladeshi culture is that lots of muslims from bihar and eastern u-p also moved to east-pakistan rather than west-pakistan--in other words east-pakistani/bangladeshi culture/cuisine isn't just east-bengali muslim).

Good points - and a few observations. The new immigrants to West pakistan (outside of the North) did not as such bring much impact as we might attribute because the food that punjabis (muslim & hindus) ate in now Pak-Punjab was not very that different than eaten by punjs in say Jalandhar,Amritsar,Ludhiana except for certain meats and ingredients readily available locally.

Conversely, the immigrant families (mostly hindus) from Pakistan settled either with their relatives in North, or went initially to Dehradun and other smaller cities in the region - Thereby strongly influencing the local cuisine with strong punjabi cooking styles. Same was true of Sindhis who came to Mumbai metro area.

Pre-partition, eating rice was a rarity amongst punjabis in say northern region of now West Punjab, but gathered acceptance in the Basmati growing Dehradun and surrounding regions where a lot of refugees settled.

Amongst the resident elite in Pakistan, the immigrants from India were considered ahem!! ahem !!!. Note, a large percentage of muslims in many regions of India did not migrate, and those that did were either the 'Jinnahs and 'Sorahas who were really westernized in all respects or the really poor from the border states. Hence the influences of Avadh style (Lucknow gharana) did not really occur in the elaborate sauces it is known for.

East bengal is another story - Unfortunately I do not have a good understanding of what went on post partition - I'd suspect he Bihari influences on food to have been contained.

anil

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  • 1 year later...

Not sure whether this is too vague a question or too diverse a topic but what are the differences between Indian cuisine and that from Pakistan?

Are there different spice combinations used or is this something that changes from household to household or from province to province?

Is anyone familiar with the cooking of the Amazai region of Pakistan? And finally is a dodhi the exact same thing as a chapati?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shelora

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Not sure whether this is too vague a question or too diverse a topic but what are the differences between Indian cuisine and that from Pakistan?

Are there different spice combinations used or is this something that changes from household to household or from province to province?

Is anyone familiar with the cooking of the Amazai region of Pakistan? And finally is a dodhi the exact same thing as a chapati?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shelora

Hi Shelora,

This is an awesome topic. I have not yet been to Pakistan(next winter hopefully!)so I will hesistate to say too much. Hopefully some of our other egullet friends will have lots to say on this.

As for dhodhi, I think I can answer this one. Many of my closest friends in India are from the Sindhi community(an area in what is now Pakistan). Dhodhi or dhodho comes from their food lexicon. Chapati, as far as I know, is always made from wheat flour atta and is usually cooked without oil. Dhodho is made from jowar(sorghum)flour or millet flour, and sometimes rice flour. It has more in common with bhakri.

Unlike wheat, these flours have no gluten. Dhodho is made by flattening the dough out into a very thick round with your hands or by pressing it directly on the warm tawa. They are then dry-roasted on the tawa until cooked, drizzled with ghee or oil and then fried for a minute or two. They can be made plain or with masalas like green chilies, cilantro, onion etc. They are VERY filling and very tasty. The same thing made with wheat flour is called "koki". There is also a sweet version made with wheat that is called "lolo" or "loli".

E

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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Not sure whether this is too vague a question or too diverse a topic but what are the differences between Indian cuisine and that from Pakistan?

Are there different spice combinations used or is this something that changes from household to household or from province to province?

Is anyone familiar with the cooking of the Amazai region of Pakistan? And finally is a dodhi the exact same thing as a chapati?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shelora

For all practical purposes, you can consider Pakistani cuisine as more of a regional Indian cuisine. The fact is that there was no Pakistan 60 years ago. It was all un-divided India. So the food that people eat there was known as Indian food before 1947.

When India got divided, basically the states like Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat got divided.

Just like the present day India, each state or region have their unique style/flavor of food and spices, same is true of the region that became Pakistan.

Hope this clarifies some.

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Not sure whether this is too vague a question or too diverse a topic but what are the differences between Indian cuisine and that from Pakistan?

Are there different spice combinations used or is this something that changes from household to household or from province to province?

Is anyone familiar with the cooking of the Amazai region of Pakistan? And finally is a dodhi the exact same thing as a chapati?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shelora

For all practical purposes, you can consider Pakistani cuisine as more of a regional Indian cuisine. The fact is that there was no Pakistan 60 years ago. It was all un-divided India. So the food that people eat there was known as Indian food before 1947.

When India got divided, basically the states like Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat got divided.

Just like the present day India, each state or region have their unique style/flavor of food and spices, same is true of the region that became Pakistan.

Hope this clarifies some.

Extremely well put Deliad.

However AFTER the division perhaps things shifted a bit with a lot of hindus moving out of areas now Pakistan and and lot of muslims from India migrating into that area, changing the demographics and the cuisine to some extent.

Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Last night at a local Taste of the Nation event I spoke with one of the owners of a local Kashmiri restaurant -- Kashmir is one of the territories that is in dispute between India and Pakistan (although recently there has been a lot of coverage of their peace process). One of the things he told me that Kashmiri food is unique of all the Indian provinces because it doesn't use cream or curry in any of their cooking. I wonder if that is the same with some of the bordering Pakistani provinces.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Last night at a local Taste of the Nation event I spoke with one of the owners of a local Kashmiri restaurant -- Kashmir is one of the territories that is in dispute between India and Pakistan (although recently there has been a lot of coverage of their peace process). One of the things he told me that Kashmiri food is unique of all the Indian provinces because it doesn't use cream or curry in any of their cooking. I wonder if that is the same with some of the bordering Pakistani provinces.

Its confusing,as in Kashmir itself there are slight differences. At least in the Indian Kashmir. There being two dominant communities there. The strict hindus avoid onion and garlic and tend to use dried ginger the muslims don't seem to have any taboos other than the choice of the meat.

Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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I seem to remember cream sauces in Kashmir, but perhaps they were made from very creamy yogurt or something. I don't know what it means to say that they "don't use curry." Does that refer to a particular set of spices, or to spiced dishes with sauces? As far as I can remember, they do use spices and do use sauces, so I wouldn't think that they don't have dishes that someone might call "curries." I'd love some clarifications.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Pan is right. Kashmiri cuisine does have some curries, even if they are yogurt based, like Yakhani they still qualify as curries. Rogan Josh is another dish that I would put under curries.

They dont use turmeric that much so their curries may not always be yellow as the rest of north or central India.

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Pan is right. Kashmiri cuisine does have some curries, even if they are yogurt based, like Yakhani they still qualify as curries. Rogan Josh is another dish that I would put under curries.

They dont use turmeric that much so their curries may not always be yellow as the rest of north or central India.

And the traditional red color they have often comes from cockscomb, no?

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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Pakistani friends joke that Pakistani cuisine is North Indian food with the vegetables left out. There was an amusing piece in the Times of India a few days back describing how Pakistanis who have come to Delhi for the cricket series are dealing with Indian food. Its the abundance of vegetarian stuff that was most interesting for them, with reported comments like "if its green is that saag?" and "paneer is that white stuff, no?"

Vikram

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Pakistani friends joke that Pakistani cuisine is North Indian food with the vegetables left out. There was an amusing piece in the Times of India a few days back describing how Pakistanis who have come to Delhi for the cricket series are dealing with Indian food. Its the abundance of vegetarian stuff that was most interesting for them, with reported comments like "if its green is that saag?" and "paneer is that white stuff, no?"

Vikram

Funny stuff. Would it be safe to assume based on some comments earlier that Pakistani cuisine has picked up the sweetness and fruit/nut additions that can be found in some of the Northern dishes?

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Would it be safe to assume based on some comments earlier that Pakistani cuisine has picked up the sweetness and fruit/nut additions that can be found in some of the Northern dishes?

That could also have been picked up from the Middle Eastern market. Remember a major influence on chefs in both India and Pakistan these days is the experience they get while working in Dubai and the rest of the Gulf. Many chefs go there to make some money and then come back to open restaurants back home or take up senior positions in the big hotels. I'm guessing that more Pakistani chefs go to the gulf, while Indian ones tend to go to the cruise liners, but its certainly one way that Middle-Eastern - and you can probably equate that with professional Lebanese restaurant cooking in this context - influences are transferred to the subcontinent,

Vikram

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Regarding Kashmiri Cuisine - it is actually quite "creamy" in the sense of using milk products for thickening. Of the seven dishes for the "wazwan" (traditional banquet), only two - rista (meatballs in onion sauce) and tabak maaz (pan-fried lamb ribs) do not contain milk, cream, or yogurt.

I agree about the difficulty of talking about the difference between Indian cuisine and that of its neighbors. India is a subcontinent - it embodies a range of cuisines as diverse as that found in all of Europe. So comparison between it and its neighbors is somewhat less intractible if you compare a lower level, e.g. Indian Punjab vs. Pakistani Punjab, Indian Jammu and Kashmir vs. "Azad" Kashmir, West Bengal vs. Bangladesh, Tamil Nadu vs. Northern/Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka.

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Would it be safe to assume based on some comments earlier that Pakistani cuisine has picked up the sweetness and fruit/nut additions that can be found in some of the Northern dishes?

That could also have been picked up from the Middle Eastern market. Remember a major influence on chefs in both India and Pakistan these days is the experience they get while working in Dubai and the rest of the Gulf. Many chefs go there to make some money and then come back to open restaurants back home or take up senior positions in the big hotels. I'm guessing that more Pakistani chefs go to the gulf, while Indian ones tend to go to the cruise liners, but its certainly one way that Middle-Eastern - and you can probably equate that with professional Lebanese restaurant cooking in this context - influences are transferred to the subcontinent,

Vikram

My understanding is that fruit and nuts entered the cuisine of the whole northern region with the coming of the Moghuls. The Persians brought with them their love for almonds and have cooked with fruits since time immemorial. And many of the classic dishes containing nuts and/or fruits have been around since that time.

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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My understanding is that fruit and nuts entered the cuisine of the whole northern region with the coming of the Moghuls. The Persians brought with them their love for almonds and have cooked with fruits since time immemorial. And many of the classic dishes containing nuts and/or fruits have been around since that time.

the coming of afghans, persians, etc way predated the mughal

dynasty; the mughal dynasty was the last of a long string of

middle eastern / west asian / islamic rules;

(i think it began with muhammad of ghazni ~ 1000 ad)

so they all must have brought their love of dry fruits etc with them;

it's just called mughlai cuisine because the mughals were the latest

and maybe longest....

milagai

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Pan is right. Kashmiri cuisine does have some curries, even if they are yogurt based, like Yakhani they still qualify as curries. Rogan Josh is another dish that I would put under curries.

They dont use turmeric that much so their curries may not always be yellow as the rest of north or central India.

And the traditional red color they have often comes from cockscomb, no?

Speaking as a kashmiri (hindu) , I was a little surprised by that comment as well. Yeah we don't use cream to thicken sauces, mainly yoghurt (and a little bit of yoghurt in almost all sauces) as in yakhni, but really isn't yoghurt the main thickening agent throughout the north?

Cream is eaten however, just as more of a luxury thing. I remember vividly as a child visiting skimming cream off our delivered milk in the morning to be applied to katlam for breakfast.

as to curry, I'm not really sure what that means, as we do use all the component spices of curry powder, even haldi - specifically in the group of "curries" called kaliya, and with paneer (or chaman in kashmiri)

the traditional red color in dishes does come from cockscomb (which is much more common among muslim), though in certain dishes in hindu cooking it of course comes from kashmiri chilies (as in rogan josh or marzwangaan korma)

As someone mentioned Hindus don't use onions and garlic, well to be specific they don't use the shalloty praan that muslims add to their dishes, they tend to use a lot more hing than you will find in use by Muslim cooks, especially with greens and kohlrabi (munje haak), which i remember eating almost every day I have visted kashmir or visited a kashmiri home in other areas of India

it seems odd that these are the two distinctive elements he chose to single out, rather than propensity to deep fry almost all vegetables before use, the heavy use of fennel&ginger as a main spice base, the heavy use of black cardamom(badi elaichi) with meats, or really a number of other more distinctive elements to the cooking.

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Regarding Kashmiri Cuisine - it is actually quite "creamy" in the sense of using milk products for thickening.  Of the seven dishes for the "wazwan" (traditional banquet), only two - rista (meatballs in onion sauce) and tabak maaz (pan-fried lamb ribs) do not contain milk, cream, or yogurt.

I agree about the difficulty of talking about the difference between Indian cuisine and that of its neighbors.  India is a subcontinent - it embodies a range of cuisines as diverse as that found in all of Europe.  So comparison between it and its neighbors is somewhat less intractible if you compare a lower level, e.g. Indian Punjab vs. Pakistani Punjab, Indian Jammu and Kashmir vs. "Azad" Kashmir, West Bengal vs. Bangladesh, Tamil Nadu vs. Northern/Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka.

actually if you include the prep for tabak maaz, which usually involves simmering them in milk first, its down to two, and I've eaten seen traditional rista recipes with a little bit of yoghurt. Part of this may come from a cooking technique my (kashmiri) nani taught me, when adding ground dried kashmiri chili to the oil, you folow it quickly with a little beaten yoghurt, so as to avoid the mirchi burning.

with regard to J&K versus Azad Kashmir, from what I understand from speaking to folks who have been in both places is that the muslim cooking of both regions is pretty similar, it is a little different from some of the other regions mentioned because the in both places the muslim community is predominant. Also from what I understand though that Azad kashmir, is becoming much less kashmiri and influenced by folks from other areas of Pakistan and even afghanistan so that may change somewhat.

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