There are five main provinces which make up the country of Pakistan. From each province, some of the world’s most famous and beloved Pakistani food is produced. Food which has travelled far and wide and is now served regularly in restaurants all over the world.
The provinces are large and varied, producing different ingredients and containing microcosms of cultures that have all developed different dishes which we eat today.
We take a look at some of the most popular dishes from each region; today, we look at the province of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province where the capital city of Lahore, can be found.
Also commonly known as ‘greens and spices’; this dish is famous across the Punjab district of Pakistan as well as the North Indian Punjabi region. The dish itself is made with wilted greens which is referred to as a sabzi, as it incorporates herbs as well as the leafy parts of vegetables, such as spinach and mustard greens. It is usually served over flatbread with a dollop of fresh ghee (clarified butter).
Lentil dishes are popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, the most popular being made from toor dal, channa dal and moong dal, with over fifty more different varieties being used. The Dal Makhani uses urad dal, or black lentils, as its base. Alongside the black lentils, rajma (red kidney beans), butter and cream are cooked together using a pressure cooker; before the invention of such device, this dish could take anywhere up to 24 hours to prepare.
The Punjab answer to rice pudding is the delicious sweet dish Phirni. This traditional dish is made by cooking full cream milk with a paste of soaked raw rice, cardamom and sugar. The finished mixture is set in earthen clay pots or plates and garnished with edible silver leaf and a mixture of pistachios and almonds.
A Shahi Paneer curry is an indulgent, creamy, rich and sweet curry filled with cubes of silky paneer, perfect for any special occasion. Shani paneer is usually served as a side dish in the Punjab region. The smooth pieces of paneer are cooked in a base of almond and cashew and is usually served with roti, paratha, naan or rice.
For a true taste of Pakistani and Indian cuisine, visit Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in London today.