This is the seventh cooking session of Season 2 for the Gourmet Cooking Club Q8 by our Pakistani member Munira Sharif demonstrated for us some delicious dishes from the Pakistani cuisine which is known for its richness and flavor.
Pakistani cuisine is a refined blend of various regional cooking traditions of South Asia. Popular spices like brown cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace, and black pepper are used in the making of a wide variety of dishes throughout Pakistan. Cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric and bay leaves are also very popular.
A typical Pakistani lunch consists of meat curry or rotis along with rice. Daal chawal are also among the most commonly taken meal. Breads such as roti or naan are usually served for dinner but have become common during the day so that rice may be served for dinner. Popular lunch dishes may include aloo gosht (meat and potato curry) and chicken dishes like chicken karahi is also popular.
Munira demonstrated some delicious Pakistani dishes using aromatic Asian spices like the Garam masala, is a very popular blend of aromatic spices used in many Pakistani dishes. Garam (“hot”) and masala (a mixture of spices) is a blend of ground spices common used alone or with other seasonings. It mainly consists of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cardamoms,cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, star anise and nutmeg. Simply dry roast the whole spices for a minute or two in a pre-heated heavy cast iron pan. On a medium to high heat, keep stirring the spices and remove as soon as they become aromatic. Roasting them for too long will make them bitter. Now grind the lot until it resembles a fine powder.
Munira also prepared Boondi raita, a side dish eaten with pulao (a pilaf rice dish) or any other meal. Boondi is popularly used to prepare raita in Pakistan and North India. Boondi raita typically contains curd (plain yoghurt), boondi (which has been soaked in water to make it soft, then sieved) and seasonings of salt, chilli, and other spices.