Lahore, second largest city in Pakistan and the capital of the province of Punjab, is renowned as the “City of Food”. It is famously said that the people of Lahore have an unparalleled love for food: it is not only sustenance but almost an art that is meant to leave the taste buds tingling. Some of the recipes have been passed down centuries – from the time of Mughal kings and before. The foods are also sometimes an amalgamation of several recipes and renditions, of various styles and places – from Persian, Arab, to Central Asian and North Indian. The flavors explored are vastly varied, from spicy chilli curries to sweet, fried in oil delights. While traveling in Lahore, there are some traditional foods that should not be missed at all!
The Traditional Foods in Lahore that are not to be missed
Nihari is a thick red beef stew that is had warm. It is traditionally served with a bread called Naan or a sweet bread called Sheermaal. It is made from the meat on the bone, and slowly cooked overnight. Hot and spicy in flavor, the garnishings that go alongside include ginger cut into long thin strips, green chillies cut into small circular bits, some cilantro and some lemon to zest up the flavor!
Nihari was a dish that was originally made exclusively for the royal Mughals. It was when the Mughal empire (1526-1857) was crumbling away, and the royal chefs found themselves struggling to fend for themselves, that they introduced this delicious stew to the people. It was eaten early in the morning as part of the breakfast. Nowadays, it is eaten mostly for lunch, or sometimes for dinner.
Aloo Gosht originated in the Indian subcontinent, and is a very popular dish in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. It consists of pieces of potatoes and meat, swimming in a stew-like gravy (the gravy is runnier than the one in Nihari). It is made by cooking potatoes cut into cuboidal pieces and meat – usually mutton or lamb – mixed with spices, over medium heat. It is served hot.
A very popular dish in Lahore, it is consumed with bread – such as naan, paratha, or roti – or with rice. It can serve as comfort food, or actual lunch or dinner. The salad that goes with it can vary but usually always contains onions, green chillies, and lemon. Sometimes, a salad made out of finely chopped tomatoes, cabbage, and green bell pepper sprinkled with black pepper and salt can also accompany it.
Biryani is a dish made from rice, meat, and spices. The meat that is used can vastly vary: it can be made from chicken, beef, lamb, fish, or een prawn). It usually also contains tamarind – for its sweet and sour taste – and mint leaves. Some variations also include vegetables, such as potatoes, and eggs. The word “biryani” is an Indo-Aryan word with roots in the Persian language, which was the official language in parts of medieval India under the different Islamic dynasties. A theory suggests the word “biryani” stems from the Persian word of “beriyan” or “biryan” which means “to fry”. According to another theory, the word comes from the Persian word of “birinj” which translates to “rice”.
Biryani originated among the Muslims in the Indian Subcontinent; different theories abound though. Some say that biryani was created by the royal chefs during the Mughal Empire, by mixing the local Indian spices with part of the recipe for the Persian rice dish of Pilaf. Others say that it was brought to India by the Mughals when they first arrived in the region. Yet another theory states that the recipe for Pilaf was brought to the southern region of the Subcontinent by Arab traders first, and that this was then used to cook up a dish of Pulao – made from rice and meat – to feed the army during medieval times. It was later subsequent variations that turned this Pulao into a Biryani. Today, Biryani is not only popular in the region, but also among the diaspora.
Shami kebabs are small patties of meat, ground chickpeas, spices, eggs to help keep it all together, and sometimes some garlic and ginger as well. They are made from beef or mutton, but sometimes also chicken. The patties are fried in oil, and sometimes layered in egg yolk before frying. They are usually a snack, but can also be served as a “side dish” to go with the “main dish” at lunch or dinner, and consumed with rice or bread, such as roti, paratha, or naan. A salad that usually goes with this juicy snack consists of onions and lemon. The shami kebab are also usually served with a traditional sauce called a “chutney“, which is an umbrella term for a variety of sauces, but all of them are either spicy or spicy, sour and sweet all together. The chutney that mostly goes with shami kebab is the spicy one made out of coriander, mint leaves, and spices.
Channa Chole is another very popular dish in present day Lahore. The characteristically traditional Lahori breakfast is known to be the extremely delicious and spicy Channa Chole with yogurt and some naan bread. It is made out of chickpeas, with spices added in. They are served hot, with a salad of onions, lemon, and green chillies on the side. There are other variations to it found in Lahore as well, such as the aloo chole, which is chickpeas cooked with some potatoes, and murgh chole, which is chickpeas cooked with some meat. It serves as a meal but also as a snack food and street food: you can find several food carts selling channa chole while walking around, especially the Old Walled City of Lahore.
Halwa Puri is a popular breakfast, mostly had on Sundays in Lahore, but also serves as a comfort food. It consists of “puri“, which is a savory fried flatbread made out of flour, and “halwa” which can roughly be translated into a sweet pudding made out of semolina. The halwa is garnished with almonds, cashew and pistachio nuts. Usually, it is also accompanied by Aloo Channa Chole (potatoes and chick peas). Halwa Puri is also served at celebrations, such as weddings and religious festivals, and is a very popular street food as well.
Kheer is a sweet pudding made by boiling over slow heat milk, sugar or molasses, and rice. The rice can be substituted with lentils, wheat, millet, sweet corn, or vermicille. It is then flavored with, and later also decorated with, raisins, saffron, cardamom, dates, dry fruits and nuts. The word kheer is said to have originated from the Sanskrit word “Ksheer” which means milk. It is known to have been part of the diet in ancient India. Nowadays, it is served as a dessert as part of a meal consisting of multiple courses.
Jalebi is mostly served as a street food in Lahore. It can also be served as a sweet snack at festivities, such as weddings. It is made by mixing flour, some water or milk, and sugar, and its characteristic orange color comes from saffron. This mixture is then squeezed out into circular or pretzel-like criss-crossing patterns into hot oil and left to fry. After frying it, it is drenched in a sugary sweet syrup. The sugary syrup crystallizes on its outside. So, when you bite into a jalebi, it has a crusty sugary outside and is chewy on the inside. It is occasionally also dunked in warm milk and then eaten crispy, soaked in milk, with a spoon.
Aloo samosa is a savory, triangle-shaped pastry fried or baked, with potatoes and spices inside. It is served with spicy or sweet sauces, traditionally called “chutney”. Samosas happen to have originated from medieval times. They are a popular snack, street food, and appetizer. The word “samosa” seems to stem from the Persian word “sanbosag“, which means a pastry in the shape of a triangle.
Samosa came to South Asia from the Middle East and/ or Central Asia. The mention of a samosa can be found in the Subcontinent, following the invasion of the Central Asian Turkic dynasties. Sanbusaj – a precursor of the samosa – can be found in the 9th century poem by Ishaq-al-Mawsili. Arab cook books from the 10th to 13th century are littered with recipes for samosas, under the local and contemporary terms for it at the time, such as: sanbusaj, sanbusaq, and sanbusak – all closely similar to the Persian sanbosag. Traders from Central Asia brought the Central Asian version of samsa into the Subcontinent in the 13th and 14th centuries. Amir Khusro, the royal poet during the Delhi Sultanate (the empire preceding the Mughal empire) mentioned how the guests at the court heartily enjoyed samosa filled with meat and onions. A 16th century document from the Mughal era, lays out the recipe for qutab, which it mentions is referred to as a “sanbusah” by the people of the Subcontinent.
Mithai is an umbrella term used to refer to traditional sweets made from an assortment of ingredients, such as lentils, flour, rice, nuts, and dried fruits. They are fried or baked in “ghee” – a traditional oil made from the butter from a cow’s milk, and used in making traditional dishes and desserts. Learning to make mithai used to be a very traditional skill, passed down for generations. Family recipes for different mithai are passed down to children and then grandchildren to this day. Mithai is especially eaten during celebrations and festivities.
There is a wide variety of mithai sweets but the most traditionally popular ones are laddoo, gulab jamun, and barfi. Laddoo is sphere-shaped, and made from gram flour or semolina, mixed with ghee and sugar. Dried raisins and chopped nuts may be added to them at times. They are characteristically yellow or orange in color.
Gulab Jamun are made from dried milk balls which are fried in hot oil and then dunked in a sugary sweet syrup. Although nowadays they are made from dried milk, traditionally, they were made out of khoya – which is milk transformed into a soft dough by cooking it over extremely low heat over a long period of time. They are characteristically brown, and garnished with thinly cut almond slivers and cashew nuts.
Barfi is a sweet made from dense milk and sugar. Its variations include one additional ingredient, which can be gram flour, ground pistachio, ground cashew nuts, or peanuts. After it has been cooked, it is cut into rectangular or rhomboidal shapes, and garnished with edible silver paper and nuts.
A trip to the city of Lahore would be incomplete without a taste of its many culinary delights! Lahore is known as the city of food, and it lives up to its name. From the savory to the sweet, there is a huge variety of food that leaves you wanting for more! Some of these foods carry on from medieval India, such as kheer, which is a sweet milk and rice pudding, or the samosa, which is a triangular pastry containing meat or vegetables. Halwa Puri and mithai are traditional must-haves during celebrations and festivities. Among the savory, spicy meat patties called shami kebab, and spicy rice cooked with meat such as biryani, melt the heart. Nihari and Aloo gosht are stew-like gravies that are to be had with the traditional flat bread called naan or roti. The world might eat to live, but Lahore truly lives to eat!
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https://tophtc.com/how-many-calories-is-one-plate-of-nihari/How many calories is one plate of nihari?The number of calories in a plate of nihari can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used and the portion size. However, on average, one plate of nihari (approx. 300-400g) can contain anywhere between 500-800 calories. How many calories is one plate of nihari of the article in this article i will give you information https://tophtc.com/how-many-calories-is-one-plate-of-nihari/