I love the smell of changing weather… It brings with it fond memories, of seasons that have passed… and as I smell winter in the air, I cannot wait to pull out my sweaters and jackets… and eat all the yummy food winter brings with it! The thing about winters is, everything just tastes better… I am the most excited about: 1- SEAFOOD Winters means so many more seafood options at restaurants, also the reassurance that the produce is fresh and seasonal! Some of my personal favorites include Fish n Chips, Sole in lemon sauce, pan seared bass and grilled/friend prawns! 2- SOUP One of my favorite feelings in extreme cold is to go sit in a cozy restaurant and get soup! Whereas chicken corn and sweet n sour are the big local favorites, I prefer the clear soup variety. That includes Thai soups, vegetable soups and the filling Chinese noodle soups! They are comforting, healthy and so easy on the pocket. 3- DESI DESSERTS Last, but possibly the most important, are all the desi desserts that winter brings with it! Daal ka halwa, Gajjar ka halwa, Paithay ka halwa, Sohn Halwa, Gulab Jaaman and the list goes on! Served hot at many local bakeries, nothing can beat a good halwa with Kashmiri/sabz chaye in the upcoming season. Tell us what your favorite winter foods are!
For the longest time, Food Streets were our favorite places to eat. Not just in Pakistan, but they are a phenomenon all over the world. The idea that instead of going from one place to the other, you get everything you may want, in one place, surrounded by food and people, is somehow very attractive to the human mind. In Pakistan, the most famous food street is the one in Lahore! I suppose because it is the oldest and because Lahore has such a rich food heritage! But like many other things, this concept has been urbanized and modernized- now we have a new kind of food street. For example, the one on Main Boulevard, with all the fancy delis and coffee shops all in one row! In Karachi, the most popular modern food street would be… Islamabad has a variety. From the Gol Chakar in F7 (that has Howdy, Golden Drangon, Aylanto, Hot Spot, Sattar Baksh etc.) to the super fancy Kohsar Market (Tuscany, Street 1 Café, Porter House, Table Talk and Mocca). The locations, look and feel might have changed but our fascination towards food streets seems to be pretty constant!
The Anda Shami deserves more respect! So with lots of Dhaba/roadside style restaurants springing up, we have seen a comeback of several of our street/everyday foods- Samosas, jalebis, daal chawal, parathas- but somehow the Anda Shami seems to have been neglected. I personally have so much respect for the Anda Shami! Bear with me. There was a time I was nutrition nut- I used to make sure each meal was balanced and I remember that when I found nothing, Anda Shami would be my go to; it had its fair share of protein, carbs, fat, and with the salad on the side, it really is a Rockstar at checking boxes. Secondly, it is priced so well, never above Rs.100, it’s one of the only meals that is so fulfilling in that price (daal chawal being a close second). Then thirdly, who are we kidding, it is super yummy! So yea, that’s pretty much all one can expect from a good meal, affordability, nutrition and taste! What I do miss is sometimes being able to order it in a regular restaurant. Sure there is value in eating in your car or standing by the roadside, but really, sometimes at restaurants when everyone is ordering their pastas and steaks, I do crave an Anda Shami most. My favorite is the one you get in Mini Market Lahore. What’s Yours?