Divided by cricket, united by food

Written by Richa Ganguly Up to date: October 13, 2023

The culinary traditions of India and Pakistan are a mirrored image of their shared historical past and distinctive identities. Whereas each cuisines share a love of spices, tandoori cooking, and a deep appreciation for rice and bread, additionally they exhibit distinct regional variations that set them aside.

India and Pakistan share a fancy historical past, a deep-rooted tradition, and a aggressive spirit. The ultimate present of this can happen tomorrow on the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the place Staff India and Staff Pakistan will face one another within the presently ongoing Cricket World Cup. The stage is about, and each groups are prepared to provide their finest. However earlier than cricket followers from either side of the border put together for tomorrow’s epic match, us foodies can take pleasure in ourselves, proper?

Whereas their shared historical past could usually be marked by variations and conflicts, one space the place the 2 international locations discover widespread floor is their love of meals. Indian and Pakistani delicacies is extremely numerous and wealthy, however additionally they share some putting similarities as a consequence of shared culinary traditions and a few variations from varied different culinary influences. So, to arrange in our personal distinctive method for the extremely publicized India-Pakistan match, let’s take a look at the similarities and variations in our kitchens.

The similarities in Indian and Pakistani meals are past the pale

When Shah Rukh Khan’s character in Veer Zaara sang, “Jaisa Des hai tera, waisa Des hai mera”, he may as effectively have been speaking in regards to the meals we eat in each international locations. Each international locations even have many related consuming habits and cooking methods. Take the tandoor, for instance. This grilling know-how and machine is used to make various kinds of kebabs and flatbreads in India and Pakistan.

Culinary hyperlinks and customary flavors:

After the partition of each international locations, the one factor that remained fashionable within the areas across the border was cross-border delicacies. From phulkas to dal and curries, India and Pakistan share many dishes relating to Sindhi delicacies. Influenced by the Mughals, Arabs and Turks, either side of the border embrace preparations like kuki, sai bhaji and the particular Sindhi fish curry. Punjabis, whether or not Indian or Pakistani, like to eat sarso ka saag and maki ki roti, though spice ranges could range throughout borders. Meals is a large cultural commonality that reminds us of the pleased and united previous that these areas share.

Grilled and Tandoori dishes:

Tandoori cooking, which entails marinating meat or greens in a combination of curd and spices, is a method beloved in each international locations. Tandoori dishes, equivalent to rooster tikka and seekh kebab, are celebrated on either side of the border. After Partition, folks dwelling in lots of districts of Punjab that turned a part of Pakistan traveled to Delhi with their tandoors and arrange group kitchens, making the scrumptious delicacies ready on this clay oven fashionable among the many locals.

There are many dishes which can be eaten and loved equally on either side of the border. Biryani, for instance, and kebabs of assorted sorts are dishes that can not be missed whereas counting one of the best favorites from each cuisines. Nihari, korma and kulche are different dishes that rank excessive on the recognition listing. Punjabis on either side benefit from the staple sarso ka saag, and Sindhies love sai bhaji and rice, be it in India or Pakistan.

Comparable spices and flavours:

Indian and Pakistani delicacies is thought for its daring, vibrant flavours. Each rely closely on a wide range of spices, equivalent to cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and garam masala. These spices add layers of complicated flavors to dishes, making each chew an journey. Take for instance a wealthy, flavorful gravy or a thick, flavorful curry. Each cuisines are consultants at utilizing spices and cooking scrumptious dishes.

Rice and bread are staple meals in each international locations. Whereas rice is commonest in Pakistan, it is usually broadly consumed in lots of components of India. Bread, however, takes totally different varieties in each international locations, together with naan, roti and paratha, every with its personal distinctive texture and style. Whereas roti, chapati, thepla, bhatura and stuffed paratha are highly regarded in India, sheermal, khumiri roti and rogni naan are highly regarded in Pakistan. Plain phulka could be very fashionable in each India and Pakistan. Each international locations depend on rice and wheat as staples, a meals that thousands and thousands of individuals eat thrice a day!

Who would not love gulab jamun or jalebi? Effectively, each India and Pakistan definitely do. From Shahi Tukda to Kulfi Falooda to Halwa to Ras Malai, there are a lot of similarities between our desserts. Jaggery, generally known as gud in each international locations, is used to make sweets and sweets of all types, equivalent to ladoos, halva and others. Multani Sohan, a well-liked dessert in Pakistan, is ready with jaggery.

On either side of the border, milk-based desserts are generally loved with dry fruits. Muzaffar mitti sewai could also be extra fashionable in Pakistan, whereas rice kheer, payasam or phirni could also be extra widespread in India, however the primary components of most desserts stay fashionable. Whereas cooking methods could differ barely, it’s good for each international locations to take pleasure in swai kheer on Eid and see the sweets, or mithai, as omen in the course of the celebrations.

The various culinary crossroads between Indian and Pakistani delicacies

Two peas in a pod or two kitchen instruments? India and Pakistan might be each by way of meals. Whereas we talked about many similarities, listed below are some variations in each cuisines.

Vegetarian and meat dishes

Each Indian and Pakistani delicacies supply a wide range of dishes, together with vegetarian and meat choices. Nevertheless, it’s important to notice that the cultural and spiritual variety prevailing in each international locations vastly influences their meals preferences.

India is characterised by a wide range of cultures and religions that affect culinary practices, together with Hinduism, which largely practices vegetarianism, considers cows sacred, and abstains from the consumption of beef. Nevertheless, lamb and rooster are generally consumed all through the nation.

In distinction, Pakistani culinary traditions are largely influenced by Muslim and Muslim tradition, which permits for the inclusion of beef, mutton, rooster and mutton as staple components within the weight loss program, leading to a wealthy array of non-vegetarian dishes. It is very important notice that these meals practices are formed by cultural and spiritual components and contribute to every nation’s distinctive culinary traditions.

Whereas the tactic of making ready dishes equivalent to kebabs could also be related in each international locations, the selection of components varies vastly. In India, rooster and lamb are generally used as kebab meats, whereas Pakistan steadily makes use of beef. A preferred Pakistani dish, chapli kebab, is made primarily of beef, whereas in India, lamb is commonly utilized in related preparations equivalent to Levantine kebab or kalouti.

India additionally boasts a variety of kebabs, together with fashionable choices like Shami kebabs, Galouti kebabs, and even vegetarian options like Hara Bhara kebabs, Dahi kebabs, Sholay kebabs, and Rajma tikki. The flexibility of Indian delicacies has allowed kebabs to be tailored to fulfill totally different dietary preferences, together with vegetarian choices.

In each international locations, these culinary variations are formed by cultural, spiritual and historic components, making every delicacies distinctive and reflective of the native spirit.

Culinary variety of tradition and faith

Indian delicacies shows exceptional variety, and this variety varies vastly from area to area. For instance, South Indian delicacies is thought for its ample use of components equivalent to coconut, rice, curry leaves and tamarind, and coastal areas function a wide range of fish and shrimp dishes. In distinction, North Indian delicacies options wealthy curries, tandoori dishes and flatbreads, whereas Northeastern delicacies provides a spread of steamed and spiced dishes. Western states like Rajasthan and Gujarat excel in making ready scrumptious vegetarian dishes. Moreover, India boasts of areas just like the Pahadi areas that serve Gharwali and Kumauni delicacies, together with an array of royal dishes influenced by the dynasties that dominated totally different components of the nation.

In Pakistan, Pashtun, Chirali and Balochi cuisines are essential, as every provides its personal specialties and distinct flavours, distinguishing it from Indian delicacies. It carries extra Iranian and Afghan influences than Indian flavours. Nevertheless, Punjabi and Sindhi cuisines are much like their counterparts in India, in that the staple meals are these loved in India, and are only a milder model, by way of spice ranges. Pashtun delicacies consists primarily of wheat, rice and corn, components that develop within the area’s rugged mountains. Pashtun delicacies relies on meat as a result of the folks of this area rely upon elevating livestock because of the harsh circumstances through which many greens develop. Kabuli Palau, Shinwari Karahi, Chapli Kebab and Bolani are a number of the hottest dishes. Alternatively, Balochi delicacies options khadi kebabs, an entire lamb dish full of rice. muffins, a kind of bread made by rolling dough round rocks; And “saggi”, one other lamb dish.

One fascinating side of northern Pakistani delicacies is the normal weight loss program of the Hunza tribe, also called Hunzakuts, which is natural and easy in nature and options dishes like dal chawal and seasonal greens. Their weight loss program consists of a whole lot of seeds, together with apricots, pumpkin, sesame, and flaxseeds. Apricot seeds particularly are consumed uncooked, made into sauces, or added as components in varied meals and drinks. The Hunza persons are recognized for his or her exceptional longevity, with a mean life expectancy of round 120 years.

The area that was divided between the 2 international locations is Punjab. Whereas staple dishes like makke ki roti and sarson ka saag are loved in each India and Pakistan, there’s a distinction in culinary strategy within the southern components of Punjab inside present-day Pakistan. These areas, influenced by Persian and different culinary traditions, have a tendency to make use of fewer spices, leading to milder and fewer spicy meals in comparison with their Indian counterparts.

Biryani is a a lot beloved dish in each international locations. Nevertheless, regional variations could separate them. Hyderabadi biryani could be very fashionable in India and is known for its use of basmati rice and spicy flavours. This dish, which originated within the Nizam’s kitchens in Hyderabad, is slow-cooked and layered to perfection. Kolkata biryani makes use of potatoes and eggs, whereas Lucknowi biryani is wealthy in flavour.

Within the Pakistani type of preparation, biryani, particularly Sindhi biryani, comprises long-grain rice and an abundance of spices, that are clear variations. One other fashionable selection is Karachi Biryani, which has a vibrant crimson colour as a consequence of the usage of crimson pepper. The primary distinction between Indian and Pakistani biryani is the cooking method. Indian varieties, equivalent to Hyderabadi biryani and Kolkata biryani, are cooked utilizing the dum method with layers of cooked rice and meat that make it pakhi biryani. Nevertheless, Pakistani biryani is generally katchi biryani, the place meat and rice are cooked collectively from the start. The selection of meat varies between lamb, rooster and beef, that are essentially the most generally used meats, whereas the Indian varieties are often lamb or rooster.

These variations and similarities add to the richness of South Asian cuisines that affect one another. Indian and Pakistani cuisines draw culinary influences from the Mughals, Afghans, Turkey and Persia. They share related culinary influences with neighboring international locations like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and so on. India vs Pakistan is probably not simply one other cricket match for each international locations, however there’s widespread floor we will discover, and your favourite bowl of biryani is likely to be one in all them!

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