In case you haven’t noticed, I love lists. This goes back to a childhood obsession with options; I want multiple, every time. Also, while we have done many ‘visit this restaurant’ spiels, this isn’t one of them. Every so often, it’s good to venture into the kitchen. And, if you’re feeling a tad experimental, give these cuisines a try. In fact, I’m kind of surprised all of these don’t have more of a following in Pakistan already. They lend themselves so well to what most of us have grown up eating.
And, there really is no bad reason for watching recipe videos.
Maybe you’re about to throw a party for your closest friends, and you were looking for some exciting new recipe. Or, you just like watching video recipes on a loop (me). In any case, these are some food cultures that you’ll love to explore.
Okay, the truth? This is the cuisine that inspired this post.
And it comes with a bit of a story. There I was, swamped with homework and looking for an excuse to not do it. And I did in fact have a genuine excuse; I had to eat. And so, I began browsing the internet for something new that I could try. This is when I came across this exact recipe, by this exact beautiful creature.
I have been watching her videos everyday since then. In fact, I even mustered up some courage and bought some quintessentially Korean ingredients.
The fact that Pakistan doesn’t have more of an affinity with Korean food. I mean yes, there maybe some cafes offering kimchi flavoured French fries. And yes, these are delicious; but that’s not the heart of this spicy, fragrant, carnivorous (sometimes) cuisine.
Now, I love Nando’s. But please don’t say that Nando’s serves Portuguese food. Not to someone who actually knows something about Portuguese cuisine at least. I made this mistake last year, when I said as much to my roommate.
And before I knew it, we were en-route to a Portuguese café. A trip that culminated in arguably the best breakfast I’ve ever had.
If you’re knowledge of this cuisine is also limited to the popular restaurant chain, then you should branch out as well.
You will not be sorry.
Also, did you know that there is a gentleman named Mark Wiens who goes around the world eating stuff? I think I’m in love.
I might have mentioned this before, but I actually lived in Malaysia for more than a year. And hands down, the thing that I miss the most about my stint is the food.
(A moment to apologize to all of my friends.)
But yes, Malaysian food is something really special. And the dish that cemented this for me was pandan chicken. Basically, this is marinated chicken, wrapped in pandan leaves and fried.
And I know what puritans will shout; Ushah pandan chicken isn’t Malaysian; it’s Thai!
But, here’s the thing, one of the joys of Malaysian cuisine is that it takes inspirations from other Asian food cultures. Also I had this dish at a tiny, hole in the wall type affair in Subang Jaya; and it was the best thing I’d had in Malaysia.
This one has a compelling story that goes along with it. Unfortunately, that story dates back to a dark time before slavery was outlawed in USA. Here is an article that offers this history in a really informative and insightful way.
For this post, I just want to take a minute to appreciate everything that this cuisine has to offer. Especially fried chicken, which came to Pakistan courtesy KFC and then was adopted by many a local café. For that alone let’s thank Soul Food.
But, as I discovered later, the colonel isn’t the best example of this glorious food culture.
In fact, here is an international gem who should really be your guide to the cuisine.
She is called Momma Cheri, and yes, I have been watching her videos on a loop. Also yes, this particular video showcases her fried chicken recipe. You’re welcome.