The Festival Of Rain

Traditional cuisine


By Jamil Khan | KARACHI


THE recent spell of winter rain poured in the city and brought with it a new wave of joy for everyone. Mothers couldn’t avoid the demands of their children and spouses of making a range of traditional cuisines forgotten for this season.

Salman, 14 and his sister Sumbul, 12, love their mother’s cooking. They made demands of her to make qeema (minced meat) samosas, pakoray and suji ka halwa. Their smiling mother did not deny their furmish (demands) and did not delay in making the tempting delicacies.

In thirty minutes everyone gathered around the porch and enjoyed the rain with plates full of spicy samosas and pakoras that they sipped down with steaming tea.

Father’s also have a part to play in making the dishes, however, their role isn’t in the kitchen, its in bringing all the ingredients from the market. Many families enjoyed the season, the most enjoyable dishes of the season include halwa dishes, pakoras and samosas made in interesting new shapes with the help of television channels that repeatedly show such recipes round the clock.


Chilly weather sets in: Flowers are teetering, birds are finding it difficult to fly and children are dancing in the rain— welcome winter. Trees and plants have taken a bath, their faces shinning showing their original color after so long a time. The splashes of water are hitting the seashore with a new intensity. The winter has added to the charms of the city. The shops selling warm clothes are packed with customers. In the evening, people go for outings whereas at night, they cook their favorite dishes. At night, people in the outskirts of Karachi, mostly males from the Pakhtoon community, gather around a fire in Hujras (bethak) and prepare traditional meals including, Patta Tikka, Seekh Kabab and Balochi Sajji. Women stay inside their homes and prepare traditional sugarless qahwa and Nashishtha ka halwa (Halwa made of wheat) that is usually prepared in NWFP and Balochistan. The winter helps them remember the green hilly areas of their native province that are now covered with snow.–Fawad Ali Shah


Fun and frolic: It’s fascinating to see how the rain sinks into our skin and brings out the desi in us because when the cold rain pours on Karachi, hot pakoras are made. Garam garam aloo bharaye parathaye and doodh patti with unhealthy amounts of sugar suddenly become more tempting than usual. ‘Burgers’ don’t want to eat burgers, they’d rather stuff into a small car, go to any random dhabba and have bun kababs instead. Girls are more inclined towards the idea of taking juicy teeth-staining doses of pan. The oozing desiness doesn’t stop there, infact with the warm shawls and hot food comes the quintessential local music that we otherwise dread to even hum, purposefully blazing in fast paced cars that cheerfully drench a passerby with the beats of billo de ghar and rainwater.–Juhi Jaferii


Romance in the air: Although the rain traditionally brings load shedding and pools of stagnant muddy water to the city, people welcomed this season’s downpour with open arms. The rain also brings about a desire for fried foods like pakoras, samosas differently cooked potatoes and tea. Places like Burnes Road attract hundreds of people towards the variety of food items that it has to offer. Traditional sweet and dahi baday, rabdi, biryani and haleem shops also add to the brilliance of the weather. Wives and grandmas are stuck in kitchens, making halwa poori, aallo ki tarkari, imli ki chatni and kachori for their family members. The preparations for rain are like preparing for a mini party. The rain also makes people more affectionate and gives rise to tender feelings among family members and couples. Amber, 22, a resident of Nazimabad who should be unaware of the traditional food that is cooked to accompany the rain amused this reporter by proving that she is an expert cook as she prepared low calorie dishes with a mixture of traditional rainy snacks belonging to the Indian and Chinese cuisine. Fillet-filled pakoras, pomegranate seed sausages, coated mutton rolls, peanut-packed parathas and chicken soup made the rainy day special for the whole of family.–Irfan Aligi

– Published in Daily Times | Dec 20, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on December 20, 2008.

One Response to “The Festival Of Rain”

  1. nice

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