New Lahore Food Street Upload:
Food Street in Gawalmandi, Lahore is a centre of traditional Pakistani food. The site is surrounded by centuries-old buildings and places like Landa Bazaar, Mayo Hospital and Baansan-wala Bazaar. The food street is open to traffic in the morning but as the sun sets, the street is closed to motorized vehicles. Hungry visitors arrive and stay till very late at night, enjoying some of the best local food available in Lahore. It is one of the unique tourist attractions in Lahore. It is open 24/7, except during Ramadan where food is not served during the day time. Food can be ordered from any shop while sitting at one place.
Some of the available dishes are:
Phajje ke Paye
Peshawari Chappal Kabab
Kashmiri Subz Chai (Green Tea)
Baraf ka Gola
Sardar ki machli
What is thought of as Pakistani cuisine in a general way and these foods are part of a generic Pakistani culinary identity: biriani, pullao, haleem, nehari, kabaabs, etc. and the sorts of the foods for which you can find Shan Masala. A side note is that I believe Shan Masala’s existance has done a lot in terms of homogenizing what foods fall under the umbrella of generic Pakistani cuisine (though hasn’t had much affect on regional cuisine).
Then you have the regionality issue. Pakistan is very regional. The foods of the various Northern ethnic groups are not similar to Indian food so much, and overlap more with Afghan and Central Asian cuisines. There are places in Pakistan near to China where the people eat home made flat noodle broth soups with shredded meat and fresh herb garnish…like “dodo” in Hunza and Gilgit…I mean, the land is really really diverse.
You have special foods specific to Southern regions as well, the Sindhis with their own cuisine, the Punjabis with theirs, the Saraikis in the middle, the Urdu speaking muhaajirs bringing in other culinary traditions from their Indian heritage, they are also from a wide variety of places in India, so you have your Dillawis, Lucknavis, Biharis, Hyderabadis, etcs. each with very distinct culinary traditions. The copywrite to many of the Urdu speaking and Southern Pakistani dishes is indeed Indian in a sense. Take Nihaari, a classic example of Pakistani cuisine: it is thought to have originated in Dehli. In India however, it is only available as a breakfast food in specialty restaurants, and in Indian cookbooks one finds mutton and chicken nihaari recipes. In Pakistan, nihaari is still preferred in beef and can be purchased at any time of the day, and it is a staple holiday dish. I have seen chicken nehaari from Pakistanis only for health-weight loss reasons. Otherwise people prefer beef. So nihaari has taken on a life of its own in Pakistan. Also, nehaari is more famous of Karachi where there are more muhaajir people, and not as popular and widely available in Punjab. In India, certain “Mughlai” dishes have taken on a life of their own in Indian restaurants and are prepared in ways that make them unrecognizeable to the Pakistani recipes based on the same Mughlai origin foods.