The meals of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is intertwined because the cross-cultural ties of the area far outdate the borders between them. Among the many many commonalities are the spices, spicy meals and gradual cooking strategies that every one 4 swear by, whether or not it’s the Afghani naan, Bangladeshi qorma, nihari from Pakistan, or India’s ubiquitous biryani. To mark Independence Day, I acquire 4 distinctive recipes from households with roots throughout the area, who go their meals traditions down to each era.

Mom-daughter artist duo Arfa and Wajiha Naqvi from Karachi have a household recipe for a singular fried rooster from Kashgar, a metropolis in modern-day Xinjiang, China, which borders Pakistan. They had been beneficiant sufficient to share it with me. Wajiha’s grandfather’s uncle married a Muslim woman from Xinjiang, who introduced the recipe to the Naqvi household, which made just a few modifications. Bangladeshi meals author Dina Begum shared her rooster qorma with panchphoran, the five-spice mix generally utilized in Bengal too as a flavouring agent.

Jahidaa, who moved to India from Afghanistan 20 years again, introduced together with her a household recipe for pacha, lamb trotters’ soup, which we all know as paya in India in a barely completely different type. Her household eats it each Sunday morning with Afghani naan. And from my family’s cookbook, I share the recipe of a singular goolar kebab that’s been handed from my grandmother to mom, mom to me. Strive these recipes and cook dinner up a feast that celebrates a borderless world.

Goolar Ke Kebab (Kebabs with fig-like texture)


200 gm Cut up Bengal gram (chana dal), soaked for 2 hours

3-4 cups water

1⁄2 kg boneless mutton, lower into one-inch items

8-10 pink chilies, entire

1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste

Salt to style

1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted and crushed

1 tbsp, cumin seeds, roasted and crushed

One-fourth cup coriander leaves

One-fourth cup mint leaves

2-3 inexperienced chilies

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tbsp yogurt

1 egg

Oil for frying


2.5 tbsp posto dana (poppy seeds)

4 tbsp soaked raisins

4 tbsp roasted and chopped cashew

Half cup fried onions

One-and-a-half tsp sugar

Salt to style


1. Drain the water from the Bengal gram.

2. In a big cooker, add a tablespoon of cooking oil. Add the Bengal gram and mutton. Roast for 5-8 minutes.

3. Add water and all of the dry spices within the pot. Allow them to boil as soon as.

4. Cowl the pot with the lid. Prepare dinner till tender or for 6-8 whistles.

5. Take away the lid and cook dinner on excessive flame to cut back water and let it cool. Or, drain out the water.

6. In a big mixer or meals processor, grind coriander leaves, mint leaves and inexperienced chilies.

7. In the identical mixer container, add the mutton and Bengal gram preparation, garam masala, yogurt and egg. Combine till properly mixed.

8. Combination ought to be dry and never runny.

9. Moist your arms with water/oil, and, make small patties. In the course of the patty, make a dent for the stuffing.

10. For the stuffing, combine all of the components collectively in a bowl and preserve it apart.

11. Put the stuffing and roll into balls.

12. Shallow fry them in a non-stick skillet. Fry till kebabs flip golden brown from each the edges.

13. Serve with coriander chutney.

Anda Hen by Arfa & Wajiha Naqvi, Karachi, Pakistan

Anda Chicken by Arfa & Wajiha Naqvi, Karachi, Pakistan (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)

Anda Hen by Arfa & Wajiha Naqvi, Karachi, Pakistan (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)


500 gms rooster (on bone, medium measurement)

200 gms potato (medium, divided into fours)

3-4 eggs

4 tbsp chilli powder

Salt to style

Oil to fry


Wash and pat rooster and potatoes dry.

Whip eggs with salt and chili until foamy.

Warmth oil in a kadhai, dip rooster items in egg and fry until they’re half carried out.

Repeat the method with potatoes

In the identical kadhai, place the fried rooster and layer with potatoes, pour the leftover whisked egg on prime.

Cowl with a lid and preserve cooking on gradual flame until the oil evaporates and the rooster turns into fork tender.

Serce with paratha or tomato ketchup.

Hen Korma by Dina Begum

Chicken Korma by Dina Begum (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)

Hen Korma by Dina Begum (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)


6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

5 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped

100 ml oil

2 tablespoons ghee

1 teaspoon panchphoron

3 medium onions, finely sliced

1½ teaspoons salt

3 dried pink chillies

2 bay leaves

8 cardamom pods

4 cloves

6 black peppercorns

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

1 1/3 tablespoons floor cumin

1 1/3 tablespoons floor coriander

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/8 teaspoon floor turmeric

800 g skinless rooster breast and thigh meat, chopped into bite-size items

300 g Greek yoghurt

6 entire inexperienced chillies


Crush the garlic and ginger collectively in a mortar and pestle. Warmth the oil and ghee in a big pan on medium-high warmth and add the garlic, ginger and panchphoron. After a minute add the onions, salt, dried pink chillies, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and star anise and sauté till golden (round ten minutes). Add 200ml water, cowl and simmer on low warmth for 20 to 25 minutes, till the onions have damaged up and the oil has separated.

Preserve checking frequently and if the combination will get too dry or sticks to the underside of the pan, add a little bit of water and proceed cooking.

At this level, stir within the cumin, coriander, chilli powder and turmeric and switch up the warmth to medium. Prepare dinner for 2 to 3 minutes till the spices are aromatic and have separated from the oil. If the combination will get too dry, add just a little water so the spices don’t burn. Cowl and cook dinner for a couple of minutes.

Add the rooster items to the pan. Stir for a few minutes to seal the meat, then cowl and cook dinner for ten minutes, checking every now and then to ensure nothing’s burning. In the direction of the tip of the ten minutes, you’ll discover the rooster releasing moisture which signifies that it’s virtually totally cooked.

Take the pan off the warmth, watch for a minute after which progressively add the yoghurt, just a little at a time so it doesn’t curdle. Lastly, toss within the inexperienced chillies, return the pan to very low warmth and simmer for eight to 10 minutes, stirring sometimes, till the rooster is tender and the gravy is thick and silky. Serve with pulao.

Kalah wa pacha by Jahidaa (Lamb Trotter Soup)

Kalah wa pacha by Jahidaa (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)

Kalah wa pacha by Jahidaa (Illustrated by Atashi Saini)


1 kg of lamb (cleaned toes and head)

1 bowl chickpeas, soaked in a single day

5-6 cloves of garlic

2-3 tbsp pink chili powder

50 gm black pepper

Salt to style


Wash the meat completely and roast the elements that also have fur in them to make sure that it’s sanitised for cooking.

In a gradual cooker, add the meat, chickpeas, garlic, black pepper, a spoonful of chili powder, and salt. Carry to a boil.

Go away it to simmer for about 3 hours or until the meat is extraordinarily tender. Add extra water if required.

Serve with Afghani naan.

Sadaf Hussain is a chef and creator of the guide Daastan-E-Dastarkhan. @hussainsadaf1

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