Sunday, July 11, 2010


Food can be a medium for creating kinship or fellowship amongst people and in almost in all societies many ethnic foods play a crucial role in networking between people with different background. Practically in all religions and faiths foods are offered to God during prayers followed by distribution of the same amongst the followers as a symbol of blessing. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that Indian foods are making waves in the country most hostile to it, Pakistan, if a recent report from that country is to be believed. What is forgotten in this euphoria is that Pakistan, after all was a part of India before the Britishers left the continent and it might not be easy for their population to forget these foods though it could be alien to them politically. Probably the consumers are getting emboldened by the new freedom they are enjoying under the civilian government and do not get scared being seen in an Indian restaurant whether in Karachi or Islamabad.

"Vegetarian restaurants are mushrooming in Karachi, Pakistan's melting pot. Mirchi opened three weeks ago, exclusively catering to those wishing to partake of the veg experience. Such has been the response to its chana chaat, golgappas and dahi bhalle that owner Rehan Musa plans to soon introduce masala dosa, which is both the craze as well as the defining element of Indian cuisine here. Patio in Karachi is a creation of Sunita Acharia and Wafah Hassan, who have together carved a niche for themselves. There's also Dum Pukht, Chatkharay...the list is expanding everyday".

The distinction between India and Pakistan is hardly felt once the people originating from these bitter neighbors meet out side the sub-continent and there are many Pakistan restaurants in Europe and the US offering almost all types of Indian foods with the customers never bothered to know about the origin of the eateries, focusing only on the quality of foods offered. While food preparations of northern India like roti, nan, parotha and various curries of Punjabi origin may be easily accepted by Pakistanis, popularity of southern dishes like dosa, vada, idli etc adds another dimension to the "food diplomacy" and this trend needs to be pushed further. It can be aptly called "striving for love through the stomach" of the people!..

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