If you are a self-proclaimed foodie, you know that your cravings are just going to get worse as winter rolls around. Most of us generally observe a peak in appetite during the cold weather, which also results in the much-dreaded food baby and the imminent workout sessions in the gym during springtime. While the major reason for those excessive hunger pangs is that the body needs more than the normal amount of food and nutrition to produce heat and keep you warm in the winter, it gives foodies the perfect excuse to try out some wonderful winter foods in Pakistan that are not just nutritious, but also fulfilling.
We’ve divided our list into the types of foods you can find for each course of your meal.
Let’s get cooking…
Snacks and Appetisers
Want a snack or a quick bite to eat? Want to warm yourself up in the chilly weather? Here are a few of the best options for foodies in Pakistan:
There’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup. As the ultimate comfort food, soups are the perfect way to start your meal. Choose from a variety of proteins, including chicken, shrimps, or prawns, add the right touch of spices, and there you have it—a bowl of yummy goodness that’s ready to be devoured. From good old chicken corn soup to hot and sour, mushroom, tomato and basil, tom yum or miso or even vegetable soups; the range is literally endless. You can either whip up a bowl at home or order it in from one of your favourite restaurants, the choice is yours!
If you’re looking for a crunchier appetiser, opt for fried fish. While the world knows the British version of the dish quite commonly as ‘fish and chips’, the version most popular in our country is Lahori Fish Fry. With a cultural belief being ingrained that fish is among the many foods that raise body temperature and thus, should preferably be eaten in the winter, several stalls and dhaabas start selling this delicacy with the arrival of the first winds of winter. Many of these places also have grilled or steamed fish on the menu with a range of spice combinations for foodies in Pakistan to try.
Winters might bring a lot of food cravings, but they also bring their own share of healthy snacks, especially dry fruits. Snacking is no longer a guilty pleasure when you have a pack of nuts and dried fruits with you to munch on. From walnuts to peanuts, cashews, dried figs, almonds, pistachios, and more, Pakistan is rich in these crunchy treats. The prices of some of these dry fruits might be sky-high, though, depending on their market rates and demands, so it’s best to stock up on them before the season peaks.
Mealtimes in Pakistani homes are a time when all the members of the household sit together to bond over a deliciously cooked feast. Winters bring cosiness and comfort food to a new level with a few of the following dishes:
Halwa Puri is a breakfast staple for many round-the-year, but the arrival of winter makes the staple all the more in demand. It is a common sight to see foodies heading out in groups to start the day with this delicacy. Sitting at a dhaaba amidst the cold air and eating hot puris with gravies made from potatoes and pulses is something that every Pakistani should experience, or has already experienced but can’t get enough of. Families and friends are all equally eager to head out and make the most of the winter weather with this desi comfort food.
Sarson Ka Saag
Sarson ka Saag is made primarily from mustard leaves. Paired with Makkai ki Roti or cornbread, this is a Punjabi delicacy that is a must in winters. As the recipe demands extensive preparation, it is recommended to prepare this at home with desi ghee rather than ordering it at a restaurant to enjoy its authentic taste. Also, serve it with butter and be sure to eat it as soon as the cornbread has been taken off the stove. This dish is best served hot!
While Paaye are eaten all-year-round, soaking up the hot gravy with bread, naan, or kulchas becomes even more appetising when you are having dinner in the winter weather. You can either make your version of this dish at home or order it at a local restaurant, with a choice of beef, mutton, and other meats.
Similar to Haleem, but different in taste and consistency, Hareesa is a watered-down and bland version of the dish. Eat it with a spoon or with naan and khulchas on a cold winter night to warm yourself up for the cold night ahead.
Eat it for breakfast or dinner, but Nihari, be it made from beef, camel meat, or chicken, is delicious in every way. This, spicy saucy food is generally eaten with naan, fresh off the tandoor. Lots of eateries offer Nihari as a staple in their menu, and over the years, some restaurants in Karachi have even made it their speciality.
Catering to your sweet tooth in the winter season is easy, but if you want to make the most of the weather, here is the one delicacy that every foodie in Pakistan must try:
Yes, Halwa. Be it made from carrots, pumpkins, or pulses, this sweet and warm dessert is a must-have at all winter weddings and gatherings. Gajar ka Halwa is also commonly made in a number of homes throughout the country. While the basic recipe is the same, containing carrots, milk, and sugar, people do add khoya to the mix to give it a richer texture. Almonds and pistachios are frequently used as decoration or an aromatic addition to the dish.
Want to drive away the winter chills from your body? Drink something warm while you huddle up in your blanket. Here’s one of the best winter beverages for foodies to enjoy:
Warm, sweet, nutty, and delicious; Kashmiri Chai is the perfect beverage to ward off the solid winter chills. Kashmiri chai or pink tea is commonly made from a special range of tea leaves, along with cream, salt, and a touch of baking soda. The tea is generally garnished with grounded almonds and pistachios. Once the winter sets in, you can easily find Kashmiri chai at tea stalls everywhere. It is also a preferred beverage for winter weddings.
While these are a few of the must-try winter foods in Pakistan, the food scene in the country is fairly active, with lots of new and old recipes leaving their mark on food critics. Give your own spin to the dishes above or try them as authentic as they come, the choice is yours!
Stay tuned to Zameen Blog for more posts on the best eateries in all the major cities of Pakistan. Email us your suggestions at email@example.com.