Wednesday, 27 May 2015

National Taste of Pakistan-Book Review

Kolachi Jheenga Masala

How exciting it is when just one cookbook brings a flavorful revolution to cooking. It happened to me when a friend gave me  The Taste of Pakistan, a cookbook written by Chef Saadat. People told me he is also a TV Chef and cooks on a show. I am not a fan of TV cooking shows, but love to cook and follow recipes from books. Taste of Pakistan cookbook did it for me. Reading  the recipes i was thrilled and knew this book is a keeper and would help me take my cooking of traditional dishes to a different level. I have been  cooking non stop using these recipes.

  Chef Saadat presented 50 recipes in this book representing the diversity of culinary arts, skills and traditions from all over Pakistan.  The book is sponsored by National Foods and published by Liberty Books in 2013.

At first I thought that this book is some kind of promotional book by National Foods and the recipes wont turn great unless I use their spice mixes.  But this is not the case I read through each and every section. The book defintily refers to some National spices, but the way these recipes are developed we can follow them and present great tasting meals using any brand or kind of spices available.

Lakshmi Chowk ki Kali Mirch Karachi

 The recipes use fresh locally grown produce, minimum use of bottled, packaged or tinned ingredients neither any imported items.  The amount of spice is adjustable, and even if we use exactly as in the recipes it taste great and does not overwhelm the palate. They are easily adaptable and variations can be made without compromising  flavour, taste and presentation of the dishes. I cooked the Afgahni Pulao for an all vegetarian meal and instead of mutton used chickpeas, the final dish was equally tasty and well loved. Also for some of the dishes I reduced butter or replaced it with olive oil and it worked perfectly well.

Smoke and Meat the idea duo, this is a beef dish "Dhuwan Gosht

Afghani Pulao
I instantly fell in love with these easy to follow, no fail recipes that resulted in a range of delectable and outstanding Pakistani cuisine on my dining table. 

For someone like me who often host and cook for people from other countries, I felt proud presenting my cooking following these recipes and explaining some culture, geography and history of the region these dishes represent. 

Yes food is a great way of exploring and getting to know culture. 

Bhawalpuri White Qourma

The recipes in the book are divided in seven different sections  that includes; Street Food, Spices and Vegetable, Chicken, Meat, Rice, Seafood and Dessert. Wow!! So all we need is to pick up the book select a menu and surprise our family and guests by cooking these amazing dishes. Something that impressed me as a cook is the last section of the book giving a comprehensive explanation of some of the culinary terms, cooking techniques and ingredients.

This nice hard copy publication has a wonderful layout.  User friendly with clear step by step easy to follow instructions accompanied by thumb nail images of cooking step. I loved the full two page folded spread at the start of every section.
Banarsi Mutton Dumpukht

Everyone who tasted these dishes that I have been cooking following Taste of Pakistan, left completely impressed, their taste buds satisfied  and they got to experience Pakistan from just one meal table.

100% of the recipe that I followed worked perfect the very first time. I never cooked white qourma ever, but it was simply an epicurean delight when I cooked my first Bhawalpuri White Qourma, everyone on the table were  licking fingers. 

The Mdarasi Daal Masala is another winner with me,  I weighed different spices and herbs roasted and milled them, stored into a jar full of fragrant exotic spice mix called 'Madrasi Daal Masala". I wont be exaggerating if i say that it transformed the daal and daal sabzi that I have been cooking using the Madrasi Daal Masala.

Chicken Haryali

Something that might be a consideration in next addition should be measurements in metric units rather then cups and spoons, which vary in weight and volume from one kitchen to another. Many novice cooks might have difficulty determining the weight and measurements Also missing is a section on beverages, Pakistani meal tables are never complete without some amazing traditional drinks.

The book is must have for people who want to cook  and present great tasting traditional Pakistani menu.

Madrasi Daal Sabzi
Chicken Haryali- A spinach and chicken curry

Chinouti Mutton Kunna


  1. hi
    i need a blog post on your blog about using sugarie in your dessert, its brown and iced sugar range can you please let me know if you can do this and reply asap!

  2. My mouth won't stop watering after watching images you shared in this post really nice work.

  3. i like it. mouth watering. thank you for sharing this sweet foods with us.

  4. I like all the recipes and I try every of them at home, different dishes with different tastes loved by everyone.
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