Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Lahndi, also known as dried meat, is a winter food popular in Afghanistan and the Pashtun belt of Pakistan, situated across the Durand Line. Consumption of lahndi is common during the winter months. Sheep are specially fattened so that their flesh may be more suitable for preparing lahndi.

Lahndi is usually prepared from lamb and sheep, although it can also be made from beef. It is prepared as follows. First a lamb or sheep is slaughtered in the Islamic way, i.e. halal. Then the wool is separated in a proper and skilled way, leaving only the skin. After that, the remaining hairs on the skin are burned away with fire, after which the meat is wiped to get rid of the carbon deposits. Then the meat is cut into smaller pieces and rubbed with salt to avoid bacteria. It is also rubbed with pungent-smelling asafoetida, which is a little like garlic and serves as a preservative, a much-needed additive in a part of the world where electricity and refrigerators are rare.After  preparation, the meat is strung on lahndi poles.

The best time to prepare lahndi is December, when the meat dries out within fifteen days if it is cold enough. It is commonly eaten in winter to keep a person warm and help him face the extreme weather. Sheep are specially fattened so that they may be more suitible for preparing "landhi" Air-dried salted meat is a feature of Afghan cuisine developed by Afghans.

 How to cook Lahndi Paluo:

Several dishes can be prepared by using Lahndi meat.The meat must be salted and exposed to air at least a couple of days before cooking.

1/2 lb. landi
3 c. rice
1/3 c. oil
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 1/2 c. dried orange peel
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 c. dried mint
3 medium onions
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper
8 c. water for rice
6 c. water for meat

Wash landi meat with warm water and place into pot with 6 c. water. let it boil for 1 hour over medium heat and take off all foam from the top of the water. Check meat for done. If it is not tender, let it boil for another 1/2 hour.

Fry chopped onions with 1/2 c. oil until brown. Remove meat from pot and set into onion pot. Add 1 c. water, stirring until onions dissolve. Set aside.

Wash rice and soak it in the water for 45 minutes. Boil water in a separate pot. Drain rice into a colander, then place it into meat mixture, and keep stirring. Add 2 c. water and salt. Cover with lid, then cook for 2 minutes.
remove the lid and add garlic, tumeric, orange peel, and red pepper. Heat remainder of oil, pour over rice with 1 c. warm water and cover like other dishes. Set on high heat for 2 minutes and over low heat for 40 minutes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KULFI (Traditional Pakistani Ice-Cream)

Kulfi or Qulfi is a popular frozen dairy dessert of Pakistan. It is often described as "traditional Pakistani ice-cream.

Kulfi has similarities to ice cream in appearance and taste, but is denser and creamier. It comes in various flavours, including cream (malai), raspberry, rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar or zafran), and pistachio, the more traditional flavours, as well as newer variations like apple, orange, strawberry, peanut, and avocado. Unlike Western ice creams, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard based ice-cream. Thus, it is sometimes considered a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert. Due to its density, kulfi takes a longer time to melt than ice-cream.

Kulfi was traditionally prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavored milk by slow cooking, with almost continuous stirring to keep milk from sticking to the bottom of the vessel where it might burn, until its volume was reduced by a half, thus thickening it, increasing its fat, protein and lactose density. It has a distinctive taste due to caramelization of lactose and sugar during the lengthy cooking process. The semi-condensed mix is then frozen in tight sealed molds (often kulhars with their mouths sealed) that are then submerged in ice mixed with salt to speed up the freezing process. The ice/salt mix, along with its submerged kulfi molds, is placed in earthen pots or matkas that provide insulation from the external heat and slow down the melting of ice. Kulfi prepared in this manner is hence called 'Matka Kulfi'. Kulfi, thus prepared by slow freezing, also renders a unique smooth mouth feel that is devoid of water crystallization.

More recently Kulfi is prepared from evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy (double) cream. Then sugar is added and the mixture is further boiled and cornstarch-water paste is added. This paste thickens the mixture, although it is boiled for an additional few minutes. Then flavourings, dried fruits, cardamom, etc. are added. The mixture is then cooled, put in moulds and frozen. If frozen in individual-portion custard bowls for service with a spoon, bowls are removed from the freezer 10–15 minutes before serving to allow for melting at the edges.It is garnished with ground cardamom, saffron, or pistachio nuts. Kulfi is also served with faloodeh (vermicelli noodles made from starch). In some places, people make it at home and make their own flavors



  •  4 cups milk
  • 8 tsp. sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground green cardamom seeds (chotti elaichi)
  • 1tbsp. skinned pista (pistachios), thinly sliced
  • 1tbsp. skinned badam (almonds), finely ground (optional)

Preparation of kulfi recipe :

Put the milk into a wide, heavy pan and bring to boil over high heat, stiring constantly.
Now lower the heat and cook the milk, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and reduced to about 13/4th cups. (This will take about 40-45 minutes). Stir the sides of the pan constantly to avoid scalding.
Now add the sugar, nuts and cardamom seeds, stir well, allow to cool.
Pour the mixture into Kulfi molds or small ramekins, distributing evenly. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze until set, about 6 hours.
To serve, remove the ice-cream from the molds by running a sharp knife around the edges of the pista kulfi. Slip each kulfi on to a dessert plate, cut across into 3-4 slices, and serve.

Traditionally in Pakistan, kulfi is sold by vendors called kulfiwallahs who keep the kulfi frozen by placing the moulds inside a large earthenware pot called a "matka", filled with ice and salt.

 It is served frozen onto a stick. It can be garnished with pistachios, cardamom and similar.. Popular flavors include pistachio, mango, vanilla, and rose. Kulfi is also widely available in restaurants.It is also serve in weddings these days.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Provincial Symbols of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the Province of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country.The province has an area of 28,773 mi² or (74,521 km²) It borders Afghanistan to the north-west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north-east, Azad Kashmir to the east, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to the west and south, Balochistan to the south and Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the south-east.The principal languages are Pashto, locally referred to as Pukhto, and Hindko. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is divided into 25 districts, comprising 20 Settled Area Districts and 5 Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) Districts.

"Kabul Markhor" Provincial Animal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
The Kabul Markhor or Straight-horned Markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) is goat-antelope native toPakistan. it is the Provincial animal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Markhor are adapted to mountainous terrain, and can be found between 600–3,600 meters in elevation. Markhor are diurnal, and are mainly active in the early morning and late afternoon. Their diet shifts seasonally: in the spring and summer periods they graze, but turn to browsing in winter, sometimes standing on their hind legs to reach high branches. Markhor live in flocks, usually numbering nine animals, composed of adult females and their young.

"Kalij Pheasant" Provincial Bird of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
 Kalij Pheasant, Lophura leucomelanos, is a pheasant found in forests and thickets. Males have a total length of 63 to 74 centimetres (25 to 29 in) and females 50 to 60 centimetres (20 to 24 in).In the males of the first group most of plumage is glossy blue-black, though with white to the rump or underparts in most subspecies, and in hamiltoni, the westernmost subspecies, the crest is white (all other have a blue-black crest). In the second group, the underparts and crest are glossy blue-black, but the tail and upperparts are white (or very pale grey) with most feathers densely vermiculated with black.Females are brownish. In some subspecies the underparts are distinctly marked in whitish and black, while in others most feathers are pale-edged, resulting in a scaly appearance.

"Juniperus Squamata" Provincial Tree of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
Juniperus squamata is a species of juniper. It grows at 1,600-4,900 m altitude. It is a shrub (rarely a small tree) reaching 2-10 m tall (rarely 15 m), with flaky brown bark, and a prostrate to irregularly conical crown. The leaves are broad needle-like, 3-9 mm long, arranged in six ranks in alternating whorls of three, and often strongly glaucous blue-green in colour. The cones are berry-like, globose to ovoid, 4-9 mm long and 4-6 mm diameter, glossy black, and contain one seed; they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 3-4 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring. It is largely dioecious, with pollen and seed cones produced on separate plants, but occasionally monoecious.

"Morina" Provincial Flower of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
Morina is a genus of the angiosperm family Morinaceae. It is the provincial flower of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Morina is named in honor of Louis-Pierre Morin (1635–1715), a french physician and botanist.

"Peshawar"Capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated in a large valley near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass. Known as "City on the Frontier", Peshawar's strategic location on the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia has made it one of the most culturally vibrant and lively cities in the greater region. Peshawar is irrigated by various canals of the Kabul River and by its right tributary, the Bara River.Peshawar is the major educational, political and business center of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Provincial Symbols of Sindh

Sindh is the province of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". The name of Sindh is derived from the Indus River.Sindh is bounded to the west by the Indus River and Balochistan, to the north by Punjab, the east by the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan and to the south by the Arabian Sea. The capital of the province is Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial hub.

"Sindh Ibex" the Provincial Animal of Sindh:

The Sindh Ibex  is a vulnerable wild goat commonly native to southern Pakistan.Sindh Ibex are rather stocky animals with thick-set bodies and strong limbs terminating in broad hooves. The extent of white hairs in the hind neck and body region of males increases with age. The hair in summer coat is short and coarse and even in adult males is more reddish-buff in colour. Males have short beards, but females lack any beard. Older males have a dark face pattern. The horns are strongly keeled in front, sweeping upwards and outwards with the tips generally diverging. 

Sind Sparrow" the P"rovincial Bird of Sindh:
The Sind Sparrow (Passer pyrrhonotus) is a passerine bird of the sparrow family Passeridae. It is patchily distributed around the Indus valley region of Pakistan, where its habitat is usually tall grass and thorn scrub near water.The Sind Sparrow is gregarious, generally forming small groups of four to six birds while feeding and at breeding colonies. uring winter, the non-breeding season, it forms larger flocks of as many as 30 birds, and joins flocks with other seed-eating birds. The Sind Sparrow feeds mainly on the seeds of grasses and other plants such as Polygonum plebeium. The nesting season is April to September and it builds its nests in the upper branches of thorny trees or the ends of thin branches hanging over water. Both the male and female take part in nest building and incubation.

"Water Hyacinth " the Provincial Flower of Sindh:
The seven species of water hyacinth comprise the genus Eichhornia.Water hWith broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves, water hyacinth may rise above the surface of the water as much as 1 meter in height. The leaves are 10–20 cm across, and float above the water surface. They have long, spongy and bulbous stalks. The feathery, freely hanging roots are purple-black. An erect stalk supports a single spike of 8-15 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in colour with six petals.yacinth are a free-floating perennial aquatic plant.

"Kandi"(Prosopis Cineraria) the Provincial Tree of Sindh:
Kandi (Prosopis cineraria) is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to arid portions of Western and South Asia, such as the Arabian and Thar Deserts. It is the provincial tree of the Sindh province of Pakistan.

"Karachi" the Capital City of Sindh:
Karachi is the largest and most educated city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh.Karachi is the most populous city in the country, one of the world's largest cities in terms of population and also the 10th largest urban agglomeration in the world. It is Pakistan's premier centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry,entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a major hub of higher education in South Asia and the wider Muslim world.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Provincial Symbols of Punjab

Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan.Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir (Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, India to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the south, the province of Balochistan to the southwest, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the north. The main languages are Punjabi and Saraiki and the dialects of Mewati and Potowari. The name Punjab derives from the Persian words Panj (Five), and Āb (Water), i.e. (the) Five Waters - referring to five tributaries of the Indus River and others these being Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, that flow through the larger Punjab.

Urial Punjab provincial Animal of Punjab:
The Urial also known as the Arkars or Shapo, is a subspecies group of the wild sheep Ovis orientalis. Urial males have large horns, curling outwards from the top of the head turning in to end somewhere behind the head; females have shorter, compressed horns. The horns of the males may be up to 100 cm long. The shoulder height of an adult male Urial is between 80 and 90 cm.

Peacock provincial Bird of Punjab:
Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants (typically blue and green) known for their iridescent tails. These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful "eye" markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. Peacocks are ground-feeders that eat insects, plants, and small creatures. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks.

Dalbergia Sissoo provincial Tree of Punjab:
Dalbergia sissoo, known as Shisham, is an erect deciduous tree.It is primarily found growing along river banks below 900 metres (3,000 ft) elevation, but can range naturally up to 1,300 m (4,300 ft). The temperature in its native range averages 10–40 °C (50–104 °F), but varies from just below freezing to nearly 50 °C (122 °F). It can withstand average annual rainfall up to 2,000 millimetres (79 in) and droughts of 3–4 months. Soils range from pure sand and gravel to rich alluvium of river banks; shisham can grow in slightly saline soils. Seedlings are intolerant of shade. It is also the wood that the Rajasthani percussion instrument 'Kartaals' are often made from. Shisham is among the finest cabinet and veneer timbers. The heartwood is golden to dark brown, and sapwood white to pale brownish white. The heartwood is extremely durable (the specific gravity is 0.7 – 0.8) and is very resistant to dry-wood termites; but the sapwood is readily attacked by fungi and borers. It is used for plywood, agricultural and musical instruments, as well as skis, carvings, boats, floorings, etc.

Bhekkar provincial Flower of Punjab:
Bhekkar (Justicia adhatoda) is a medicinal plant.This is a shrub with lance-shaped leaves 10 to 15 centimeters in length by four wide.They are bitter-tasting.This shrub has a number of traditional medicinal uses.The plant grows wild in abundance in Pothohar region of Pakistan.

Lahore Capital of Punjab Province:

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab.Lahore is referred to as the cultural heart of Punjab as it hosts most of the arts, cuisine, festivals, film-making, music, gardening and intelligentsia of the country. Known for its affiliation with poets and artists, it has the largest number of educational institutions in Punjab and some of the finest gardens on the continent. It is also an important religious center as it is home to hundreds of temples, mosques, and shrines.