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Lahore food street

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Champs Elysees, Las Vegas strip?

Gawalmandi Food Street is more like it.

“Gawalmandi Food Street” is one of the cultural centers of Pakistan. It truly depicts the food habits of people of Lahore and their craze for quality and variety of food. This food street presents a huge range from snacks and beverages to main course dishes and desserts. And the cuisine is highly affordable.

According to an author in Daaira:

“As you enter into this street, you will be amazed by the tall historical buildings on your both sides that are beautifully decorated by multi coloured charming lights. The old buildings of this market with beautiful windows and marvelously carved wood exterior stand there to catch your eyes as an example of kashmiri and Persian architecture.”

Here’s a video of the street in action.

Football stitchers of Sialkot

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“At one end of the room there’s an old television set showing a football match, but the men aren’t paying any attention to it. They’re sewing and talking to each other. They find cricket far more interesting. Most of them have never played football. But Shaukat is glad that millions of people around the world like football — maybe not in Pakistan and not really in the entire region of South Asia, but in the rest of the world. That global love of the beautiful game has given him an income for years.” – Spiegel Online

In a World Cup year, Sialkot, Pakistan produces more than 60 million hand-stitched footballs (soccer balls, as called in America), an estimated 70 percent of the global production of hand-sewed footballs.

The entire process which includes painting, sewing, constructing, leather inspection, durability testing, is carried out in these factories.

A worker inspects even those soccer balls of lower quality, which are handed out for promotional purposes. – SPIEGEL ONLINE

 

Allama Iqbal

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Many have heard of the poet/philosopher/genius Allama Iqbal, the one who originally gave the idea for Pakistan, a separate nation from India.

Throughout his works, Iqbal elaborated on the concept of “khudi” (self-respect, self-realization), and after his time, thousands of academicians and philosophers throughout the world have tried to explain what this word really meant.

Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle,
Khuda bande se khud puche bata teri raza kya hai?

Elevate your self to the extent, that before every destiny,
God should himself ask Man as to what he desires.

Khudi.pk is a great resource for those who wish to delve a bit deeper into studies of Iqbal’s works.

Cotton

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Bet you didn’t know cotton is one of the main exports of Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton, after China, the US and India.

Dr Yusuf Zafar, who is the director general agriculture and biotechnology at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was recently declared ‘Scientist of the Year-2012’ by the International Cotton Advisory Committeee (ICAC) for his pioneering work in the cotton biotechnology sector, according to Dawn newspaper.

According to an article in the Telegraph News:

Pakistan’s cotton edict is good news for its farmers, because cotton is ‘white gold’. They may live on one meal a day, and have no mobile phones or television, but cotton gives them a route to global markets. Ikea, for example, uses 100,000 tons of cotton a year, much of it from Pakistan.

Oh, Ikea. So that’s how they offer such low prices for their furniture. Cheap resources and labor, duh.

So the next time you use that comforter bought from Ikea, salute the hard-working Pakistani cotton farmers.

Pakoras (Fried Tempura)

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Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting) is just around the corner, and it definitely isn’t complete at the typical Pakistani iftar (breaking of the fast) without pakoras (pakorai is the real plural if you want to be Urdu grammatically correct). I found this recipe in the Human Development Foundation Newsletter. Another great pakora recipe on the Spice Spoon blog can be tried out. Her pictures are always oh-so-delectable.

You can omit the green chillies used in this recipe if you prefer a milder taste.

PAKORA: Most Popular Iftar Item among Pakistanis
By Taha Ghayyur


According to the January 2001 Gallup Polls in Pakistan, Pakora has been rated as the most popular food item at Iftar every Ramadan. As one Pakistani lady once remarked, “I wonder what Ramadan would be like without my Pakoras!”

A typical Pakora is simply a slice of potato or a bunch of onions coated in a mildly spiced, turmeric coloured batter, and then deep fried. Variations include using chunks of broccoli, cauliflower floret, or even slices of aubergine!

Usually small, the crisply fried Pakoras are most often served as appetizers or snacks, beside Ramadan.
Pakora Recipe:

> Preparation time: approx. 45 minutes
> For 6-8 people

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (Besan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies,
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • oil for frying
  • An assortment of vegetables: Onions, cut into rings or sliced, potato


> Steps:

1. Stir the flour, salt and chilli powder into a bowl.
2. Pour in sufficient water to make a thick batter and beat well until smooth. Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes.
3. Stir the chillies, coriander and baking powder into the batter.
4. Drop in the potatoes/onions to coat with batter.
5. Heat the oil in a deep pan, drop in the battered potatoes/onions and deep-fry until crisp and golden.
6. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen towel and keep warm.
7. Serve hot.

One Direction for Pakistani Girls

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I thought boy bands weren’t the taste of the decade, but the overwhelming obsession over the British-Irish boy band, “One Direction” proves otherwise.

One of the members, Zayn Malik, is of Pakistani origin. You can only imagine the reaction of Pakistani tweens (and even older girls).

I don’t really write about this type of pop culture, but this topic was quite amusing.

Check out some of the latest tweets posted about Pakistan and One Direction.

Naran

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Naran Valley is located in the northern area of Pakistan, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region.

These pictures of Naran on Natasha Suleman’s blog are breathtaking, to say the least.

The best part about this region is that the locals are in charge of everything. Tourism benefits the area itself. That’s why the region still seems untouched. Nature runs its course as it should – providing this raw, chilling beauty.

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