Lahore, wouldn’t you know, has a geography made entirely of food-stuffs. The natives, even as they partake of second-rate fare will tell you excitedly about the best versions to be found in such and such an alley behind the Civil Secretariat. They will eagerly offer to take you there, so you can admit, that what you are currently consuming is fit only for pigs. I love those conversations. I always tease them – making up fake categories to challenge their assertions. I love the minutiae of personal histories that enable someone to make a better chanaa daal than the other guy. That is the learned history that you will never read in your fancy books, gentle reader.
Then dare I admit that I spend all my time at home? That I didn’t really venture out and partake of the famous biryani from Bhatti Gate or the Sri Pa’ia from Shahalmi or whatever from wherever. I shall and you won’t think little of me, either. Because I did manage to get to the requests. There is a crew here in Chicago, and we all try to gather semi-regularly to eat Halwa Puri at Tahoora. Damn fine stuff. They wanted to see how Halwa Puri comes into being on the mean streets of Lahore.
It all begins with this gentleman,
who tosses the little dough patties into hot oil,
from whence they are fished out, after a swirl or two,
you add some chanaa,
and some lassi,
and you have halwa puri, with lassi. Breakfast of Champions.
The other street food that friends were curious about was the neon-glowing sweet called Jaleebi.
The secret ingredient in the radioactive material which constitutes Jaleebi is, well, sugar.
Into hot oil it goes, through a funnel, poured into the familiar twisty shapes.
and from it, it emerges. My father, back in the day, loved freshly oiled Jaleebis in Milk. Sugar.
The third, kinda iconic, food of Lahore is really a drink: Pomegranate Juice. Anar ka juice. Looking ahead, I will take you to Anarkali’s “tomb”.
And finally, I like the colors on this one.
There are lots more on my flickr site. Go see.