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Balouchistan - Cooking and Food[edit | edit source]
Overview of Balouchi Cuisine History[edit | edit source]
Balouchi Cuisine is not a dominant cuisine in the country, but is certainly one of the integral cuisines. Without it, we would not have many of the mutton and roast dishes. Balouchi cuisine is not mainstream cuisine, yet you will find a lot of Balouchi types of food in other provinces. Particular, the coal-cooked foods are Balouchi, and these are commonly associated with other cuisines.
Balouchi cuisine is influenced by pre-partition India, other provinces of Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Indeed, the techniques employed for cooking have largely come through Afghani cooking experiences.
The spices that are used in Balouchi cuisine have come from various influences, and the selected ones lend a unique aroma to Balouchi food. Hand-ground spices are the most commonly used ones here in Balouchi food. Dishes like Mushqi Murgh Ki Boti and chicken are cooked from a blend of herbs and spices that are not used in other parts of the country. Just like several other cuisines have experimented and developed better ideas for improved flavors this has been the case for Balouchi food too. In addition to this, it is interesting to mention the folklore of Balouchi food. This story holds that the princess of Balouchistan, Amina, who eloped with her lover, Imtiaz, would cook food for him. She experimented and tried out newer ways to improve taste to fascinate him. The idea of making kababs comes from this story, as she attempted various forms of marinating mutton and baking it on stone and in sand.
Food such as pork is certainly not a part of Balouchi cuisine because of religious reasons. However, Balouchi cuisine mostly consists of meat. Mutton is the most popular of these, and there are a variety of dishes that are made from mutton. However, this is not to say that other meats are hardly used. Chicken and beef are also commonly used, and there are also a number of lentils and vegetables that are an important part of Balouchi cuisine.
Like other provinces, Balouchistan is influenced by pre-partition India. Among other issues, Balouchi cuisine has also been influenced. However, there is a considerable mixture in this cuisine, some from India, some from other provinces in Pakistan, and a very strong influence from Afghanistan as well. Largely tribal people and herdsmen populate the province of Balouchistan, and all these people have over the years learned from the influences around them.
Balouchistan is famous for dishes that are made from meat, particularly mutton, and biryani is one of the favorites here. In addition to these, there are also several kinds of dry dishes and curries that are common.
The food ingredients that are mostly known in Balouchi cuisine include: potatoes, goat cheese, dry fruits and vegetables, milk and yogurt, mutton, and fish. Fresh vegetables are almost entirely absent from this cuisine because of the fact that the region is drought prone.
Balouchistani food tends to consist of foods that are mostly roasted, and their foods are quite aromatic. They also make use of spices and other ingredients. Marinating food is very important in bringing out the desired taste in Balouchistani cuisine. Some foods are marinated overnight in order to be cooked the following day.
Balouchies are well known for their kababs. They cook a variety of these and dishes similar to kababs. In order to obtain the best taste from these they cook them on charcoal fires and wood fires. These types of fires are though to bring out a unique taste in Balouchi food.
Aside from the spices in Balouchistani cuisine, there is an important point to consider, and that is the use of meats. Balouchistani cuisine only uses halal meats. Meat, such as pork, is prohibited. However, you will find beef, mutton and chicken in Balouchistani cuisine. 90% of Balouchi cuisine consists of meat-based dishes.
Finding the ingredients for an Balouchi Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.
- Check out the Pakistani Food Glossary
Preparation Methods for Balouchi Cooking[edit | edit source]
Methods of preparing Balouchi food are important to follow in order to achieve the best possible Balouchi flavored foods. The methods of seasoning, marinating, etc. are all important in achieving the best taste possible. There, all the spices and ingredients in the correct quantities, as well as the timing and strength of flame used should be adhered to. Since meats are usually used for making Balouchi dishes, marinating and season is almost always employed. Mostly. Mutton is used for preparing these dishes, and the period for marinating mutton may depending on the type of texture you want.
Balouchi preparation of food is unique, and is an important step in any form of cooking. Balouchi preparation methods that include soaking, tenderizing, and grinding are integral. Some of these methods have come from India, especially the introduction of certain spices. The use of herbs is also important in preparation.
When meats such as mutton are marinated or seasoned they produced the best taste for Balouchi dishes. This method also allows the meat to soften, and sometimes this method is employed to overnight cooking. This means that the meat is soaked or marinated over night. The result is that odors from any meat are removed, and the taste is smoother as well. Sometimes marinating mutton may be done using tamarind water or even lemon. However, a more common method of marinating meat is by using ultra-sour yoghurt. The marinated piece of meat is usually left over a lava stone grill. It may also be left over a charcoal grill.
While cooking Balouchi foods, its methods certainly should be followed to bring out the best taste. If you really want to have the best taste in the Balouchi food you cook, you should even cook on coal or wood fires the way that the traditionally do.
Special Equipment for Balouchi Cooking[edit | edit source]
Preparing any kind of food requires the use of cooking equipment that can possibly be the best and most convenient to use. In Balouchi cuisine, there are several kinds of utensils used for cooking. Each of these has a particular purpose for making things more convenient in cooking.
Generally, you may use almost ant utensil you wish, but there are particular ones that you need for certain things. Let’s say you need to marinate mutton. Now, doing so using a stainless steel utensil will do just fine. However, you would rather marinate mutton in an earthenware utensil. This would be for two reasons. The first is that the mutton is kept cool in it, and secondly it has a better taste and texture.
In addition to using earthenware to marinate foods, you may need some other vessels such as a boiling vessel for boiling rice and other foods.
Generally when you cook rice, you should not use the utensil for any other purpose. If you do, the taste of your rice will not be the same. This is because oily residue will be left in the rice utensil.
Strainers, drainers and large spoons are some of the other things you need to cook with. Large vessels like deghs are also important when cooking in large quantities. Large spoons are very important because you would need them to churn the food in side large vessels like deghs.
One other important cooking apparatus is the tawa. A tawa is used to fry food or cook chapatti or parhatta. Generally though naans and kulchas are more common in Balouchi cuisine, cooking them requires you to have an oven or a kiln. Generally speaking, kilns are common in Balouchistan. People even have them in their homes on order to cook their naans and kulchas.
Balouchi Food Traditions and Festivals[edit | edit source]
There are several kinds of foods that are eaten throughout the year in Balouchi cuisine. During festive seasons the best of these are brought out, and are available all over. In addition to the popular foods, there are several drinks that you can get. In addition to these, there are several snacks that you could enjoy.
One of the important commemorations during festive occasions includes Princess Amina’s mutton recipes. The manner in which she cooked for her lover Imtiaz is depicted. She too special pleasure in cooking various mutton dishes for her lover, and most of these were baked ones. Largely, this is where the concept of kababs comes from. Princess Amina would soak and season the mutton in various mixtures in order to achieve a new and unique taste each time. She would bake the seasoned mutton in the sun on stones or in the sand. Here again, we can see that the concept of baking and cooking on stones and sand comes from.
Another important feature of Princess Amina is that she cooked with love. Balouchies believe that cooking with love is important because it is reflected in the taste of the food. Therefore, cooking in good spirit is a very important thing to Balouchies, and you will see them in great spirit preparing foods at the time of any festival.
In addition to the importance and prevalence of items such as kababs at festivals, dishes like biryani are common too. Not only is this dish a favorite in other provinces, it is also one of Balouchistan too.
Some other foods that are cooked at festival time include: Machhli Ke Parchey, which is an exotic delicacy consisting of sliced fish, Dum Nali Ka Gosht, which is made of mutton shanks, and, Peshawari Chapplai Ke Kebab, which is a Pakistani specialty also known as ‘flat Kebabs’.
Some of these foods cooked also require things to go with them aside from rice. Therefore, chapatti, naan, kulchaa or paratha is also cooked in Balouchi cuisine.
People in Balouchi Food[edit | edit source]
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