Tasty and mouth-watering cuisines draw locals from the Twin Cities to Lok Mela
Islamabad: Stalls of various cultural and traditional cuisines attract large numbers of people to the ongoing 7-day Lok Mela organized by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (NIFTH) offering mouth-watering and tasty dishes.
The annual Lok Mela was held to promote cultural heritage among the new generation to raise awareness of the ancient traditions of the country. A variety of dishes from all over the provinces of the country including Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh, Baluchistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir was provided through various stalls organized to attract people.
Speaking to APP, Executive Director Lok Virsa Talha Ali said that over the years, Lok Mela has grown and seen tremendous improvements in administration, promotion and exhibition stages.
The festival featured craft exhibitions, traditional cuisines, a beautiful amalgamation of provincial cultures, fascinating folk songs by rural musicians, traditional dances and ensembles, historical and cultural evenings, an exotic bazaar containing a multitude of cultural objects.
Talha explained that the success of the Lok Mela can be seen from the rich diversity of the crowd it attracts.
People from all walks of life attended the festival, including professionals, art and craft experts, artists and celebrities, foodies, historians, diplomats, politicians, expatriates, media and students. “The reason for this success is that in addition to providing healthy entertainment for the whole family, the festival truly connects with our people, representing our history, our identity and our culture.
Lively bazaars filled with traditional arts and crafts such as jewelry, handbags and pottery, ”he added. artisans, folk artists and traditional cuisine as links in the foundation of the festival.
A trader from KP Ishtiaq Fazal said: “Our specialty Tikka Kabab with an economical price has attracted a large number of people with their families to enjoy the pleasant weather. He said that traditional tastes and culture are best reflected in food like mouthwatering Sajji, Biryani, Chappli Kabab, Saag, Qorma.
Peshawari skewers are delicious and full of aromatic spices, the masalas (spices) and yogurt in the skewers penetrate the soybeans to make it moist and the carrots, onions and cornstarch bind the mixture together. These wonderful skewers are browned on a non-stick skillet and topped with the legendary Peshawar pomegranates, he added.
Another merchant offering Hyderabadi Haleem Muhammad Riaz said, “Haleem being a favorite dish, it is famous among many people from various districts.” He said that traditional haleem was made by first soaking wheat, barley, and gram lentils overnight.
A spicy meat sauce called Qorma is prepared until the meat becomes tender, the wheat, barley and gram are boiled in salted water until tender. The cooked wheat, barley and lentils are then mixed with the meat sauce (beef or mutton or chicken) and mixed with a hand mixer to achieve a pasty consistency.
The cooking process takes about 6 hours. At the end, the cooked haleem is garnished with fried onions, julienned ginger, sliced green peppers, cilantro leaves, lemon wedges, and chaat masala. However, the preparation of haleem varies by region.