Need some inspiration for your culinary adventures? Sizzling puris and halwa for breakfast, fragrant biryani for lunch, meaty nihari for dinner and lassi to wash it all down — Pakistanis do not take their food lightly, literally.
With a high number of female chefs appearing on YoutTube channels and social media platforms, Afzaal Arshad is breaking the norms of ‘men can’t cook’. Electrical Engineer by profession, this small-town boy is doing big on social media. Hailing from Yazman, a town in Bahawalpur district in southern Punjab, Arshad takes his 1.7 million YouTube viewers to lesser-unknown valleys and cities of Pakistan. His easy-to-follow recipes with a perfect desi tadka make his videos stand out from the rest. ‘Kun Foods’, his blogs transport you to the golden and green fields of Pakistan, which is an absolute delight to experience if you are staying away from home. Humming his personal experiences and smiling while he cooks, Arshad does not hesitate to experiment with ingredients and new flavours. He describes his videos as a linchpin in the category of promoting the desi food trails of Pakistan. “To promote our culture and customs across the globe, I have always included traditional and authentic local dishes. As my father often says, ‘cooking meat for a huge family in mud pots and eating it sitting in green and golden fields of wheat is the real joy’ this always inspires me to create videos that feature such cultural values.”
Extremely passionate about food, Arshad says the uniqueness of Pakistani cuisine starts right at the heart of the process, with the spices, for which it is known. He learned how to make Pulao from his mother, who made it a ritual to make it after each Jummah prayer. “My entire family gets together and enjoys that special treat, whether it’s a shared dinner of Kabuli pulao on Dastarkhwan or a biryani-led family lunch after Friday prayers.”
Arshad wants to see Pakistan flourish as a unified country while preserving the legacy of culture and traditions.