Fall for food, food for fall

September 25, 2022

The weather’s turned for neither better nor worse, but we find ourselves craving food that make us feel the warm glow of Pakistan fall deep inside. Check out Instep’s essential comfort foods for this season.

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t isn’t quite chilly yet, but mornings in Karachi are overcast, and evenings cool faster and more than they have in the last few months. Truth be told, this was possibly one of the worst summers the world has ever seen. Couple that with frightening inflation while the need to turn cooling on full blast – and possibly heating on full blast come winter – is at an all-time high, and changing weather accompanied by seasonal illnesses isn’t the worst of our problems. But it is one.

So what do we do when we feel decidedly manure-like? We find things to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Wrap up in a soft throw and watch TV. Eat comfort food. Ardently follow celeb drama online, and the even livelier debate about said celeb drama on Facebook groups. Life can be good, in small pockets.

Some of our favorite comfort food this year surprisingly involves broth! Firstly, straight up chicken broth at Evergreen, the healthy version of Xander’s in Karachi has been a revelation. Whether it’s the sniffles or a sore throat or period cramps, or even heartbreak, we’re willing to wager that the 20 minutes or so you spend with this hot bowl of broth, rice, bits of chicken breast, and some veg will be the most comforted you’ve felt all week. And while most desi kids and adults probably hate the thought of consuming what is basically yakhni, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that yakhni was apparently never meant to be tasteless and medicinal. If you aren’t in Karachi, and your local restos don’t offer any version of broth, make your own. It’s mad easy and you can add your own tweaks to adjust the flavor to your exact liking.

Also, your broth will come in handy for the next dish on our list, pesto pasta. We recently had Yum by Amna Café’s version of creamy pesto pasta, and the pesto wasn’t creamy, but slightly runny, and the chicken stock/broth elements made their presence deliciously known. Again, look up a recipe, and tweak away.

Finally, nothing beats a good chaat. Koel offers dahi baray on their menu, which you might think is a weird place to get your dahi baray, and yes, they aren’t very spicy or chatpata, but a slighter sweeter version of the popular snack. Something about the consistency of the yogurt and the softness of the baray is decidedly comforting, and we recommend giving the dahi baray at your local chaat place a shot this week.

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