December 17, 2018

A dive into the taste of Pakistani food

The Ambassador of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore, with chefs Iftikhar Ahmad Chugthai, Muhammad Nazeer, Sido de Brabander and par of the  public attending the Pakistani Food Festival.

By Guido Lanfranchi.

On February 23rd, 2018, the Hotel Crowne Plaza Den Haag hosted the Pakistani Food Festival, organized by the Embassy of Pakistan in The Netherlands, in collaboration with Diplomat Magazine.

While a cold wind was blowing outside, the guests gathered in the main hall of Crowne Plaza Hotel; among them, a number of workers of international organizations, diplomats and Ambassadors. The Ambassador of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore, together with his spouse, welcomed the guests one by one at the entrance, while the staff of Crowne Plaza offered fresh drinks to the presents.

Jhr Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland and the ambassador of Pakistan.

Once a crowd had gathered in the hall, Mr. Patrick Aarsman, General Manager of Crowne Plaza, welcomed all the guest. He thanked the Embassy of Pakistan and Diplomat Magazine for the organization, and he gave the floor to H.E. Shujjat Ali Rathore. The Ambassador thanked all the presents, and expressed his joy for having the possibility to “share our spicy Pakistani food with our friends in The Netherlands.”

He then introduced the three protagonists of the night: the chefs. Iftikhar Ahmad Chugthai, a chef with 25 years of experience in five-star hotels, and Muhammad Nazeer, a chef trained by the Pakistani Navy and with 40 years of experience, came from Pakistan in order to serve their delicious food to the guests. They were helped in this endeavor by Sido de Brabander, professional chef at Crowne Plaza.

After the introduction ceremony, the Ambassador invited the guests to take their places at the tables of Crowne Plaza’s restaurant. Soon after that, the staff of the restaurant was already providing the participants with the starters, consisting of a plate filled with Kebab, Daal (lentil) soup, Pakora with mint sauce, and a Aalo Channa (salad with chickpeas).

After the guests finished their starters, the chefs proudly unveiled the buffet with the main courses. Among them, chicken tandoori and chicken biryani, a lamb stew (Mutton Qorma), and Lahori fried fish. As side dishes, many different options were present in the buffet: a mix of vegetables, a cucumber salad, the Pakistani Saag tin and Daal mash, and naan bread.

When the guests had enjoyed the main courses, theicing on the cake arrived at the tables: the desserts. The restaurant’s staff served a big dish composed by Kheer (a rice pudding), Jaleebi (a fried biscuit with syrup), and a mix of various Pakistani sweets.The guests kept on having lively conversations at their tables, while enjoying the delicious dessert.

When the dinner was over, the guests started to move across tables, engaging in new conversations with other people. In the meanwhile, more guests arrived, joining the participants in both the food taste and the conversations. In this comfortable environment, the event continued for some time, until the guests started leaving the Crowne Plaza, satisfied by an incredibly enjoyable night.

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