By Dr. Sohail Ansari
Shah Jahan was imprisoned, by his son Aurangzeb, in the Fort of Agra where he spent eight long years. The story goes that he was asked to pick one dish that he would be served every day during the course of his imprisonment. He chose chickpeas.
Today street food is trendy all around the world. One can find a large number of Chaat places, from small vendors and roadside dhabas to big upscale restaurants.
From my younger days no trip to Bohri Bazaar was complete without having spicy chaat cholay. Bohri Bazaar still homes one of the oldest Nimko shops in Karachi, which sold chickpeas prepared in various ways. There were vendors outside schools selling chana chaat. Hawkers on the beach in Clifton shouting chana chor garam. Carts at Empress Market and around serving Murgh Cholay. Be that crunchy roasted chana or gol gapa, it had multiple ways of consumption. Tea parties were held often and it would be unusual not to have cholay on the table.
Now as Middle Eastern restaurants are gaining popularity in Karachi, Falafel and Hummus are among the liked dishes.
So many ways to enjoy chickpeas.
(Photo: courtesy Saad Zubair, Mangobaaz).