Aik garam chai ki piyali ho,
Saath mey halwa, puri aur tarkaari ho…
Wish I had a cup of tea along with halwa, puri and tarkaari – translation of my own Urdu quote above in English. 😂
Halwa Puri – the greatest of all breakfast meals in Karachi, Pakistan – is almost always reserved for Sundays. It comprises of freshly fried bread which puffs like a balloon (puri), spicy chickpeas and potato curry (tarkaari), and sweet sticky semolina halwa which oozes ghee in every bite. Trust me, it’s not a breakfast for those with weak stomachs!
Some of my fondest memories of visiting Karachi while growing up were early Sunday mornings, when my Uncle would come into the house carrying greasy plastic bags and the children would be settled around the dastarkhawan waiting to tear up the greasy newspaper inside and spill its contents. Chai would be served all around and everyone would eat and then nap after all that rich food!
In Karachi, halwa puri is always bought as a takeaway or consumed at a roadside restaurant (dhaba) while battling away flies or in some instances, insolent stares. To even suggest trying to make halwa puri at home would evoke incredulous stares! When my parents settled down in the Middle East, there were no restaurants that served good halwa puri. My mother took it upon herself to learn how to make this delicious, nostalgic breakfast at home and I’m so glad that she did! Now I’ve learned it from her and make this special breakfast in my own home here in the US.
Last week I threw a halwa puri party for my friends. I wanted to capture Pakistan’s culture on my table and so pulled things from around the house to display Pakistani art.
Truck art and Rickshaws are highly popular as Pakistani Art around the world. My dear friend had gifted to me this gorgeous lantern which I loved incorporating in the decor. The tiny rickshaw is most probably the one thing every family with Pakistani roots display on their mantle. Displaying these beautiful pieces on a wood platter gave a rustic feel.
I got this beautiful red runner from Amazon. I also used my tea kettle as a makeshift vase for colorful flowers. This looked so pretty and fun! Displaying colorful mugs in another hand crafted tray made the table decor look so vibrant.
The incense sticks and a hand crafted nuts tray completed the table and just like that, with a few things, we had an amazing traditional, colorful table setup. It was so much fun!
My plate 😋😋
I made everything from scratch including the puri. Let me know if you are interested in the recipes. I can share them in my next blog post.
Hope you enjoyed my table decorations as much as I enjoyed styling this brunch.
Have a great weekend! ❤️