A few weeks ago, I went to a wedding where the buffet table was a testament to the fact that the hosts really wanted to stretch all limits of their imagination (and money) and impress their guests with an international- themed dining experience.
I am a foodie to the core, and this one-upmanship at nuptials ultimately means that I get to sample some really unusual dishes at weddings.
Singaporean rice is one such dish that has been doing the rounds at weddings for the last few years and continues to be extremely popular. It is carb heavy (beware all you keto fans), and consists of layers of rich, spaghetti (different types of pasta are used), chicken cooked with veggies, topped with a mayonnaise-based sauce and garnished with green chillies and garlic fried in butter.
The combination of flavours is exceptional, given the sweetness of mayo, the sharp kick of green chillies and the earthiness of pasta.
As is usually the case with ‘foreign’ dishes in Pakistan, we take complete ownership of them by converting them into something we are more accustomed to; think qeema pasta and Chinese food with garam masala.
I was sure that Singaporean rice had its own mini makeover journey as it entered Pakistan, and I was curious about the story and composition of the ‘original’ dish.
Upon frenetically researching the historical and socio-economic constructs of the dish, I discovered that Singaporean rich had ittle to do with Singaporean or traditional Singaporean cuisine.
This exotic dish, which is a showstopper at so many weddings, and difficult to find at restaurants, was born in Pakistan, out of the Pakistani imagination, and eventually, baptised’ Singaporean’ to give it more pizzazz.
Singaporean or not, this dish is a wonderful creation and should definitely be tried. There are plenty of fantastic recipes available online-all from Pakistan chefs of course.
By Sheherzad Kaleem