RAWALPINDI: Originally a staple in Southern American states, fried chicken has become popular across the world.
Nowadays, crispy fried chicken can be found at various restaurants, as well as on the menu for many a family gathering.
While multinational chains like KFC and McDonalds are incredibly popular, they can also be a strain on the purse strings, and many people turn to local outlets offering desi versions of the dish instead.
To fulfil the ever-present demand for fried chicken, outlets across the garrison city have begun offering fried chicken. Even daal chawal outlets in Raja Bazaar have started offering fried chicken.
Most restaurants boil or steam an entire chicken to make the meat tender, before dipping it into a batter of spices, red chillies, garlic and ginger paste and frying it.
“It’s simple but technical to handle the chicken, as the chef has to season it according to the tastes of the people of the area,” Mohammad Azam, the owner of a 32 year old shop in Chandni Chowk that specialises in chicken broast, said.
He said most of the chefs behind fried chicken are from Lahore, and know older recipes for the dish. He said that the local take on fried chicken is a customer favourite. He said the older, spicier recipe is preferred by customers as compared to the newer take that has come from abroad.
Malik Asghar, a Saddar resident, said that the fried chicken was a full meal, and was better than any other kind of fast food or snack. He said it is also a convenient dish to pick up from a restaurant when guests come to visit because of how popular it is.
Mohammad Akram, a resident of Satellite Town, said he prefers fried chicken because of its texture and spices. He said he preferred fried chicken to saji, which is cooked on coals, because fried chicken is tender and crispy.
“It is a dish for all the seasons. In the winter it’s a treat at lunch and in the summer we prefer it for dinner,” he said.
“Though it can never beat the taste of my mother’s roast chicken, a few shops in the city have attracted me because it saves times when guests arrive at short notice,” said Mohammade Naseer, a customer in Commercial Market.
He said he enjoys fried chicken at restaurants and at home. “I just go to a local place, so the chicken is spicy and crispy,” he said.
Originally published in Dawn, April 11th, 2016