Everyone has one greasy food vice that they just can't resist. Ask Pakistanis what their guilty pleasure is and the answer is likely to be the samosa.
The sight of that hot, fried, aloo triangular piece of joy from a roadside stall is enough to make one salivate (and rejoice since it's pocket-friendly) but changing that up is Daniyal Noorani and Seemi Sani's, the duo behind Awesamosas, the gourmet samosa stall that took Lahore Eat by storm.
They say it's what's on the inside that counts. Daniyal says it's what's on the inside of their samosas that counts.
"I was always fascinated by fusion cooking; I'd make eccentric things like mushroom daal. From that hobby stemmed the desire to reinvent the classic samosa; I ran the idea by my cousin, Seemi and she was game so we got to work right away," shared the co-founder.
"We started experimenting right away with flavours; we made samosas with Butter Chicken filling and Manchurian Chicken filling. After a while, we decided on six solid flavours that we added to the menu."
"We took the plunge with it at Lahore Eat and the response was so overwhelming that the logical sequel of that was to venture into delivery," he adds.
Daniyal and Seemi have now opened their flagship outlet in CSD, Cavalry.
"Right now, it's more focused on take out. We do have place to seat like 16-18 people and eventually, we're hoping to give it more of a cafe feel and add chai to the roster as the chai-samosa combo is just killer."
Does he fear that this might be a fad, like the Nutella paratha combo which is slowly dwindling?
"Well, I hope not! People seem to possess the thinking that anything can taste good with Nutella. It's more cerebral than that and we're aware of that, you have to pick flavours that accentuate one another. We're foodies ourselves; we'll never stop inventing."
"We just added the Banoffee samosa to the menu recently and we hope to add a new flavour every month. There are people out there even copying our recipes but we don't mind. We know we are the leaders of this category and we'll keep pushing the samosa cuisine to the next level. After all, we've only revealed half the innovation we have up our sleeve!"
I ask Daniyal what he'd recommend to a first time customer.
"I would say try one of each! The flavours are so different from one another. My favourite depends on my mood. If I'm in a hearty mood, I'd go for the Dum Ka Keema or if I'm feeling gourmet, I'd opt for the Caramelized Onions. And the Pizza one is just great, it's almost like a phenomenal little calzone because it has the same crunch."
Are you left drooling and annoyed that you're based anywhere other than Lahore? Fret not, Daniyal and Seemi are hard at work trying to bring Awesamosas to the frozen section of your neighbourhood grocery store and it might even happen sooner than you think.