‘Zaiqay Frontier Kay’ wins Cookbook Peace award

Published: June 24, 2015 - 16:58

Tarun Pratap Delhi

Late Pushpa Bagai’s book on vegetarian cuisine of Dera Ismail Khan bags top award.  Indo-Pakistani cookery book “Zaiqay Frontier Kay- Dera Ismail Khan Kay Bhulay Bisray Pakwan” authored by late Pushpa Bagai, won the prestigious “Cookbook for Peace : India-Pakistan” at the 20th edition of International Gourmand Awards held in Yantai, China.

The book was also nominated in three other categories: Best Vegetarian Cookbook, Best Culinary History Cookbook and the Best Local Cuisine Cookbook.

The book gives a glimpse of the culture of Dera Ismail Khan, which was brought here by the migrants after the partition. It is published by premier Pakistani independent publisher ‘Markings’ and written by late Bagai who was born in Pakistan but moved to India at the age of four.

The two day 20th Gourmand Awards were held in Yantai, the food capital of the province Shandong in China on June 8 and 9. Kiran Aman, CEO, Markings, called it an honor to be the part of the awards and represent Pakistan and spread cultural harmony and peace through food.

The book has 80 different recipes consisting of snacks, food and dessert. Most of the recipes do not use onions or garlic.

In the award ceremony the publisher and the writer’s family were there to represent the book. Atul Bagai, a UN bureaucrat and son of late Ms. Pushpa Bagai said that “It is a tremendous honor to have my mother’s work recognized so widely by the International community”. He also said that cooking was a passion that ran through his mother’s veins and a skill that has passed by generations to generations. He did not reveal whether he can cook.

Last year, Kiran Aman, and Atul Bagai held a talk called ‘Peace and Cookbook’ where they had talked about the execution of Bagai’s book. The book highlights the culinary heritage of Hindus in the frontier region.

The book is available, both, in Hindi and Urdu. Hindi edition has been printed by Hindustani Art Press, Lucknow.

Besides making nostalgic those families that were forced to migrate from Dera Ismail Khan, it would also help in saving their heritage and cultural identity.

The book will serve to remind the new generation of our common cultural heritage represented in some ways by our cuisine. ‘Aloo ki Tikki’ or ‘Doli Ki Roti’ or ‘Shakkar ke Parathe’ and ‘Balooshahi’  are some of the examples.

Anjali Malik, daughter of Pushpa Bgai has written the introduction of the book. A history professor, she has given the historical account of the place and the culture.