chicken
Fluffy, homemade biryani topped with crisp fried chicken. Food truck fare at its finest, via VanPakistan.

Once in a while, we’ll discover a dish at renowned Brooklyn food truck frenzy Smorgasburg that really catches our eye. Chef Fatima Ali of VanPakistan serves up locally sourced, Pakistani-inspired fare that hits all the right notes.

“A traditional Hyderabadi chicken biryani was one of my favorite dishes growing up — layers of fluffy, spice-laden rice, succulent, savory stewed chicken and potatoes that were perfectly soft yet held their shape completely,” says Ali. “I was enamored with the skill it took to make the perfect biryani, and as I began my professional culinary journey in NYC, I mastered many dishes, but never a biryani.”

Ali went back to Pakistan for four months last year and learned the dish from a few households there; this is her spin on it. “The crispness of the rice flour fried chicken and ease of eating it without the bone harmonizes with the essence of the kind of food I make — traditional at the core but elevated to a more modern, playful platform,” she explains.

Skip the lines and try it at home…but really, wait on line and have the real deal at Smorgasburg.