Almost half a century ago, when a samosa shop opened up in the grounds of the Karahi University (KU), students could not have guessed that this shop would become a significant part of their nostalgia for their alma mater in the years to come.
For those studying atKarachi university KU today, it is a daily ritual to stop at the samosa shop between classes, while there are almuni who often make a special trip to the university just to enjoy its savoury delights.
Set up by a tram conductor in 1971, Qasim Samosa Shop is a landmark in the university’s popular food street called Prem Gali, currently the samosa shop is run by Qasim’s grandson Muhammad Saleem Sheikh.
I was in Grade 4 or 5 when I first visited the shop which was opened by my maternal grandfather known as Qasim bhai,” says Sheikh, as he gets the oil ready for frying a batch of the stuffed triangles.”
The bright blue canteen is surrounded by students. As I speak to Sheikh, two teenage boys eagerly eye the frying delicacies, waiting to get their hands on the samosas. They discuss if they want chaat masala (spice powder mix) or not. “Uncle, give us our samosas in two separate bags – one with extra chaat masala, the other without any” says one of them.
The two boys grab their samosas and immediately start to munch away while those in queue awaiting their turn look on.