Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Writer: Zafar Mairaj
Director: Kashif Nisar
Schedule: Every Tuesday 8pm on Green TV Entertainment

After masterpieces such as Dumpukht, Inkaar, and Lashkara, the dynamic and exceptionally talented writer/director duo is back with another drama that started off on an extremely promising note. Kabli Pulao’s first episode, just like its title, was a combination of many different ingredients added in the right proportions to make the perfect final product. It also had its own distinctive flavor exactly like the dish it is named after.

 Kabli Pulao a Must-Watch

The unfamiliar yet appealing characters coupled with the most unexpected initial storyline made Kabli Pulao truly stand out among all the new dramas that have aired on Green TV Entertainment so far. Impressive performances, perfect execution, well-written dialogues, and a gripping plot made Kabli Pulao’s first episode thoroughly engaging. This episode definitely had “Raqeeb Se” vibes even though the plot and the characters are entirely different. The opening episode of Kabli Pulao belonged to Haji Mushtaq, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, who I am certain, will give every present-day hero out there a run for his money.

Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Haji Mushtaq

This first episode focused a great deal on the main protagonist Haji Mushtaq who was originally from Punjab but was presently in Mardan with his jamaat. Haji Mushtaq’s character was introduced with the utmost clarity. The majority of the conversations and scenes gave new information about Haji’s character. His background, his beliefs as well as his relationships with those close to him were revealed through different conversations. All these conversations were to-the-point and added something or the other to the viewers’ knowledge.

Interestingly enough, Haji Sahib has quite a few interesting aspects of his personality. While he is a simple and religious individual who does not care much for worldly things, he values his relationships and holds them really dear. Maa ro pari hey hamari and so many other such dialogues about his dear niece Ayesha instantly revealed what kind of a relationship these two individuals had. This was such an interesting conversation which showed what kind of a bond he had with his siblings and their children. Perhaps, that was the reason why he never felt he needed to get married. This was such a refreshing element of this story. It is always great seeing a character who is both religious and soft.

Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Haji Mushtaq’s religious and balanced personality was reflected through so many other scenes as well. Not once did he come across as someone who was gullible or naïve. Nazr nayaz mein bs itni tasali honi chahyeh keh paise haq halal ke hoon was one of the finest dialogues in this particular episode that summed up the essence of his thought process while helping someone in need. Later on, when Abdullah’s sister insisted on entering into a nikkah with him only, his annoyance was translated on-screen impeccably by Muhammad Ehteshamuddin. All of a sudden the Lahori and Punjabi accents took over which came across as natural and made the scene even more relatable. The convincing manner in which this nikkah finally took place was the most satisfying part of this episode because this was such an important development.

Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Because Haji’s background was presented so well on-screen through dialogue and the flashback scene, it was easy to understand why he could not refuse this widow who was a complete stranger to him. He was doing this to save her because there was no other way. Barbeena and Haji’s equation in the scenes after the nikkah during the journey were some of the most enjoyable and cute scenes in this first episode. His honest question regarding Barbeena’s behavior and her equally short and honest reply was a scene that guaranteed that this union will be one-of-a-kind in so many ways. The dua Barbeena gave Haji when he gave her water and what the driver said about it was such a good way of introducing the culture and traditions of Afghanistan which might be unknown to many.

Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Strong female characters

Other than Haji Mushtaq’s character, what appealed to me the most were the strong female characters in the drama. Each one of these characters had an appeal and a definite presence. Even though our leading lady showed her face only in the last scene and had a story full of misfortunes, her strong personality was clearly visible from the one decision she took and stood by. She refused to marry anyone else and made sure she decided who she would eventually enter into a nikkah with. That was a really bold move even if it involved pleading to Haji Mushtaq. Also, she did not hold back while expressing herself throughout. Even though she was in a burqa, you could tell that she was intelligently observing everything.

Kabli Pulao Episode 1 Review – Flavorful

Ayesha and all the other women in Haji Mushtaq’s brother’s household were equally empowered in their own way. Ayesha put her foot down and made his beloved uncle reach in time for the engagement. She openly spoke her mind and even chose an outfit which she wanted to wear completely ignoring all the opposition. Ayesha’s mother also did not come across as a ‘typical’ character from a Pakistani drama. The sisters did not even pay heed to their brother’s advice regarding nach gana. Everything about all these women was refreshing and wholesome. Even though these characters did not take center stage in this particular episode but they definitely made their presence felt.

Final Remarks

This first episode Kabli Pulao starting from the first scene till the last one was just as flavorful as the dish the drama is named after. The only scene that did not work for me was the last one. However, I did love the way Haji Mushtaq looked at his dulhan, he was clearly ‘smitten’ but of course, he does not know that yet ;) Sabeena Farooq’s look and expressions in that last scene truly made me look forward to more of her in the upcoming episodes. Even someone like Haji Mustafa was afraid of being judged when he entered into Nikkah with this woman, it remains to be seen how his family will actually react when they find out who Barbeena is. Will he tell them the truth or wait? I am eagerly waiting to find out.

Did you fall in love with this first episode Kabli Pulao too? Share your thoughts.

Fatima Awan

Fatima Awan has been a part of reviewit right from its inception. She feels very passionately about Pakistani dramas and loves discussing them in detail. An enthusiastic writer, thinker, and political scientist, constantly trying to look beyond the obvious. Full-time mom.


  • Absolutely loved it. Both osts, performances, characters, perfection! Can’t wait for next episodes.
    Lahore-based dramas always hit different, for me at least, because locations are so refreshing, the actors ate the one we used to see on PTV growing up and aren’t around that much anymore. Which is why I am really enjoying green’s content like Kabli Pulao, Jeewan Nagar and THKN. Especially THKN because I pass by PU college of arts every day and it feels so nice seeing it on screen 😂, also because I love Saba Qamar and it is good to see her in a light-hearted drama after a long time.

  • Hi Fatima, It is good to see you are reviewing this wonderful drama so we can have an intelligent conversation. I liked your review and below is my take on the drama.
    I was eagerly waiting for this drama because I got attracted to it through the promos where a senior actor Ehteshamuddin doing methodical acting just by his body language & more silence & a young girl talking a lot through her role eyes and top of it the mesmerizing voice of RFAK for a very good poetry. And I did not get disappointed at all after watching the first episode, in fact, I got praise for the writer as well for the story with a powerful beginning.
    I like the beginning scene where the girl introduces herself by making the title dish and in the later scene, we come to know why the dish is called Kabuli Pulao & the treatment of the dish through the times. In the next scene, we got the introduction of Haji Mushtaq through a cloth vendor. The introduction was concise but covered everything we wanted to know about the main lead. Haji Mushtaq’s rise & shine in the cloth business shows that perfection in a work (any work) comes only through the long-term experience of doing it and there is no shortcut to success. The next was the marriage request of the girl, his brother’s worries, Pathani tradition of dowry giving from the boys’ side, the other brother’s handicapped condition and the girl’s condition for marriage were beautifully weaved together. The little brother’s introduction with Maradona’s title & the geopolitical condition of Afghanistan from so many decades & still worse was precisely explained. The situation also explains the girl’s love for his brother. She wants to sacrifice herself for the wellness of her brother, even though morally she & her brother does not like the dowry tradition. She would not marry even Haji, but the in-law’s terror brother was following her. And now she wanted to marry only Haji because he only understood the feeling of a widow & wish of a sister and he respected both by just giving money. One more thing I like here the doubts of many people who give money to Beggers but somehow know that man/woman may not be actually needy, “ unka amal vo jane, meri neeyat main janun.” So just give in the name of Allah, but a Halal money. The introduction of Mushtaq’s family of two sisters & one brother, was shown very good through an engagement ceremony. The likeness of his niece’s dress was tagged as Antique likeness of modern girl, but in fact, the niece loves her uncle very much, so she just wanted to give the honor to the untouched dress. Lastly, the background song, “tooti phooti si aadhi adhuri si zindagi”, was too beautifully written as the first part is from the heart of Mushtaq, the middle part by the girl and the last part is about the treatment from the society for their uncommon bond. Too good lyrics. Very interesting drama & I am definitely looking forward to it.

  • Hi Fatima mam
    I just love the first episode
    Kashif nisar is a gem.
    drama is a treat to watch.
    aik baat mujay achi nahi lagi k Pakistani dramas me pathano ko stereotype kiya ja raha hai agar is drama me daika jaye to aik pathan apni widow behan ka rishta le kar ata hai bo bi masjid me mujay to aisa laga jaisa Geo and ary k dramas k tarha yaha bi behan betiyaan booj hi hai
    iam also a pathan but kisi na kisi serial me koi acha image bi portray kiya jaye.
    same was in Sange mah waha bi kuch illogical k batain thi jo reality k bilkul against thi. pehlay to mujay lagta tha k chalo drama hai but ab to har serial me aisa hi ho raha hai.
    Drama is outstanding but KPK k logo ko itna bura dikana acha nahi.
    I hope ap mera point of view samaj gaye.

    • TBH, the girl wanted to marry herself, chose her husband for herself too. Her brother did whatever she wanted him to do. I don’t think she was a bojh of any sort.

  • I fell in love with this drama and both the lead role that Haji and Babina did was so real and touching I couldn’t help but fall in love with Ehtisham I never looked at him before in such a way, although I thought he was a very good actor but seriously I found Ehtisham so attractive as a man that I cant stop thinking of him. This whole drama has such a strong feel of arousing you and the tension of hidden love that going to unravel is on another league you can actually feel the relationship between the two and the way haji looks and reacts in a silent manner to Babina make you get weak at the knee . I’m in love with Ehtisham I’m looking at him with fresh eyes he so attractive and sensual and him playing the lead role I don’t think anyone could do it justice