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Traditional food of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Traditional food of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Rizwan Ullah

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are,” wrote renowned gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1825.

Food is an important part of the culture of any country or nation and it holds an important part in our culture too.

Every city of Pakistan share the same culture and traditions with just a little diversions in it, Peshawar keeps its place in being one of the culturally diversed city of Pakistan. Peshawar with one of the oldest city in the world is extremely rich in food as one of the basic ingredients of our culture.

Food in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa involves the use of mild aromatic spices and relatively less oil used in characterizing the Central Asian and Middle Eastern influence as province has a history with these regions.

However, as meat plays a more dominant role in Pakistani food, compared to other South Asian cuisines, most of the food items in Peshawar are also cooked of meat. A Middle Eastern influence on Peshawari cuisine can easily be judged with a strong bond the city has with Middle Eastern countries.

Foods of this city are very tasty and rightly famous too. Where ever you will be travelling in Peshawar, you will face no difficulty in finding some very nice and spicy food.

From Chapli Kabab to Tikka (both Seekh and Karahi), from Faluda to Mewa-Chana Pulao (Rice with chickpeas and), from Nan (flat bread) to Kehwa (green tea), you name it and you will get one of the best food stuff in this part of Pakistan.

Another specialty about Peshawar is that it has a variety of not only food stuff but also has the variety of people who cook it. For instance there are more than one famous persons who cook Chapli Kabab. But each one of them is famous on the account of being giving a taste which is different from the other.

Chapli Kabab: It is a spicy dish in round shape made of ground beef and cooked mostly in animal fat. It is a specially of Peshawar that gives the city an identification throughout the world.

The recipes for Chapli Kabab commonly have a lot of fat content like Charbi (Animal Fat) and Eggs. It also has a healthy portion of Coriander, Ginger, Garlic, chili, Powder sour grape and Zeera when mixed with onion and tomato.

People from all over the country, must have a taste of Chapli Kabab whenever they visit the city. People love to eat it with its best taste when served hot straight from the large frying pans.

The cooks are very expert as they keep their hands safe when they put the Kabab into boiling hot oil.

There are well known Kabab houses in different parts of the city and most of the time whether its winter or summer they remain very crowded. Quiet typical of the city food outlets, the portions become smaller and smaller as you reach further south.

There was said to be a Kabab House in Nothia area where President Sikander Mirza and Ayub Khan use to visit just to have a dinner of Chapli Kabab. They used to take the PIA evening flight to have their favourite kabab flown over for their dinner.

Kabab Houses on University Road, G.T. Road, Bakhshu Pul, Saddar, Nothia, Bara Road are very famous and each one has its own customer as they are well known for the best kebabs amongst the locals.

TIKKA: Tikka is another famous dish of Peshawar. There are two main types Tikka is being cooked. One barbeque and the other in Karahi (fried). Both are famous but the most famous of them is Karahi Tikka (mostly of mutton) cooked in famous market of Namak Mandi. Ones famous as a whole sale market for salt, Namak Mandi has now a number of restaurants that serve brilliantly cooked Karahi Tikka.

The only thing in common was that here lamb cooked with gravy was being served in a karahi which again did not look like a proper genuine karahi.

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