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April 22, 2019

Treats from Rawalpindi streets


April 22, 2019

Rawalpindi traditional street snacks offer varieties in terms of taste. The cart owners push them to different locations of the city throughout the day. The cart owners’ families help them in preparing the snacks and setting up the cart.

“Street snacks are a substantial part of Rawalpindi culture. They have earned popularity equally among the young, old and the women. Not only are they inexpensive but very delicious too, with a tinge of the typically countryside taste,” says Narjis Zaidi from Saddar area.

Andleeb Batool from Moti Bazaar says: “The cooking methods employed use little or no oil and very little spice; sand roasting and coal grilling being the most common technique, along with boiling and steaming. Thus, there are no fats and oil, making the food relatively healthy.”

“Despite the advent of international fast food chains, the desi roadside snack hawkers continue to run a thriving business; serving eager customers on the streets, at signal stops and outside schools. Most of these snacks are made out of locally grown fruits, vegetables and kernels; thanks to the year round crops of our country,” says Fizza Ali from Bhabara Bazaar.

“The most common street snack is ‘bhutta’, the grilled corn on the cob. Available in almost all neighbourhoods, this charcoal roasted treat is everyone’s favourite snack. Nothing tastes like a warm salty grilled corn, sprinkled generously with some ‘chaat masala’ and lemon. It’s tasty, filling, and priced cheap to make it one of the most sought roadside snack,” says Seema Reza from Kartarpura.

Anam Naqvi from Kashmiri Bazaar says: “And while we are at it, let’s not neglect rest of the roasted goodies that tempt you including roasted ‘channa’ and ‘makai’, nearly available in every other street of the city. Undoubtedly, these are some of the most in-demand warm munchies.”

“The delicious sand roasted chickpeas and corn kernels are also enjoyable. Readied promptly, these snacks cost not too much making it a much sought after and reasonably priced snack for both the rich and the poor,” says Rataba Husnain.

“Samosa ‘chaat’ topped with sweet and savoury chutney, filled with potatoes and served with yoghurt and topped with a dash of onion and lettuce, this ‘chaat’ is just tempting. Samosa is also one of most popular fried snacks served with sweet-sour tamarind chutney or tangy chilli chutney,” says Seemeen Hussain from Shamsabad.

“Pakoras’, ‘chana chaat’, ‘dahi bhallay’, ‘fruit chaat‘ and ‘gol gappay’ are also very popular. In order to wash these snacks down the throat, there is no dearth of roadside carts selling freshly squeezed fruit juices. From any seasonal juice to the ever-available sugar cane drink, you can easily get a glass full at an affordable rate,” says Iffat Hasan from Banni Chowk.

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