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November 18, 2019

Want to taste lip-smacking food, just turn a corner

Islamabad

November 18, 2019

Rawalpindi is crawling with restaurants of all variety, nationality and vintage. The people from different cities of the country are adding to the diversity of varied cuisine in the city i.e. Sindhi ‘baryani’, Balochi ‘saji’, Peshawari ‘chappal’ kabab etc. They take pride in having successfully preserved the food culture of their respective areas in the face of varied cuisine onslaught.

Every Pindiite loves to eat. When the rich in the PC are partying, the common people are not sitting idle, you guessed it, eating. Walk into any wedding party, family gathering or social occasion, you will see an amazing display of mouthwatering dishes emanating exquisite aromas.

Not very long ago, in fact right into the great sixties when there were a few eateries in the city people would not eat food cooked outside the home, dismissing it as unclean and all that stopped very abruptly when some enterprising guys set up restaurants and hotels. Tandoori food, rich and delicious, cooked in hot clay ovens was an immediate box-office hit.

Today the standard menu at any restaurant takes in a fair share of Tandoori dishes including the more delicate dish like korma. Like the ‘nahari’ and ‘haleem’, a delicate beef stew which is painstakingly prepared overnight and served in the morning hours. ‘Nali nahari’ is the most famous item.

Localities like Banni Chowk, Committee Chowk, Raja Bazaar, Liaquat Road, College Road, Iqbal Road, Kashmiri Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Mohanpura, Ratta Amral, Fawara Chowk, Lal Kurti, Waris Khan, Purana Qila, Gunjmandi, Bagh Sardaran etc. are revered as the best places to sample foods from the delicious cuisine.

In teeth of fierce competition from the fast-food brigade these food outlets have managed to hang on to the unique charm of their own. Most of these food outlets have been handed down from father to son. These guys take pride in their trade; hence quality is retained.

Some of them would even go to the pains of grinding their own spices rather than trusting shop-bought masalas — mixtures of various spices. Most of the shops have their own secret recipes guarded like treasures, no less. This makes it very interesting for the foodie as no two places with the same price will have preparations that taste just the same. It truly becomes a heaven for the foodaholics.

If you are planning to taste some of the lip-smacking stuff the eateries at Bhabra Bazaar offer, just turn a corner at Asghar Mall Road and you will reach the paratha-wala. The layered paratha - a type of bread fried on a griddle and made without yeast. ‘Aaloo-paratha’ and vegetable-paratha are some other species. ‘Sri pai’ is also a popular dish.

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