PESHAWAR: Struggling to get through the rush of people gathered outside a restaurant in the Ghanj area of the city’s interior, middle-aged Mujeeb was trying to get closer to a vendor to buy a bowl of Peshawari Paye , a special dish made from cow or buffalo feet cooked in oil and spices in a deep earthen cauldron.
“Paye has a special taste for the greedy, but during the holy month of Ramzan, his desire becomes irresistible, forcing us to save time and get a bowl of meat after a long struggle,” says Mujeeb of the hard work he he does to get his favourite. dish for breakfast.
“The taste and aroma of trotters sold in Peshawar has no equal and can be presented as a special dish reflecting the culinary dexterity of the chefs in our region,” he said in an interview with the news agency.
“Peshawari paye is a traditional dish and the majority of people associated with its cuisine have inherited this skill from their ancestors,” says Habib, owner of a trotter shop in the Yakatoot neighborhood of Peshawar. He said he was of the third generation who was engaged in business in the same store established by his ancestor in 1920.
For a century, “we have been cooking pay every day, thanks to which the taste of our dish has become unique and very attractive to customers”. People also cook trotters at home but cannot get the taste they enjoy from commercially prepared payroll in stores, Habib said.
In the holy month of Ramzan, when people fast from dawn to dusk, the demand for pay increases dramatically as devotees like to eat their favorite food after breaking the fast, he added. He said trotters are sold in the morning as a breakfast dish but in Ramzan they are offered to customers from afternoon until evening.
“Trotters have a special taste among the people of Peshawar who enjoy it at every happy occasion and at gatherings of relatives and friends,” observed Saeed Ahmad, an octogenarian local resident of Peshawar.
People call their relatives and friends to invite them for lunch or dinner with a tempting offer of trotters as part of the menu, Saeed Ahmad added.
“Being an old person, eating such a gelatinous food with high cholesterol is not suitable for my health, but cannot resist when an offer of trotters feast is made by a relative’s friend”, he added.
After having such a heavy meal, we also take a few cups of Pesahwari Qehwa (green tea with ground cardamom) for digestion, he added.
In Peshawar, there are more than 25 trotter vendor shops that offer special dishes for lovers of traditional cuisine, Yaseen, another Peshawar pay vendor, informed.
Yaseen is also the third generation of his family who continues the business of cooking and selling trotters in the city of Peshawar. He said that the procedure for cooking the trotters takes about 10 to 12 hours of preparation.
We first buy trotters from the slaughterhouse, then boil them to remove the hair using a sharp knife. The cleaned feet are put in an earthen cauldron and the cooking begins from evening to morning over low heat.
About the recipe, Yaseen says it is very simple and includes turmeric, salt, red and black pepper, cumin, and cooking oil. He said the main reason for the unique taste of prepared trotters in stores is its bulk cooking.
Yaseen said he usually cooks around 15 to 20 trotters a day and sells a bowl for Rs. 350 which is enough for a single person.
However, in Ramzan, the quantity of trotters increased to 25 to 35 trotters daily due to high demand from devotees. He admitted that the price of cooked trotters had risen dramatically and was beyond the reach of the poor, blaming the high price of ingredients, especially gasoline costs, store rents, the rising price of oil from cooking, etc.
“Most of our patients admit that advice to avoid fatty meals, especially trotters, is ignored by them,” said Dr Muhammad Shezad, a practicing GP in the city. He said: “Some of our dishes have a special fondness for people and they cannot help but eat even knowing that their consumption is detrimental to their health.”
Realizing the popularity of Pesahwari Paye through the use of social media, foreign tourists and famous food vloggers also taste trotters when visiting Peshawar. “A number of international vloggers have visited our store and made videos while enjoying our hospitality and the taste of the special trotters,” Yaseen added.