India Uncut

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Namak Mandi

When in Peshawar, have the charsi tikka at the Namak Mandi. Nyo, nyo, nyo, the charsi tikka doesn't actually have any charas in it, but is called that because its pioneer here was a charsi. And no namak (salt) seems to be sold on its own in Namak Mandi, which was once called Mewa Mandi but got itself a name-change when namak began to outsell mewas. Today, however, the place is more famous for its meat.

It's vegetarian hell. Carcasses of dead animals are strung up everywhere, and you can take your pick. Your choice will then be prepared for you, roasted on a cart on the street without any masala except salt. The meat, fresh and with a texture that is a remarkable mix of meltacity and chewiness, is eminently mmmable.

Local friends tell me of people who have up to 10 kgs of meat in one sitting. When it tastes so good, I'm not surprised. How to stop?

To provide an interesting contrast, there is also a shop opposite selling dry fruits. The gentleman who owns it looks upon the meat-eating revelry across the road rather sternly, perhaps wondering how so many otherwise sensible people prefer flesh to raisins. Our species, of course, is a slave to flesh, in more ways than just the culinary ones.

Enough. Pictures come:

amit varma, 3:41 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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