Irresistible Peshawari paye

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Irresistible Peshawari paye


Realizing the popularity of Peshawari paye via social media, the foreign tourists and famous food vloggers also taste trotters during their visit to the historic city

Struggling to wade through the rush of people gathered outside an eatery at the Ghanj area in the city, a middle-aged man, Mujeeb, was trying to reach close to the salesman for purchasing a bowl of the renowned Peshawari paye — a special dish prepared from cow’s or buffalo’s trotters and cooked in oil and spices within a deep earthen cauldron.

“The foodies have a special liking for paye, but in the holy month of Ramazan, its desire becomes irresistible forcing the rozaydaars (fasting faithful) to get a bowl after a long struggle”, Mujeeb said.

“The taste and aroma of the trotters being sold in Peshawar have no match, and can be presented as a special dish reflecting culinary dexterity of chefs of our region”, he also said.

“The Peshawari paye is a traditional dish and majority of the people associated with its cooking have inherited the skill from their ancestors”, informed Habib, an owner of a trotter shop in Yakatoot area of the city. He said that he was from the third generation that was engaged in the business at the same shop set up by his forefathers in 1920.

For the last one century “We are cooking paye on a daily basis, and as a result of which the taste of our dish has become unique and much attractive for the consumers”, he further informed. People also cook trotters at home but cannot get the taste which they enjoy from paye prepared commercially at shops, Habib claimed.


In the holy month of Ramazan when people fast from dawn to dusk, demand for paye increases manifold because the faithful enjoy eating their favourite dish after breaking fast, he added. He said the trotters are sold in the morning as a breakfast dish, but during Ramazan it is offered to the consumers from afternoon till evening.

Saeed Ahmad, an octogenarian local resident of Peshawar said, “Being a senior citizen, eating of such a gelatinous food having high level of cholesterol is not suitable for my health, but I cannot resist when an offer of feast of trotters is made by friends [or] relatives”.

After taking such a heavy meal we also take a couple of cups of the Peshawari qehwa (green tea with grounded cardamom) for digestion, he added.

In Peshawar, there are more than 25 shops of trotter sellers supplying the special dish to the lovers of the traditional food, informed Yaseen, another seller of paye.

Yaseen is also the third generation of his family continuing in the trotter cooking and selling business in Peshawar city. He said the cooking of trotters takes around 10 to 12 hours.

First, we purchase trotters from the abattoir and then boil them for removing hair from them by using sharp knife. The cleaned trotters are put in an earthen cauldron and cooking starts at night till morning on a low flame.


About the recipe, Yaseen said it comprises of turmeric, salt, pepper both red and black, cumin and cooking oil. He said the main reason behind the unique taste of trotters prepared at shops is its cooking in bulk. Yaseen said he usually cooks around 15 to 20 trotters on a daily basis and sells a single serving at a price of Rs350.

However, in Ramazan the quantity of trotters is increased to 25 to 35 on a daily basis due to its high demand. He admitted that the price of cooked trotters has increased manifold and is getting out of the range of poor people, blaming high price of ingredients specially gas charges, shop rents, enhanced price of cooking oil etc.

Realizing the popularity of Peshawari paye via social media, the foreign tourists and famous food vloggers also taste trotters during their visit to the historic city.

“A number of international vloggers visited our shop and recorded video while enjoying our hospitality and taste of the special trotters”, Yaseen added.

“Most of our patients admit that doctors’ advice of avoiding oily meal especially trotters is ignored by them”, said Dr Muhammad Shehzad, a general physician practicing in Peshawar.—APP



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