The Hazara people have a hospitable dining etiquette. In Hazaragi culture, it is customary to prepare special food for guests, and to honor them with the best seats during meal times. Most Hazaras eat food with their hands, as opposed to using cutlery and dining utensils such as forks, knives or spoons. The diet of the Hazara people is largely based on the intake of high-protein foods such as meats and dairy products. They use large amounts of oil in their cooking. A typical Hazara meal/dining course normally consists of cooking one type of food or dish, rather than a wide selection. However, in large formal gatherings or during the presence of guests, a variety of foods may be cooked in the household.
Hazara cuisine is largely centred on bread. There are three main types of breads consumed by Hazara people:
Rice is less frequent in rural Hazara cuisine due to its expense. Tea is a popular beverage among the Hazara people. Fruits and vegetables are only consumed when in season.
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Popular Hazaragi dishes include:
Bolani or Pirki basically like paratha, made of boiled potatoes, spring onions or gandana (a vegetable in between a leek and a scallion/spring onion), garlic, salt and black pepper.
Shir Rogho - Hot milk tea with butter added.
Aash - Traditional Hazaragi Aash is plain noodles with Kashk/Ayran (yogurt), fresh mint and salt. Also in Hazarajat, a powder called "Pudina" (a plant, closely related to mint that grows only in Bamyan) is added on top.
Dalda, a dish made of boiled crushed wheat served with melted desi ghee or butter, often with brown fried onions.
Mantu, a type of traditional Hazara dumpling with meat filling
Ashak, a type of traditional Hazara dumpling (commonly) with a garlic chive filling.
Changali or Malida, basically a dessert but mostly served with black or green tea for breakfast.
Halwa e Samanak, also called Halwa e Sia (Sia meaning black) or Surkh, is a mixture of flour, germinated wheat and water which is fried in oil and then simmered for four hours to harden. It tastes sweet even though no sugar is added.
Qabardagh (also called Surk Kada in some regions) is meat, in preference ribs, that is fried with garlic and salt and later steamed.
Pai'cha ia is a wintertime speciality of boiled cow or sheep parts, which might include the head or/and feet. Onion, garlic, salt, oil and wheat berries are added, sometimes lentils or other legumes are also added. It is put to simmer for hours on low heat. This is very rich in gelatin and minerals.