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Some of the popular Pashtun dishes, from left to right: 1. Lamb grilled kebab (seekh kabab
); 2. Palao
and salad; 3. Tandoori chicken
; and 4. Mantu
(dumplings). The Pashtun cuisine includes a blend of Central Asian, Eastern Asian, South Asian and the Middle Eastern cuisines. Most Pashtun dishes are traditionally non-spicy.
Pashtun cuisine (Pashto: پښتنۍ خواړه) refers to the cuisine of the Pashtuns. The cuisine of the Pashtun people is covered under Afghan cuisine and Pakistani cuisine, and is largely based on plethora of meat dishes that includes lamb, beef, chicken, and fresh fish as well as rice and some other vegetables. Accompanying these staples are also dairy products (yogurt, whey, cheeses), including various nuts, locally grown vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Cities such as Kandahar, Jalalabad, Kabul, Quetta, Herat, Mardan, and especially Peshawar are known for being the centers of Pashtun cuisine.
The following is a short and incomplete list of some food items that Pashtuns often eat.
- Kabuli pulao
- Pekhteh or Pukhtay (beef/mutton ribs)
- Naray ghwakha (mutton, mutton dish)
- Chopan Kabab (lamb chops, skewered and grilled on charcoal)
- Seekh kabab (beef/mutton/chicken)
- Chapli kabab
- Shinwari tikka, roasted lamb
- Kichrei, sticky medium grain rice cooked with mung beans and onions, topped with melted qurot sauce. This is mostly eaten during winter.
- Londei (aka Tarshay), (spiced lamb or beef jerky cooked with rice)
- Shorwa (soup)
- Aush (hand made noodles)
- Aushak (vegetable and chive-filled dumplings topped with tomato and yogurt sauces)
- Mantu (meat dumplings), usually served under a yogurt-based white sauce
- Bolani also called Piraki in Afghanistan
- Burrani, is a style of presentation, usually eggplant (Badenjan|Bonjon) sometimes potatoes (kachaloo|aloo) or pumpkin (kadoo), where the vegetable is sauteed in a tomato based sauce and garnished with yogurt. Not to be confused with Bolani.
- Bonjan, eggplant cooked in oil with potatoes and tomatoes
- Bendei, okra cooked in oil with onions and tomatoes. Also known as Bhindi in Urdu/Hindi.
- Masteh (freshly made yogurt)
- Ghatay Rujay (Ghatay Wrejay), literally "fat rice", is a rice dish, resembling risotto, prepared in Charsadda, Mardan, Pirpiai, and some other villages of the region, where the short grain brown rice is grown.
- Naan or Dodai. Naan or, Dodai, as it is called in Pashto, is a flat bread usually made in vertical clay ovens called Tanoor in Pashto (Tandoor in Urdu/Hindi).
- Shomleh/Shlombeh (aka "Triwai" in Kabul), a drink made from mixing yogurt with water and shaking it extensively. Then adding dried mint leaves (optional) and small amount of salt.
- Shna Chai (Green tea), Paratha, eggs, and sometimes cheese.