Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vending Junk

If one happens to be around a school at the recess or closing time, once come across many vendors selling the very indigenous junk food in the form of “chooran, lachhay (aka American Candy), braf kay golay, gol gappay, peethian walay laddoo, pakoras, chat”, home made candies and sweets. And one is amazed to see the crowd they attract and the money they pocket from kids and elders alike.
I remember my childhood days, when these vendors were still there as they are today. The “chooran” – a stinging substance that would attack one’s throat the moment it was taken – but still many bought it. There was one kind of “chooran” which had to be prepared by adding some substance over it and then ignited by fire – we found it to be very fascinating. “Baraf kay Golay” – made from crushed ice and homemade sweet syrp of different colours spread over it. It was a poor man’s ice cream – these are still being sold. Watching “lachhay” being made fresh in a cylinder is still around and it is eaten still hot and fresh (though smell of ingredients is somewhat repelling). Sometimes, the vendor would make various shapes from the freshly made Lachhay like sparrow, hen, cat or like. This would add more fun to eating.
“Gol Gappay” or Pani Poori (so called in Karachi) is famous among females who would find it a must-eat thing in Liberty Lahore beside other places. “Peethian Walay Laddoo” – made from Mash ki Daal was and still one of my favourite junk food. Whenever I visit Lahore (a place I was grown up), I make it a point to eat these saltish Laddoos. Only difference is that in my childhood one could a plate of two for 4 anas, now the same plate costs thirty rupees. What a food for the poor.
“Bathoorays” is yet another very tasty thing to eat – made from flour kneaded with onions, oil and green peppers and then baked like parathas and served with channa curry.
Although these very tast eatables abound all over Pakistan, but are now restricted to older parts of the cities as the newer generation prefers pizzaz and burgers and chips. Like general decay in heritage and cultural values, these “traditional” eatables are also being relegated. But anyone who gets a chance to eat these once, would stick to them for long.
Have you ever tried any of these? – if not, try once, you’ll agree.


S A J Shirazi said...

Best experience, other than conventional food, that I have is eating Dall Mash served on leaves (Pepeel Key Patte).

Or keeping Mishri ki Dalii in mouth and taking sugar less tea with Russian teachers when I was doing Linguistics in NUML.

Very ‘ignominious’ post.