Peshawar (erstwhile Purushpur, capital city of Kanishka’s empire) is the home to most of the exotic, rich, creamy and spicy Peshawari cuisine. The Punjabi cuisine from Northern India has influences from the Peshawari style of cooking.
Peshawari food has a dominant Pashtun influence but a lot of its taste and ingredients are borrowed from the city’s rich culture and history.
Peshawari cuisine is filled with immense amounts of taste and history. Peshawari cuisine dates back centuries and has made its way into India all the way from Afghanistan, through Pakistan over time.
Influences from Moghul kitchens, Sikh food habits, British rule, and age-old practices define Peshawari cuisine. Flavoursome shorbas, chargrilled kebabs and melt-in-mouth kormas richness seem to be the hallmark of Peshawari cuisine as each dish is prepared to suit the royal standards.
Meat comes at its succulent best, the result of double marination in cheese and raw papaya, there are gravies thickened with cream-cashew paste and desserts that flaunt a lavish dash of saffron.
Largely based on meat dishes that use exotic spices such as saffron, cardamom and cinnamon to name a few, Peshawari cuisine is a potpourri of various cultures that have evolved with time.
Banno kebab (chicken kebabs), chapli kebab (minced lamb cutlets), mutton dumpukht (slow-cooked mutton), and anjeer halwa (fig pudding) are among the many Peshawari favourites. Each dish is unique because it is cooked with a special technique.
Peshawari cuisine is known for using liberal amounts of oil which contributes to the richness and uses a wide variety of aromatic and spicy flavours like brown cardamom, green cardamom, mace, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cumin seeds, chilli powder, coriander seeds and bay leaves.