The cook at Zaika Chawal Restaurant takes the bones cooking in the pulao and cracks them open. Then, he scoops out the marrow and adds it to the rice. Combined with the sweet raisins and nutty chickpeas, it was a match made in heaven!
Peshawar is a city located in the Valley of Peshawar. It is the oldest city in the country and dates back to at least 539 BCE. It’s also the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and is located just east of the famous Khyber Pass.
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After spending a few days in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, I headed inland to explore one of the country’s more mountainous regions. Come with me as I try the legendary street food in Peshawar, including pulao, in Qissa Kwani Bazaar in Pakistan!
Then, we headed back out to a vendor selling fresh pomegranate juice. It was super refreshing and healthy!
Next, Rashid and I headed back out and tried a creamy fruit chaat just two doors down. It contains dates, raisins, bananas, cashews, almonds, and a sweet syrup. It was full of different flavors and textures and was a great palate cleanser!
Peshawar has the feel of a very old city. We passed by vendors selling bean karahi, which was full of spices. Then, we passed some jewelry shops selling gold and silver necklaces and bracelets. After that, I tried some walnuts from a friendly walnut vendor!
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I was joined by my guide Rashid from Manaky, who would be showing me around the country for the next 9 days. I couldn’t wait to eat some delicious food! We’d be starting with some incredible pulao with beef, chickpeas, bone marrow, and raisins at Zaika Chawal Restaurant, whose name translates to Taste of Rice.
Next, we tried some brown sugar nuggets at another vendor before trying some dried apricots at a dried fruit shop. Further on were some knife makers and more food vendors selling corn chapatis and more. I would have loved to have eaten more, but I was so full!
I was truly blown away by the incredible street food in Peshawar, Pakistan. It’s such a unique city, and the people are so warm and friendly. It’s a must for anyone who wants to experience Pakistan for themselves!
The raisins and meat gave it tons of flavor. Unlike biryani, pulao isn’t layered and doesn’t contain a ton of spices, but the ingredients they used more than made up for it.
Qissa Kwani Bazaar is true sensory overload! In addition to food vendors, you also have clothing and food vendors, brass vendors, pottery makers, house appliances, and tons of activity on the streets. The people there are super welcoming and friendly, too!
Then, we continued on to get some tea at a local teahouse. But then, a friendly vendor invited me to try his fruit chaat, which contains paneer and honey! It was really tasty and sweet. I loved the paneer, almonds, and whipped cream!
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Through a tight alleyway and up a set of stairs is a traditional teahouse where you can enjoy your tea and even lay down. I started with the traditional green tea, which was phenomenal!
Further on are tons of vendors selling gold and silver jewelry! Past the jewelry bazaar, we got some kulfi, which is a dense, icy ice cream. The vendor fills metal cylinders with cream and puts them in his portable freezer.
The combination of flavors was incredible. The beef was tender and tasty, but the marrow was the best part! It’s no wonder this is the most famous pulao in the city!
Then, we stopped by a garment shop, where they offered us some amazing chai! It was scorching hot but delicious. The shop sold some beautiful prayer mats and shawls. We also found some colorful scarves. I loved how vibrant they were! My guide got it for me as a gift!
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The bazaar is also massive. Even though I was exhausted, I was so excited to eat. The pulao looked so good!