Cooking has always been a hobby of mine. I prefer cooking traditional Pakistani dishes, especially ones from Pakhtun cuisine, because they are easier for me to learn from my mom. There is one particular dish that I love to make, and was one of the first I learnt to cook from her. I will show you how to make Spicy Painda.
‘Painda’ is a Pashto word that means “a group of people sitting together”. It is a dish typical to Pakhtuns, specifically those from Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Karak. It’s also called Sohbut in some other areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Besides its unparalleled taste, the dish is famous for the style in which it is served. The serving dish for painda is always a very large one (also known as a thaal), and everyone eats from the same dish. This reflects the love and unity that is characteristic to Pakhtun culture.
In Pakhtun homes, whenever we have a family get together, spicy Painda is a must. I still remember my childhood days, when every Friday our whole family used to sit down in a circle around the dish, enjoying Painda with desi ghee and black pepper, while our grandfather amused us with his stories. Painda has always been a customary Friday night meal for us as a family, and we all looked forward to it. I am sharing with you my mother’s recipe, and I hope your family will have fond memories of it as well.