LAHORE: Street food stalls of the country are pockmarked with dhai baray and gol gappay the whole year round, but come winter and one item makes an appearance that is exclusive to the streets of Lahore; the laddu patty.
Pronounced “pehtis” locally, stalls selling this simple vegetarian snack pop up along the roadsides of several areas in the colder months. While Lahoris may be used to seeing the item, those not familiar with the city may say it as a bit on an anomaly.
Over time, laddu patty stalls have somehow found their niche in Karim block, a busy cloth market in Iqbal Town. Given the name laddu, first timers may find it tricky to determine whether the snack is sweet, sour or spicy.
According to Ijaz Ahmed, who runs a stall in Karim block, the snack is a mixture of all three. He says it is a deep fried lentil patty served with two or three kinds of sweet and spicy sauces, while the serving is garnished with grated white radish and carrots.
He adds demand rises during the winter, while he sells aaloo kukhara (plum fruit) sharbat over the summer.
With a typical serving of two costing just Rs50, Ijaz says he sells patties worth Rs3,000 on a daily basis.
Ijaz, who started running the stall around three years back, says that like any other food, the key to a good quality product is freshness of the ingredients.
The roadside vendor says preparation starts with soaking the lentils overnight. Meanwhile, the sour apricot sauce is cooked separately by adding coriander mint and spices, whereas the sweet sauce is made of sugar and apricot.
He says that during the day, as customers approach, lentils are ground into a fine paste and fried into patties for a fresh serving.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.
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