An unforgettable tribal meal from Afghanistan, penda (or painda) is a traditional dish from the “Khyber Pass” on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. The dish gets its name from a Pashto word “panda” which means “a lot”. True to its name, penda is often prepared in big quantities for large groups of people to share; for special occasions such as weddings, parties or any large celebration. It is served in large dishes called “Thal“, and traditionally everybody eats from the same thal using their hands while sitting around it in a circle. (We’ll be serving it in individual portions, but are happy to make a sharing plate for those who want to try it the traditional way).
Cook Humeira Mathew shares a little bit of the personal story behind this dish: “My grandmother use to make this dish and I have been in love with this dish since then. It is a simple and flavourful soul food which warms not only your belly but also your heart. I learnt the dish from my grandmother and hope to pass it down to my daughters with the same message my grandfather gave me: “penda is a dish which brings all of us together and creates harmony. While sitting around sharing a meal, we all become “one”, we forget our race, our religion and our status. We all are equal — that is the true message of the dish“.”
Chicken Penda $14
Thin flatbreads are cut into small pieces and soaked in a chicken and potato curry with lots broth and the distinct flavour of roasted Garam Masala, a classic South Asian blend of warm spices like peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, and cumin. It is garnished with onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chillie , lemon and fried onions. It is served with a refreshing yogurt raita, and a simple salad of cucumber and lettuce.
Bokhara Dal (Indian Black Lentil and Vegetable stew) $12
Hearty Indian soul food slow cooked with onions and tomatoes and garnished with coriander and cream (optional). Served with basmati rice, with a refreshing yogurt raita, and a simple salad of cucumber and lettuce. #vegetarian / #vegan & #GF
Chocolate Brownies $6
Astonishingly chocolatey and delicious gluten-free brownies made with nutritious lentil flour, served with coconut whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Humeira Mathew is a passionate cook who runs Rich Flavors of Asia, a South Asian catering company and participates in many South Asian food events in Mississauga. Inspired by the delicious cooking of her grandmother and mother, this love and sincerity of cooking has been passed down through the generations. She loves to experiment with different kinds of flavours and cuisines and tries to bring something new and fresh to the table each time. She believes in the power of balanced, healthy and flavorful food to bring family, friends and different cultures together and create harmony in society. That’s why for the past 20 years she’s cooked fresh food for her family everyday. For more information on her cooking and healthy lentil products visit: http://richfoodscompany.com
Every Friday The Depanneur is an ‘open mic’ night for culinary talent in TO, where we invite guest cooks, amateur or professional, to come and make their favourite dishes.