Quetta, the land of opportunities
Quetta, formerly Shalkot is the provincial capital and largest city of Baluchistan. It was largely destroyed in the 1935 Quetta earthquake, but was rebuilt and has a population of over 1.1 million. The city is known as the “Fruit Garden of Pakistan,” due to the numerous fruit orchards in and around it, and the large variety of fruits and dried fruit products produced there. Located in northern Baluchistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Quetta is a trade and communication center between the two countries. The city is near the Bolan Pass route which used to be one of the major gateways from Central Asia to South Asia. (Quetta info courtesy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetta)
High rugged mountains, fruit orchards, lakes and bright and friendly people make Quetta a fun and exciting place to live.
Being provincial capital, it’s a modern city having universities, colleges, hospitals, museums, malls and a great network of wide well-lit roads. Mobilization of labor from one location to another is facilitated by the presence of roads, while it also expands transportation of goods. With the construction of roads, towns develop rapidly and prosperity flourishes. The District Quetta is well linked by road, rail, air and telecommunication with other parts of the country. Quetta occupies a central and strategic position. It is seen as the gateway to central Asia. Hence there are ample opportunities and bright chances to be exploited. (Quetta info courtesy: https://www.balochistan.gov.pk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=838&Itemid=1087)
Some of the most mouth-watering, traditional and cultural food delicacies include:
- Sajji – Sajji is the only dish form Baluchistan that is famous around the country and the world. Pieces of lamb are cooked around fire for hours, till the meat gets crispy. The meat is only seasoned with pepper and salt
- Khaddi Kabab – Khaddi kabab serves as another version of the very famous Baluchi Sajji. The whole lamb is stuffed inside the ground and covered while it cooks itself out
- Dumpukht – Dumpukht is actually another variety to the Sajji. A whole lamb is cooked around slow flames to give cooked the meat from the insides
- Kaak or Kurnoo – Lumps of wheat wrapped around a rock and cooked around fire. This roti is to be eaten with freshly cooked meat like Sajji or Dampukht
- Khrud – Khrud is used in a number of dishes in Balochistan, usually with Tereeth. It is actually dry salty yogurt, used to salt up dishes
- Abgoosht – Abgoosht is a lamb stew, usually made by Iranian or Kurdish descendants in Baluchistan. The stew contains other mashed items like beans, kidney and liver
- Chilaanch – Chilaanch is a two or three colored dessert item, made up of kheer and jelly. The fun bit is that it’s eaten with roti and onions
- Roosh – Mutton Roosh comes from Pukthun belts of Baluchistan. One of the most famous food items, it is lamb joints served with yakhni, daal, bhindi and lassi
- Laandhi – Laandhi is one of the rarest food items in Baluchistan. Laandhi is what you get after you preserve seasoned meat for over 5-6 months, so it dries itself out – then ready to be cooked with anything
- Kabuli Pulao – Kabuli Pulao was blessed to people of Baluchistan from Afghan refugees. This delicacy gives a sweet and spicy flavor to the very common pulao
- Fried fish – The Baluchi fish barbecue or better known as fish sajji comes from the Gwadar, Turbat region of Baluchistan. People prefer eating it with Kaak or Chawal ki roti
- Butt o Maash – Butt o Maash is a very homely food item. It is made with mixing two different kinds of pulses – can either be made sweet or salty
Are you from Quetta?
Have you been to Quetta?
Did you have some pleasant memories or facts about Quetta that you want to share?
December 25, 2019
The writer is a professional marketer and engineer with good work exposure to governments, and businesses and industries in the private sector in several countries. Idea is to take the first step in adding value to anything that one gets exposed to instead of just complaining about the same.