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Taste of Pakistan

india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 02:36 IST
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Food junkies rejoice! Now, you can relish local and regional cuisine all under one roof, a la Lahore food street. The government has offered to help states to come up with at least one food-street or complex in their city that gives diners the best of local and regional cuisine. Gear up for an Indian version of Lahore's famous Food Street!

PI Suvarathan, Secretary, Union Food Processing ministry, who made the offer, conceded that the inspiration came from a street in Gawaalmandi district across the border. "Lahore's food street is nearly 1.5 km long, replete with dhabas and small eating joints on both sides of the road, that comes to life every evening," said Suvarathan and added, "We are taking a cue from that success."

In fact the street, surrounded by centuries-old havelis, is now treated as the centre of traditional Pakistani food and everyday in the evening, the street serves tourists the food of their choice, at reasonable prices.

"For instance, Kashmiri cuisine is unique and could be showcased in such a place," Suvarathan said. He remarked confidently that a street like this could become a must-visit for lakhs of tourists who visit the state, every year. The number of tourists was six lakh last year and the Union home secretary V.K. Duggal expects it to cross a million mark, this year.

Officials said they were not unduly worried about quality issues at road-side eating joints. It is an issue of imparting the right kind of training to those running these places. "Bangkok has done it, so can we," he said, announcing a plan to introduce 10,000 stainless steel carts for street vendors. Engineers at the Delhi College of Engineering would design these stainless steel carts on an experimental basis.