Veggies on backfoot in Pak | india | Hindustan Times
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Veggies on backfoot in Pak

Pakistan isn't the place to be if you are a farm animal ? nor is it the best place to be if you aren't a farm animal eater, writes Avirook Sen.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2004 12:04 IST

Pakistan isn't the place to be if you are a farm animal —nor is it the best place to be if you aren't a farm animal eater.

Hemang Badani, the 'pure' vegetarian in the Indian team says he's struggling. "I'm surviving on toast and spaghetti,” he says. Team analyst S. Ramakrishnan is struggling as well. Others like V.V.S. Laxman and Murali Kartik have at least one extra option — they eat eggs.

There's the added hassle of Tuesdays. Several Indian cricketers, including captain Sourav Ganguly, are vegetarian for the day. All you can get, usually, the ubiquitous daal and the slightly rarer 'mixed vegetables', the latter is, from all accounts, the least popular dish on Pakistani menus.

If you happen to be a vegetarian, you are a genuine cause for concern for the extremely hospitable Pakistanis. It isn't that this country doesn't eat vegetables. There's lots of it in Pak cuisine — mixed with lamb or chicken or beef.

Faced with a vegetarian, Pakistanis can ask questions like: “How about fish?” As Mazhar Kayani, a PIA executive, asked a vegetarian journalist. Fish is about as veg as Pakistan gets. Kayani was only half-joking.

For those into meat, however, this country is heaven — Lahore's food street being just one of the roads to it. You can get tikkas and trotters and everything in between here. There's a similar food street in Islamabad. And there's the Namak mandi in Peshawar.