21. Baba Farid’s restaurant

Every day in Pakpattan many people arrive, coming to pay a visit to the tomb of Baba Farid, to greet him, to pray in his mosque and to invocate God with the hope that their prayers will be answered by virtue of the nearness with the saint’s tomb.

pakpattan derbar2


All these persons are considered guests of Baba Farid, and everyday food is served continuously in the mausoleum and in the streets so that everyone who came will go back with his heart satiated with peace and his stomach satiated with rice.

Baba Farid’s guests are poor and humble, they eat without spoon and fork, and instead of plates, they use plastic bags or the veil or even the prayer carpet.


riso plastica


riso ciaddor


The food that is been served is prepared in big pots by people whose profession is to cook for Baba Farid’s guests, and for little money they will cook the rice for the persons who wish to offer it to Baba Farid’s guests.


riso cucina


On Friday many more guests come to Baba Farid’s mausoleum because this is the day of congregational prayer, and he Muslims wear fresh clothing and they perfume themselves for praying altogether.

I have decided to have a pot of rice prepared and to offer it in the name of my father, instead of bringing expensive flowers on his grave, so that he will have the merit of having fed so many people.


riso pentolone


This has been the occasion to learn how the rice was prepared in Pakpattan, and now that I know the receipt I shall be able to prepare it for my own guests.

The receipt needs:
10 kg of Basmati rice
10 litres of water
2 kg of onions
250 gr ginger
I kg tomatoes
100g spices
8 kg of meat
250 gr of salt
2 litres of oil
1 kg of yoghurt

First, all the spices, the meat, the vegetables, the ginger and the spices are made to boil for 20 minutes in the water with half of the salt until the meat becomes a little soft.


riso carne


All the boiled things are then taken out of the water and fried in the oil together with the yoghurt.


riso yogurt


Then the water is poured back into the pot with the other half of the salt and when it boils the rice is added.


riso acqua


The food will be ready after 15 minutes of cooking over a very slow fire.
The last ingredient necessary for the feast is the 60 persons who will clean up the pot of all that rice.


riso distribuzione



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