Persenda~Dry Meat Cousine of Pashtun Afghan

The Pashtuns (also known as Afghan and Pathan) are an ethnic group with populations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are generally classified as Eastern Iranian who use Pashto language and follow Pashtunwali, which is a traditional set of ethics guiding individual and communal conduct1. Passing through a transition, Pashtun was a pastoralist community moving with their livestock round the year following clouds and foliage. Still almost half of the population of the Pashtuns are either pastoralists (Afghan Kuchi), agro-pastoralists, or small scaled farmers.

They are inhabitants of historical land (the Arya Warsha2) of Central Asia fortified with rich livestock keeping culture. They have their own culture/way of wearing, food production, processing & conservation and cooking etc. They are the custodian of nature and traditions of war and peace.

Landi meat

Dry Persenda meat. The meat is salted and spiced and dried. It is really very special and delicious

This article is about their unique and special food item, the dry lamb meat; called as Persenda. Sometimes this phenomenon is confused with the Landi (which is actually the process of making Persenda).

Persenda2 is commonly made from the lamb meat but occasionally can be made from beef, camel meat and even goat meat. Among the sheep’s’ some native breeds are highly preferred than others because of the taste, easy in processing, juiciness, and muscle structure.

Process of Making Persenda

Selection of animal: The animal selected for Persenda meat is called the Landi Mazz. The sheep is usually selected/buy 3-4 months before the slaughtering. Free range grazing in the crops aftermath and additional amount of grains are provided.

1ST Stage of Persenda: In the month of December (dry and cold) the sheep is slaughtered, the wool is plucked by hands, and the viscera’s are removed from the abdomen. The cut of abdomen is then sewn by a wooden stick from a green tree. The carcass is then singed by flame of bushes.

Deboning and Salting Stage: Now the carcass is washed outside and inside to remove dirt, blood, ashes etc. The bones of the carcass are removed in a very artistic way that the meat remain in the carcass. Special care is taken not to puncture the skin which can result in drip loss (salt loss) of the carcass. The inside of the carcass is salted and store in a shady, airy and dry place for 2-4 days.

Cutting and Drying: The carcass is now cut in pieces and each piece is pierced by a wooden stick like barbeque stick but the pieces are quite big. The stick are then hang by a pole in the mid of the house which is called Landi pole. It takes 10-15 days to get complete dry. The pole is protected by thorny bushes to prevent cat etc. from eating Persenda.

Storage of the dry pieces:  The dry pieces are stored in sack /cloth bag usually woven of natural fiber. The bag is then stored in a cold dry room/place. The pieces are taken out according to the need of the family. The Landi is special cuisine and offered to the guests also. Afghan hospitality is very famous and special.

Cuisine and cooking: The cooking method is so simple. Initially the meet is put in hot water for a while to wash the additional salts used for preservation. Later on it is cooked in a muddy cooker (Kataw). The meat is boiled in water and some herbs and spices are added. The soap (shorwa) prepared from boiling is used to soak the bread pieces in a bowel. The meat is eaten with bread after eating the shorwa meal.

References

  1. Pashtun Afghan; Available online; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashtuns
  2. Characterization and significance of Raigi camel, a livestock breed of the Pashtoon pastoral people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Raziq et al /Journal of Livestock Science 2: 11-19: http://livestockscience.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/slutversion_after_revision_av_Raigi_camel_till_J_Livestock_science.pdf
  3. Persenda Ark of Taste; Available online in: http://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/persenda/

Note; for more details, one can contact directly;

Raziq2007@gmail.com

 

2 thoughts on “Persenda~Dry Meat Cousine of Pashtun Afghan

  1. Replies from some friends through Facebook are copied here.
    Abdul Raoof Khan
    Two type of dry meat , one is Landi and second is Parsanda, landi used after dry of meat within winter season and parsanda used all around the year……….. third kind is HUNDARA having high calories then remaining two types of dry meat
    It is also practice in Mongolia with goat and cattle flash and called as BORTS.
    According to Brahvi Baloch culture it is in the following lines written by my student Iqbal Mengal as;
    First remove bones from meat, then apply salts on meat it help in removing of water…then apply heavy weight on meat for 2 to 3 day. then check water completely removed or not………when water is removed then allow to dry on shadows not on sun light…….after 25 to one month then it will be ready

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