Penda is a special dish that is widely eaten in Marwat, Bannu, Waziristan and their surroundings. There are different variations of the dish for each tribe. The word "Penda" is derived from the Pashto word "Panda" which literally means "A Lot". True to its name, Penda is prepared in big quantities and many people sit together to eat it. It is for this reason that it is served in large dishes (called "Thal"). There are no formalities involved, therefore everybody eats from this same "Thal" while sitting around it in circles.
It is seldom prepared by the household for itself, in fact its generally prepared and served for guests, at weddings, or other such important occasions. In villages, men get together every night in somebody's Betak or Hujra. A few of them are appointed the task of preparing the "Sohbat". If it is time to eat, this Sohbat is usually Penda but if people have eaten already, then this Sohbat is something sweet to go after the food; usually Halwa (locally known as "Rosha"). These men prepare the Sohbat under the watchful eyes of everybody else. It is also said that the Prophet PBUH's favorite dish was called "Sureed" which is made in the same way as Penda.
The main ingredients are Chicken and a specially made bread called Paastis. The term Paasti again comes from the Pashto word "Pasta" which means "soft". The traditional 'Paasti' are extremely thin like paper and very big in diameter (around half a meter). In nowadays time, we have the facility of large "Teghna's" that is big enough for its size. But in yester-years, Paasti's would be prepared on empty Charcoal barrels (known locally as "Butt") that would be cut in half. Whatever the method, preparing these delicate Paasti requires experience and ...