Peshawar is famous for two things; Firstly the Pathans, and Secondly, the Namak Mandi (The Salt Bazar). Those who are already aware of Namak Mandi will not be concerned, but those who have not been accustomed will be surprised to know that it is not 'Salt' that is sold in the Namak mandi but rather Smuggled Medicines and Charsi's Tikkas!
But there is nothing of concern that the famous Tikka Farosh, named Nisar is known popularly as Charsi. He himself wants people to call him a Charsi and the biggest evidence of him being a Charsi is a signboard in front of his restaurant. Normally, people dont like Charsis but by far, this is Pakistan's only "Registered Charsi". Whats so special about Charsi's tikkas can be judged by his visitors only. What can be certain is that his shop is always decorated with naked sheep and visited by white collared men. Nisar has been given the responsibility by nature to provide 15-16 sheep daily (with an average weight of 16 Kg each) for the consumption of us humans.
According to Charsi, this shop was first run by his father. It would have been wrong to all it a shop because it was more like a "khokha". After his father's death, Nisar took charge. 30 Years of hard work is evident in the fact that the shop is no longer a "khokha" but a restaurant which he has proudly named the "Sheesh Mahal". All work at the restaurant is monitored by Charsi himself. He stands on the head of each worker to make him do his work. When required, he gives a helping hand himself also. Charsi's life revolves around the restaurant, mosque, and house. Regarding politics, he says, "We are poor people. Politics is the work of the Rich. Whoever comes to us we will raise his slogans for him but we will consider only that person good who does work for our welfare."
Charsi hesitated to tell the secret behind his trade. He replied, "This is all the flavor of hard work. We dont use any Ghees or Masalas but instead cook the sheep in its own fat. This is all the secret there is to it."
But the question still remains that why does Pakistan's most popular Tikka Farosh put a Charsi next to his name? He had a very simple answer for this, "I myself take Chars and that’s why I have this name." Could his truthfulness be the reason why nature has been so kind to him?
Address: Qissa Khawani, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa