Aug 13, 2008

Tawa gurda kapoora - aka Taka tak

While the world is talking about the weirdness of  Beijing style food, I thought of highlighting the position of Lahori food on the chart of bizarreness. I am sure it stands somewhere in the top 10. So here we go:
Roughly translated, Tawa gurda kapoora means kidneys and testicles in a large frying pan. To avoid the embarrassment of associating such words with food, most of us now call it Taka tak. It refers to the sound made by the skillful chef while frying these organs and hitting the pan with two sharp slicers in a captivating rythm. He keeps slicing and frying them until the kapooray (testicles), gurday (kidneys), dil (heart), maghaz (brain) and chaampain (ribs) become a homogeneous mixture of meat and thick masala curry. You can make your pick and choose which parts to include in your serving. It is DELICIOUS.

One of the most famous spots to try this out is Butt taka tak at Lakshmi chowk, Gawalmandi. It is located right next to Butt Karahi that has been reviewed earlier. Not only will you enjoy the typical outdoor dining experience in the heart of Lahore, you will also find a bunch of live chickens to give you company while you listen to the magical beat of taka tak. Not to mention all those large tables smothered with uncooked goat organs (as you can see in the above picture) giving you a feeling of being part of a massive autopsy project.

What? .. Yikes? .. No! The moment you take the first bite of this scrumptious meal, will be the time when everything else, such as traffic noise, diesel smoke, smell of chicken shit, autopsy tables, etc., will stop bothering you. So dive in and give it a try.

Price range: Rs. 150-250
Cleanliness: Dirty


  1. Impressive blog. Great to see the eateries of Lahore. A must guide for people visiting Lahore and wondering where to get their appetites served.

    By the way, will you be interested in writing at



  2. Wonderful side of Lahore. Good coverage.

  3. Nice blog and an excellent insight into Lahori cuisine, just came across you today, as I am visiting Pakistan this December for a wedding and wanted to get an idea of what I might be in for.

    The Taka tak might be a bit much for my palete, however, when in Rome.

  4. Thank you everyone for your kind words. It is certainly encouraging.

  5. Hello

    I am living in London and came across your blog as I love Pakistani food and I am hopefully a budding chef. There are some great Pakistani restaurants that I have eaten at in London such as Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House and this has inspired me to learn how to cook some Lahore style food. Can you recommend any cook books that i could purchase that could teach me how to make everything from Karahi curry dishes to anything more obscure that might be a specialty in Lahore?

    Any suggestions or links to books, chefs, recipes etc would be greatly appreciated! my email is jmaster123@ - thanks!

  6. Jeremy, Thanks for visiting the blog. I am rather surprised with your interest in Pakistani food. Normally, westerners are not a big fan of spicy food and the food in India and Pakistan is meaningless without (a lot of) spices :) I am really glad that you can appreciate it.

    May be you can visit It will give you a good starting point for some traditional recipes. I will share with you if I come across with other good resources.

    Needless to say that it would be ideal if you can visit Pakistan to check out the food in the real sense of the word. If you plan to do so, let me know and I will be glad to be your food guide.

  7. Wow, nice blog that best explains "taka tak" with everything from its meaning to its composition and from pictures to the unhygienic environment! I just typed "taka tak" and this page was the #1 result by google and deservedly so!
    Waqas (aka Happy from NUCES aka nuisance).

  8. yo!!! this is one of the mogul dishes :) imagine you sucking a animal testes LMAO

  9. Interesting blog.... Just stopped by.....please share more

  10. Taka Tak (Tawa Gurda Kapoora) Anarkali Food Street Lahore

  11. Salaams,

    Aqeel I would like to talk to you.
    Please let me know how to contact you through email.
    Where can I email you?