Traditinal Pakistani Food: "The A, B, C and D of dishes..." Top 5 Page for this destination Karachi Restaurant Tip by JessH
Karachi Restaurants: 73 reviews and 80 photos
In comparison with most other Asian countries, a vegetarian or non-meat eater might find it very difficult to find some nice dishes to enjoy. I am a great believer in the philosophy of "when in Rome..." but Karachi was a bit of a challenge for me in that department!
Whereas in Thailand and India I had no problems finding a bounty of authentic vegetarian or fish-dishes, the same cannot be said for Pakistan... these guys love their meat! (mostly chicken, lamb & beef. Once again keep in mind that this is a Muslim country so you won't find pork anywhere.)
But it wasn't only me that was finding it a bit difficult to find some nice dishes; most of my travel-companions had converted to vegetarianism for the duration of our trip, simply to cut-down on the risk of acquiring some kind of nasty stomach bug.
Naturally, I very much enjoyed some good vegetable biryanis and nice yoghurt & mint sauce to go along with it, but there really wasn't much to choose from otherwise.
Many of the traditional dishes are similar or even the same as in India (especially Northern India) but Pakistani food tends to be more dry with less sauces and oil.
This is mostly barbequed food with the most popular dishes including Chicken Tikka, Kebabs, lamb chops, etc. Most dishes are either eaten with rice, or with the famous Chapati bread (thin, whole wheat flour) or Paratha bread (chapatti with ghee = clarified butter).
The trend for quick traditional foods has resulted in the production of ready-made spice mixtures for masala, etc. that are also available in most Western countries... this industry originated in Karachi.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dishes are:
A: Aalloo Gobi: potatoe and cauliflower patties (good appetizer).
B: Biryani (with vegetables).
C: Chapati bread.
D: Dal (lentils).
At my friend's wedding, the father of the bride was kind enough to order some vegetarian alternatives for us, including Dal (lentils), vegetable biryani (again...) and strangely enough, hash browns (I didn't realize these were Pakistani cusine? Haha!)
Here are some guidelines on eating with Pakistani Muslims:
1) If you are seated on the floor, make sure that the soles of your feet (with or without shoes/socks) do not point towards anyone directly.
2) If cutlery is not provided, you eat with your hands - your right hand, to be precise! Now, I know that this can be tricky for "unskilled" Westerners - basically, the simplest & least messy way is to take small pieces of bread & to wrap your rice, meat, fish, etc. into small parcles.
So, even if you might have issues with finding some authentic & meat-free cuisine, try some of the few available dishes and you won't regret it ;-)
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