A better name for Karachi, Pakistan’s “City of Lights,” would include the equally apt “City of Delights.” Apart from having more than 2 million residents, it’s also an amalgamation of many ethnicities and nationalities. As a result of the city’s cultural and economic variety, its residents have created some of the most mouthwatering cuisines ever experienced by a Pakistani. A wide range of people, cultures, languages, traditions, and tastes may be found in the town. To truly experience Karachi as a foodie destination, you must sample the city’s street cuisines.
1. Afghani Boti
A dish that most Karachi residents may not even agree on as Karachi’s top dish, but rather an Afghani dish. Sohrab Goth, Karachi’s bus and truck traffic center, is a hive of activity all day and night hours. At Al-Asif, Sohrab Goth’s best dish is the Afghani boti. If you’re a foodie like me, there are few things more satisfying than sitting down at a Takht and slurping down a slice of boti right from the seekh on Sohrab Goth in Kabul.
2. Bun Kabab
In Karachi, Bun Kababs are a popular street snack. Bun Kababs, a specialty of the nursery, is well-known across the community. When discussing Pakistani cuisine, especially the famous street food of Karachi, it would be impossible to ignore the ever-present bun kebabs. These were the fast food rulers before burgers took over. Bun kabab stalls may be found practically anywhere in Karachi, making a quick stop for a snack a breeze. They’re not only delicious, but they’re also reasonably priced.
The Urdu-speaking Karachiites who emigrated after the partition of the Indian Subcontinent had a significant impact on local cuisine. Since most of the Urdu-speaking population has settled in Karachi, its food may be found in its most original form here, including the dish Nihari. Slow-cooked meat stew with shanks and bone marrow served with oven-baked Naan bread, whether beef, lamb, mutton, or chicken.
4. Hot N Spicy Chicken Chutney Roll
Fire-grilled, boneless, and skinless Chicken Tikka wrapped in paratha: The excellent cuisine for a constantly moving city. It’s hard to think about Karachi without the chicken roll; it’s quick, easy, and inexpensive. Karachi-style paratha rolls are widely available in Pakistan, and many people discover the city for the first time through them. The roll is the best bet for food that typifies this metropolis.
5. Nalli Biryani
Nalli Biryani has been a hot topic in Karachi for nearly a year. Karachiites from all around the city have tried Nalli Biryani. Incorporating bone marrow and Biryani elevates this dish to a new level of deliciousness. Nali Biryani is revered by some and derided by others, depending on who you ask.
6. Chicken Karahi
It’s a must-have dish in Karachi to try Chicken Karahi. Known as Karahi in Urdu, the wok used to cook it gives its name to this spiciness-filled meal. The meal will be available at all Pakistani restaurants specializing in local food. As well as chicken or other meat, this recipe features a flavorful combination of ginger, tomatoes, and spices.
7. Chicken Behari Tikka
Before the roll, Karachi was defined as a pulsating, vibrant metropolis. Tacos called “tikka paratha” were ubiquitous throughout the city. Chicken Behari tikka at Meerath Kabab House still reigns supreme, although the original restaurant now has multiple offshoots across the city. There are more green chilies in the chicken tikka than in the standard red version. There is a tendency for chicken Behari to be softer, as well. The Meerath variant dissolves in your mouth, allowing you to taste the city nearly. Meerath Kabab House doesn’t even serve naan to their guests because the crispy deep-fried paratha complements it.
Authentic shawarmas aren’t available at Karachi’s restaurants because they’re wrapped in plain bread. Pita, on the other hand, claims to be selling legitimate ones. Even if it cannot be compared to a standard roadside stand food of sale, this establishment is unquestionably the first in the city to sell authentic Lebanese shawarma effectively.
Many ingredients are used to make Handi, but it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Mughal and Punjabi influences give it an exceptional flavor that makes it popular among diners. For its name, the meal has been known as a “Handi,” however it can also be made in an iron wok or karahi.
10. Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza has become a staple in the city’s diet. Long lineups outside Pizza Hut Boat Basin after midnight and waiting for a seat outside Tariq Road Kings N Queens imply this is not a new phenomenon, despite the recent boom of pizza businesses. Pizza has long been a staple of Karachi cuisine.
11. Fried Fish
Seafood fried fish is a popular snack in Karachi. Is fried fish what you’re craving? Make your way to Ghaffar. Being so close to the sea, fish is a common ingredient on Karachi’s street food menu. But there’s a special touch to the fried fish here! Spiced fish is deep fried and served with a chutney unique to the region where it was caught (sauce).
12. Seekh Kebab
Seekh Kebabs are only one of the various kebabs that Pakistanis like. Depending on the variety, they can be made from chicken, lamb, or beef and skewered before being barbecued over an open flame. Before cooking, the meat is minced, combined with various spices and herbs, and served with naan or rice, raita (yogurt dip), and a simple salad.
13. Kundun Broast – Quarter Broast
Karachi comes to mind when you hear the word “broast.” In no other context will I refer to fried chicken as “broast.” For me, one of the most exciting parts of roasting chicken is seeing the steam rise and biting into the crispy skin before it cools down. However, Kundun Broast on the main Karsaz is the only one to cut. My friend refers to the chutney served with the chicken as “the chutney from hell,” and I agree. It’s an entirely different beast when dunked in a spicy red chutney).
14. Kabab Paratha
It’s safe to say that this dish is the most popular Indian food in Karachi, as it can be found in nearly every local restaurant. Meerath Kabab House, on Karachi’s renowned Burns Road, is the place to go for tasty kabab paratha. A paratha roll is another way to enjoy it. In addition, kabab paratha rolls can be purchased from sellers on Tariq Road in Karachi. It’s a popular snack for people who come to the region to shop because it provides a brief respite from their hunger pangs.
Karachi’s street stalls and restaurants provide some of the greatest Katakat, which hails from Punjab’s Lahore province and is widespread throughout Pakistan. It’s a butter-fried mixture of brain, heart, kidney, liver, and lungs, together with lamb chops. The kata-kat sounds created on the vast fry pan while cutting the meat as it’s fried give the meal its unique name.
16. Gouda Burger
Although the bun-kabab is not as well-known in Karachi as the burger, choosing the city’s best bun-kabab is tough. It seems like every neighborhood has at least one burger joint these days. Brands that entered the market early now have locations all over the metropolis. They’re everywhere. Most of them offer a standard burger that isn’t anything ordinary.
Because the animal’s trotters or hoofs are incorporated in the stew, this dish is famed for its sticky stickiness. It is common for Paya to be made with the trotters of beef, other meats, and other spices. However, pressure cookers still require two or three hours, rather than the overnight slow-cooking time needed by traditional methods for incorporating bone broth and meat juice. In some instances, the stew will include chickpeas.
18. Chicken Malai Boti
Fresh cream is used to marinate the meat before it is grilled in this dish’s name: Malai Boti. This gives the meat a delicious, supple texture unlike any other. Due to the perfect balance of heat and creaminess, the chicken meat in this meal practically melts in your mouth. It is one of Karachi’s most famous recipes.
19. Fry Kabab
Every food pilgrimage to Karachi should include a stop at Burns Road’s eateries. Food Center biryani and Karachi haleem look delicious, but Waheed Kabab House is a must-have on any list of Karachi food. The fry kabab at Waheed is the best dish there. With just one drizzle of naan on the plate, you’ll forget how many calories are in the dish you’ve just eaten.
Many different ingredients go into the thick stew known as haleem. It’s a favorite in Karachi for its flavor and nutritional value. Karachi’s street stalls are the best place to get your hands on this unusual cuisine. In Central Asia, other forms of haleem are also popular. Lemon juice, fresh ginger, chopped green chilies, and fried onion are common garnishes for the dish.