Every country and city have a specific food scene that is largely celebrated amongst the locals and can hardly be found anywhere else with the exact same taste, feels, serenity, and prepared with the love and warmth of the locals! Pakistan’s food culture is not new and has been expanding and improving by the passing minute to continue the cultural legacy and history of the country whilst not only preserving the golden secret recipes but also finding new ways of innovation to add that extra zing!
Karachi’s food scene is as vast as it gets because of the highly diverse population of the fastest growing country in the South Asia! Be it from Karachi’s desi food and deserts to the fast-food scene or the desert game, Karachi has a LOT to offer in terms of delicious goodness! After a billion surveys, We made a list of TEN FOODS THAT DEFINE KARACHI THE BEST!
Anday Wala Burger!
If Anday wala burger does not describe Karachi the best, I don’t know what can. This you can literally find on every thaila with the exact same taste of awesomeness and sheer brilliance in every bite! Just the right amount of Soft Kebab Patty, draped gently into the fluffed egg batter, fried to perfection with just the right amount of onions, tomatoes, and saucy goodness, embraced into a perfectly toasted bun and presented to you on a platter with more sauce than you’ve ever seen in your life! That’s how you describe an Anday Wala Burger!
One can find Anday walay burger everywhere, but being particular, Boat Basin is your go-to. Also, you can find some at Karachi’s beach too..
Halwa Puri is a must if you visit Karachi! You can find the softest puris’ and the brightest orange halwa, with the side of spiciest khattay aalu and chanaay ka salan from Dera at Boat Basin, Dhamtal, United King, or your nearest pathaan bae’s hotel! Who know, you might also find something more irresistible, other than the Halwa Puri itself! *wink wink*
When it comes to Nehari, Our PM saab is not the only one who is a diehard fan of this delicacy! The delicious oil laden gravy, floating with the most perfect blend of masalas you can ever think of, with your appropriate choice of meat, and paired with freshly out of the tandoor Naans will DESTROY your mental peace after you’re done, because you just wouldn’t want to stop eating!
According to the Karachiites, Javed Nehari and Zahid Nehari will serve you well!
If there’s anything that hits home, It’s HALEEM! Normally people in Karachi gets to eat haleem WAYY too much in the month of Muharram, but for people who like their haleem around the calendar, Karachi Haleem, Mazedaar Haleem and Darbaar Haleem are the most rated. Or you can just patiently wait for Muharram and let your neighbors send you a ton load of Haleem for you to devour!
5. Karhai and Haandi
Be it chicken karhai, mutton/beef karhai, koila karhai, or any sort of karhai/Haandi; A Karhai is a Karhai. And a Karhai defines PERFECTION! There are way too many places to be listed for providing world class karhais’ and some of them are Kolachi, Shinwaari, Al-Sajjad, Dera, Donisl, and any roadside hotel with the words “Quetta”, “Bismillah”, “MashaAllah”, “SubhanAllah” etc.
Let’s just get one thing straight first. A perfect biryani has BOTH aalu and the boti! Aalu-less biryani is called a pulao. Period. Again, Since Biryani with aalu is a literal wet dream for a Karachiite, there are wayyy too many amazing place to eat out! Student Biryani, Mazedaar Haleem and Biryani, Food centre, Biryani of the seas (BOTS that serve prawn biryani and other seafood dishes), Mateen foods, Boat Basin, etc. Make sure you ask for a super spicy raita and salad to go with your biryani too! Take precautionary measure in case. (Keep tissues, water, drinks, sweets with you at all times)
7. Gola Ganda
Nothing is better than a huge bowl of luxurious Gola Ganda that is super pocket-friendly and brilliant! Karachi’s Dhoraji area is very well known for a super crazy line of carts, all serving the Gola Ganda, with each their own twists. Ranging from colored sugar syrups to fruits, chocolates, dry fruits, and condensed milk, you can ask for a customized Gola Ganda, as well as an all you can eat the bowl of icy goodness!
If you’re not familiar with the term, katakat is a meat and vegetable dish that can include literally every edible part of the sacrificial animal, including the testicles, brain, lungs, liver, heart, kidney etc. The spicy dish is usually made on huge flat pans and is literally chopped on the pan with two hand spatulas repeatedly for 47 billion times that makes the actual ‘Kat-a-kat’ sound, hence the name. The dish might sound repulsive, but is actually the best damn thing you’ll ever taste and take a whiff of. I kid you not! Noorani and Donisl have the BEST Katakats you’ll ever eat in Karachi!
Be it Gola kebabs from Bundoo Khan’s, Waheed’s fry kebabs, BBQ ranging from Tikka’s and Seekh/Chullu/Chapli kebabs and all kinds of mayo, chutney and bbq rolls from Hot and Spicy/ Hot n Roll, Karachi’s BBQ game is literally on the roll! I cannot emphasize this enough that Karachi has literally the MOST AUTHENTIC flavors of BBQs that can take you to a one way trip to flavor town!
Since I’ve already mentioned Biryani of the seas (BOTS) that serve authentic seafood, Karachi’s seafood game is top notch! Being the city next to a beach, Karachi gets the fresh supply of seafood ranging from shrimps, lobsters, crabs, oysters, and basically every consumable animal from the sea! But if we’re talking about the best-prepared fish in the city, then it’s fair to mention the very well know Fry Fish from Civic Center and Hussainabad! The Masala draped fish with notably very little or no foul smell of the fish (yeah I hate the smell too) is a MUST to have if you’re in Karachi!
Of course, the list above are not the only things that define Karachi, but a few that you MUST TRY when you visit Karachi or if you already live in Karachi but never really got around to discover the hidden gems of the city! What ONE Food do you think best describes Karachi! Leave a comment and tell us!