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Karachi is Pakistan has a real appetite for spicy food.

Not a surprise then, given that it is a region that has its roots firmly from its first inhabitants of the Kolachi settlement – who were Hindi and Parsi. The older parts of Karachi are Balochis and Sindhis.  Both of these sets of groups would cook with many spices and flavours, and it’s not unusual to see Karachi’s spicy food scene kept alive today. There is many a spice restaurant in Karachi ready to fuel the Pakistani palate until its heart’s content.

Choose from chicken chilli gravy, chicken ginger Thai style, chicken Kung Pao, a Zinger burger or brain or fish masala. There’s spices galore – you can have your pick of Karahi (usually used for Balti dishes), Shaslik (flavoured skewered meat dishes) and Bihari (predominantly a vegetarian style of dish with lots of flavour). Ordering online with Foodpanda is a way in which you can get all these tasteful tangs delivered direct to your door.

Online ordering in Karachi is now something to do for its locals. In the past, they would have relied on cooking at home, but the new wave of residents is doing things differently. Karachi is now considered a thriving melting pot and is Pakistan’s most varied and mixed city. Now, over 2.5 million foreign migrants live in Karachi, mostly from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Myanmar (formerly Burma) – these influences in taste have defined the city in its true passion for spicy foods.

Malai tikka, chatni rolls and raita all make for a taste experience that is a blend of fabulous flavours. The malai tikka is made of ginger, garlic, green chilli, cream-cheese, coriander-stem and cardamom – all herbs and spices atypical of Pakistan. The chatni (chutney) rolls are made of all manner of ingredients from tomato relish to ground peanuts. Finally, the raita is made from chopped cucumber and yoghurt. Imagine all these zingy flavours hitting your tongue at the same time. There you have it: in a nutshell, that’s what it’s like to eat in Karachi.

The city that is renowned for its multi-ethnic peoples also has a penchant for an assortment of spicy foods. The food industry is big: you can order spicy burgers (for example a beef jalapeno burger), spicy curries (try yourself a chicken jalfrezi), spicy pizzas (Tandoori hot should keep you going), spicy soups (Thai soup), spicy fish (Lahori fried fish) a Mexican hot dog, and spice special Chinese chicken. Spice, spice and more spice defines Karachi. If your tastes are bland, you’re not going to get on well with the city.

With Karachi's Jinnah International Airport being the biggest and most busy airport of Pakistan (a total of 6.2 million passengers passed through in 2015) and with plans which have been announced for new passenger facilities at the Port of Karachi, visitors to the area are flocking to Karachi in droves, with more visitor capability planned. These passengers can only determine to shape and mould Karachi’s restaurants even further and make the spice scene something to crave for from overseas.


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Karachi's spicy food scene
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