Although street food is rare in the UK, in Pakistan it is another matter entirely. Pakistan’s street food is a major part of its culture and there is barely a street corner in any of the major cities that won’t be taken up by some sort of street food stall.
From Lassi to Tikka kebabs, there is street food in Pakistan to cater to those with a sweet tooth and savoury lovers alike. No matter what type of food you are looking for, there are street food renditions of popular homely dishes for you to have a hearty lunch and easy-to-eat snacks for a quick bite to eat on the move.
Cooking on the street is no easy feat, and there are examples of clever ingenuity when it comes to cooking methods and facilities that take up little space and can be transported around the city easily. We take a look at some of the most common ways that street food is cooked across Pakistan:
Karahi is the name of a popular dish, but the name itself is taken from the black, iron, scoop-shaped pan that it is cooked in. The deep pot is used over an open flame to make curries and can even be used as its own serving bowl in a more personal setting. Street food vendors use these a lot for their durability and their good heat distribution. You will see vendors use massive pairs of pliers to grip the pan as well as a metal spatula to stir the contents.
Makai is a delicious snack of corn which is cooked in the most unusual way you will see from any Pakistan street food vendor. The dry corn is mixed in salt and sand which is heated. The vendor heats the sand from underneath with either a gas or charcoal heat source and stirs until the corn is cooked. Don’t worry about getting sand in your teeth, the corn is sifted out of the sand mixture once it is cooked before receiving a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala (a mixture of tangy spices.)
To taste some traditional Pakistani and Indian dishes, visit Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in Manchester today.