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Let's go to "Buns" Road!

Published Feb 12, 2011 11:51am

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A chef prepares "kat-a-kat" a dish that combines mutton or lamb meat with kidney, heart, and other unusual delicacies. The ingredients are cooked on a "tawa" - a kind of flat wok. As they slowly sizzle the chef uses his knives to rapidly chop them into fine pieces, making the unique "kat-a-kat!" sound which gives the dish its name.
A chef prepares "kat-a-kat" a dish that combines mutton or lamb meat with kidney, heart, and other unusual delicacies. The ingredients are cooked on a "tawa" - a kind of flat wok. As they slowly sizzle the chef uses his knives to rapidly chop them into fine pieces, making the unique "kat-a-kat!" sound which gives the dish its name.
A fried-fish stand sells raw and cooked fish. The fish is marinated in spicy "masala" and then batter-fried to make a delicious and easy meal.
A fried-fish stand sells raw and cooked fish. The fish is marinated in spicy "masala" and then batter-fried to make a delicious and easy meal.
Fish fingers await hungry buyers while the vendor shows off the raw fish to a curious shopper.
Fish fingers await hungry buyers while the vendor shows off the raw fish to a curious shopper.
Whole fish lie in the marinade, soaking up the spicy masala before being fried in a large deep-pan.
Whole fish lie in the marinade, soaking up the spicy masala before being fried in a large deep-pan.
Chicken "Sajji" is made with whole chickens and barbecued on an open fire.
Chicken "Sajji" is made with whole chickens and barbecued on an open fire.
A nearly done Chicken "Sajji" recieves a final glaze over the fire before being served. The chicken is usually eaten with Naan-bread and raita (mint yogurt dip) or even rice.
A nearly done Chicken "Sajji" recieves a final glaze over the fire before being served. The chicken is usually eaten with Naan-bread and raita (mint yogurt dip) or even rice.
"Sajji" is originally a Balochi dish of barbecued whole-lamb stuffed with rice. Karachiites prefer to use chicken and add lots of spice!
"Sajji" is originally a Balochi dish of barbecued whole-lamb stuffed with rice. Karachiites prefer to use chicken and add lots of spice!
Burns Road is best known for its variety of foods, but other interesting wares can also be found there, such as these fish being sold as pets.
Burns Road is best known for its variety of foods, but other interesting wares can also be found there, such as these fish being sold as pets.
A repairman sits out on the sidewalk and works in front of his shop. Inside there are precariously stacked shelves with piles and piles of old typewriters, printers, telephones and fax-machines.
A repairman sits out on the sidewalk and works in front of his shop. Inside there are precariously stacked shelves with piles and piles of old typewriters, printers, telephones and fax-machines.
Dehli Rabri House has been serving the "Famous Burns Road Rabri" since 1964. Rabri is a very sweet dessert made from condensed milk cream and butter.
Dehli Rabri House has been serving the "Famous Burns Road Rabri" since 1964. Rabri is a very sweet dessert made from condensed milk cream and butter.
Tied clay bowls of "Firni" are piled in a basket for sale. Firni or "Kheer" is a kind of rice-pudding that is eaten cool and tastes mild and sweet, a perfect light dessert after a heavy Burns Road meal.
Tied clay bowls of "Firni" are piled in a basket for sale. Firni or "Kheer" is a kind of rice-pudding that is eaten cool and tastes mild and sweet, a perfect light dessert after a heavy Burns Road meal.
A vendor takes out a spoonful of "Dahi Baray" from a giant serving-pot. This sweet or salty dessert is made with dumplings in yogurt, and sprinkled with a little masala to spice things up.
A vendor takes out a spoonful of "Dahi Baray" from a giant serving-pot. This sweet or salty dessert is made with dumplings in yogurt, and sprinkled with a little masala to spice things up.
A heavy meal in Karachi is often followed by a trip to the "Paan Shop". Paan is said to help digestion and freshen breath. Here the owner of 'Noora Paan Shop' jokes with his regulars as he makes them their favorite paans.
A heavy meal in Karachi is often followed by a trip to the "Paan Shop". Paan is said to help digestion and freshen breath. Here the owner of 'Noora Paan Shop' jokes with his regulars as he makes them their favorite paans.
A paan can contain many varying ingredients with tastes ranging from sweet to bitter, all wrapped in a fragrant betel leaf and served to be eaten in one bite. Common paan ingredients include areca nuts, lime paste, and tobacco.
A paan can contain many varying ingredients with tastes ranging from sweet to bitter, all wrapped in a fragrant betel leaf and served to be eaten in one bite. Common paan ingredients include areca nuts, lime paste, and tobacco.
A heavy flow of large busses, taxis, and rickshaws whiz by the hustle bustle on the sidewalks. They add to the strong mix of smells, sounds, and lights - which many would say is all part of the rich Burns Road experience!
A heavy flow of large busses, taxis, and rickshaws whiz by the hustle bustle on the sidewalks. They add to the strong mix of smells, sounds, and lights - which many would say is all part of the rich Burns Road experience!

Situated in the bustling heart of Karachi's Saddar area, Burns Road offers a huge variety of local food and drinks. With many famous and unique restaurants that feature their own specialty dishes, the road is a must-see for curious eaters and food-lovers. Snacks, meals, desserts and drinks are all available. Many places on the street are open during the day but like Karachi itself, Burns Road truly comes alive at night.

Often pronounced "Buns" road locally, the street also offers some other interesting sights and services apart from the authentic and traditional food. Taking a walk down it and sampling the cuisine is a fun and essential way to get a taste of Karachi. - Photography & text by Nadir Siddiqui

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Comments (12) Closed



Asad Feb 12, 2011 06:49pm
Simply fabulous and mouthwatering. I can bet, this is a place where the world's best food is served. I surely miss those good old days when we used to have our Friday lunches at Burns road, followed by loads of Rabri.
jai Shri Viral Feb 12, 2011 07:41pm
Perhaps a relic from African countries where eating organ meat is quite common...in India this tawa dish has gone vegetarian and is called 'Paav Bhaji' a popular roadside eat in Mumbai !!
Muhammad Attique Feb 12, 2011 10:09pm
You missed Haleem and Bun Kabab. Unforgettable.
Vijay Feb 12, 2011 10:58pm
Iam from south india.. this is different experience and looking very good
Asif Feb 13, 2011 12:24am
How can one forget Sabri Nahari,Qaiser Chicken Tikkas & Burns Road seekh Kababs,They were lunch options for most of us(DMC students in Nineties).
Zaheer Iqbal Naru Feb 13, 2011 11:22am
very nice pictography motion and colours are well captured
Zahoor Feb 14, 2011 12:45am
Oh - This reminded me my young old days whenever I need to eat out I just walk to Buns Road - Coz I lived my childhood there.........
Sundar M Feb 14, 2011 10:41am
Yumm... nothing can beat the street food.. Looking forward for more series on food from different cities of Pakistan.
Nez Feb 14, 2011 11:28pm
great pics !!! but is it higenic???:)
mitochondria57@yahoo Feb 15, 2011 01:43am
i wish i could ever go to karachi forever,,,, i love the variety of food this city offers.....
Mujeeb Hasan Feb 15, 2011 11:24pm
Very nice to see DAWN profiling the sights and sounds of areas in Karachi. I encourage segments like this for other neighbourhoods and areas in Karachi as well --ie: Jama Cloth House, Zamzama, Zainub Market, Mehboob Buksh etc.
Denzil Inness Feb 19, 2011 01:47pm
Seeing the cooking- is mouth watering- takes me back many years, when I used to be in in the area. I always had a feed, very cheap in those days, including the milk drink (Lassie). Also another place famous is Saddar Bazaar, Karachi was famous for many things in the 1960's.