Maharaj Karamchand Vegetable Foods Inn
Recently a few friends and I decided to search for temples and tourist attractions in Karachi. During the course of this, one fine morning we found ourselves at the closed gates of Shri Swaminarayan Temple at MA Jinnah Road. Dejected at our inability to have checked the opening and closing timings, we started looking around for some souvenirs to take home. This is when we came across Maharaj Karamchand Vegetable Foods Inn – an authentic Indian restaurant.
There is generally some reservation in Pakistan about the consumption of food cooked by the Hindu community, considering that the majority of the population is Muslim. This belief ignores the fact that the community is just as Pakistani and human as the rest of us. And so we decided to take advantage of this rare opportunity and try out the eatery.
A Fun Discovery
The building was a small space, blistering under the Karachi heat. We asked the waiter for the menu and he conveyed it to us in a quick exchange. Just sabzi and daal. We ordered a plate of bhindi ki sabzi (fried okra), moong daal and a plate of classic channay (chickpeas) with chapatis. They topped it up with servings of aaloo tikki (potato cutlets), papar (crackers) and salad. Maharaj Karamchand Vegetable Foods Inn kept it simple in the best possible way.
The chapatis were served fresh out of the tandoor, hot and laced with butter. I did not try the bhindi, because I abhor vegetables, but my friends absolutely loved the taste. The channay were cooked with tomato and caramelized onions and were an impeccable fusion of earthy tanginess. When the aaloo tikki arrived we thought it was some sort of a pakora served with the daal but as we bit into it, it had a crispy fried coating on the outside and a soft mix of mashed potato and spices on the inside. The daal was one of the best I have ever had. The fact that something so simple could taste so amazing left us mindblown. What had started out as a small sampling of the menu turned into a full-blown feast.
Food and Tolerance
Perhaps on a different street and under a different name this eatery would be a local legend. It is extremely sad that in our society being a member of any of the minority communities heavily jeopardizes one’s chances of making it big. However, Maharaj Karamchand Vegetable Foods Inn has definitely found repeat customers in us.