Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka is one of the best meat restaurants in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Cooking without oil, and using fat from the meat instead, every dish on the menu promises incredible depths of local flavor.

If you are visiting the ancient and incredible city of Peshawar then this is one restaurant you absolutely have to visit.

Scroll down now to read all the details.

Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka
Legendary Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka

Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka

In the Namak Mandi Market area of Peshawar, street life is vibrant, exciting, and of course incredibly delicious.

Just being on these streets should and will make you hungry, and there are few better places to go than Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka Shish Mahel for an ultimate meat experience.

The name is a little long, but thats ok, because most will know it as simply “Charsi Tikka.”

Although Tikka is a common food throughout Pakistan and India (‘Tikka’ just means ‘small pieces of meat’), there are few restaurants that do it better than Nisar Khan.

Note: “Charsi,” by the way, refers to ‘someone who smokes,’ and I guess in this case I approve of smoking skills, from cigarettes or other things, when they’re focused instead into skilled preparation of meat.

Watch the full video:

(Here’s the link to the full video on YouTube)

The quality of the lamb is impressive

Charsi Tikka specializes in lamb

The menu is not extensive, you can order a karahi – in this case lamb simmered in its own fat and cooked into a curry in a rounded metal pan, tikka – grilled meat, or sajji chicken – the giant chicken formation at the front of the restaurant.

You should order one of each to get the full experience at Charsi Tikka.

lamb karahi
Lamb simmering in its own fat

When you walk up to Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka you’ll see a number of lambs hanging at the front, their very own butchery. You actually choose your own cut of meat for the dishes you want to order, and they chop it right then and there, so you know it’s ultra fresh.

Along with grilled lamb chops, their prize-winning item is dumba karahi, lamb karahi, which is a must-order.

In Pakistan, Peshawar ranks as one of the top meat eating cities, right up with Gujranwala, Lahore, and Karachi.

New sandals while waiting for lunch

Kaptaan chappal

Since nothing is pre-cooked, it takes at least an hour for your meat to be cooked.

The good new is, just a 3 minute walk down the road is Kaptaan Chappal, where you can shop for local Peshawari sandals, known as chappals, while you wait. I was very excited to get some new local footwear.

Kaptaan Chappal is not an ordinary chappal sandal store, it’s the exact shop where the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, buys his from – and he’s known to wear them daily. You’ll find chappals all over Peshawar, but Kaptaan Chappal makes a special chappal with extra thick soles, requested by Mr. Imran Khan himself.

I was not going to pass up the opportunity to buy a pair when I was in Peshawar. Prices range from 2500-4500PKR (US$20-35) a pair.

We walked back to Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka, floating on my new chappals, and just in time to eat.

Lamb Chops at Charsi Tikka
Amazingly tender lamb chops, seasoned with only Salt and Smoke

Lamb chops

The first thing you have to try are the Lamp Chops.

Just like most of the foods served here, the skill in cooking here lies in the finely balanced amounts of the most basic seasoning and ingredients. The experience and passion of the chefs here is obvious in every dish they serve.

Aside from salt and pepper, very few of the dishes have anything added. The taste that sets Charsi Tikka apart from other restaurants is in the precise cooking, grill temperature, and their quality of raw ingredients.

Perfectly tender bites of lamb, each chop flavored first by its own fattiness, and then of course smokiness from the grill, and finally a gentle feeling of saltiness throughout each chop.

Served with hot roti and a simple side of fresh-cut vegetables, this was one of the better, most pure bites of roast lamb I can ever remember eating.

Dumba Karahi in Peshawar
Basic Ingredients to Insane Flavor – Lamb Fat, Tomatoes, and Salt.

Dumba karahi

The name of the restaurant includes the word Tikka, but its actually this dish, called Dumba Karahi, for which this restaurant is famous.

Dumba is eaten all throughout Central Asia, and the word simply refers to any dish that uses fatty lamb. In this KPK region of Pakistan though, Dumba is a name for the sheep that grows with a specifically large buttock and tail area.

They raise animals like this for the purpose of eating, and not for their milk. Each animal is fed in a certain way, and therefore the fat content can be truly incredible.

No oil is used in this recipe, the fat comes entirely from the tail and butt as it cooks. Only tomatoes and salt are used for seasoning, so the dish requires the utmost skill on the part of the chef to perfect it.

The flavor in Nisar Khan’s Dumba karahi is incredible, such simple ingredients cooked with masterful style, every bite was joyously rich. You should not leave Peshawar without at least one Dumba Karahi.

chicken sajji
Beautiful chicken sajji display

Chicken Sajji

This food is called Chicken Sajji, and this cooking style comes from the Balochistan region of Pakistan, just South of KPK (where Peshawar is).

It is made by smothering the raw meat in spices, and then sometimes it is made also with rice and herbs stuffed inside. The animal is skewered, and then roasted or baked. The one thing that all Sajji have in common though, is that they are made using the entire animal.

Both a photo-friendly food, and pleasing to the stomach as well of course.

Nisar Khan’s chicken is grilled to perfection, and I really liked how they keep the chicken from getting too dry. They use a technique of washing and soaking the chicken in a simple water broth before grilling, and this makes sure the chicken meat doesn’t dry out over the intense charcoal heat.

Note: We enjoyed chicken here, but as this restaurant specializes in lamb, I recommend having Chicken Sajji at another specialty restaurant like the one we visited to make this video in Lahore.

Charsi Tikka Shish Mahel
The chefs and staff at Charsi Tikka are very kind as well

Just entering this restaurant is an experience, walking past all of the chefs as they chop, slice, and prepare the meat. All of it is totally open and on display, either hanging from racks, or on the chopping block.

From the lofty and elevated Chicken Sajji spears in front, and witnessing entire goat carcasses hanging from the roof of the entry room. You can see every piece of meat, and the high quality of that meat as well, from the very first steps of preparation.

Visit Peshawar, and don’t miss Nisar Khan Charsi Tikka Shish Mahel, in the Namak Mandi Market area.

Address: In Namak Mandi Market, in Peshawar (Google Maps)
Hours: 11am to 11pm
Price: Our entire meal was 2600PKR (US$20)

23 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Sarvana

    3 weeks ago

    That was a mouth watering story – Charsi tikka 🙂

  • resumo

    4 weeks ago

    I’m from Brazil and I liked your article. congratulations.
    I always look for sites like this that showcase food articles in the world.
    Today I do not find many because almost all have turned into a sea of advertisements, but your site is still very good

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      This is a wonderful comment, thank you so much too for taking the time to write! We appreciate this very much, have a great day, look forward to seeing you more in the next series of articles!

  • Rahul

    1 month ago

    Hmmm Delicious

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks Rahul!

  • Whitney of GoFam Travel

    1 month ago

    Wow, what an adventure! And the food looks amazing (like most of the food you eat.) Now I am adding Peshawar to my travel list of places to go:)

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      That is a wise and delicious choice Whitney! Thanks for taking the time to contact us, and glad you enjoyed this article.

  • Anna Hassan

    1 month ago

    The food looks absolutely delicious. What a cultural experience

    • Joel Bruner

      4 weeks ago

      Thank you for writing Anna! Yes, a wonderful time in Pakistan, truly an amazing (and delicious) time traveling there.

  • George

    1 month ago

    One more delicious post and an awesome video. It’s half an hour long, but it worths watching every minute of it. Hands down the most delicious blog of the internet, I could even taste the tikka. Cheers!

    • resumo

      4 weeks ago

      You’re right, few websites show the culinary like that. I hope they continue with this great work.

  • Daspalla

    1 month ago

    Hi Mark,
    I have these video on youtube. I also enjoyed while seeing your experience in peshawar

  • omer malik

    1 month ago

    Hmmm Delicious !!!!! 🙂

  • Tim

    1 month ago

    Oh thank you ! Now I need to go to Pakistan !
    Well, if it is as delicious as I’m drooling, I won’t regret it 🙂

  • russia

    1 month ago

    thrilled to witness such wealth of a culture through the authentic and genuine lens of mark’s and the team … thank you … pure joy to be watching such vibrant life … such humble and hard working people …

  • Jogi

    1 month ago

    Food is looking pretty tempting. I follow your blogs. You seem to be hardcore nonveg lover

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Hi Jogi! Thanks for writing, yes the past few trips have been quite meat-heavy… maybe the next one will be more vegetable oriented. However, the meat has been incredible, specifically Pakistan, wow! Incredible meals there, and just honestly a very fun country to visit. Thanks again, take care!

  • Highlander

    1 month ago

    Nice article. Love meat, seeing this article I am hungry. love to try meat in Pakistan.

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      You will absolutely without a doubt be happy with your decision! Enjoy your trip my friend, all the best!

  • Anita

    1 month ago

    OMG when I saw the first photo I was actually disgust but after getting more details I am hungry 😀 WOuld love to try food in Pakistan

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      Anita, thanks for reading! The food in Pakistan is truly wonderful, thank you for giving it a try (youll thank yourself too I just know it!) Take care, have a great day!

  • Aadit Wadhwa

    1 month ago

    Sounds delicious, gonna visit Pakistan soon!

    • Joel Bruner

      1 month ago

      I hope you have a wonderful time there! Any first destination that stands out to you?