Ghousia Food and Beef Nalli Biriyani is an amazing restaurant in Karachi, Pakistan.
Besides an already outstanding recipe for biriyani yellow rice, they’re also perfecting what might be the next earth-shaking trend when it comes to keto-friendly diets.
Innovation and Street Food Genius
What I love about this restaurant is, how in a mega city like Karachi, you can still find such well-known and traditional dishes being made in such mind-blowing-ly tasty new ways!
Karachi has such an incredible amount of street food, it would take several lifetimes to discover it all.
(Could it even rival Bangkok, Thailand as the number one world street food destination?)
Liaquatabad, in Karachi, Pakistan
Near the area of Liaquatabad just outside central Karachi you will find Ghousia Food restaurant. In the small streets behind the Kachchi Market, you’ll find them open from 11am-8pm.
Their specialty dish makes use of an animal part that most meat shops don’t take the time to use – its the marrow inside a cow’s large leg and hip bones (in Pakistan its called ‘nalli‘).
Check out the video here (LINK), and then read on for a full description of Ghousia Food’s amazing recipe.
The use of cow marrow as a serving dish topping is surely an award winning move already – but that’s not even the best part of this meal.
You get to do the marrow shaking yourself!
Not only will this recipe absolutely blow your mind, its also one of the most fun ways to get hands-on with food. I would love another meal at Ghousia Food right now, scroll down for all the meal details.
Warp Speed Introduction – Incredible Chef Skills
The first thing that will surely build your excitement for nalli biriyani is watching all of these cooks in action.
First, imagine how an entire shovel-size spoon of biriyani dry-spice smells when its thrown into a 200-liter sauce pan.
After that, imagine the sound of the serving chef at the second shophouse calling people in to eat at lunchtime – not with his voice, but with his masterful and lightning fast spoon-rice-bagging technique.
Faster Than Sound? Almost!
I’m not kidding, when you check out the video of this meal (link here), you’ll see that only by slowing his hands down digitally can you get a closer look at his technique!
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He uses his left hand to hold the rice bag, and in his right hand a heavy spoon to dish the rice – but you won’t believe how quick he can work this process.
He hits the side of the sauce pan with two loud ‘dings’, scooping a huge spoon of rice into the bag between each one. Its another double ‘clang’ the second time, to free the spoon of sticky rice grains, while with the other hand he’s all ready to begin filling another bag.
Its incredible, and he is literally working faster than the eye can see.
Note: Nearly everyone is coming here to order take-away, but I think that the feelings of this restaurant itself add so much to the street food dining experience. I recommend eating right next to the chefs if you can!
Full-Grown Cow-Size Bones Over Rice
On to the main event.
If bones this large were mixed with the rice while both were still raw, the bones would never have time to cook properly. Therefore, the cow bones are stewing separately in their own cauldrons for several hours beforehand, and then added for a final half-hour or so, buried under all that yellow rice.
You can be sure that all those juices are not going to waste either, and it is not normal water used in the second step of cooking the biriyani rice – its huge amounts of that bone broth soup.
Be sure to ask for an extra large bone, or maybe even a double portion, you’re going to want to experience this marrow christening to the fullest measure.
Now, Its Time to Eat
It truly is a sight to behold, such a serving size piled up on a simple and shining reflective metal tray.
The photo doesn’t even do it justice, the plate is simply massive – if you’re like us, when you see a plate like this taking shape, I think its ok to say that ‘words might start to fail.’
A Gooey, Gushing, Glorious Mess of Marrow
So you have your tray, topped with a huge beef hip and socket – but now you may still be wondering “how do I actually get the marrow out?”
That’s ok, and that’s the best part – what you’re going to need is a quick two-part job.
Step 1 – Like a Ketchup Bottle (But Full of Marrow Instead)
First, grab the entire bone like its a bottle of ketchup, and start shaking it out over your plate. Give it a few taps to get a feel for what to do, and then really start to hit the bone on one end with a closed fist.
Hit it again, like a bottle of tomato sauce that’s refusing to cooperate.
In no time at all you should see marrow drizzling, oozing, and then just gushing out in chunks. Its incredible how much marrow is inside each bone.
Step 2 – Spoon out Any Remaining Chunks (and Enjoy!)
You complete step two of the job by using the end of your spoon to reach up inside the bone and loosen up anything that remains.
Hit it again, and the marrow might surprise you, its really incredible how much marrow there can be.
Step 3 – Bon Appetit
Now that I know, I can never go back, ‘plain’ things like butter, and ‘ordinary’ strips of fat, they’re nearly bland by comparison.
Any dish that includes marrow is at the peak of food gooey-ness and maximal fat flavor, I find myself wanting a dab of it on everything.
Note: Remember that this dish has been steaming for several hours, at these very high temperatures there is no possibility of bacteria (besides those on your own hands). We encourage you to try this meal local style, make a great memory, and just go for it.
The Richest Bites on Earth
The chefs adding the bone broth before serving just seals the deal – the rice itself is already so smooth, cooking first with seasoning, and then with all that cow fat in step two.
Add on another level of umami from roasted seeds and spices, and then you have actual pieces of cow fat and meat, then gristle, then cartilege, all of which are just jelly soft after hours of cooking together.
Finally, you yourself add that top layer of flavor, with almost a hundred grams of pure cow bone marrow.
The richness of the marrow alone is just hard to put into words… Its unbelievable when you finally take that first bite!
Actually Difficult to Put This All Into Words…
Take it all into a single heaping spoonful, and grab one final glance around to appreciate where you are. Succumb fully to falling head over heels into this cow marrow rice insanity… and when you resurface, please let us know about your own experience and meal here at Ghousia.
Worth The Entire Trip? Probably.
There is no end to my appreciation for how lucky we were today.
Being welcomed in to so many meals, in so many places around Pakistan, eating with people literally across the entire country, nothing short of a life-changing experience.
However, for THIS meal, I have to say – this plate of nalli biriyani may have touched our hearts TWO times!
Pakistan is Truly a Travel for Food Destination
In an amazing place like Liaquatabad, having just spent such quality time with new friends, and this amazing team of chefs…
And then afterwards, their food, which might possibly contain one of the single richest bites of flavor that I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
A recipe of unparalleled joy, in my opinion a lunch of nalli biriyani is something worth the entire visit to Karachi just to eat.
What to Take Away
Regarding this absolutely epic and joyful plate of Nalli Biriyani, let me finish by saying a few things.
If you think you have an aversion to over-size chunks of fat and gooey bone marrow, or the idea of stripping meat directly from bone using only your fingers, I want you to take those feelings, and put them on pause.
Just temporarily, just for this one incredible meal of Nalli Biriyani, and I think you will be so glad that you did.
After your first taste of this world-changing-ly rich bone marrow and biriyani rice combination, I hope you’re with me in realizing how much more to meat there is out there, so much taste available beyond the ‘normal’ cuts of meat.
One final thing I would like to mention, is that our explorations of bone marrow did not begin (or end) at Ghousia Food Restaurant. Check out the amazing marrow-filled chapli kebab (buffalo mince patty) from Taru Jabba, and also the incredible dishes of Lahore’s nalli nihari (beef shank and brains) we had as well.
Name: Ghousia Food and Beef Nalli Biriyani
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 11AM-8PM, Closed Sunday.
Price: Our meal was complimentary (An amazing meal, THANK YOU very much!)