Pakistani food in Orlando: Naan pizza and nihari at Chaat House! [PHOTOS]

He was the only white boy. I was the only brown girl that did not hail from the Middle East. Still, the aroma enticed us. And so, we tried Pakistani food in Orlando for our Travel through Food adventure last week!

Before I move on to the Pakistani restaurant Chaat House review and photos though, I would love to introduce you to Pakistani cuisine and its history.

Pakistani food, chaat dishes

Pakistani chaat dish by junaidrao, Flickr

Pakistani food: Overview

Pakistani food is very similar to Indian cuisine, but with a stronger Muslim influence. As such, it is halal, meaning it follows strict Islamic law standards on what can be eaten and how dishes must be prepared. Pork is forbidden, so other meats such as chicken, lamb, beef, and fish are prevalent in Pakistani dishes. Also, strong aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, mace, black pepper, green and brown cardamom are widely used in the Pakistani kitchen (Wikipedia).

In addition to Islam, the Indian Moghul Empire influenced Pakistani food when it began its ruling of present-day Pakistan around 1526. Saffron, almonds, raisins, and the famous tandoori dishes were introduced (FoodbyCountry.com). Crazy we can still enjoy them in the 21st century!

Pakistani food history, chicken tandoori

Pakistani chicken tandoori by Wally Gobetz, Flickr

Pakistani food in Orlando: Chaat House review

The ambiance is not that special, although it’s cool that giant photos of Pakistani food are sprinkled throughout the walls, helping غیر ملکیوں (foreigners) like us decide what to order.

Within minutes of our arrival though, at least 5 different orders for the Chaat House specialty, naan pizza, had been picked up. We immediately knew what to order as part of our initiation to Pakistani food in Orlando then!

Pakistani food in Orlando, Chaat House restaurant review

Pakistani food in Orlando: on Chaat House’s grill (photo: ChaatHouseOrlando.com)

Within minutes of our arrival, at least 5 different orders for the Chaat House specialty, naan pizza, had been picked up. We immediately knew what to order as part of our initiation to Pakistani food in Orlando then!

We opted for a spicy, 12-inch chicken tikka naan pizza: just what it sounds! Ethnic “pizza dough” made out of tandoori naan, stuffed to the brim with tomato curry sauce, chicken tikka, jalapeños, onions, and red pepper flakes; topped with several layers of cheese and even more jalapenos:

Chaat House Orlando review, Pakistani chicken tandoori naan pizza

We were quite skeptical about Chaat House’s Pakistani naan pizza at first, but now we can’t wait to eat it again!

Pakistani restaurant Orlando, Chaat House naan pizza

Chaat House Orlando Pakistani restaurant: their SMALL naan pizza!

What’s funny is we came into the Chaat House knowing we wanted to order the nihari with naan, as one of Mr. B’s Pakistani students highly recommended it. So naturally, we couldn’t leave without trying it out…

Pakistani food in Orlando, nihari Chaat House review

Nihari, Pakistani curry, with naan

It was a mystery meat: we don’t know if it was goat, beef or otherwise…but it sure was delicious! Next time we would like to order it with less lemon though, as it was slightly more bitter than we would have liked. But then again, we’re used to Indian curries, not Pakistani varieties!

Chaat House Orlando: Pakistani restaurant verdict?

So, did we like their Pakistani food in Orlando? Sure did! The service was a little choppy, but then again they expect you to order by the cash register, not while you’re sitting down. Once you get that, the experience is quite lovely and, most importantly, authentic!

Chaat House Orlando Pakistani restaurant review, front photo

Chaat House Orlando Pakistani restaurant front!

Have you ever had Pakistani food? What’s your favorite dish?

Chaat House on Urbanspoon

15 thoughts on “Pakistani food in Orlando: Naan pizza and nihari at Chaat House! [PHOTOS]

  1. Maria, I am surprised you didn’t mention anything about Pakistani appetizers. Next time you go, start with kabobs or samosas.Jusy a suggestion.

    • Mansoor, we were SO full with all the food we ordered! It was only 2 of us after all 😉 so from the very beginning we decided that we were going to visit again and only order the Pakistani appetizers, which quite frankly looked even richer than the entrees themselves 🙂

      By the way, I have tried kebabs in the past and they are DELICIOUS! But this time we wanted to try other main dishes we had never seen before

    • the naan pizza is a mix of American and Pakistani cuisines, but by people that hail from the Middle East. Quite fascinating!

  2. I like that they have moved in on the American Pizza and turned it Pakistani, and it looks delicious. I love all curries but have not tasted Pakistani ones (that I know of) I thought they would be more or less the same as Indian. I like that you included some history to bring us up to speed 🙂

    • I found the Pakistani Curry (nihari) to be a little bitter when compared to its north Indian counterparts (lots of lemons found in the plate). otherwise, quite similar!

      I always love to include a little bit of history with every cultural post I publish. Like to see you guys appreciate it! 😉

    • I know! you should hunt it down in your town or next city you visit. Although that naan pizza is more of a Pakistani-American invention than anything, I believe. But who knows… After all, I haven’t been to Pakistan yet! they might actually eat it there haha

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