India and Pakistan have much in common. Besides the common taste for music and poetry, Indians and Pakistanis also share a penchant for good food. And while Pakistani cuisine is quite popular in India, it seems Indian cuisine also finds an appetite in Pakistan.
In a recent video that has been going viral on the content-sharing site, Reddit, shows a Malabari restaurant that serves Kerala cuisine in the heart of Pakistan. Located in Karachi’s Wellington Street, the Malabari (or Malwari/Malbari as it is locally called) eatery is a popular haunt, not just among the immigrant Malayali community in Karachi but also for locals.
The shop sells all kinds of Malabari dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, many of which are popular in Kerala including authentic fish and rice.
Teh video was originally posted on a YouTube channel called ‘Sameer Key Vlogs’, run by YouTube content creator Sameer Khokhar. He is also the one who created the video and can be seen speaking to several persons eating at the restaurant as well as the cooks.
Malayali Muslims are a sizeable yet shrinking community in Pakistan, many of whose members are settled in and around Karachi. The migrated to Pakistan before and after Partition, though the stories of their exodus have been slightly different from that of other Muslims who migrated to Pakistan.
The first wave of migration of Malayali Muslims from Kerala occurred during teh 1921 Mappila Revolt in Malappuram district where Mappila or Malabari Muslims led an armed revolt against upper caste-Hindus and the British. The second wave
The Malabar Muslim Jamat runs several schools and Malabari kitchens in the Karachi to support the Malayali Muslim community. The community’s native language and culture have nevertheless been on the decline in recent years. The death of prominent Indian-origin Pakistani politician and human rights activist B.M. Kutty in august, 2019, also caused a blow to the Malayali community, which lost is sole representation in mainstream Pakistani politics.
Apart from the Malayali community in Pakistan, the “Sameer Ke Vlogs" YouTube channel also tries to document other minority communities from India living in Pakistan to capture the cultural flavour and essence of the life of migrants in Pakistan.