Dum Pukht Restaurant, Karama


The neon blue lights are a little painful to the eyes and the strings of tiny blue bulbs are a tad inelegant, but do not judge a restaurant by it’s tasteless exteriors. This cozy Pakistani restaurant near the Karama Metro Station in Dubai is a little piece of heaven for meat lovers.

Dum Pukht is a traditional and old cooking technique in India and Pakistan that dates back to at least 200 years back. It means slow oven or slow cooking—cooking on very low flame, mostly in sealed containers, allowing the meats to cook, as much as possible, in their own juices and bone-marrow.

The eight of us—my family, in-laws, and a friend—decided on this Pakistani restaurant out of the blue. Have you already noticed the color pattern here?  The restaurant is called Dum Pukht Biryani Restaurant, but we refrain from ordering biryani because when it comes to this royal dish, we become very choosy.

The place is half full when we arrive on a Saturday evening. I notice a group of four Lebanese women sitting at a corner table, enjoying a plate of BBQ. An old Urdu ghazal is playing softly.  The interiors are nice, clean and comfy, although it definitely lack the Pakistani decor that I was expecting.

Food and Drinks:

Lemon Soda. It tastes of lemon juice, 7-UP, and black salt. It’s quite a refreshing drink, actually. And the sweetness is jut right. Everyone likes it. AED 7

Mix Plate Kabab. Meat is marinated and grilled so well, each bite bursts with flavors. I believe it took only two minutes for these tender pieces of juiciness to disappear from the surface of the earth. We literally attack it! AED 35

Maghaz Masala. This is basically goat’s brain that has been slowly cooked with sweet caramelized onions, spicy green chilies, powdered spices, ginger, and fresh aromatic herbs. For those who haven’t tried this type of dish yet, it’s creamy and hot.

“We’ll order one maghaz masala, please,” Saima tells the waiter. “Um, how many brains are there in one order?” The rest of us begin giggling at this point, amused by her question.

“Well…actually…there are two,” replies the waiter. “You see, it’s not easy to offer this dish in restaurants because it’s difficult to find brains in Dubai.”

His comment made us guffaw shamelessly.

The restaurant’s maghaz masala disappoints us, however. It tastes bland. AED 30

Tawa Qeema. Mince meat fried in a deep pan with onions, tomatoes, spices, and green chilies. This is good. AED 26

Lahori Chicken Charga. This is the best dish of the evening! This piece of chicken has been marinated, probably overnight, in a mix of yogurt, lemon juice, ginger/garlic paste, salt, garam masala, cumin and red chili powder. It is steamed until the meat is half-cooked, and then submerged in oil for a quick deep-frying. Finally, chat masala powder and lemon juice is sprinkled on top. Yum! I would return to Dum Pukht Restaurant anytime for this! AED 35

Overall Experience:

Although I’m not a fan of their curries, I would definitely return for their kababs and chicken charga!

Parking (located opposite Sunrise Supermarket in Karama) is free on Thursdays and Fridays. It’s tough to get parking space on a week night.

Dum Pukht Biryani Restaurant – 3371 782

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23 Responses to Dum Pukht Restaurant, Karama

  1. Sadia says:

    I am drooling over this food! Contrary to popular belief, there are actually very slim pickings of good Pakistani restaurants even here in New Jersey. I just send a link to my husband, he is South Indian, but ever since we met, I have converted him over to my side with yummy Pakistani dishes! I mean, the guy didn’t even know what Nihari and Haleem are! :)…sigh…
    Sadia recently posted..Playing favorites

  2. 'liya says:

    Although I don’t usually like the taste of meat, I must admit those kababs look really good!

    ” it’s difficult to find brains in Dubai.” hehe 😀

  3. Ati says:

    Gimme the brains, oh yeah! Bring it on….!

    note: I’ve never eaten anyone’s brain so far….
    Ati recently posted..The "Whoa!" factor in me

  4. hello, nadia…

    “do not judge a restaurant by it’s tasteless exteriors.” hmmn… somebody is being frank? ahaha…

    “it’s difficult to find brains in Dubai.” somebody should have stood up in defense, see? you are there, in the first place… really, somebody should have called the manager of the restaurant, lols! or tell saima not to ask too many questions next time, hehe…

    ahaha, the chicken and the kebabs look delicious. btw, why aren’t you getting fat with all that dining-out and all that cooking, hey? 🙂

    • nadia says:

      Hey San! Yep, reviews should be honest 😉

      Regarding the brains: no need to defend because we all know how Dubai is home to a lot of educated, international brains working together. But yeah, Saima needs to stop asking lots of questions, lol.

      I am getting fat.

  5. Misha says:

    The mix kabob plate looks delicious! And I’m tempted to make that lemon soda drink, although it might not taste as good now that it’s officially cold here.
    Misha recently posted..Eid Goody Bags

    • nadia says:

      Hello Misha! I wish I could get one of those Eid goody bags you girls prepared. I’m sure the kids loved them.

      Yeah, better wait until summer to make the lemon soda drink.

  6. Khanum says:

    I should mark you the queen of Arabia now. U surely deserve an award for that. Having the opportunity to do what you’re doing my friend, is a sheer blessing. So many diverse cultures n food u come across. May Allah give u more n more food to taste ! Ameen!
    Khanum recently posted..Dear God

  7. Have some brains? Haha imma give you Maghaz Masala 😀

    I am curious on how that tastes like. do you still remember your time in Pangasinan? where you able to visit the part in Calasiao where they sell goat meat on the street?
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..My Travel Buddies: Meet Hannah Villasis of Flaircandy.com

    • nadia says:

      LOL, Mica 😀

      Regarding the taste: it’s cooked with onions and all these spices so you couldn’t really specifically taste (or see) the brain in the dish. It’s more of a flavoring, I guess.

      I’ve been to Calasiao, but I don’t remember the goat meat being sold on the streets.

  8. Oh I wanted to say about this…they serve phirni (I don’t know what it’s called in English) in this restaurant, which is REALLY good, that they serve in earthen pots. I love it there.
    Devina Divecha recently posted..A Chocolate-gasm of epic proportions

  9. Oh I totally have to try this place!! I had high hopes for that maghaz masala…sucks that it wasn’t that good. Love this review though, and the pics…you’re making me re-look at places I’ve walked/driven past all the time but haven’t bothered to try!
    I Live in a Frying Pan recently posted..I’ll bet a cheesy sausage you’ve never tried this place.

  10. Pingback: Vi siete mangiati il cervello? | Trasmutazioni

  11. food lover says:

    I tried their mutton “biryani”and was full of artificial colors. Rice was small and theonly aroma was of artificial colors.big disappointment.

    • nadia says:

      Thank you for your comment, food lover. As you may have noticed from the post, we haven’t ordered biryani. I don’t particularly like biryanis served in most Pakistani restaurants here. The best biryanis are those served in Hyderabadi restaurants.

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