Are you waking up at sehri with a fully gorged belly, feeling sick to your stomach after a rich, hearty iftar? You probably are and yet the thought of starving for the next 15 hours fails to stop you from stuffing yourself with parathas drenched in saturated fats! Ramzan is a month of complete abstinence – restraining from temptations, limiting yourself to prayer and guarding your tongue. However when it comes to iftar, there is hardly any restriction over what goes inside our systems. An array of pakoras, samosas, spring rolls and chaat conveniently grace dining tables every evening amidst additional recipes courtesy a myriad of ‘Ramzan special’ cooking shows – it’s a foodie’s dream come true and it comes at the cost of your health.
Last week, Instep rounded up five healthy eating options in Lahore and this week we attend to the needs of our fellow foodies in Karachi. Lahore may well be the city of spices with an abundance of food, but there is no dearth of delectable dishes to overindulge in this city by the sea either. Here is a list of eateries that serve you fine while keeping you fit…
N’ecos Natural Store and Café
Who says healthy food can’t be heavenly? With a rotational iftar buffet throughout the week, N’ecos Natural Café offers an array of healthy eats that keep your calorie-intake in check while satisfying your taste buds to the tee. From nutritious mixed green salads and succulent grilled tenderloin steaks to an option of choosing whole wheat sides including rice and bread followed by a shot of green tea that will help get rid of any residual fat, the variety is endless and the amount of fat, limited.
If you have been searching for a healthy, flame-grilled dietary menu, your struggle ends right here. Although there is hardly enough space to seat more than ten people, Rowtisserie defies all misconceptions of how wholesome food cannot taste great. The fresh, organic Mezze platter makes for a perfect appetizer prior to a delectable dish of soft, tender and flavoursome flame-grilled chicken meal, which is served with either white or brown pita. Also for those desperate souls who have exhausted all options to find a decent shawarma place, Rowtisserie is the place to be. There aren’t any set Ramzan platters available but the menu is enticing and healthy enough for those looking to keep a tab on their calorie intake during Ramzan.
Pure Health Café
A Canadian import, Pure Health Café is an exciting and relieving addition to Karachi’s food scene, which is dominated by hoards of obesity-inducing fast food chains. The modest, minimally decorated café promises comfort, junk food which is healthy by all means and packed with bona fide flavour. The individual iftar platter includes a crunchy, refreshing salad, grilled panini, a sufficient portion of dessert to tickle the fancy of sugar-addicts and a glass full of fresh greens or tropical retreat – your choice. Best part: it comes at only 495 rupees exclusive of tax!
Tucked away in one of the many cramped lanes of Zamzama Street, with a warm, tavern-like décor that makes you feel as if you are sitting in a rustic restaurant somewhere, The Deli is a perfect place to enjoy the fine dining experience with a little less guilt. At just PKR 1395, the iftar platter and three-course dinner meal offers the goodness of fresh, Mediterranean delights that taste divine and are full of much-needed nutrients. The scrumptious, creamy dessert options may not be the most appropriate end to a wholesome meal but exceptions can be made just once in a while.
Prefer to stay inside the comfort of your own house without going into a cooking overdrive? Eatfit will cater to your nutrition needs without having you move even a single muscle. A home-based delivery service, Eatfit has long been a blessing for professionals who wanted to avoid binging on McD. The food is fresh, nourishing, at times slightly bland, but above all extremely hygienic. Amidst the many eateries that blow their own trumpet for being the best in the ‘bran brigade’, Eatfit truly captures the essence of a caloric diet by labeling each item with the amount of calories it instores. Unfortunately, the menu does not offer any Ramzan variations but then again, it is only helping you lose some serious weight and look fresh and healthy.