The number of vegan restaurants in Pakistan can be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are some vegetarian Hindu people that have opened their own eateries, but these also will include cheese and ghee. Don’t expect people in Pakistan to know what vegan means and once they know, they will think you’re a bit crazy. When you go to a mainstream restaurant, usually you will not have a vast choice of dishes to eat, most are meat-based or have ghee. Be careful not to make the mistake of thinking that meat-free on the menu, means that the dish will not contain any meat (see LOCAL FOOD page). It’s all a bit of a linguistic minefield. The best is to come equipped with extra food.
Pakistanis are great hosts, and they will try to make you happy with “that crazy diet of yours”. Find restaurants where you know that dishes are not prepared in advance. There you can have an impact on the way they will make your food. Pakistan is a great vegetable consuming country where most of the daily dishes are actually made up of vegetables and have little added meat. Find the local vegan dishes or ask them to hold that meat/ghee before it touches your veggies and you’ll have a feast. Common vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, lady-finger (okra), garlic, cucumber, onion, and many more.
Some supermarkets carry vegan milks and open markets are well stocked with fruits and vegetables. So, your best option is to rent a place with a kitchen. English is taught in schools so you should be fine for very basic communication (see VEGAN WORDS page).
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