Clay Handi

In downtown Buffalo there is a rather unique Pakistani restaurant called Clay Handi.   As the sign says, they specialize in clay pot cooking.

Clay Handi – Pakistani clay pot cooking

I found that the Pakistani cooking is somewhat similar to Indian.  As such, many of the items on the menu were familiar, albeit with slight variations.   For appetizers, we had a salad and an order of beef samosas.   Along with these came an array of sauces and  some fruit and nuts to snack on.  The sauces were typical of southern Asia cuisine:  mint, tamarind, sour pickled fruit, mango chutney, and a raita.  These samosas  were packed with ground meat and very well seasoned, quite different from other samosas that I have had before.  They were absolutely to die for, and the sauces accompanied them perfectly.   The salad was fresh and tasted very good.

Salad and Appetizers
Salad and Appetizers


For the main meal, my companion and I went with the clay pots entrées.   Grilled meats are also available, but we wanted to stick with the house specialities.   A half of a clay pot can serve two people, so this is the type of place where going in a group is to your benefit as you can sample lots of dishes.  We ordered two half pots: the Beef Nihari and the mixed vegetable pot.   Sides for the pots are ordered separately.  There are a variety of rice dishes and naan options available.  We had the plain naan.   The beef was tender and succulent ; its sauce was quite flavorful.  The waitress asked how spicy we wanted the meal; we went with medium spice.  This was enough to give it a slight kick without being painful to eat.  The mixed vegetable entree was also quite tasty.  It  was practically  bursting with flavor.

Beef Nihari
Beef Nihari

The restaurant was decorated throughout with Pakistani art and crafts, and matching music was playing.   The ambience was nice and relaxing, although it was not crowded when we were there.  I hear the place can get much busier, so your mileage may vary.

My recommendation: if you want place to dine that different from standard fare, that offers food with great depth of flavor, has a pleasant setting, and with reasonable prices, Clay Handi is the place to go.


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