Pakistan is a vast country with huge geographical and linguistic diversity and that is what makes Pakistani food and cuisine stand out in the world. Pakistan has more than 200 million of population spread all over the nation. Many of these regions are closely connected to border countries like India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran. Therefore, you can find a huge variety of dishes, homemade dishes and cuisines. If you are a tourist or planning to visit Pakistan then you must try their local outlets and famous street food. For most of the world, Biryani is the savory food of Pakistan but you would be surprised to know that Biryani is one of the common yet flavorful lip-smacking foods that is made in every household regularly.
The national food of Pakistan is Nihari, although some would contest it is Biryani :-). It is a Mughalai dish that belonged to the Mughal legacy, pre-independence. You can also find Nihari in old Delhi, India. You can see the diversity in flavor, style, spices, and elements due to the large geographical region in Pakistan.
Regional Foods And Cuisines Of Pakistan
You can simply divide Pakistani food and cuisine into 5 main regions. The flavor and variety of these cuisines are quite different from one another. You can taste these local cuisines in the local outlets or can also order homemade food from online outlets.
1. Balochistan Cuisine – Balochi cuisine of Pakistan belongs to the Baloch people or the Balochistan region of Pakistan. This cuisine is inspired by the Afghan and Iran regional variance. This food is mostly baked and barbecued and has a mild flavor. Few famous Balochi dishes are Sajji and Dampukht.
2. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – This cuisine is commonly known as Pashtun cuisine. Lamb is one of the main elements in these dishes. This cuisine uses abundant spices and herbs. Kabuli pulao, Chapli Kebab, chicken or lamb tikka, and mutton karahi are the most famous Pashtun dishes. Pashtun cuisine is mild and aromatic in taste.
3. Punjab – Punjabi cuisine is more flavor full, mouthful, and spicy. It is made in oil and ghee which makes it rich in fat. This cuisine has some similarities and differences from regions of Punjab, India. The few famous food and cuisines of the Punjab regions are Paye, Nihari, Murgh Chaney, or choley.
4. Sindh- Sindh Cuisine belongs to the region of the Sindh people of Pakistan. This food is spicy and flavorful. Sindhi cuisine offers a large variety such as Karhi, Palo fish, dal pakwan, many chicken dishes, and pulaos.
5. Gilgit-Baltistan – This Cuisine is regionally known as Balti food. This cuisine belongs to the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. These dishes are a mouthful and have very different cooking styles such as Chapshoro is a flatbread and Mumtu are the tiny meat dumplings mostly served with yogurt, parsley chutney, and chili sauce.
Famous Breakfast Food
1. Halwa Puri- it is one of the famous breakfast dishes in Pakistan and is rich in flavor and nutrients. It consists of Puri or fried and fluffy whole wheat flatbread with Halwa made from semolina, sugar, and clarified butter with some dry fruits served with channa or black chickpea nutritious curry.
2. Parantha- Parantha could be stuffed or plain served with butter and lassi or tea. It is a flatbread cooked on a flat pan with butter. It is an all-time breakfast dish, full of flavors. It is a whole meal in itself and can satisfy the person for a whole day.
3. Chapli Kebabs- Chapli kebab is one of the famous cuisines of Pakistan. Mostly all kinds of kebabs are served at breakfast or a snack or appetizer. The main element of kebab is minced meat. It is mostly grilled or skewed.
Famous Meat Dishes
1. Biryani- Biryani secrets are lie among its assortment of spices. Biryani is a savory dish made from a combination of rice and meat ( chicken. Lamb, or beef). rice and meat are cooked separately and then mixed in layers and then cooked on low flame for at least half an hour. It is one of the favorites and royal dishes that is cooked in every home in Pakistan.
2. Haleem- It looks like soup but thicker and has a sticky consistency. It is made from a combination of lentils, wheat and barley flour, and minced beef. It is cooked for hours in mild spices to bring out the flavor of the element itself.
3. Nihari- Main element of the Nihari is lamb shank and bone marrow. It is a slow-cooked dish. The original nihari recipe asked to cook overnight at low flames to get the better consistency and flavor but today most people only cook it for a few hours and serve it.
Famous Veg Dishes
1. Tadka Dal And Rice- Most of the Pakistani cuisine is filled with meat-based dishes but there are plenty of veggie options as well such as Tadka dal serve with plain rice. Boil lentils are enhanced by the flavor full tank of spices, onion, and tomatoes.
2. Lobia Dal- it is a power pack protein and a fiber-filled dish made from black-eyed peas. It is delicious and can be eaten with plain flatbread or rice.
1. Samosa- If you are new to Pakistani and Indian Cuisine then you should start your journey with Samosa. It is a deep-fried, triangular potato and peas-filled pastry traditionally. It is an authentic samosa recipe but you can find different varieties of samosa at the local outlets or from street food vendors.
2. Chat- Chat is another favorite evening time snack. Each bite of chat is a fusion of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. The name itself is derived from the “chaatna” or licking because it is finger-licking street food. It is mostly served with green chutney or garlic chutney.
3. Tikka kebab- Also known as skewed kebab. Meat is cut into bite-size pieces and left for marination in different mixtures, spices, and curry and then slowly grilled in skews.
1. Zarda – It is a sweet rice dish. Rice is cooked in sugar or jaggery with natural food colors in combination with green cardamom, raisins, and dry fruits. It is only cooked on special occasions or Eid.
2. Falooda- Falooda is another favorite summer dessert. It contains cold milk, rose syrup, ice cream, and jelly with vermicelli and basil seeds. It is a perfect dessert for hot days.
Drinks And Beverages
1. Dudh Patti- Dudh-Patti is a common street beverage. Tea leaves and sugar are added into milk and boiled till the aroma arises.
2. Gulabi Chain- Gulabi Chai is made from Kashmiri tea leaves with a pinch of salt and baking soda that provides its pastel pink color.
3. Lassi- Lassi is a cold beverage made from yogurt. It is sweet and served can be found in many flavors. Mango lassi is one of the favorite beverages of Pakistan.
Famous Local Outlets and Online Outlets
If you are looking for some local outlets of Pakistani food and cuisines or online outlets to deliver delicious food at your doorstep in Pakistan then you can visit our website and find the local outlets near you. One of the recent hit and public desired outlet is Savour food Peshawer road.
Follow this to the website Savour Foods
1. Pakistani Desi Khaney, Lahore
6. Fatima’s Kitchen, Home Made Food© shalooka 2022