Pakistani Traditional Dishes & Popular Food

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Pakistani cuisine is all about rich food, with lots of meat and less vegetables. There are a lot of traditional Pakistani dishes that are famous all over the world. Every country has its own traditional food based on the taste of the region and the people living there. The style of the food, the cooking procedure and taste differs from country to country. Just like every other country, Pakistan, too has its own traditional dishes. Being part of the Sub-continent- Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines are similar; however, they differ in taste.

In Pakistan, there are certain regional cuisines that are popular in the area. Punjab has a rich food culture as compared to the other regions, and the people living in the area are well known for their extreme love for food. Whereas, the food culture and tradition in Baluchistan is inspired from a neighboring country, Afghanistan.

Here we present the various Pakistani traditional dishes that are popular across the country.

Halwa Puri

This is a traditional breakfast dish popular across the country. For most of the families, Sunday isn’t complete if they do not have halwa puri for breakfast. Puri is made out of gram flour and deep fried in oil, while halwa is a sweet dish made from Suji. This breakfast also includes aloo bhujya and channa curry. This rich and mouthwatering breakfast originated from Punjab, but is enjoyed by all Pakistanis.

Paye, Qorma, Nihari

These are some of the most popular Pakistani food. Qorma is usually made of chicken or mutton, while nihari and paye usually involve beef. The preparation and cooking methods of these curries differ from place to place, however, Paye are the most famous in Punjab. Qorma is now more of a wedding dish as compared to normal homemade dishes. Nihari is most popular in Sindh and Punjab with a lot of restaurants offering scrumptious nihari along with garam rotis. People who do not wish to dine in, order takeaways and enjoy their favorite dish at home with family.

Pulaos and Biryanis

The love for rice is undying for Pakistanis. From a simple chicken pulao to the very popular yakhni pulao, no Pakistani feast is complete without rice. Similarly, biryani is synonymous to being Pakistani and is the most popular food in Pakistan. Chicken biryani, mutton biryani, beef biryani, sindhi biryani, Bombay biryani – you name it, and we Pakistanis can cook it!

Tikka, Malai Boti and Kababs

Barbeque items are another favorite part of traditional Pakistani cuisine. The preparation of chicken tikka involves some of the most delicious flavors and spices. These chicken pieces are then cooked with all the flavors and spices and served hot.  Malai boti are made of boneless meat and are prepared with fresh cream (malai) along with spices. These pieces are marinated and then barbequed. Kababs, on the other hand, are made of mince (commonly beef mince). There are different types of kababs that are popular, such as seekh kabab, reshmi kabab, shami kabab, Chapli kabab, Gola kabab, and many more.

Kheer, Zarda, Gulab Jamun

These are all popular sweet traditional foods of Pakistan. Areas that experience extreme cold during winters prefer gajar ka halwa and gulab jamun. On the other hand, in areas with hot weather such as Karachi, sweet dishes such as zarda and kheer are common. Zarda is a rice based sweet dish in which rice is colored and sweetened. Some people also include gulab jamun, and nuts such as cashew and peanuts in this sweet dish. Kheer is made from rice and milk. Rice is blended and cooked with milk to create a thick mixture.

This popular Pakistani food list is not exhaustive as the love of food in Pakistan is eternal. Pakistanis are food lovers and you can explore a lot of different cuisines and traditional dishes in different regions of the country.

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