6 Most Popular Pakistani Dishes

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Pakistani cuisine is unlike any other in Asia, bursting with vibrant flavor combinations and typically accompanied by a healthy dose of heat and spice.

Pakistani cuisine is as diverse as the country’s people and culture, drawing on flavors and techniques from all throughout Asia.

If you are a fan of sweet, spicy, or exotic flavors, Pakistan has a wide variety of meals to choose from.

It is possible to get some of these foods elsewhere, such as in India, however the ingredients and cooking methods will vary from area to region or country to country.

Here’s a list of the 6 most popular Pakistani Dishes:

1- Halwa Poori

Halwa Poori with Achar, Cholay, and Alu Bhujia

Traditionally, Halwa Poori is served as a morning dish in Pakistan and India, and it consists of halwa, a type of Semolina pudding, and Poori, a type of fried flatbread. Nuts like Pistachios and Almonds are often added to halwa, which is traditionally formed of fried Semolina and sugar syrup.

Spices like green cardamom pods and kewra essence are used to flavor the dish; it is also commonly colored yellow or orange in order to make it more appealing. The dough for Poori is produced with flour, water, salt, and oil and is deep-fried until it is soft and airy.

2- Nihari

Nihari with Bone Marrow

Nihari, a meat-based dish from Old Delhi, is a popular choice. Immigrants from Delhi set up eateries in Karachi after Pakistan got independence in 1947, therefore nihari is also identified with Pakistani cuisine.

Beef, mutton, or chicken shanks are used in the dish, which is then slowly cooked. Cumin, cloves, garam masala, and cardamom are just a few of the many spices used to flavor the meat as it cooks in large clay pots wrapped with dough. Nihari is generally eaten for breakfast since its name derives from the Arabic word Nahar, which means ‘Morning‘. It takes anything from six to eight hours to cook properly.

3- Sajji

Lamb and Chicken Sajji

Originally from the Balochistan area, Sajji is a traditional Pakistani dish that is enjoyed by many Pakistanis. Lamb or chicken is marinated, skewered, and then roasted. Typically, the beef is marinated in salt, but it can also be packed with potatoes and rice or garnished with green papaya paste.

Whole chickens are traditionally roasted over an open fire, allowing the smoky taste of the burning wood to penetrate the meat. Before eating, people commonly pour lemon juice over meat to make it crisp on the exterior and juicy yet soft on the inside.

4- Seekh Kabab

Seekh Kabab with Mint Chutney

Seekh kabab is a delicious and flavorful Pakistani kebab cooked with lamb mince, onions, garlic, ginger, coriander, lemon juice, yoghurt, and garam masala. It is a must-try when visiting Pakistan. To suit individual tastes, the dish’s seasonings can be tweaked.

It is traditional to cook kebabs over charcoal, but they can also be made in a tandoor oven with the meat mixture threaded onto skewers. As is customary, Seekh kabab is typically served hot with a variety of sides including salads, onions, fries, and mint chutney or flatbreads.

5- Chapli Kabab

Chapli Kabab with Roasted Tomatoes

This spicy meat patty, a hallmark of Pashtun cuisine, is made with a blend of ground beef or lamb. The distinctive flavor of Chapli Kabab derives from spices including dried coriander, pomegranate seeds, green chilies, and mint. Its name is derived from the Pashto word chaprikh, which means flat. Although it is commonly believed to have originated in Peshawar, Chapli Kabab is now a popular dish throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.

Chapli kababs are generally served with salads, naan bread, and yogurt Chutney.

6- Karahi (Chicken/Mutton)

Chicken Karahi Cooked in Butter

Karahi is a famous dish in Pakistan and northern India. The term Karahi in its name refers to a cooking pot similar to a wok that is used to prepare the dish. The dish is prepared using chicken, red chili powder, cumin, garam masala, ginger, allspice, cardamom, tomatoes, as well as garlic.

When made with Lamb, the dish is referred to as Gosht Karahi. Traditionally, it is eaten with rice, roti, or naan.

Hey? Seekh Kabab not Attention!


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Nismah Naveed Bhatti
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