Most Popular Pakistani Foods
A delicious, juicy Pakistani kebab variety, Seekh kabab is a combination of minced meat (usually lamb), onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemon juice, yogurt, and garam masala. It is possible to modify the spices used in the dish according to personal preferences.
On skewers, the meat mixture is placed and the kebabs are then grilled over hot coals, giving them a nice smokey flavor in the process, although in a tandoor oven they can also be prepared. Piping hot with salads, onions, fries, mint chutney, or flatbreads on the side is traditionally served in Seekh kabab.
The dish can be served either as an appetizer or as the main dish.
Chaat is a term that signifies a range of street foods from India that usually combine salty, spicy, sweet, and sour flavors. The name chaat is derived from a Hindi verb chaatna, meaning to lick, probably referring to the good quality of the dishes finger-licking.
Chaat dishes are usually small, eaten on their own, as a snack, or combined to form a large meal with other dishes. Chaat can be found at chaatwallas (street vendors) throughout India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, serving different dishes, from stuffed bread to deep-fried pastries with accompanying dipping sauces.
In India, a chaat stand is usually specialized for one or two dishes which are always made fresh. If chaat is served in a larger restaurant, a popular Indian drink called lassi is often accompanied by it. Chaat dishes are very popular because of their immense variety: there is a variety of chaat for every form of customer, from crispy fried potatoes, sevpuri, and pakora, to chila pancakes with chutney and pav bhaji.
Halwa poori features semolina pudding or halwa and a soft fried dough called poori, a popular Pakistani and Indian breakfast. Usually, Halwa is made with a mixture of fried semolina and sugar syrup, which is then mixed with nuts such as almonds and pistachios.
Aromas such as green cardamom pods, kewra essence, and cloves are flavored in the sweet bowl, and for a more colorful dish, it is usually enhanced with yellow or orange food coloring. Poori consists of a dough made with wheat, water, salt and oil and is a soft and fluffy fried bread.
It is formed into a flat, thin disk and then, before it puffs up, usually deep-fried. Traditionally, fresh and hot poori is followed by sweet halwa or sooji halwa semolina. Aaloo ki bhaji, which is a flavor-packed potato dish, and cholay, a Pakistani dish based on chickpeas mixed with spices, are other traditional accompaniments to halwa poori.
This spicy meat patty is a specialty of Pashtun cuisine and is made with a mixture of minced beef or mutton. Spices such as dried cilantro and pomegranate seeds, green chillis, and mint produce the special taste of chapli kabab. Its name comes from the Pashto word chaprikh, meaning flat, and while it is often said that chapli kabab originated in Peshawar, it is now a favorite in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
Yoghurt sauce, salads, and naan bread are traditionally eaten with Chapli kababs.
Samosas offer a great introduction to the world of Indian cuisine for beginners, because of their crunchy texture and a range of different flavors. These deep-fried, triangular pastries are filled with a selection of ingredients, such as onions, lentils, spiced potatoes, peas, or ground beef, ranging from vegetables to meat.
It is said that along the old trade routes from Central Asia, the famous, golden-brown snack traveled to India. Usually, these savory triangles are served hot and followed by chopped onions, yogurt, or fresh, homemade Indian chutneys made with a range of ingredients such as mint, cilantro, or tamarind.
Not all samosas, however, are savory – a variety of sweet ingredients such as pomegranate, mango, and raisins can be used in some varieties. Sweet or savory, they can be found at many street stalls and roadside eateries throughout India, freshly made and usually matched with masala chai tea.
Basmati is a variety of long-grain rice which was originally cultivated and grown in India and Pakistan. The rice is distinguished by its very nutty, herbal, and slightly spicy taste and aroma. Once cooked, the grains remain individual and do not stick to each other, allowing every grain to be coated with curry and similar stew and sauces.
The longer the grain, the stronger the rice, and the slightly golden hue of the finest basmati grains. In Hindi, the word basmati means fragrant, referring to its scents and flavors. The state of Haryana is the largest cultivated region in India, while the province of Punjab is in Pakistan.
Basmati, along with magnesium, selenium, vitamin B, and antioxidant components, contains a small amount of fat and large concentrations of good carbohydrates, making it very nutritious as well as flavorful and aromatic.
A poultry dish that is popular in Pakistan and North India is chicken karahi. In its name, the word karahi refers to a thick and deep cooking pot comparable to a wok where the dish is cooked. The dish is made with red chili powder, cumin, garam masala, ginger, allspice, cardamom, tomatoes, and garlic in addition to the chicken.
The dish is known as gosht karahi when it is made with mutton. Rice, roti, or naan are traditionally eaten with it.
Paratha is a type of Indian bread traditionally eaten for breakfast, golden-brown in color, flaky and layered. The name derives from a combination of parat and atta (flour) terms that refer to the fried, layered dough. It consists of ghee-baked whole wheat flour (Indian clarified butter) and comes in round, triangular, square, or heptagonal forms.
Ingredients such as boiled potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, chili, paneer, or radish are sometimes stuffed into the parathas. Pickles, yogurt, homemade chutneys, or meat and vegetable curries often accompany them. Traditionally, paratha in Punjab is paired with lassi, a popular drink based on yogurt.
While the flatbread originated in Peshawar, Pakistan, it has spread across India where it can be found at numerous street stands and eateries on the roadside. The South Indian variant is referred to as parotta. Rolling it into a pipe and dipping it in tea is another form of consuming paratha.
Versatile, buttery, and aromatic – parathas are irresistible in the morning, and that just may be the key to their popularity.