Across the globe, the love for food unites people, no matter what their cultural backgrounds are. Generally, people worldwide love exploring and savoring different cuisines, not just from their culture but around the globe.
Each region is known for its unique dishes, with distinct flavors and recipes. Pakistani cuisine, like many Asian cuisines, holds a prominent place globally. In Pakistan, you can indulge in various dishes, including Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Continental, desserts, and more.
To simplify your menu decisions, we’ve compiled a list of 5 globally popular Pakistani dishes. So, let’s explore different types of chicken, mutton, beef, fish, BBQ, desserts, and sweets available in Pakistani cuisine.
Biryani, the most beloved dish in Pakistan, holds origins in the Muslim centers of Delhi and Lucknow, though its exact origin remains a mystery to this day.
Biryani is a flavorful rice dish prepared in South Asian style, featuring a rich blend of spices like bay leaf, fennel seeds, biryani flowers, green cardamom, peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seed, shahi zeera, mace flowers, grated nutmeg, and kal passi. These spices are cooked with your choice of meat—be it mutton, beef, or chicken.
Commonly used ingredients in biryani include onions, tomatoes, salt, red chili powder, special biryani masala, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, and aalu bukhara to create a flavorful meat masala.
The cooking process of biryani differentiates it from rice dishes like mutton pulao, channa pulao, or matter pulao. The recipe involves three simple steps
- Cook the meat masala.
- Boil the rice.
- Steam (dum) the rice and meat masala together.
By any chance, if you are in Karachi, then don’t forget to check out some of the best restaurants in Karachi for delicious biryani, such as Al-Rehman Biryani, Student Biryani, Allah Wala Biryani, Ghousia Nalli Biryani, and Farhan Biryani.
Haleem, also known as Daleem, is a popular dish in Pakistan made with a blend of four pulses as the main ingredients. You can prepare it with chicken, mutton, or beef. Especially during the Holy month of Muharram, many people cook beef haleem in large quantities to feed the masses.
The key pulses for Haleem—channa daal, daal mash, daal moong masoor—are soaked overnight before cooking. The main spice mix for Haleem includes salt, red chili, black pepper, and turmeric. Garnishing features onions, crushed ginger, and lemon.
In Pakistan, people often enjoy haleem for breakfast with naan, making it a special breakfast menu. Despite its popularity in Pakistan, you can find it in Pakistani restaurants all over the world.
- Shami Kebabs
Shami kebabs, which are an absolute must when serving guests, complement dishes like pulao, biryani, or even tea. These patties pair well with raita (yogurt mixed with peppermint) or your favorite sauce.
To make Shami kebabs:
- Cook mutton cutlets and chana dal together in water with salt, black pepper, and garam masala until boiled.
- Blend the cooked mixture into a smooth paste, shape it into rounds by hand, coat with egg, and shallow fry in oil.
- Serve these savory delights as a side dish for lunch or dinner, or enjoy them with tea as a snack.
They’re versatile enough to be eaten with roti or as a Shami burger with buns. The entire cooking process takes just 15 minutes.
Karahi is a highly sought-after dish in Pakistan, offering variations like chicken, mutton, or beef karahi to suit diverse tastes. Also known as gosht karahi when made with goat or lamb, this dish traces its origins to the Indian subcontinent, gaining popularity among Pakistanis and North Indians.
Karahi is renowned for its rich blend of spices and is distinct in its preparation. Cooked in a kadai (wok), the mutton gravy retains its authenticity by avoiding overcooking or mashing, a unique feature of this dish. The gravy sets itself apart by being a thick paste without the addition of water.
Key ingredients include tomatoes, onions, green chilies, ginger paste, lemon, black pepper, and red chili powder, contributing to a cooking time of 30 to 50 minutes.
A staple in Pakistan’s daily cuisine, Karahi is likely to grace your plate if you’re a special guest in Pakistan or part of a Pakistani family abroad.
- Mutton Kofta Curry
Mutton kofta curry is a very delicious dinner option, featuring ground mutton blended with a mix of spices for that perfect flavor.
To prepare Mutton Kofta:
- Combine ground mutton with channa to bind the meat.
- Add green chilies, red chili powder, salt, and minced onions to the mix.
- Thoroughly blend these ingredients and shape them into small balls using your hands.
- Fry these equally sized balls and incorporate them into a separately prepared curry.
- Enhance the dish by introducing boiled eggs into the curry.
This flavorful creation is a must-have on special occasions and pairs well with boiled or brown rice. You can also enjoy it with roti or roghni naan.
Pakistani cuisine offers a diverse taste experience filled with aromatic delights and vibrant flavors. From the beloved Biryani to the hearty and nourishing Haleem and the sizzling Karahi, each dish tells a tale of tradition and taste.
The Shami Kebabs, perfect for any occasion, and the flavorful Mutton Kofta Curry add their unique charm to this gastronomic adventure. Whether you’re a special guest in Pakistan or a part of a Pakistani family abroad, these dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Would you like to give these five dishes a try? Share your thoughts in the comment below.