Pakistani Cuisine

By Nasim Gul Soomro


Cuisine is an essential part of any culture and reflects the taste and variety of food preferred by the people of a country. It is the typical method of preparing the food which arises from the day to day cooking of food by the people of a particular region. In shaping the cuisine, climate plays an important role which further helps to decide the raw materials by taking into account the religious considerations and economic conditions of the region.

Pakistan, being an Islamic country possesses a strong influence of the concept of Halal and Haram dietary guidelines in its cuisine. Therefore, pork and alcohol is strictly prohibited for consumption. Pakistani cuisine is rich in flavor and taste. Within the country, every province has its own versatile cuisine reflecting the preferences of people of that particular area. In Sindh, the food is very spicy and hot whereas in areas suck as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it tends to be comparatively mild in spices. Meat and white bread (naan) are the vital elements of the Pakistani cuisine.

Pakistani cuisine is mainly the blend of Indian, Iranian and Afghani cuisines. With changing preferences, flavors evolve ranging from hot and spicy to mild. Pakistani cuisine is full of diversity from the kababs to karhai to biyani. When it comes to the sweets kheer, jaleebi, shahi tukre, halwa, zarda and sheer khurma are the vital part of Pakistani cuisine. Gola Ganda- a combination of crushed ice and different syrups is the favorite of the majority of people especially in Karachi. The famous beverages include Kashmiri chai, Lassi, Sherbat and Qehwa.

Biryani is the most preferred dish across the country. Biryani is derived from the word “Berya” which means “fried” in Persian. It was brought in the sub-continent by the Mughal Empire and initially thought to be the dish of the Nawabs. But with the changing times, it is no more classified as a dish for elites only. The original biryani use to be less spicy with raisins and apricots in it but now, with biryani is customized with the local taste of the people. In Pakistan, there are twenty six different variations of biryani such as Sindhi Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Memoni Biryani etc.

Pala (fish) is the unique and well-known dish of Sindh. It is stuffed with the paste of spices and herbs and then is cooked. It is a must dish to be tried when some one visits to Sindh. Along with that, Kutti (mashed roti with butter and sugar), Mithi roti, Pappad, Sindhi curry, Sindhi Pulao are some main dishes of Sindhi cuisine. Pickles and chutneys are the essential part of Sindhi cuisine which is mostly consumed in summers. The famous Sindhi desserts include Rabbri, varo (sweet made with almonds and pistachio), khirni, falooda, tosh etc. Beverages include Thadal which is the extensively consumed refreshing drink made with the paste of almonds and cardamoms.

The food in Punjab is full of variety and diversity. Generally, Ghee and butter is used in huge quantity for cooking the Punjabi dishes. Some of the renowned dishes of Punjab are sarson ka saag, Makai ki Roti, Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Tikka, Nihari, and Dal GhostPheerni and Jalebi as their favorite sweets. Lassi is the chief beverage of Punjabis. etc. The streets of Lahore are famous for food and snacks. People of Punjab are meat lovers and are ever ready to eat dishes laden with calories. Also, sweet intake is high in Punjab thereby making it favourite dish of Punjabis.

Cuisine of Pakhtunkhwa is more identical to the neighboring country, Afghanistan. It is largely based on cereals like maize, barley, wheat and rice. Meat including lamb and beef is the essential part their diet. The Famous dish of Pakhtunkhwa is Chapli Kabab which is made up of mince beef. Chapli Kabab is flat and served with Raita and chutney.

Last but not the least, the food in Baluchistan has a regional influence in it. The prominent Balochi dish is Sajji which is made with lamb. It has gained popularity across the country and is available in most of the areas but the taste varies as per the local preference of that city.

Cuisine is an essential element of a culture thus giving it an originality and uniqueness to last for ages. Pakistan surely has the strong essence of cuisine in it which needs to be maintained.


7 Response to "Pakistani Cuisine"

  1. Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 8:31 AM
    This is a good way to promote the cuisine of our beloved nation :-)
  2. Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 8:31 AM
    Gud effort
  3. Sara May 24, 2010 at 9:27 PM
    nice to know about different types of food in all provinces.. thanks for sharing such information
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