Pakistani Food History, Types & Top Authentic Pakistani Recipes

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Do you love to relish the burst of aromatic spices and layers of flavors in your food? If your answer is yes, then Pakistani dishes are what you should look for. Pakistani recipes and culinary are known for its perfect blend of various provincial cooking traditions of the Indian subcontinent and central Asia.

Pakistan’s ethnic and cultural diversity have enriched Pakistani recipes and dishes with a color of their own legacy. Pakistani meals are usually made with different types of rice, regional vegetables, and meat. Thes meals contain a lot of aromatic spices like bay leaves, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, and many more. It is these spices that have made Pakistani cuisine world renown.

History of Delicious Pakistani Food

Pakistan is a country with an area almost equal to the area of France and the United Kingdom combined. However, the cultural impact on this country has come from a lot of diverse regions. Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, and Kashmir are the prime regions that show a lot of their influence on Pakistan. Meat dominated cuisines come from Balochistan whereas rice dominated cuisines come from Kashmir. Punjab offers a lot of curry-based dishes.

With the Majority of the Muslim population in Pakistan, the halal dietary guidelines are strictly followed. Unlike the majority of western countries, people in Pakistan do not eat pork. Their main supply for meat is lamb, beef, chicken, and fish. This entire region is naturally is good harvesting the spices like cardamom, mustard, and black pepper. This is the main reason why Pakistani recipes and dishes are full of aroma and spices.

Types of Pakistani Dishes

Pakistani dishes can broadly be categorised in 3 types.

  • Starters/appetizer/”Pick n Eat” – Kebabs, Tangri, and chops can be put into this category. Why do I call them “pick n eat”? Because you don’t need anything else to eat with them. One can literally pick one piece and eat it. Kebabs can be made with any kind of mincemeat whereas Tangri is specific name for Chicken Leg. There are a lot of other starters made with fish as well.
  • Curry-Based Dishes – These dishes are enjoyed with bread or rice. There is a whole different range of bread in Pakistan but the most famous is Tandoor Bread. As far as the rice is concerned, 1121 BASMATI is the best.
  • Rice Based Dishes – Yeah, you know about Biryani, But there are a lot of less known yet amazing rice-based dishes in Pakistan. Although the Biryani itself is a huge world, there are some other rice-based dishes like Tehri, Sindhi Pulao, Yakhni Pulao, and some significant rice-based desserts.

Top 5 Authentic Pakistani Recipes

You must have understood that Pakistan is a paradise for foodies. It is nearly impossible to express the taste and culture involved in Pakistani dishes. We have picked 5 authentic Pakistani dishes for you to try and impress your friends and family.


First on our list is the Basic, yet authentic Pakistani recipe, KARAHI. The name of this recipe is from the pot in which it is cooked. Karahi is a circular, wide, and deep cooking vessel. The dish is served in the same pot in which it is cooked. Originally, meat for this dish is chicken and that’s why few people call it “Chicken Karahi” as well. However, with the changing times and tastes, this dish is also prepared with mutton (lamb).

This is one of the pure curry-based Pakistani recipes and enjoyed a lot with Naan (another type of Pakistani bread). Karahi is prepared with aromatic and authentic spices like black cardamom, star anise, and bay leaf. A twist of lemon/vinegar is a lesser know secret.


Originated from Peshawar but traveled the world, this second dish on our list, is a pure “Pick n Eat”. Chapli Kebab has a great presence of Mughal taste and spices. This recipe is again a meat-based recipe and generally made with lamb mince. You might get a fiery feeling as this dish contains a good amount of chopped green chilies and red chili flakes.

What goes best with Chapli Kebab? raw onion rings and home made mint sauce. thats the universe for foodies.


Also known as murg chane (Chicken and Chickpeas), this dish is a Punjabi preparation. People say that punjabis from Lahore prepare this dish in the best possible manner and thats why the name of the dish is Lahori Murg Chholay. This is again a typical curry-based dish that is generally relished with kulcha (another type of Pakistani bread).

The curry for this dish is thicker than many of the other curry-based dishes. The texture you get after mixing chickpeas and chicken is just as mouthwatering as any other authentic dish.


Paya means “leg”. So as the name suggests, Paya curry’s main ingredient is hoofs or trotters of beef/goat. Paya is not just a simple dish to satisfy your delicious food cravings, it has a lot of health benefits too. Paya curry contains a lot of nutrients from bone marrow, which are considered good for stronger bones. If you want to take full advantage of pays, just try Paya Shorba/Paya Soup.

Paya curry complements best with Sheermal (a type of sweet bread with lots of ghee). But if you are a little health conscious and want to avoid ghee overloaded Sheermal, just try it with Tandoori roti.


All the way from Balochistan province, this rice-based Pakistani recipe is a must try. Originally made with whole lamb, this dish can be tried with chicken as well. Tendering meat is skewed and baked while the Sajji is prepared. Sajji is rice cooked with authentic pakistani spices.

Once both portions are ready, they are mixed with some twists and served with some final garnishing. You must have heard about biryani a lot, but this recipe from Balochistan province is a must-try.

So these were our top picks from the authentic Pakistani cuisines. If you want to try these Pakistani recipes, just click on these names and get a complete recipe. Do try them and let us know in the comment section about it.

So these were our top picks from the authentic Pakistani cuisines. If you want to try these Pakistani recipes, just click on these names and get a complete recipe. Do try them and let us know in the comment section about it.

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