SPICY – the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Pakistani food. The Pakistani cuisine is a blend of various regional cooking of the Indian subcontinent. Because Pakistan and India used to be one, after partition the Pakistani cuisine became an extension of Indian cuisine. It also incorporates Afghan, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern influences. However, there are some purely Pakistani foods such as beef Korma and Haleem.
One would expect the food to be similar all over Pakistan, but an interesting fact is that food and the way it is cooked varies greatly from region to region. The variation reflects Pakistan’s ethnic and cultural diversity, for example food from the Punjab and Sindh are similar and can be very spicy! Punjabi food is very rich in flavor and people from the Punjab region tend to place a lot of emphasis on meals – they eat till they can’t eat more. Food in other regions has a certain ‘taste’ to it which reflects the region. It is also interesting to note that international cuisine and fast foods are popular in urban cities of Pakistan. There is also a blend of local and international cuisines, such as Pakistan Chinese – it’s a spicy desi version of Chinese food, which I prefer more than authentic Chinese food!
In this post I will walk you through Pakistani cuisine. There are so many delicious dishes, so I can’t pick my top 5. However, here is my list of my favorite traditional foods served at weddings:
- Halwa Poori
Halwa Poori is a traditional Pakistani breakfast cuisine. The dish consists of deep fried poori bread (really oily and crispy) with chana masala (seasoned chickpeas) and halwa (sweet dish).
Originally an Indian cuisine, Halwa poori is also served at winter weddings. It is very heavy (and super cheap), and is often considered as a celebratory meal – when people get a promotion, when someone gets married, when it is raining outside or when you have a public holiday and get a day off! The food is delicious, and once eaten laziness is guaranteed to follow.
- Makai Ki Roti & Sarsoon ka Saag
Makai ki Roti with Sarsoon ka saag is a famous Punjabi recipe. It involves mustard leaves, makai (corn) flour and spinach. This dish is very popular and mainly eaten during the winter season because it’s considered a “hot dish.” This item is very popular at winter weddings as well.
Korma originated in South Asia or Central Asia, and is a gravy dish which consists of meat and vegetables and is made in spicy sauce with yogurt, cream, nut or seed paste. Korma is delicious and is usually eaten with Naan, but can also be eaten with rice.
Biryani is a famous and popular South Asian dish served around the world. It is a mixed rice dish made with spices, rice, meat or chicken and vegetables. Also, sometimes people add pieces of potato in it to make it even more delicious. It is served at almost all weddings and other functions, and is a staple meal throughout Pakistan. Biryani is absolutely delicious and I have it at least once a week.
Kheer is a sweet dish often served at weddings and other religious functions. It is a South Asian rice pudding made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli with milk and sugar; it is then flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. I am not a fan of desserts (Eastern, Western or European), but kheer is definitely edible!
Want to eat all these yummy dishes? They are all available in Pakistan so you should plan a vacation and book your hotels through www.jovago.com at the cheapest hotel price!
This guest post was written by Fatima Naqvi. For inquiries about publishing a guest post on my blog, send me an email on saramuzzammil(dot)01(at)gmail(dot)com.