Pinning down Pakistan’s top 10 best regional foods can be a difficult task because our country’s food culture is a result of decades of subcontinental culinary experimentation. The culinary arts that are unique to this region have been handed down from one generation to the next. The unique blend of spices and rich flavors prevalent in South Asian cooking are celebrated around the world, other nations have also adopted cooking techniques dominant in our region.
Because of the country’s ethnic diversity and varying geographical features, the food scene is unique in different areas. Each region has its extensive share of delicious cuisines.
Pakistan’s Top 10 Best Regional Foods
Punjabi cuisine is known for hearty, flavor-packed dishes. Local delicacies are prepared with various cooking tools and methods such as the tandoor. The flavors and cooking methods have become popular in different parts of the world, especially the UK.
Sarson ka Saag
Mustard greens are the main vegetable in sarso ka saag. These greens have a range of health benefits, such as they act as antioxidants, help lower cholesterol and are packed with vitamin K. The saag goes perfectly with makki ki roti, and the two are usually served together as a complete meal.
The credit for the tandoori chicken goes to the ancient Harappan civilization, that came up with the concept of a tandoor around 5000 years ago. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of yogurt and then roasted in a special cylindrical clay oven known as a tandoor. The flavor and vibrant color of the chicken has made this dish a celebrated culinary delight the world over.
Pashtun cuisine has been greatly influenced by culinary traditions from neighboring Afghanistan. The Pashtuns brought some of the best flavors to the rest of the country and have contributed greatly to Pakistan’s rich and diverse food culture. Pashtun diet consists of rice, wheat, maize, barley along with various lamb, beef, chicken and fish dishes. Various fruits, nuts and dairy products are also incorporated in the local cuisine.
Chapli kebab is made from minced beef or mutton. A special blend of hot spices gives the flat kebabs their iconic flavor. This popular BBQ delicacy is also known as the Peshawari kebab because it originated in Peshawar. The kebab variety has also become popular in the desi fast food realm.
Painda or sohbat consists of bread pieces soaked in chicken or beef stock served with a meat, fresh salad and a squeeze of lemon. The dish uses ordinary ingredients, but its presentation elevates the experience. Diners share their painda and eat from a single large thaal. The flavorful soaked bread is delicious and the entire meal is a great dining experience. This method of eating aims to promote a sense of brotherhood. If you’d like to try this specialty, Dera Khyber Restaurant in Islamabad offers authentic painda. Reserve a table through dinepartner.com at the restaurant and have a great time with friends, family and colleagues.
Sindhi cuisine is an amalgamation of various culinary traits that steam from the Mughal, Arab, Sikh and Rajput traditions. The versatility of Sindhi cuisine and its adaptability has makes it stand out amongst other Pakistani regional cuisine.
Many Sindhi dishes embrace the art of slow cooking and boldly blend sweet and savory flavors to create one complete dish that offers a dimension of flavors. Spices and garam masala give Sindhi food that spicy edge that many people adore.
Sindhi biryani packs a fiery punch and has a masala ratio that is higher than other biryani varieties. The aroma, flavors, spiced potatoes and sour yogurt make this particular biryani stand out from the rest. If you’re craving authentic Sindhi biryani, visit dinepartner.com and book a table at Sarang Sindhi Cuisine in Islamabad.
Seyun patata a popular Sindhi breakfast dish, it is also known as meethi seviyan. Seyun is essentially ghee-soaked and sweetened vermicelli served with patata, meaning fried potato chunks. This combination of sweet and savory flavors creates a perfectly balanced dish.
Afghanistan and Iran have greatly influenced Balochi cuisine. Due to these influences, Balochistan’s regional dishes have unique variations, especially in terms of cooking methods.
Dum pukht refers to a slow oven cooking technique which uses a special round, heavy-bottomed pot. This method seals in flavors of the meat and vegetables; and creates a sensational dish for foodies to enjoy.
- Khaddi Kabab
Khaddi kabab is a regional specialty and requires a level of skill and mastery to cook to perfection. This dish just right for a huge feast, as it is basically an entire goat or lamb cooked on an open fire.
Kashmir has its own blend of unique flavors and dishes. AJK brings a palpable mix of delicious cuisines that reflect the region and what the locals love.
Goshtaba is a meaty dish with a yogurt base, people prefer to leave this dish for last because the yogurt helps with digestion. The dish consists of sponge-textured meatballs soaked in a yogurt-based gravy. This hearty meal is a favorite among the locals. The meatballs get their texture because the meat is first pounded. The heat generated during this process is essential to how the dish will turn out.
The pulao is a treat for those with a sweet tooth, it has a helping of fruits and nuts mixed in as well. The sweet and earthy flavors of cinnamon, cloves, nuts and bay leaves blend well with the ghee-soaked rice. A truly decadent and satisfying creation.
Though there are many more dishes that each region has to offer, our selection of Pakistan’s top 10 best regional dishes is a good starting point for your culinary adventure. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and try them all!