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Pakistani food 101: Try these 5 delicious dishes

Never tried Pakistani food? You’re in for a treat. While it might not be as well-known as other foods from the sub-continent, Pakistani food is delicious, full-bodied, flavorful, loaded with spices and rich in tradition.

Incorporating elements from its neighbors India, Afghanistan and Iran, Pakistani cooking combines regional techniques and ingredients for a distinctive mix of complex flavors.

Ready to give it a try? Start with these five popular dishes.


This thick stew is the epitome of slow cooking: Haleem, a mix of pulses, meat and spices, is cooked for up to seven or eight hours. Why does it take so long to prepare, you ask? Lentils, spices and minced meat are cooked until they basically form a flavorful paste. If you’re in a hurry, you could also try making a quick cook Haleem, which takes a fraction of the time to prepare but somehow manages to capture all of the flavor of the original


An intricate Persian-inspired rice dish comprising layers of curried meat and colourful rice. Biryani can be made with either chicken, beef or lamb. The rice is distinctly yellow – getting its colour mostly from turmeric and distinct flavour from other spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger. You can save yourself the trouble of buying and measuring dozens of spices by using a simple and tasty biryani spice mix instead.


Nihari is one of Pakistan’s most famous stews. Beef, chicken or lamb is covered in spices (or National Delhi Nihari Recipe Mix), thickened with atta, a South Asian flour, and cooked on the bone overnight. This long cooking process allows the dish to fully absorb the flavor of the bone marrow.

Seekh kababs

Seekh kababs are Pakistan’s favorite meat on a stick. These long, thin cylinders of meat are perfect as a starter or as main. To prepare, simply add National Seekh Kabab Recipe Mix, onion, butter, green chillies and ginger and garlic paste to your minced meat. Shape the meat into small, skinny tubes and mount on skewers. Finally, cook on a charcoal grill, which adds colour and flavor.

Spicy chicken tikka

Spicy and flavorful, chicken tikka is one of the most popular foods in Pakistan. Chicken is usually cut into cubes, marinated in spices (try using National Chicken Tikka Recipe Mix), ginger, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and oil, put on skewers and then grilled to perfection. It doesn’t get much better than mouth-watering, juicy, spicy, flavorful charbroiled chicken to satisfy your barbecue craving.

These five dishes prove that Pakistan truly has some of the most flavorful and diverse food in the world.


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