Top 10 Pakistani Foods and Their Recipes

Just like Pakistani cultures and traditions, Pakistani foods are the blend of various regional and local food traditions of South Asia. Instead of having own particular foods, Pakistani foods are the mixture of cooking traditions of Kashmir, Iran, Afghanistan, Arabian, and Indian. In addition to these regional foods, the foods in other parts of Pakistan like Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan also hold distinct tastes.

Here is the list of top ten Pakistani foods and their recipes that you should learn to cook.

  1. Matar Keema keema-matar

Recipe

  • ½ kg. Minced beef
  • 250 gram. matar
  • 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 onion (large size)
  • 6 tbs. oil
  • 6 whole black pepper (Kali Mirch)
  • 6 cloves (Laung)
  • 1 black cardamom (Bari Ilaichi)
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • 1 tsp. coriander (Dhaniya) powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (adjust to taste).
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric (Haldi) powder
  • ¾ tsp. chili (Lal Mirch) powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger (Adrak) paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic (Lehsan) paste
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the onion and sauté in oil until light brown.
  2. Add all the spices and tomatoes.
  3. Cook on medium heat till water is almost dried. Add minced meat, mix and dry the water again.
  4. Add 2 glasses of water, cover and cook till meat is tenderized and the water dries. Add matar and cook till it is soft.
  5. Sprinkle garam masala powder. Garnish with fresh green coriander (Dhaniya) leaves, green chilies and ginger (Adrak) slices and lemon juice.
  6. Serve with naan
  7. Serving: 4 to 5 persons
  1. Aaloo Palak pic3wNe4L

Recipe

  • 250 grm. potatoes-peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • 2 clove of garlic (Lehsan)-chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (Zeera))
  • 2-3 whole dried red chilies
  • ½ tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric (Haldi) powder
  • 1 packet frozen spinach. (Or a 1/2 cup of blanched spinach leaves)
  • 2 tbs. oil
  • 1 medium sized tomato-chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. In oil fry the pieces of Garlic (Lehsan) till they start to turn brown.
  2. Add Cumin Seeds (Zeera) red chili and Turmeric (Haldi).
  3. When brown add the chopped tomato and rest of the spices.
  4. When mixed well and the tomato has softened add the potatoes.
  5. When the potatoes are half done add Palak and cook till water dries. Cook throughout on low heat.
  6. Garnish with green chilies and lemon.
  7. Serve with chapati
  8. Serving: 3 persons
  1. Baingan ka Bharta Baigan_(_Brinjal_)_Bharta

Recipe

  • ½ grm. eggplant (Bengan)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tbs. tamarind (Imli) paste
  • 1 tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • ½ tsp. chili (Lal Mirch) powder
  • 4 tbs. oil
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric (Haldi) powder
  • 3-4 tbs. yogurt
  • 2-3 green chilies – chopped
  • 2 tbs. mint (Podina) leaves – chopped
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant in hot oven till the skin gets slightly burnt and shriveled.
  2. Put the hot eggplant in a bowl of water and remove the skin.
  3. In a pot add all the ingredients to the eggplant pulp meshed nicely and cook on medium flame till the water has dried up (stirring continuously otherwise it will burn). When ready it will come in a ball shape and will turn light brown
  4. It can be served with rice, chapati or as salad when cooled.
  5. Serving: 3-4 persons
  1. Bhindi Fried kurkuri_bhindi_crispy_okra

Recipe

  • 2 cups of cut up Bhindi (okra)
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • 3-4 Whole dried red chilies
  • ½ tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric (Haldi)
  • 2 tbs. oil
  • 1 tbs. tamarind (Imli) paste – optional
  • 1 tomato (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sauté the sliced onion till transparent-light brown.
  2. Add Cumin Seeds (Zeera), salt, Turmeric (Haldi), Bhindi and chilies.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat till soft. Do not add water. (Don’t stir so much otherwise it will breakup).
  4. To check if done, stir. When the sticky texture disappears, it’s done.
  5. Serve with chapati
  6. Serving: 2 persons
  1. Daal Maash daal-mash-1

Recipe

  • 1 Cup Dal Maash (White Dal)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Whole dried red chilies
  • 7-8 black pepper (Kali Mirch)
  • 1 tsp ginger (Adrak) slices (very thin)
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 4-5 small green chilies
  • 2 tbs. fresh coriander (Dhaniya) leaves-chopped
  • 1 pinch asafetida (Heeng)

Instructions

  1. Soak the Dal in water for about an hour. Add the soaked Dal in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, red chilies, Black Peppercorn. (Kali Mirch), salt and Ginger (Adrak).
  2. Cook this partially covered on low heat for about half an hour. Once the water has evaporated and the Dal is soft, sprinkle the garam masala on it.
  3. In a frying pan sauté thin slices of the onion in a little oil until they’re brown add a pinch of Asafetida (Heeng). Add this (Baghar) to the Dal.
  4. Garnish with slices of green chilies, Coriander (Dhaniya) leaves and lemon.
  5. Serve with chapati (plain or buttered).
  6. Serving: 2 to 3 persons.
  1. Anday ka Halwa anday-ka-halwa

Recipe

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 green cardamom (Chhoti ilaichi) – seeds
  • 1 cup ghee (not oil)
  • dry fruits – pistachio (Pistay), almond (Badam), raisins (Kishmish)

Instructions

  1. Mix all into a pot and cook over a low flame stirring
  2. constantly till the mixture is light brown and dry.
  3. Put onto a plate and flatten into a 1″ layer.
  4. After it cools down cut into small pieces.
  5. Serving: 6 to 8 persons
  1. Besan ki Roti hqdefault

Recipe

  • 3 cups besan ata
  • 1½ cup wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • ¼ tsp. chili (Lal Mirch) powder
  • 2 tbs. oil
  • 1 pinch asafetida (Heeng)
  • 2 cups ghee

Instructions

  1. Mix besan and wheat flour. Add salt and mix. Add a little water and mix. The consistency should be soft and putty-like. It helps if you kneed it with a wet hand.
  2. Keep the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  3. Divide this dough into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten it into a chapati shape (round).
  4. Spread a little oil or ghee on it. Make a cut in it from the center to the edge. Pick up the cut edge and start rolling it so that you end up with a cone.
  5. With the palm of your hand flatten it while twisting it so that it once again forms a ball type thing. Flatten it again in chapati shape and fry it on medium to low heat with three tbs. oil or more depending on the size of the frying pan. Turn it over once the bottom is golden brown.
  6. When both sides are golden brown it’s done.
  7. Serve with garlic chutney, achar or raita.
  8. Serving: 5 to 6
  1. Koftay C-Beef-Koftay-1024x682

Recipe

Meatballs:

  • 1/2 Kg. minced beef
  • ½ tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 4-6 green chilies chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger (Adrak) paste
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in either milk or water
  • 1 tbs. yogurt

Gravy:

  • 2 medium onion chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (Haldi)
  • 1/2 tsp chili (Lal Mirch) powder
  • 2 tbs. coriander (Dhaniya) powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (Adrak) paste
  • 4 tbs. yogurt
  • 3 tbs. oil

Instructions

  1. Grind together all the meatball ingredients and make into medium sized meatballs.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in oil on low heat until brown. Remove from the oil.
  3. In hot oil add all the spices mixed with 2 cups of water.
  4. When the gravy starts to boil, crush the fried onions and add them in.
  5. Add the meatballs and cook on low heat till done. Garnish with fresh Dhaniya leaves.
  6. Serve with chapati or naan.
  7. Serving: 4 persons
  1. Haleem bajra veg haleem 003

Recipe

  • 2 kg. beef (boneless)
  • 1½ tbs. salt
  • 2 tsp chili (Lal Mirch) powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric (Haldi) powder
  • 1 bay leaves (Tezpatta)
  • ½ kg. Dal Chana
  • 300 grm. whole wheat
  • 100 grm. barley (jaw)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 to 4 Lemon (sliced) or juice
  • 10-12 green chilies
  • 1 cup chopped coriander (Dhaniya) leaves
  • ¼ cup sliced ginger (Adrak)-Julian

Instructions

  1. Soak all three grains overnight.
  2. Fry the meat in oil. Add 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. Turmeric (Haldi) powder, 1 tsp. chili powder, bay leaf and 6-8 glasses of water. Cover and leave on low flame to tenderize until the meat is extremely soft.
  3. Meanwhile, put the grains and dal in a pot with 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp chili powder and ½ tsp Turmeric (Haldi). Add water and cook on low flame till very soft.
  4. When meat and the grains are soft, mix them together, leave on a very low flame and keep mashing and mixing rigorously. It is ready when starts to boil and becomes bubbly.
  5. Fry onion in oil (for Baghar) and for garnishing. Add the oil to the mixture and keep aside the fried onion for garnishing.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with garam masala, fresh Coriander (Dhaniya) leaves, green chilies, fried onion and lemon.
  7. TIP: whenever frying onion for “Baghar” or as accompaniment with Haleem, fry on very low heat for a good flavor. You can hurry it up and fry it on a high heat but you’ll just get a burnt sort of flavor.
  8. Serving: 8 to 10 persons
  1. Biryani
    1438162749_974117723_IL6K2ZV

Recipe

  • 1 to 2 kg mutton or chicken (preferably bony & fatty)
  • 1 kg basmati rice
  • 100 to 150 grm. Yogurt
  • 3 to 4 tsp. salt (according to taste)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 garlic (Lehsan) cloves
  • 1 tbs. ginger (Adrak) paste
  • 12-16 green cardamom (Chhoti Ilaichi)
  • 1½ to 2 tbs. garlic (Lehsan) paste
  • 16-20 cloves (Laung)
  • 1 cup oil, preferably ghee
  • 2-3 tbs. Kewra
  • ½ tsp. yellow food colour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 pinch saffron (Zafran)
  • ½ tbs. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add mutton, salt and garlic (Lehsan) cloves in a pot with 2 glasses of water. If you are using chicken you can do with only one glass of water or less.
  2. Cook on low flame till the meat is tender and the water dries.
  3. Take one medium onion slice it and fry it in about 1 cup of oil/ghee till it is light brown. Add the rest of the spices, yogurt and fry it little and then add the meat.
  4. Simultaneously soak the rice in water for half an hour.
  5. Boil the rice with 1 tbs. of salt and ½ tbs. of lemon juice till it is ¾ cooked. Drain the water and keep it aside.
  6. Transfer a little rice to a pot and on top of that add some of the meat masala combo so as to make layers of rice and masala keeping rice layer at the bottom and top.
  7. Sprinkle on it a solution of Kewra, yellow food colour, 1 tsp. of sugar and a pinch of Saffron (Zafran) soaked in a tbs. of milk or water.
  8. Keep it covered and on a low flame for about 10 minutes keeping the pot tightly closed to steam cook (dum).
  9. When the rice is done, the biryani is ready.
  10. Serve with salad or Garlic (Lehsan) chutney and Raita.
  11. Serving: 6 to 8 persons.
Avatar
Jennifer Mccarthy

Jennifer is Associate Professor (Ph.D) at Air University. Research Interests: Informatics; analysis of large-scale biological data sets (genomics, gene expression, proteolytic, networks); algorithms for integration of data from multiple data sources; visualization of biological data; machine learning methods in bio-informatics.

View all posts by Jennifer Mccarthy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *