Food of Pakistan


Source: What is it like to travel in PAKISTAN? - Mark Wiens Blog 


When you think of Pakistan, you might think of beautiful mosques, tall mountains and kind people. Well, I am letting you know that there should be something else that springs to your mind- their food!  The tantalising, tasty food of Pakistan is always delicious and doused with flavour and spices.

Pakistani residents and regular-visitors know how much the culture changes from one place to another. Consequently, so does the food. As Pakistan is part of Southern Asia, you can recognise some staple Asian dishes. But, don’t think just because you’ve tried an Indian Biryani it is the same as a Pakistani Biryani! Because actually, they taste very different.

What makes Pakistani dishes alluring is their pairings of food, and their love for bread. Because who doesn’t love bread? Actually, the mouth-watering ingredients and their passion for cooking makes Pakistani food some of the best in the world. While there are so many different cuisines, people swear to the fact the Pakistan’s is one of the best. Give it a go and fall in love with their food.


Photo of assorted spices, each added to dishes for extra flavour.

Photo by Rickysoni at Freepik


Most residents of Pakistan are Muslims; as such, this affects the food eaten. This means the food is all halal, there is no pork eaten nor alcohol consumed. Yes, this includes wine that would typically go into certain recipes around the world, certainly in Italy. So instead, Pakistanis focus on other meats such as chicken, fish or beef. Additionally, vegetables and fruit are very popular in adding substance to foods. When mixed together, there are a lot of appetizing tastes within many popular Pakistani dishes.

Different regions have specific specialities, so where you go will influence what you eat. For example, Punjab has an affiliation with roti and tandoori cooking. Whereas Biryanis are best from Karachi, and Kashmiri has a love for meat.



Like most places, Pakistanis have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dinner being especially important. It is classed as the main meal of the day, to be enjoyed with the whole family. Each dish differs dependent on the meal time, although some form of bread normally accompanies meals at any time of the day. Excellent, more bread!


A selection of lovely-looking Karachi food

Photo by Qaumi Akhbar from flickr




Also served throughout the day is tea. In fact, chai tea is drunk throughout most households. A lot of places will serve lassi, a popular yogurt-based drink. If you don’t know what it is yet, you need to try this refreshing beverage.

The rich, tasty lassi is both sweet and savoury. Blended together are yogurt, milk, water, spices and occasionally fruit, dependent on the flavour of the lassi. So not only is the food incredible, but the drinks are too. When a resident of Pakistan offers you either drink, take them up on their offer, as authentic Pakistani drinks are truly incredible.




Well, each dish varies aromatically and within their taste because of the spices and ingredients. Some of the most popular spices include brown and green cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg, black pepper and are in many of the most popular dishes. While others include mace, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, bay leaves, and cloves.

Despite dishes including many different ingredients and flavours, cooking and preparing is not that time-consuming. I would recommend trying a few staple dishes and then trying to make it at home. If you are anything like us, you like a dish with a kick and heaps of spice. So, on dishes that you like, you can change the quantity of herbs and spices to specialise to your individual taste.

We are feeling generous today, so we have made a list of our favourite Pakistani foods! These delicious meals are a must-try on your next visit. Some of these are our personal favourites at PIA Delayed so give them a go, or better yet, try to make them yourself.


The Flavourful Four:


Nihari- this mighty breakfast uses dry spices, oil, meat and butter. The best bit of this dish is the meat as it is slow cooked making it super tender.

Haleem- a combination of barley, wheat and chickpeas. While it was originally from the Middle East, Pakistan has added their touch to this dish. Slow cooked, with added onions, chillies and spices, this hearty dish is one oozing with flavour.

Saag- you cannot go to Pakistan and not have Saag! Extremely popular within Punjab, its main ingredient are leaves, such as spinach, mustard leaf etc. It is cooked with spices and served with rice or bread (YES!) Popular chef and blogger Ainy loves to make Saag.




We saved the best until last! So finally, the classic Biryani is our most delectable dish; it has an inviting aroma and a fabulous colour. Biryani can use an assortment of meat, so just pick your favourite- chicken, beef or mutton; even seafood such as prawns or fish.  Although, many (us too) claim the most popular and mouth-watering Biryani recipe in Pakistan is made with chicken.


The largest proportion of the biryani is rice, always accompanied by spices, herbs, and flavours. When you get a chance, try following a genuine Pakistani recipe to get the greatest flavour. To follow a great recipe, with helpful pictures, follow this link: Pakistan Chicken Biryani. Although, if you don’t want to cook it for yourself, it is a popular restaurant or take away option.


Appetizing and delightful Pakistan chicken biryani

Photo by Fatles on Fickr



While in Pakistan, trying the varied street food is a must! There is so much variation in the food, snacks, and ingredients. Moreover, each dish is accompanied by specific spices and flavours to bring about the best taste and combination. A benefit for customers, each street vendor has years of experience, resulting in complex dishes made to look easy. If you want to know more, popular vlogger Mark Weins has done blogs and videos on the street food of Pakistan. My favourite video is from Lahore, check it out here. 

I would recommend watching, as he tries many dishes and it is so interesting to see how it is made. Furthermore, if you haven’t already been to Pakistan, you will definitely want to after watching his videos. Foodies will understand the pleasure he feels while he goes around cities trying lots of different dishes. My favourite things I want to try are the stuffed naan- BREAD!, chicken, cheese and spices, just what you need.

Each place has a specific way of cooking their food and adding ingredients. Moreover, they have all been adapted and added to for more abundant flavours. Street vendors normally specialize in cooking certain dishes, which, in fact, makes them experts in pairing their food, spices, aromas, and herbs. The best places to go are in the main cities- they offer so many options. Not only will you be blown away by the food, but the skills that the vendors have is extremely impressive!


Juicy looking kebabs being cooked over chargrill

Photo by Foodies Pakistan from flickr.


If you have not tried a Pakistani Kebab, then you need to hop on a plane or go to the nearest Pakistani city now and get one- (if you face a cancellation or delay, remember us!) Very worthwhile, the succulent and marinated kebabs are served off the grill, either on their own or with an assortment of dips.



The street food is fantastic and does not require you to wait long. However, if you decide to experience this for yourself by flying PIA and are left waiting due to cancellation or delays, contact us to see if you are eligible for compensation. We are the UK’s leading PIA flight specialists, helping you with your flight claim. It is a massive inconvenience being stuck at an airport, so make sure you get your flight compensation today! 

Visit our website today and use our free flight checker to see if you can make a compensation claim. If you have flown from a European country to Pakistan in the past six years and have experienced flight delays, cancellations or if you were denied boarding, you might be able to make a claim of up to €600. The European Regulation EC 261/2004 states that you can claim against your airline after facing these problems. Do not suffer because of your airline, check now to see!




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