Top 8 Must-try Pakistani Dishes

By Dickson Osas

If you’ve ever visited a Pakistani buffet, you’ve probably been blown away by the variety of delectable dishes. However, when it comes to Pakistani cuisine, there is no such thing as making the wrong choice; each dish possesses a unique flavor, and all of them will leave your taste buds wanting more.

On the other hand, it would be irresponsible for us to deny that we have prejudices. So here are seven well-known Pakistani dishes we believe you would enjoy the most if you had never tried them.

Pakistani cuisine is delicious, laden with spices and ghee, and rich.

List of 8 Best Foods in Lahore and Karachi Pakistan

  •  Baryani
  • Kharai
  •  Haleem
  •  Chicken Tikka
  •  Halwa puri
  •  Saag
  •  Lassi
  • Palao

1. Baryani

This dish is likely the most well-known of the group. Biryani is a combination of rice and either chicken, lamb, or beef. The most well-known product of this region is its flavorful Basmati rice, which gets its characteristic yellow color from turmeric and other spices and herbs.

Tomatoes, potatoes, and lemons cooked to perfection add aromatics, texture, and complementing flavors to the biryani.

2. Kharai

One of the most well-liked dishes in Pakistan, karahi, can be prepared with either beef or chicken in addition to the traditional mutton and chicken. This dish is near and dear to our hearts and can be found in nearly all parts of the country.

The Karahi recipe is easy to follow, starting with tomatoes and onions. Following that, tomato broth is combined with the meat that has been added (which creates the magic). Again, the level of spiciness varies from city to city, but in general, it is on the spicy side, and that’s just how we like it!

3. Haleem

In Pakistani cooking, haleem is a dish typically made with traditional ingredients, such as wheat, barley, ground beef, lamb, or chicken. It takes a long time to prepare this dish because the lentils and special spices must have ample time to properly combine with the ground beef to create a paste that will delight the senses.

4. Chicken Tikka

If not served with “naan,” chicken tikka is one of the most popular dishes in Pakistan due to its flavor and nutritional value. It is a sizable portion of chicken that has been rubbed with traditional spices and then grilled to perfection. To achieve culinary satisfaction, marinate the chicken in the mint dressing provided.

5. Halwa Puri

The option that wins hands down the most popular choice for breakfast in Pakistan. It is well known that eating halwa puri will leave you extremely satisfied, to the point where you may want to relax after eating it. So on a Sunday, most Pakistanis eat halwa puri.

This dish is a mash-up of two different dishes. The first is halwa, which is a type of sweet pudding. The second alternative is puri, which looks like a paratha but has a significantly more mouthwatering flavor. In addition, you will typically receive a mouthwatering curry consisting of chana and pickles alongside your order of halwa puri.

6. Saag

In the Pakistani province of Punjab, saag is a common dish found almost anywhere. The dish’s name simply translates to “mustard greens,” and it can be made with various other ingredients.

The mustard greens are slow-cooked until their leaves are so soft that they fall apart; the texture resembles a stew. Typically, the seasoning contains mint, coriander, chili flakes, and copious amounts of glorious desi ghee.

7. Lassi

The Punjabi culture is known for its love of the drink lassi, which is produced by mixing yogurt, cream, and water. During the hotter months, it is Pakistan’s go-to beverage of choice.

On a steamy day in the middle of summer, Pakistanis enjoy cooling off with a tall glass of namkeen lassi and a bowl of mangoes. Lassi is traditionally made by blending yogurt with ice and serving it alongside heavy meals to help wash everything down.

It is believed that the Punjabi farmers who first created lassi by combining their milk, sugar, and curd are responsible for the drink’s widespread popularity. They stored this reviving beverage in clay pots and drank it at the end of a long, exhausting day spent working in the fields.

8. Kabuli Palao

The Pakistani province of KP, located on the country’s northwestern border, is only a few hours’ drive away from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Just picture Silk Road merchants bringing the very first dishes of Kabuli Pulao for people to eat right here in Western Pakistan; they would have done so.

Pulao can be made with any size of rice, and the chef always starts by frying the rice in oil and mixing a lot of ground spices at the same time. In most cases, there will be a piece of mutton or beef meat and occasionally an entire leg at the very center of each large batch.


You can be sure that Pakistani cuisine has, even more, to offer, even though this list on its own is already quite extensive. Even though we have done everything in our power to pique your interest and describe the flavorful experience of Pakistani cuisine, the only way to truly understand how delicious these dishes are is to dine at a Pakistani restaurant in your area.