Home Recipe Roundup 23 Best Pakistani Foods (+ Traditional Recipes)

23 Best Pakistani Foods (+ Traditional Recipes)

If you prefer foods cooked with passion, Pakistani foods are for you. These delicious and aromatic dishes are out of this world and full of soul.

The foods of Pakistan are as diverse as the land they come from.

With influences from India, Iran, Afghanistan, and western culture, there’s so much to love.

Pakistani Sekkh Kebab with Minced Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemons
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From rich and sweet yogurt drinks to savory and spicy curry, there’s something for everyone.  

Are you ready to take your tastebuds on a tour of Pakistan? I’ve put together a list of 23 of my absolute favorite Pakistani recipes for you to try.

1. Kaali Daal (Black Lentils)

Kaali daal is filling, comforting, and flavorful. In other words, it’s everything you love for a hearty side dish.

Spiced lentils are served with aromatic tadka, and are good to the last bite. This tadka has spices, onion, and garlic sauteed in oil for flavor elevation.

Daal is a dish to love in so many ways. Serve with savory spiced kabobs, or with rice for a vegetarian dinner

2. Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

Beef stew is a hearty dinner staple in cultures across the world. No doubt in Pakistan, this dish is full of spice and soul.

The level of flavor that comes from the aromatics in this stew is next level.

Tender beef is cooked in a spiced broth, then it’s thickened with flour and yogurt.

This creamy and thick stew is best served with warm naan or white rice.

For the best flavor, let the nihari marinate for hours before enjoying it.

3. Lassi (Yogurt Drink)

The simplest version of lassi is ice, water, and Greek yogurt blended.

This recipe has a couple of secret ingredients to make it even better than the original.

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Making lassi at home is quite simple. For this recipe, blend whipping cream, Greek yogurt, ice, milk, and sugar. 

This cold and creamy drink is perfect to cut summer heat or spicy dishes. You can also add a bit of fruit or tarragon for some added flavor. 

4. Doodh Patti Chai (Authentic Pakistani Chai)

Skip the Starbucks chai latte, as this authentic chai will blow your mind.

Making your own chai at home brings the joy of serving delicious dishes beyond a simple drink.

Start with simmering black tea and cardamom before adding the milk.

After you add the milk, it will bubble and froth. You want to let it simmer for a few minutes for flavor. 

The best chai is enjoyed with good company and plenty of laughter.

5.  Pakistani Pakora

Western culture may believe that fried potatoes are pub staples, but in Pakistan, they’re so much more.

Crispy fried potatoes are shared with the people you love the most!

Chopped potatoes are mixed with chilis, onion, and a batter before being fried.

Be sure to heat an ample amount of oil in your wok to allow the pakora to move while frying.

The flavors of this pakora served with chutney will have you dancing with joy! 

6. Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers) 

Beef kebabs are a staple of Pakistani culture. I’ve learned that the key to great kebabs is passion and good spices. 

The ground beef is amply flavored with herbs, spices, and aromatics before cooking. Whether they’re grilled, fried, or baked, they are delicious.

Complete your kebab meal with naan, rice, and a fresh cucumber raita. 

7. Keema Naan (Flatbread)

Cooking authentic Pakistani foods is all for naan if you don’t have delicious naan bread. This recipe is more than just flatbread!

Stuff the flatbread with seasoned mincemeat, and bake to perfection. Imagine a kebab inside of naan. Absolutely scrumptious.

This is an easy lunch to serve, as it’s a whole meal in one!

8. Pakistani Chicken Karahi

If you’ve ever had Pakistani foods, you know they’re fragrant and flavorful beyond belief. This chicken is no exception to that rule!

The rich whole chicken is cooked in an acidic tomato masala base. The chicken comes out moist and tender, and mouthwateringly spiced. 

Because this is a “dry” curry, it’s best served with naan rather than rice.

9. Pakistani Chicken Biryani

This chicken biryani is probably my favorite Pakistani dinner to make. It’s simple, savory, and ultra comforting.

This recipe has loads of creamy spiced sauce, tender chicken, and potatoes on a bed of seasoned rice.

If that’s not enough, it’s all cooked in one pan for easy cleanup!

Wait to stir the rice into the gravy until ready to serve. This way, you’ll have perfectly soft rice and loads of flavor! 

10. Paratha

Paratha is similar to naan, in that it’s a flatbread. But rather than baking it, you’ll pan-fry it with plenty of ghee.

This savory bread is the perfect accompaniment for meals all day long. The dough is made with just flour, oil, and water. 

Pair this paratha with eggs and a cup of chai and you have the best Pakistani breakfast. 

11. Halwa Puri

Halwa puri is similar to a bread pudding, served with puffy fry bread. It’s sweet, comforting, and an authentic Pakistani dish. 

The halwa is made with semolina, butter, sugar, dried fruits, and nuts. Serve it with warm fried puri, and you have a sweet and savory snack!

Halwa puri can be served for breakfast, afternoon chai, or even late-night snacks.

12. Mutton Korma

If you want to wow the crowd with an authentic Pakistani dish, please make this korma! Slow-cooked mutton in a rich curry is breathtakingly delicious.

Look for high-quality mutton or lamb cuts at a local butcher to make the best korma.

The meat will be stewed in a spiced curry that has plenty of heat and flavor.

Serve your korma with sliced almonds, steamed basmati rice, and plenty of smiles!

13. Dal Tadka

I’m all about easy recipes that take me on tours across the world. This dal is one of my favorite Pakistani dishes for exotic cuisine. 

In short, dal tadka is a saucy split pea base with tempered onions. It’s loaded with spices and is so simple to make in your own kitchen!

Serve your dal tadka with a main dish, or enjoy scooping up bites with naan. 

14. Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens & Spinach Curry)

Mustard greens and spinach have never tasted so good. Seriously, you’ll want a second serving of veggies with this saag. 

Grab your Instant Pot and pile in the saag ingredients before roughly pureeing. You’ll add an onion and ghee tadka (tempering) before serving.

You can enjoy this saag as a main dish with naan. Or, grill up some juicy kebabs and enjoy it all together!

15. Chapli Kabab

Chapli kabab is Pakistani kebab meat flattened before cooking. Picture juicy, seasoned mincemeat in the shape of a burger patty. 

Roasting fresh spices before grinding elevates the fragrance and flavor of the kebab.

Allowing the meat to rest with the spices deeply marinates the meat before cooking.

Serve your fried kebab patties with warm naan and fresh chutney. Simple savory kebabs are out of this world. 

16. Balochi Chicken Sajji

If you want a roasted chicken that’s loaded with flavor, chicken sajji is the recipe for you!

Aside from the marinade and a whole chicken, sajji is made with love!

Allow your chicken to brine for at least five hours before preparing to bake.

The sajji marinade is made with fresh spices, ginger, garlic, chiles, and lemon juice. 

Bake your chicken low and slow for the juiciest poultry possible. 

17. Chana Chaat

Snacking is an essential part of any culture. This chana chaat has sweetness, tang, and saltiness that makes it delicious any time of day. 

The base of this recipe is chickpeas, red onion, tomatoes, and potatoes.

The ingredients are combined with a tangy chutney, chaat masala, and cilantro.

Enjoy the chana chaat warm or cold, either way, it’s delicious!

18. Pakistani Style Ginger Chicken

If you’re cooking Pakistani foods, expect fragrant spices and delicious sauces. This ginger chicken is well-seasoned, creamy, and delicious. 

Onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles give the chicken and masala a great flavor.

The turmeric and chili powder add depth to the aromatics, and yogurt cuts the heat.

This tender chicken is so easy to make and is delicious with rice or naan. 

19. Aloo Baingan (Eggplant/Aubergine and Potato Curry)

Vegan curry is a staple in my house for meatless Mondays. The bold spices and tender veggies are satisfying, fueling, and easy to put together.

Eggplant and potatoes are cooked in a savory and acidic masala base.

There’s no yogurt in this curry, but if you need to cut the flavors, feel free to add some. 

I prefer to serve this aloo baingan with naan, and eat with my hands.

There’s a satisfaction that comes with scooping the warm veggies and sauce with freshly baked naan. 

20. Gajar Ka Halwa

Halwa is an authentic Pakistani dessert that is simple to make. The comforting flavors and warm pudding texture is like a hug from the inside!

This halwa is made with sweet carrots, milk, ghee, sugar, and cardamom.

Combine the ingredients in a pot, and stir until it has a mashed potato consistency.

When serving, sprinkle chopped pistachios on top for color and crunch. The resulting dessert is sweet, spiced, and perfect for company. 

21. Zarda Rice  (Meethe Chawal)

If you’re familiar with Asian cuisine, you know rice is not just used for savory dishes. This zarda rice is a classic dessert and can be easily customized.

The rice is sweetened with ghee, cardamom, and clove syrup. Top your sweet rice with dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. 

This simple recipe is a delicious Pakistani dessert you will love. 

22. Falooda

Whether you call it a drink, or a parfait dessert, falooda is out of this world.

It’s worth noting that there are so many layers of flavor in this delicious recipe.

Falooda requires some special ingredients that you may need to order if you don’t have a South Asian market.

Falooda sev, basil seeds, and rooh afza syrup are key to the flavors of falooda.

Layer the syrup, noodles, basil seeds, and Jell-O between scoops of vanilla ice cream.

23. Mango Lassi

Mango lassi is growing in popularity in western culture. The creamy, tart, and smooth flavors are a delicious finish to any Pakistani meal.

There are two mango components in this recipe: pulp, and frozen, ripe mango chunks.

The fruit is blended with ice, whole milk, plain yogurt, and sugar.

You might like to finish the drink with a sprinkle of cardamom for a sweet, spiced drink.

23 Best Pakistani Foods

Try these traditional Pakistani foods for dishes that are full of flavor! From lentils to stew to flatbread, you won’t be able to resist these recipes.


  • Kaali Daal (Black Lentils)

  • Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

  • Lassi (Yogurt Drink)

  • Doodh Patti Chai (Authentic Pakistani Chai)

  • Pakistani Pakora

  • Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers)

  • Keema Naan (Flatbread)

  • Pakistani Chicken Karahi

  • Pakistani Chicken Biryani

  • Paratha

  • Halwa Puri

  • Mutton Korma

  • Dal Tadka

  • Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens & Spinach Curry)

  • Chapli Kabab

  • Balochi Chicken Sajji

  • Chana Chaat

  • Pakistani Style Ginger Chicken

  • Aloo Baingan (Eggplant/Aubergine and Potato Curry)

  • Gajar Ka Halwa

  • Zarda Rice (Meethe Chawal)

  • Falooda

  • Mango Lassi


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Pakistani food in 30 minutes or less!
Pakistani Foods

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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