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Pakistani Vs. Indian Food

Not long ago some years back; there was a “food fight” between two great nations of Pakistan and India. The case was very serious to the extent that there was need for a cooking competition with both countries bringing their best chefs forward for the competition. Some people think that Pakistani food is borrowed from the northern parts of India. On the other hand, the Citizens and residents of Pakistan claim that they have their original cuisine. In this article, we look to find out whether the Pakistani food is similar to India’s or there is a difference between the two.

Why do people think Pakistani food is similar to Indian?

As aforementioned, Pakistani food is hugely misunderstood beyond its borders. While it is true that if you go abroad and ask for Pakistani food you will get a meal almost identical to the Indian food, it is not true that they are the same. The foods served in those restaurants are none authentic and are nothing near the real Pakistani food. In addition to that, most people in Pakistani are Punjabis. This makes many people to have the belief that Pakistani food is similar to Indian. The truth is, while some meals can have a certain element of similarity, Pakistani food is very different.

Geographic factors also play in a big role. Most of the western part of the country consists of Persians while the central part consists of Asians. With many people living in the Eastern parts, it brings up an idea that the people and the food there are similar. The truth is the western parts of Pakistan consist of pure natives and the foods there are authentic.

Some of the native foods that you can find in these native parts include Baluchistan and KPK. You cannot find these foods in the Indian cuisine.

About Pakistani cuisine

If you want to take care of your cultural extravaganza, Pakistani cuisine is one of the ways through which you can achieve that. Some of the main Pakistani dishes include:


This is one of the favorite dishes that Balochs love and is very popular in Pakistan. The meal contains meat, tender lamb or chicken. Depending on the chef, you might also get this meal in skewers marinated in green papaya paste. The chef can also bake this meal over coals or stuff it inside rise.


This is basically a meal consisting of cheese with the flavor of salt. Pastuns are responsible for the discovery of this amazing meal that continues to gain popularity globally. If you have not seen this sumptuous snack yet, it is yellow in color with a springy texture. Mostly, sheep milk is used in its making but Pakistani residents do not mind if you use camel milk.

Noon Chai

People all over the globe have their unique way of making tea and Pakistan is not an exception. Noon chai is a type of green tea that has pistachios and salt for its flavoring. The tea appears to be pink in color and the hue is further imparted by the sodium carbonate that local residents add to it.

Chapli kebab

This is a meal made from minced meat is a source of delight for many Pashtoons. One clear characteristic of this delicacy is that it is spicy and mouth watering even by its sight alone. In Pakistan Mardan is the most famous source of this type of kebabs. Heading there is therefore a wise idea of getting a refill.


This is one of the most popular snacks in Pakistan. They obtain a biscuit like shape and structure and visitors can sometimes confuse the two. As its name suggests, this snack was named after general Bakar whose love for khani was the best. This snack is crusty and is a flat type of bread with excellent taste.


The story that Pakistani meals and Indian foods are similar is not true at all. In fact, some factors such as geographic and the mixture of the people from the two countries are responsible for strengthening this belief. Pakistan has its own native foods just as India has its own. Some of the native meals in Pakistan include Bakarkhani, Noon chai and Chapli kebab.



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What is Pakistani Culture Food?

It is common that most people around the world have their culture of life and even food. The spread of Islam in Pakistan in the 18th century is one of the factors which affected the type of cultural food in Pakistan. Muslims strictly follow the Quran and this dictates what to and not to eat. The Quran prohibits eating pork and drinking alcoholic beverages and this has led to most Pakistanis develop great tastes to beef, chicken, lamb and fish as basic foods. Here are popular Pakistan cultural foods:



This is an average Pakistan breakfast comprising of eggs (fried/boiled/scrambled/omelette), a chunk of cut bread or parathas with tea, lassi, minced meat or even any type of fruits e.g. mangoes, melons or bananas. The breakfast can also entail margarine, jam, nectar, shami kebab or nuts depending with preferences or affordability.


Chicken karahi

This is common to individuals who can afford meat e.g. sheep and poultry. The karahi system involves cooking the meat with vegetables and then served in its own particular container. A Jalfrezi which is a meat blend that has tomatoes, eggs and chilies can be an alternative to chicken karahi. Alternatively, some people prefer Tikka and bhoti kebab which are barbecued on a thin stick over an open fire. People have different preferences and tastes and this wide menu helps meet the needs of different people.


Raita (Yogurt and Vegetable salad)

Raita is a dressing used on spicy foods to cool them down. Normally, there are different recipes of making raita varying from simple to complex raita. A simple raita is served when a family is having a normal family dinner while the fancier one is usually served when the guests come over. In addition, some families cannot afford the complex raita due to financial constraints and hence they opt to go for the simple raita.


Lassi (yogurt drink)

This is a well-known drink in Pakistan whether sweet or salty. Sweet lassi is usually taken for breakfast while the salty one for supper or lunch. Some Pakistanis like having sweets e.g. kheer which is rice pudding or kulfi which is a pistachio dessert.


Biryani and pulao

These are the most common type of food in Pakistan. The food is made from rice and any type of meat fried or boiled. Biryani is available with different structures and shapes and even formulas e.g. mutton biryani from sheep, beef biryani, Tikka biryani, Aalo biryani, Sindhi biryani among others. Most people around Pakistan have developed their own tastes and formulas making it widespread and common. In most ceremonies, biryani and pulao are a necessity and they must be prepared.


These are not really dishes but they are prepared to add to a Pakistani dinner table. Kebabs are made from minced meat while naan is made from flour dough. There is a wide variety of kebabs in Pakistan ranging from Tikka kebab, Gola, Shami, Seekh kebab among others. Naan is also available in many form among them Roghni, Aloo, Keema among others.


Most Pakistan cultural food are prepared from readily available ingredients which are mainly nutritious.

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When in Pakistan, What not to miss

When we say Pakistan, the first few things that comes to people’s minds are Malala Yousafzai, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Fawad Khan, Benezir Bhutto and for some even the famous ‘Chai Waala’.

Apart from these great personalities and multitude of scenic beauty, Pakistan has a lot more to offer. We are known not only for our world famous cricketers or social activists, we are known for our sumptuous and delectable cuisines as well. Once you try them, I can guarantee you will ask for more.

There are so many dishes that are our specialty and totally worth a try. To ease your confusion, I will list a few, which are my personal favorites and are strictly advisable not to miss out.

Sweet and Simple Sewaiyan or Sheer Khorma

We Pakistanis, believe that any auspicious event or joyful occasion should start with having something sweet. And what can be better than a bowl of savory sewaiyan?

Sewaiyan or vermicelli pudding is a traditional sweet delicacy made from vermicelli, milk, sugar, dry fruits, dry dates and kesar.

Served hot or cold, its heavenly taste is sure to make you shamelessly ask for more. And don’t worry, we don’t mind sharing it either.

Siri Paya

The origin of Siri Paya roots in Central Asia and was introduced in South Asia by the Mughals (we can’t be more thankful to them for bringing it here) and is especially popular in Punjab Region of Pakistan. Favorite dish for breakfast, is also served at various festivals and get-togethers. Paya/trotter (or hoof) and Siri (or heads) of goats, buffaloes or lambs form the main ingredients of this mouth watering dish. The recipe varies regionally and from home to home. Cooked slowly in low flame overnight, it is the best soupy dish to present in cheerful gatherings.


Even a two-year-old toddler here would know what a biryani is. But if you are a visitor and if you haven’t tasted a plate of it, then, my friend I would say your visit has been a total failure.

Another dish introduced by the Mughals, Biryani is a South Asian mixed dish and can be considered as our staple food. One simple cuisine, having so many variants. Made from rice mixed with various different condiments, its recipe is not only ingredient specific (egg biryani, chicken biryani, beef biryani, veg biryani), its flavor also varies with respect to the places it is offered at(Afghan Biryani, Kutchi Biryani, Sindhi Biryani).


Sheer Chai/Noon Chai

Tea has always been associated with South Asia and has been one of the most traded commodities during Medieval Period. Its aromatic smell and anti oxidant property has always made it our favorite beverage.

Black tea, Green tea or milk tea, they all are common and you must have tasted all or either of them at some point. But I am pretty sure you must not have heard or drunk the special Sheer Chai.

Coming from Kashmir, this traditional tea beverage is an integral part of Kashmiri culture and is usually taken 2−3 times a day with traditional Kashmiri breads and pastries. Traditionally made, it is cooked in a heater metal container. Sheer Chai is considered very helpful in digestion. It’s beautiful pink color and the fact that it uses salt (not sugar), makes it a unique beverage and one of the must to try.



Haleem is the most popular stew dish in Middle East, Central Asia and Indian subcontinent. Haleem is like a stew having an amazing flavor and aroma of ghee. A high-calorie nutritious dish comprises meat, wheat and lentils and is cooked with spices for a few hours.

The Ramadan special delicacy is served as an evening meal after iftar (meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan).

Whoever said that Biryani is the only popular dish, has never tasted this.



Nihari is a stew dish comprising of slow cooked meat, usually beef or lamb. Nihari originates from the Arabic nahaar, meaning day and was usually taken as breakfast by the Nawabs.

The slow cooked hot and spicy dish is also used as home remedy for diseases like common cold, and fever and is our favourite dish especially during monsoon and winter seasons.

It is not only tasty but highly nutritious and healthy. Its various ingredients help in maintaining muscles and bones, repairing tissues, boosting immunity, improve blood circulation, regulating blood pressure and helps in digestion


Next time, whenever you feel perplexed about what an all to eat to treat your taste buds with, you know which reliable list to consult, and I guarantee you that you won’t regret it.


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Pakistani Street Food

Pakistani food is all about flavor and spices. People from all over the world enjoy the delicious street food from Pakistan.
This video shows different Pakistani street food!

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