Pakistan is rich in variety of foods. In general, food consists of different types of kababs eaten either with flatbread (naan) or with white/brown rice. However, its four provinces and specifically some regions have their respective food specialty which is one of the reasons why those destinations are popular.
The types of flatbread (collectively referred to as Naan), kabaabs and drinks are:
Naan is a type of flatbread usually backed in clay ovens (tandoor).
Roti or Chapattiis homemade bread comparatively thinner than naan and backs quickly.
Paratha is of two kinds: One is backed in clay oven while the other is made by dripping in oil but both are so rich and needs attention.
SeekhKabab is a long skewer of minced beef mixed with herbs and seasonings.
ShamiKabab is a round patty of seasoned beef and lentils but softer than seekh kababs.
ChapliKababis spicy round kabab that is a specialty of Peshawar, made of minced beef flat bread dripped in oil.
Chicken Kabab is again a popular kabab that is found both with bone and without.
Lamb Kabab is the all lamb meat kabab usually served as cubes.
Roasted Chicken (Charga) is very famous around Pakistan, seen on the rotisserie in food streets.
Biryani is dish with mixed pieces of chicken and rice added with saffron and other seasonings.
Chicken Tikka is barbeque chicken with a spicy exterior. Looks like a huge, red chicken leg and thigh.
Haleem is a dish thick stew-like mix of tiny chunks of meat or chicken, lentils and wheat grains.
Nihari is thick gravy made from local spices mixed with both chicken and beef. It is an oily and spicy dish.
There are too many shorbas, or sauces/soups, to enumerate. However, you should know of the most common ones.
Daal is a common dish made of yellow/red lentils or brown but slightly sour lentil “soup”.
Mixed vegetable: numerous vegies are available in different regions subject to the suitable weather and tradition of people. You can have any kind of vegetable with varying taste according to locality.
Meat is a major ingredient in most dishes with endless varieties.
AlooGosht (Potatoes and Meat) is a generic dish made up with chunks of potato and goat meat in gravy.
Nihariis another famous dish with beef simmered for several hours. Few people will have this available without spice. Eat with lemon, fried onion and caution: it is one of the spiciest curries widely liked in southern part of the country.
Paye or ‘Siri Paye’is a stew of goat/beef/mutton bones (typically hooves, skull) and bone marrow is extremely nutritious and generally eaten for breakfast with naan.
Enjoy a variety; ice cream can be found in an abundance of flavors such as the traditional pistachio flavored Kulfi;
Falooda is tasty rosewater dessert. Traditional ice-cream known as ‘kulfi’ mixed with vermicelli, pistachio nuts and flavored with rose-water. Most ice-cream shops have their own versions.
Mithai is the generic name for a variety of sweet treats in Pakistan. The sweets are extremely popular in Pakistan and called different things depending on where you go.
Kulfi is a very traditional made ice-cream mixed with cream and different types of nuts.
Ice-cream is very famous and western ice-cream parlors in like “Polka Parlor” “Jamin Java” “Hot Spot” are equally famous as traditional ice creams, the ‘Chaman’ ice cream parlor.
A part from local restaurants, international fast food chains have also popped up throughout Pakistan. They include, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Subway, Nandos, Mr.Cod, Papa Johns, and Dominoes etc. You find more European chains than North American.
Tap water can be unsafe for drinking. However, newly installed water filters/purifiers are safe to drink water from. Packed drinking water is also available in the market in variety of brands which is a better choice. It is commonly believed that the taste of water in the northern part and north-eastern part of the country is very good as compared to the rest of the country.
Milk tea (referred to as Chai in Pakistan) is popular throughout the country. Breakfast without tea cannot be imagined. It is also a remedy to tiredness and a good pastime.
Black and green tea (Sabz chai or qehvah) are common and are traditionally drunk with cardamom and lots of sugar. Lemon is optional but recommended with green tea.
Kashmiri chai is a milky tea with almonds and nuts added to give additional flavor. This tea is very popular during weddings and in the cold season.
Coffee is also available in all cities.