Pakistani cuisine is a celebration of a myriad of flavours, tastes and textures.
The country that shares its borders with China, Afghanistan, Iran and India has a population of more than 200 million people and some of the most popular eats there include:
Chicken Handi: A mild and creamy dish, where the chicken is cooked in yoghurt and cream in a clay pot. It pairs perfectly with any roti (flatbread), and the dish is usually prepared using boneless chicken.
Reshmi Kabab: A chicken kabab that dates back to the Mughal Empire. Reshmi means silk and refers to the tenderness of the meat. The kabab is made with minced chicken mixed with lots of cream, which gives it a smooth texture. Cumin, garlic, cardamom and cinnamon are added to the meat, which is then shaped onto skewers and grilled for a final product that has a crunchy exterior and a soft interior.
Dal Maash: A popular lentil curry made with white urad dal, best enjoyed with roti. The lentils are cooked in a base of tomato and onion and stay firm as not much water is used during the cooking process.
Roghni Naan: A soft, fluffy bread that is sprinkled with sesame seeds and indented with a stick, giving it a very distinct look. The dough is made using yoghurt and egg, which makes the bread fluffy.
Chapshurro (or Chapshoro): Hotplate cakes unique to Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan region. ‘Chap’ means meat and Chapshurro often contains yak meat. It is cooked on a large steel or iron plate, and is the perfect snack for the cool weather. Seasoned simply with onions, pepper, carrot, and sometimes tomatoes, the dish typically uses local species of wheat.
Gyal (or Go-Lee): A savoury flat cake from Gilgit Baltistan. Using fine flour of red or brown buckwheat, the cakes fry on a black iron flat plate in fragrant apricot seed oil. Fillings may include yak butter, walnuts or thick almond paste, differing on each one’s preference.
Paya: Simply means ‘legs,’ and the dish is goat legs that are slow cooked for hours with onions and a few spices. The process of stewing for an extended period of time causes the tendons and cartilage to become oily and juicy. It is best served with bread to mop up the gravy.
Katakat: A dish that gets its name from the sound the chef makes while mixing different ingredients on a huge iron hot plate. The most basic version of this dish is made using goat kidneys, hearts and other organ meats.