20 Traditional Pakistani dishes

Hooray for Haleem, and Nihari. I’ve had Biryani, of course, but not sure I’ve ever had the Sindh variety. Some of the other dishes I’ve heard of or seen on menus but not experienced but there are some that are completely foreign to me.


I’ve also never had the Sindhi variety, nor had I heard of it before.

The owner of my favourite Mumbai street food restaurant is of Sindhi ancestry. The family are Hindu and, at partition in 1947, had to flee Sindh, finding in refuge in Bombay (as it then was). He does have a Sindhi daal on the menu, and Sindhi Seyal (a version of a bhuna masala but a sourer because of the use of yoghurt). Both are delicious but the biryani is a pretty standard affair. I’ll try and remember to ask him how the Sindhi version differs.

I’ve eaten a number of dishes on the list over the years, as they are relatively common items on menus in the UK - haleem, chapli kebab, Peshwari naan, chana chaat, halva puri, falooda, nihari , chana pulao and karahi. The latter is usually described as a style of cooking, after the pan, so can be all sorts of dishes here (very similar to how dishes are described as “balti”). I’ve seen paya on the menu of restaurants that mainly cater to Asians but I’m not adventourous enough to have tried it. The other listings are new to me.


Very odd article, especially in its historical references. (And Muslim food of the subcontinent is mostly overlapping.)

Re Sindhi biryani, it’s similar if not the same as what’s known as Bombay biryani. Lots of onions and tomatoes, and the unique inclusion of dried plums (which you wouldn’t know were in there unless you found a pit in your serving). And potatoes, but those are visible, lol. (Lucknowi and Hyderabadi biryanis are much sparser on the saucing of the korma base.)

I make this Bangladeshi biryani, and it has both dried plums and potato. It is a fantastic recipe:
I also think this is a very well produced and entertaining video.

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The first biryani I ever had may have been Sindhi, I don’t know. There was too much going on in that dish for me to identify everything - especially if it’s invisible! Potatoes? I don’t remember.