Pakistani Indian cuisine

Flavors That Unite Seattle – INDIA and PAKISTAN Cuisines

Divided by borders, united by food!  If there is anything that brings people together, it is good food.

India and Pakistan’s shared history and culture are showcased in their similarity in culinary traditions. Despite this and common cooking ingredients, both of them still retain their individuality in cooking style.

In this article, we will dive into some of the common foods enjoyed by both nations along with the uniqueness in cooking style and taste.

This rice dish unites people with its rich aroma and blend of spices. In India, Hyderabadi biryani and Lucknow biryani are best-known while Karachi biryani has won hearts in Pakistan. So, what makes this dish unique for both countries?

hyderabadi briryani and karachi biryani
The spices are more intense in Pakistan’s biryani with more focus on heat and spices like red chili powder and coriander which impart its characteristic strong flavor.
In Indian cuisine, meat in biryani ingredients includes chicken, seafood (depending on region), and mutton (goat). Beef is generally not used as an ingredient due to cultural beliefs. 

The region plays an important role in deciding the flavors. For example, in India Hyderabadi Biryani is famous for its saffron-filled rice, while Karachi biryani is known for its lively spice mixture and green. chillies.
Indian grocery store seattle
India and Pakistan have a deep-rooted love for kebabs. The smoky flavor of kebabs coming from its grilled preparation method and its tender texture is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Kebabs with their unique taste and ingredients offer a wide range of options. Shami kabab, tangdi kabab, and even vegetarian options like paneer kabab are enjoyed in both countries. 

Indian dish versions of kebabs vary in texture. For example – Lucknow’s famous Glaouti kabab has a distinctive melt-in-the-mouth texture while chicken kabab is more like juicy bites. 

Pakistani kebabs have a more robust texture due to their preference for minced meat like Chapli kebabs.

Samosa – Oh those spicy crispy triangles! The love for samosa transcends the borders and binds us together in our love for evening chai and samosa with friends. The filling comes in a vast variety – potatoes, peas, groundnuts, and paneer .
In Pakistan, samosa stuffed with minced meat (chicken or mutton)  is a delightful snack adding a twist to the traditional food.
Food anywhere evolves with regional variations and local preferences. For example, Punjabi samosa has a spicier filling of mashed potatoes, whereas in South India samosa could include coconuts fillings. Same way, Nihari Samosa of Pakistan has Nihari which is a slow-cooked stew as its filling. 

Indian samosa and Pakistani samosa

Chai (Tea)  – For us, everything else can wait but not chai! Chai is loved even when it’s burning 50 degrees Celsius outside. I am sure you must remember those conversations with friends over chai. The cultural hold chai has over us is undeniable.

Masala chai, adrak chai, tulsi chai, Kashmiri chai – all are different faces of our beloved beverage. 

But not even chai was spared from regional variations. Indian chai is better known for its experiments with different spices like cardamon and ginger, giving it a rich fragrance and taste. But in Pakistan, elaichi chai is popular and a green tea called  “kahwah” is enjoyed in northern regions.
Spices are not generally used while preparing chai here.

Indian Chai and Pakistani Kahwa

Aloo paratha – This potato-stuffed flatbread is a cherishable traditional Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It tastes of nostalgia and takes us to our childhood days- aalo paratha with lassi! This South Asian cuisine is cooked with a generous amount of ghee and butter and served with pickles, yogurt, or a glass of lassi. There may be local variations in spice levels and texture but they all bind us in flavors.
Aloo paratha India & Pakistani

Indian grocery store seattle

Now, to address some common FAQs.

Q1. Is Pakistani food more spicy than Indian?

Ans.  Both Indian and Pakistani cuisines are known for their rich and aromatic spices. But spiciness also depends upon regional variations and personal preference as well. Some regions of Pakistan like Punjab are famous for their spicy dishes. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh in India is known for its generous use of spices.

Q2. Is Nihari Indian or Pakistani?

Ans – Nihari is popular in Pakistani and is considered the national dish there. Nihari originated in the Indian sub-continent though the exact location of origin is debatable. Nihari is a traditional slow-cooked stew of Pakistan and is consumed as a breakfast item. The dish is also famous in India, especially among Muslim communities though not as much as in Pakistan. 

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Conclusion –

The aromatic language of flavors transcends all political boundaries and binds us all foodies together.  Both nations despite their complicated relations, find solace in Culinary experience. The delicate threads of flavors and kitchen ingredients weave different patterns of Indian and Pakistani dishes, giving them a unique taste.

Don’t crave while reading this blog now and enjoy the rich cuisines, and diverse range of South Asian food with us and order now.


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