Pakistan is a beautiful country: its clothes gorgeous, its culture vibrant. The mountains are among the greatest spectacles in the world, the people are friendly. Yet, the most endearing aspect of Pakistan for natives is unquestionably its cuisine. From biryani to gulab jamun, Pakistan is home to some of the world’s most delicious foods. Here are some dishes you HAVE to try:


My favorite food of all-time (and a Pakistani staple) is biryani. The name hails from the Persian birinj (“rice”). Biryani is a rice dish filled with spices and meats, infused with centuries of Mogul culture. Every bite takes you back to a simpler time, providing the comfort of home no matter where you are. The aroma will make your mouth water; the tender meat will assure you that the wait was well worth it. Everyone believes that their mother make the best biryani- the familial rivalries get quite intense.


In the U.S., there are certain dishes that embody the holidays and symbolize happiness and joy: apple pie, gingerbread cookies, and of course ice cream. In Pakistan, gulab jamun is a staple at weddings and celebrations. Gulab jamun are puffy balls of sheer milky goodness that simultaneously eases your soul and raises your blood pressure. Grandparents will pamper their grandkids with a huge box of these sweets; I for one devoured the entire thing in one sitting on multiple occasions.


There are certain staples associated with outdoor occasions in America, none more prevalent than hot dogs. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a single barbeque in the U.S. that does not have this iconic dish. In Pakistan, kebabs are analogous to hot dogs in America. Kebabs are found at any and every social occasion, ranging from cricket matches to family functions; their absence would simply not be acceptable. Kebabs are the South Asian version of sausage, slow roasted on skewers to maximize juiciness and delectability.