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Pakistani Vs. Indian Food: A Comparison Between Two Most Popular Cuisines In Asia

Pakistani food is not as popular as Indian food, however, it also has many interesting things to explore.

In this article, we will compare Pakistani food and the more famous cuisine, Indian, and see how the cuisines from these two neighboring countries differ from each other and what will best suit your taste buds.

Let’s get started!

What is special about Pakistani food?

Pakistani food is a fusion of Persian, Mughal, and regional Indian cuisine.

It’s characterized by its use of spices and richness.

From the kebabs to naan bread, Pakistani cooking is an experience in spicing up any meal.

Although Pakistani cuisine used to be overlooked in the past, recently, Pakistan has been gaining more popularity as world leaders have been visiting Islamabad for negotiations.

Pakistani food has a variety of meats like lamb, mutton, goat, and chicken.

It also has vegetarian options which include lentils or vegetables cooked in yogurt and garam masala.

Vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach can be found in most recipes as well.

Additionally, much of Pakistani cooking relies on rice which is used to prepare biryani-style dishes or served alongside curries at dinner time.

What is special about Indian food?

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Indian food is a cuisine that has been around for thousands of years.

It is made up of many regional dishes, all with their own traditional recipes and ingredients.

The dishes are often served in courses: an appetizer or soup to start, followed by the main course (rice and vegetables), then dessert.

Indian food can be vegetarian or contain meat such as chicken, lamb, or goat-based curries.

Just like Pakistani cuisine, Indian cuisine doesn’t consume beef or pork because of diet restrictions from several religions like Muslim and Hindu.

Indian food doesn’t have as many sauces as some other types of ethnic foods do, so you can really taste the flavors of each individual ingredient.

The spices are also very unique- they’re usually quite spicy, but there are a few cool ones you might want to try if you prefer less heat on your tongue.

What are the differences between Pakistani vs Indian food?

Despite the geographic proximity, Pakistani and India have two different culinary traditions.

Although they are not completely different, there are still some key features that set one apart from the other:

Pakistani food is spicier than Indian food and uses more cilantro

We all think that Indian dishes are the hottest, but in fact, Pakistan food is even spicier.

The spices used in Pakistani cuisine include ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala spice mix, all give their dishes a spicy kick.

Meanwhile, Indian food is also known for its spicy taste, but not all dishes throughout the country are hot.

Pakistan consumes more meat, including red meat like beef, while Indian cuisine uses more vegetables and forbids beef

Pakistan is known as a meat-loving country.

Therefore, their dishes always heavily rely on meat, especially red meat like beef or mutton.

Meanwhile, cows are considered sacred animals in India, therefore, consuming beef is forbidden.

They eat lamb and chicken instead but generally consume more vegetables and dairy products than meat.

Indian dishes include more dairy products (yogurt, ghee)

Another difference between Pakistani and Indian cuisines is their use of dairy products.

Pakistani dishes are not likely to contain these ingredients, whereas Indian people prefer adding yogurt or ghee to their dishes because the meat is less consumed so they usually eat dairy products instead.

Indian food is more popular in the West than Pakistani food

In general, fewer people have heard or tried Pakistani food.

On the other hand, the cuisine from their neighboring country is more popular, not only within Asia but also in the West and the United States.

One of the main reasons is that India is the second-highest populated country, so Indian immigrants are everywhere and they introduce their cooking traditions to the world.

What are the similarities between Pakistani vs Indian food?

Pakistani and Indian food also have some things in common because their cuisines have been influenced by each other due to their geographic proximity.

Here are some typical similarities between the two cuisines:

Curries are common in both cuisines

Curry is one of the most famous dishes in South Asian cuisine, including Pakistani and Indian cuisines.

Pakistani version will be a bit spicier, while Indian curries are milder, especially in the North.

Rice and lentils are staples in Pakistani and Indian cooking

Another similarity between the two cuisines is their use of rice and lentils.

These two ingredients are staples in Pakistani and Indian cuisines.

They almost appear in every meal in any part of each country.

Rice can be steamed, stir-fried, or rice or wheat flour is used to make bread.

Meanwhile, lentils are perfect for soup or stew recipes.

Which one is better?

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In the end, it is up to you to decide which cuisine suits your taste buds more.

If Indian food is not for you and Pakistani food intrigues you but also has many interesting things to explore, then maybe give these two cuisines a try! You never know what will best suit your palate until you try them both out.

We hope that this article helped dispel some of the mystery surrounding Pakistan’s delicious dishes like biryani or tandoori chicken.

What are your thoughts on Pakistani cuisine as well as the neighboring Indian? Would love to hear from our readers in the comments section below.

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