Pakistani dishes use a huge range of ingredients in order to create the unique and varied flavours that we know and love today. If you made a list of every single recipe and highlighted every separate ingredient used, you’d have a list long enough to read for the rest of your life.
There are, however, some essential ingredients that you’ll find in almost every single Pakistani kitchen. Let’s take a look at the items you need to have stocked if you want to create brilliant Pakistani dishes regularly.
This spice mix can be found in many supermarkets but is always best if you can make it yourself. The ground mix of roasted and ground spices are the base for many dishes and are usually made up of a mixture of cumin, coriander and turmeric with other spices like cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and nutmeg added to the taste of each individual, household, restaurant etc.
Famed for being the most expensive spice in the world, saffron is the handpicked red stigma of the crocus flower and is used in a huge range of Asian dishes, not just for for its unique flavour, but for its ability to give food a heavy and luxurious red colour.
The black seeds found within green cardamom pods are used extensively in Pakistani cuisine and no kitchen would be without them; they flavour everything from meat to vegetables.
Fresh, ground or whole, the variations of coriander are a must have in any Asian restaurant, never mind simply a Pakistani or Indian one.
Every kitchen the world over has some sort of bread product to hand and a Pakistani kitchen is no different. Here you’ll most likely find the unleavened style of bread traditionally cooked on the inside of a tandoor oven, made from stone ground wholemeal flower.
Found at every table across Pakistani for breakfast lunch and dinner, rice is another essential you will always find in the Pakistani kitchen. There are many different varieties but the most commonly found here will be the long grained, Basmati rice.
Cumin seeds can be bought in either green or brown varieties and are used in everything from curries to rice dishes, breads to chutneys. The seeds can be roasted whole, or ground into a finer powder depending on the dish in question.
For a taste of real Pakistani cuisine, visit Royal Nawaab’s restaurant in London today.