For those wanting to experience authentic food from a certain region, they will perhaps wonder what a nation’s national food is. But, however, what is popular outside of a country, is not necessarily considered to be the national food by those that actually live there. An example of this is found in Japan, whereby people conjure up images of sushi, yet it is far from being the food most Japanese consider as being symbolic of their culinary skills.
This can also be said of Pakistan. Take the delicious, and hugely popular Biriyani, enjoyed all over the world. This dish comes in a variety of meals and is served with different kinds of meat and vegetables. But, however, the Biriyani is limited to specific regions of Pakistan, so it would be unable to hold the crown of national dish, given that its consumption is not nation-wide.
So, with the ever-popular Biriyani discounted as a contender, what other choices are available?
One genuine possibility is Nihari, given its popularity outside of Pakistan, but within Pakistan it is mostly a dish eaten in the big cities therefore does not enjoy the homefield widespread popularity required. Aloo Gosht is also another wonderful dish that cannot be considered, due to the fact it is expensive to make properly, requiring expensive meat to be enjoyed properly.
So, given that the price of meat is prohibitive, it stands to reason that perhaps a vegetarian dish would stand out as being the food that captured the heart of a nation. Daal and roti is one that springs to mind, and when you consider that regions such as northern Punjab appreciate the dish, it becomes a likely champion. But, as we have seen with the other dishes, the inability to enjoy popularity all over Pakistan, prevents us from awarding any national title.
The truth, perhaps, lies in the fact that Pakistan is such a culinary diverse country, that assigning the title of National Dish to one particular food is both unfair and impossible.
Which Pakistani food do you enjoy the most?
Why not visit Al Qasim Cuisine and let us know which dish you think is the best?