Try A Pakistani Dish This Holiday

Co-Existing With Differences

Today we live in a world united and polarized at the same time. Where globalization unites us, there the differences in skin color, creed, nationality and religion erect unseen barriers. Amidst the grey clouds opakistani dishf disparity, the sane and lovely exist who promote the co-existence of cultures and find great common grounds to enjoy each others cultural festivities. There is no better common ground than food including the seeming exotic and not to mention the festive foods.  You are invited to try a Pakistani dish this holiday! Whether as one of your main courses or dessert – bring the taste of a different part of our world to your celebratory table.

This is not an outlandish invitation as various cultures live side by side in North America, each with its own traditional identity in cuisine. With Christmas Day drawing near there is not a better occasion to attempt a cultural blend of cuisine.  Embracing our differences as we create a worldwide community, here are some amazing dishes from Pakistan for the Christmas tables of my friends around the world who are readers of this blog.

Try A Pakistani Dish For Christmas

An all round healthy addition to your Christmas table is this sumptuous three-course traditional Pakistani meal comprising protein, vegetables and a dessert. Try one, two or all three of these dishes:

Nihari (The Protein Wonder)

pakistani dish
Naan goes with anything!

Nihari is a spicy meat Pakistani dish with watery stew and is made from all kinds of meat such as chicken, beef and mutton. Famous for being served in the early morning, as Nihari is derived from the word “Nahaar” referring to the early morning hours (in Urdu language), this dish is had with Naans (wheat bread cooked on flat pans or baked in an oven).

Dating back to the Mughal’s reign (in the area of Lucknow), this dish was exclusively prepared for special guests who made their way to the courts of the kings and the royal advisories. Today, this dish is popular and still eaten in the morning. It is a full meal to satisfy your craving for a hot steaming and spicy experience. What makes it a healthy choice is that the basic ingredient,  including red meat, makes for a good intake of protein and Vitamin B coupled with iron and phosphorus. The spices improve the flow of blood and make digestion smoother.

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Interested, tempted? Well here is how to cook Nihari.

Bhagaray Baingan (The Veggie Delight)

For those who are vegetarians, here is a Pakistani dish option for you.  Bhagaray Baingan is a vegetarian delight, consisting of stuffed eggplants that are stewed in a concoction of tasty spices such as ginger, chilies and garlic.

Like Nihari, this dish has its root in the noble houses of the Mughals where it was specially prepared by cooks for the royalties and their guests who did not consider vegetables to be any less in taste than meat. Reports have it that due to the shortage of cooking items when the castles were under siege, the cooks had no choice but to use the vegetation scattered around it.  That is how they stumbled upon eggplants.

pakistani dish
Yes, it is called egg and yes, it is a plant…

The health benefit of this Pakistani dish are the antioxidants and fiber that it packs. With a decent amount of Vitamins B-6 and Vitamin C, coupled with flavonoids, Bhagaray Baingan is a tasty way to help lower the risks of heart seizures and increasing the general wellness.

Here is how to make Bhagaray Baingan.

Shaahi Tukray (The Royal Dessert)

No matter how full your stomach is, you will not be able to resist this dessert. And who would, if the dessert is made of Desi Ghee (organic oil) and margarine mixed with bread crumbs boiled in skimmed milk and molten sugar? The creamy soft texture of the bread that dissolves in your mouth leaves behind a lingering taste of sweet butter, literally called “Royal Morsels” or Shaahi Tukray.

The sweet and creamy dessert made its way to the Indian sub continent with the advent of the British with their bread pudding. With the addition of traditional ingredients, the dish became even more delicious and sought after.  Legend has it that this Pakistani dish was created as a gift from one King to another.  The main ingredient – milk and eggs – might makes this dish very healthy with the bone strengthening qualities of the milk that also helps to fights dehydration and is a ready source of calcium. Saffron and cinnamon are also a part of this dish and contribute to greater skin health and cell reformation in the body.

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If this sounds like the perfect addition to your Christmas dessert bugget, here is how you can make Shaahi Tukray.


Neelma Tashfeen

Neelma Tashfeen was born and raised in Pakistan and is our main Contributor from that region of our world. She brings a different flavour to the banquet here and writes on many areas of women empowerment and societal issues in Pakistan. Neelma has shared with readers stories of the lives of women in her country. Her most recent article was “Raising Children in Pakistan Today” and was one of the Contributors to our series on prostitution with her articles: “Prostitution in Pakistan: The Stories” and “Pakistan Taboo: Palace or Prison?” She can be contacted at

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47 thoughts on “Try A Pakistani Dish This Holiday

  1. Thanks owner for making this such a nice blog . .

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for your kind words and visit. 🙂 Do come again.

  2. I am very adventurous when it comes to food, so I would love to try a Pakistani dish this holiday season!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Go for it and please do let us know what you thought! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  3. I haven’t tried any Pakistani dish in the past. I am curious with the dessert Shaahi Tukray.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well you give it a try and let us know what you thought! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  4. I love eggplants, or aubergines as they are called in the UK, and while I will be sticking to my traditional turkey dinner for Christmas I will be trying out Bhagaray Baingan sometime soon in the New Year.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Do let me know how it goes when you do try it! Have a very Merry Christmas! 🙂

  5. I would like to try Pakistan dish, For sure it so yummy and worth to try.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well let me know how it goes, if and when you do try one. Namaste. 🙂

  6. I don’t thin I will ever get to try a Pakistani dish like this for Christmas.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s you choice. Namaste. 🙂

  7. I could eat naan bread for dayyyss! I’m not sure if I’ve ever had any other Pakistani food before, but it certainly sounds delicious!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You and I are one! I especially love the garlic naan! 🙂

  8. Ohh I love their butter chicken! You mean South Indian maybe? I am crazy about Indian cuisine.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I must be honest and say that I don’t know what part of India – I just love the dish! LOL

  9. I’m open to trying out new dishes. I would love to try the eggplant dish first. It sounds really good.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am not a lover of eggplant but I am tempted to try it! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  10. Rashid Mahmood


    1. Ms Claudette

      Have you ever had any of these dishes Rashid?

  11. ah i love the sound of the royal dessert! that description has me so intrigued

    1. Ms Claudette

      Join the growing line, Michelle! 🙂

  12. I love Pakistani dish! We have a good Pakistani and Indian restaurant about 45 miles away.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is wonderful! I have always been to Indian restaurants but will be looking for a Pakistani one here in Edmonton to try these dishes! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  13. Robin {Masshole Mommy}

    I am not sure that I have ever tried any Pakistani food before. I am very intrigued now, though.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so glad to hear that Neelma has tempted your taste buds! Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  14. victoria

    The royal dessert was really sounds interesting for me. This is the first time that i heard this

    1. Ms Claudette

      Me too and I am a major lover of bread pudding! Yes, I will be checking for it locally! 🙂

  15. Elizabeth O.

    Awesome! I love food and tasting dishes from different countries is always exciting! Especially if you have loved ones who are enjoying it with you. Thanks for this!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome and thank you for visiting! 🙂

  16. I have 10 eggplants to use up. Guess what I am going to make?

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL!!! Please share how it turned out, Tara! 🙂

  17. I am the worst food “trier” in the world….It takes me years to try new foods so I am not going to tell you I will try this one…..As boring as it sounds I pretty much stick to Jamaican food….

    1. Ms Claudette

      Boring!!! You need to try Butter chicken at least! And naan – that sweet no heck!!! 🙂

      1. Yes I know I am boring when it comes to food…remember I admitted it….LOL…

          1. Those who are close to me, don’t even bother with me anymore…

          2. Ms Claudette

            They cannot keep up! 🙂

          3. When they are going to eat they just leave me out of it….LOL…I still remember my mother’s frustration…age did not fix the problem at all

  18. As soon as you said spicy I was excited to try it. I love pronounced flavors like that!

    1. Ms Claudette

      And I loved how you said that – “Pronounced flavours!” 🙂 That’s my new term! 🙂

  19. I like sampling different foods from different cultures. Depending on if its made from a weird animal body part though, I might be hesitant, but I’m a lot more experimental and tolerant than I used to be.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hear you on being cautious about the part of the animal that is being cooked!!! 🙂 But a good curry is hard to resist! 🙂

  20. Indian cuisine is my favorite and I love exploring new cultures

    1. Ms Claudette

      The more vegetables that I have been eating, the more I prefer the East Indian way of preparing them – nice and spicy! 🙂

  21. I will definitely try to make this! Looks yummy. My husband is from India and I love their cuisine. I think their food have a lot of similarities..don’t they? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, they are very similar although I must admit being a little surprised when I was speaking with Neelma about this post. My “assumption” was that it would be vegetarian dishes and she corrected me, “we eat meat you know!” 🙂 That was so funny. Come to think of it, East Indians do make a wicked Butter Chicken. Have you ever had that? A good plate is to die for. 🙂

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