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The Delicious Islamabad Street Food: 14 Items to Try

islamabad street food
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. The most visited tourist places in Islamabad are Faisal Mosque, Pakistan Monument, Badshahi Mosque, National Art Gallery, Minar-e-Pakistan Rawal Lake and Lahore Fort. The city is known for its high standards of living, safety, and greenery.

1. Hallem

hallem
Image Credit – Craftlog

Hallem is one of the most loved dishes in Pakistan. This is a combination of meat, lentils, wheat and barley cooked with spices till the meat pieces get blended into the gravy, making it thick. After that ghee, saffron, green chillis, ginger and coriander leaves are added while serving.

2. Biryani

chicken biryani
Image Credit – recipeTin Eats

In Pakistan, without chicken biryani there is no celebration. It’s found in the menus of every official dinner, wedding or whatever; biryani fits in all events. This is a combination of well-cooked chicken mixed with basmati rice, further garnished with dry fruits like almond and cashew. Sometime people use Zafran in their rice to give it a golden colour.  

3. Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice
Image Credit – Vegetarian – Love TO Know

Beetroot juice, with its numerous health benefits, is one of the most common drinks one can taste on Islamabad’s streets. The roadside vendors sell fresh beetroot juice with ice, salt and lemon which further enhance its flavor.

4. Mutton White Korma

white-mutton-korma
Image Credit – Mama’s Secret Recipes

Mutton with a creamy white curry is a unique dish suitable for those who prefer fewer spices in their food. Prepared in a traditional style with mutton pieces cooked with onions, garlic, salt and black pepper, it is mild and flavourful.

5. Pinni

pinni
Image credit- RuchisKitchen

Pinni is a traditional round sweet made by whole wheat flour, ghee, mawa, jaggery and dry fruits like almonds, cashew. All sweet shops, small or large, make pinni.

6. Cream Fruit Chaat

Fruit-Salad
Image Credit – Life in the Lofthouse

Fruit chaat is a refreshing snack perfect for summertime. It’s quick and simple to make. This sweet and creamy chaat is one of the most preferred foods during the month of fasting. Different fruits like apple, oranges, strawberry, banana, mangoes, peaches, etc. are mixed with fresh cream, sugar and sometimes black pepper and salt. You can easily find roadside vendors selling these all over Pakistan.

7. Chola Bhatura

Chola bhatura
Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Chola Bhatura is one of the most popular dishes and is extremely delicious. It’s very famous among Punjabi families and is one of the most common street foods in Islamabad. The curry is a perfect blend of spices with chickpeas and is eaten with bhatura which is made with all purpose flour, wheat flour, yoghurt and salt. You can enjoy this  mouth-watering dish with a glass of chilled lassi.

8. Chicken Tawa

chicken tawa
Photo Credits – HungryForever

You can find this easily on the roadside dhabas of Islamabad where already grilled breast chicken is marinated in spicy gravy, green chilies and lemons. It has a citrus, species, delicious buttery aroma. This comes in three different types the boneless, breast piece and leg piece served well with naan or roti.

9. Keema naan and Roghni naan

Keema naan is a delicious crispy naan stuffed with spicy chicken or keema. Its heavy and garnished in ghee making a meal itself served with raita, pickles or curry. Roghni naan has a honeycomb texture, made from all-purpose flour, egg, milk yogurt and few spices. This Mughal naan is garnished with ghee which enhances the taste.

10. Gazar ka Halwa

gazra ka halwa
Image Credit- HungryForever

This is a delicious sweet delight prepared by simmering gazar (carrots) in milk, ghee and sugar, nuts are used for garnishing. It is mostly prepared during winters and special occasions like marriages, birthday parties, and office parties’, etc. Mostly served after dinner or lunch. 

11. Mutton Bhaja Nihari

nihari
Image Credit- NDTV Food

Nihari is mostly made with mutton cooked slowly with spices for almost 4 hours, nihari is considered to be the National dish of Pakistan. Nihari is a traditional Muslim dish said to be originated from the Mughal kitchen. Nihari is a blend of rich spices like cardamom, cinnamon, chilies, nutmeg mixed well with yogurt. This dish is always made on special occasions and festivals.

12. Mali Boti

mali boti

Pakistani cuisine is incomplete without Mali boti. This delicious dish literary means creamy chicken piece. This is made using boneless chicken pieces marinated in cream, ginger garlic paste, chilies and other spices and then BBQ. It has a spicy tang and BBQ adds a smokey flavor in it. it is served with green chutney, onions, lemons and some spices are used to garnish.           

13. Jalebi

jalebi
Image credit- Cook Click N Devour

Jalebi is an anytime sweet, it is sugary so sometimes eaten as a dessert another wish in breakfast. The thin and crispy spiral-shaped jalebis are dipped in sugar syrup devour best will hot mike, curd or rabri.

14. Firni/Sheer Kurma

firni
Image credit: Fast Curries

This appetizing pudding from Pakistan is a must-try. Here, rice is added in hot milk and cooked for 5-7 minutes then sugar is mixed in this thick milk pudding. Once prepared this creamy rice dessert is garnished with cardamom, pistachio, almonds and cashew.   

Read also: 12 Types of Biryani a Foodie Must Try

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