Mutton Karahi

9 Traditional Pakistani Spicy Dishes You Should Try

Is Pakistani food spicy? When it comes to Pakistani food, we’re often talking about traditional or desi food. Our Desi food is composed of Biyarni, Qorma, and Karahi.

Pakistan comprises four provinces: Balochistan, KPK, Sindh, and Punjab. Two regions—Sindh and Punjab—have traditional spicy dishes, while the other has conventional spices in their traditional food.

In fact, even some dishes adapted from other provinces are served spicy in Punjab. One of the best examples is Mutton Karahi.

This article will highlight some of the best traditional Pakistani dishes you must try. If you’re ready to know more, let’s dive in!

The Best Traditional Pakistani Spicy Dishes

Traditional Pakistani foods are popular worldwide because they are spicy, tasty, and ghee-rich. Even though Pakistan was only established over seven decades ago, the traditional food in that region has been around for way longer.

It is nearly natural to compare Pakistani cuisine to the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent when talking about it. Nonetheless, there are differences.

Below are some of the most mouth-watering and spiciest traditional Pakistani dishes you must try!



Sajji is one of the famous Pakistani foods originating from the Baluchistan province. Roasted, skewered, and marinated lamb or chicken make up this dish. Marinate the meat with papaya and salt and pack it with spicy potatoes and rice.

Whole chickens are roasted in a tandoor oven to deliver the savory dish its smoky taste. The meat’s outside must be crisp, while the inside must be soft and juicy.

When properly prepared, diners often squeeze lemon juice over the meat before eating.



Nihari is a spicy stew known as one of the most famous Pakistani foods. It is a juicy, flavorful meat stew made of chicken, mutton, or beef shank.

To create this dish, you need to slow cook the meat. In big pots sealed with dough, meat cooking starts with spices like cardamom, garam masala, and cumin. Note that this spicy Pakistani dish takes about six to eight hours to cook properly.

As a dish, nihari is eaten for breakfast, frequently with a plain nan or roti. Others garnish it with mint leaves and chilis.

Nihari was made famous by the Mugal empire as the nawabs used to eat the dish with rotis or chapatis before their morning prayers. It’s a protein-rich and nutritious meal that will keep you going for the entire day.

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi is a tasty poultry dish made from ginger, chili, spices, chicken, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and cardamom. The term karahi refers to the deep cooking pot that it’s made.

Traditional karahi is a ginger and tomato-based, thick masala curry with a rich, creamy flavor, filled with juicy, tender kitchen. It’s a must-try for people who love chicken dishes, and it’s often served with raita, naan, and roti.

This dish originated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has transformed throughout the ages. These days, it’s one of the most highly-sought dishes in Pakistan and can be seen at almost all desi restaurants in the country.

Mutton Karahi

Mutton Karahi

Also known as lamb karahi, this dish is the default meal on Eid. It’s traditionally seen as the big brother of chicken karahi. Mutton karahi is composed of a rich combination of mutton or lamb with garlic, tomatoes, and chilis.

Like chicken karahi, a rich and thick gravy is boiled inside the karahi. After the dressing is made, the mutton is marinated for several hours and cooked until it’s juicy and tender.

Remember that mutton karahi is an essential and delicious dish for meat lovers. This Pakistani dish enjoyed by millions of people throughout the region is often served with raita, roghni naan, and a soft drink.

Lahori Paaye

Using goat in a meal may raise some eyebrows, but the goat is meat that has been consumed for centuries in Pakistan. Lahori paaye is a traditional stew that uses the goat’s feed and head in the dish.

To prepare this spicy Pakistani dish, the meat is stir-fried with garlic paste, ginger, onions, cloves, chilis, cardamom, and cinnamon, then served hot. As a dish, paaye is nutritious, rich, and flavorful.

Keep in mind that phajjay kay paaye is a famous dish all across the globe. If you ever find yourself in Lahore, I recommend that you try this traditional spicy Pakistani dish.


Chapshurro is a popular meat-based dish of Gilgit Baltistan, located in the north of Pakistan. It is a meat-heavy hotplate cake made of a beef, chicken, or mutton mixture, along with vegetables, onions, and spicy chilis.

Once prepared, the filing is packed between two flatbreads and cooked on big steel or iron plate. It’s prevalent among the locals of Gilgit Baltistan and is a sought-after snack during the colder winter seasons in Pakistan.



Golden-brown in color, layered and flaky, paratha is an Indian type of bread that is often eaten for breakfast. The name comes from a mixture of parat and atta, referring to the cooked, layered dough.

This spicy Pakistani dish is composed of whole meat flour, which is baked in Indian clarified butter (ghee) and comes in square, triangular, round, or heptagonal shapes. Parathas are also stuffed with radish, paneer, ginger, garlic, cauliflower, boiled potatoes, and chili.

They are frequently accompanied by homemade chutneys, yogurt, pickles, or vegetable and meat curries. Paratha is traditionally combined with lassi, a famous yogurt-based drink in Punjab.

Brain Masala

Brain Masala

Brain Masala is a recipe you must not miss in Pakistan, especially if you love foods made from animal organs. This side plate is quite famous in Pakistan and India. The dish has been around since the Mughal Empire throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Masala, in its name, refers to gravy, so locals often call it the brain of gravy. This dish uses the brains of goat, camel, cow, or lamb for cooking together with onions, cilantro, and chili powder until thickened like a curry.

They are just a side dish to serve alone. However, if you pair it with rice, you will have a complete main course.

Seekh Kabab

Chicken Seekh Kabab

This spicy Pakistani dish is one of the most popular Pakistani kebabs. It is the creation of the Indian and Pakistani people. That is why you can immediately find it in any Indian-style starter menu. Chefs often grind chicken, lamb, or beef with different spices such as chili, garlic, and ginger to make this food.

Those grilled meat skewers will bring out a unique smoky flavor when enjoyed. Baking with a tandoor oven will make this food more appealing and tastier. People often serve it with chutney, fries, salads, and flatbread.


Is Pakistani food spicy? There’s no doubt it is. Do you like to try these excellent dishes immediately? I am confident that their desirability will pique your curiosity. I am also happy that this article has provided informative information about the rich Pakistani cuisine.


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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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