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Swati Cuisines
Kaak, The Swati Bread



Pakistani cuisines are mainly influenced by the Middle Eastern or Central Asian cooking style and traditions as well. It is somewhat similar to the North Indian cuisines and mostly meat-dominating. Pakistani cuisines have vast diversity; from region to region, which clearly reflects the ethnic and cultural diverse heritage of our homeland.

Punjabi and Sindhi recipes are rich in taste but they’re a bit spicy, which shows an attribute of the South Asian impact on the regional cuisines. As we travel towards South-East, East and North of Pakistan, like Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) also, we come to realize that they have different tastes and aroma of the foods they eat. Their meals are rich in delicacy but they contain absolutely less spices.

Swati Cuisines:

Swati cuisines reflect Pashtuns culture and origin, as their main course consists of Rice and Kebabs. meat especially Lamb meat is more prominent in the Pashtun cuisines. Rice Haleem, Chapli Kebab, Tikka and Mutton/Lamb/Chicken Karahi are poular specialty of their region. Peshawari cuisines are the most popular among the Swati natives. Their traditional cuisines are totally non-spicy.

Pakistani meal course consists of three meals daily; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Swat valley has no exemption of it. Here are some mouthwatering and tempting foods, you can enjoy in Swat during your trip to the valley.

  1. Chicken/Mutton/Lamb Karahi:
Swati Cuisines

Mutton Karahi/Picture Source: Google

Chicken, Mutton or Lamb Karahi is a famous dish in Swat valley of Pakistan. Mutton, lamb or chicken is used in this recipe. It is quite a popular specialty, for its spicy texture, taste and aroma. The name Karahi actually refers to its cooking utensil, a Wok.

  1. Chapli Kebabs:
Swati Cuisines

Chapli Kebab/Picture Source: Google

Kebabs, especially Peshawari Chapli Kebabs are quite popular in Pakistan. This dish is very delicious in taste and often gets a a place in grand feasts. It is a pure Pakistani traditional recipe. It often serves with Imli Chatni (Tamarind Sauce) or Green Chatni (Mint and Green Chilli Sauce).

  1. Charsi Tikka:
Swati Cuisines

Charsi Tikka/Picture Source: Google

The Charsi Tikka is another famous dish of Afghani cuisine. It is really tempting and appealling because to its tasty flavors. The recipe of the Charsi Tikka is a fine blend of Persian and Afghani cuisines. It is readily available all around the Swat valley.

  1. Chicken/Mutton Biryani:
Swati Cuisines

Biryani/Picture Source: Google

Biryani is such a traditional Pakistani specialty, which is quite popular among all and sundry. Pakistani people use Basmati Rice in Biryani, along-with meat and vegetables.Popular types of Biryani are Bombai Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, Kunda Biryani, Mughlai Biryani, Kofta Biryani, Tikka Biryani, Prawn Biryani, Fish Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, Egg Biryani, Damm Biryani, Chilman Biryani etc. We didn’t find its origin, yet it often relates to North India, Delhi (Mughalai Cuisines) and Lucknow (Awadhi Cuisines). Its rich taste and aroma of flavors makes it the most tempting meal of the whole South Asian region.

  1. Qabili Palau:
Swati Cuisines

Qabili Palau/Picture Source: Google

It is called Qabuli Palaw or Afghani Palau and it is a savoury dish of Pashtun origin. As a traditional Afghani cuisine of Central Asia, it is also a national dish of Afghanistan. It is made up of Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots and different Nuts. Originally it is cooked with large pieces of Lamb.

6. Sajji:
Swati Cuisines

Chicken Sajji/Picture Source: Google

Sajji is a popular dish of Baluchistan, Pakistan. It is made with whole Lamb or Chicken. Before being cooked, it is marinated thoroughly with salt only, then stuffed with rice and roasted over coal embers. It is served with a specific bread, “Kaak”. Kaak is baked in a traditional oven or “Tandoor”.

  1. Shinwari Chicken/Mutton/Lamb Karahi:
Swati Cuisines

Mutton Shinwari/Picture Source: Google

This recipe originally belongs to Shinwari Tribe. The tribe lives in Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan and in Landi Kotal area of FATA, Pakistan. You can make it with either type of meat, be it mutton, beef, chicken or lamb. Pashtuns are basically meat lovers, so it lets them satiate their taste buds, enriches with aroma and fragrant flavors.

  1. Roast:
Swati Cuisines

Roast/Picture Source: Google

It is originated to Chinese and very popular, even in the house-hold feasts. It is a simple and easy in cooking, yet quite delicious and aromatic in taste. The recipe takes less time in preparation and cooking. Marinate it with the spices and roast it in oil. You can cook it with different ways like in oven, on coal or in steam. Serve it hot with Naan, Raita and Salad.

  1. Chicken/Mutton/Lamb Handi:
Swati Cuisines

Mutton Handi/Picture Source: Google

Chicken (also mutton, beef or lamb) Handi is a traditional Pakistani dish and equally popular in all the regions of the country. This delicious and tasty recipe. You can make it with boneless pieces of meat, yogurt, cream and other oriental spices.

  1. Titanic Ice Cream:
Swati Cuisines

Ice Cream/Picture Source: Google

Although all types of Ice Cream is available in Swat valley now-a-days, but Titanic Ice Cream still in the leading position. It is available with Bunties or Chocolate and in many different flavors.

11. Breads:

There is a variety of different types of breads available in Swat valley. Some of the famous are Chapatti, Naan, Kaak, Roti, Sheermaal, Taftan, Paratha, Puri and Tandoori Bread.


Kaak/Picture Source: Google

Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.


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