Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the best Pakistani Cookbooks. Join me on this journey of taste and discovery.
I love discovering new food and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.
Pakistani Food to spice up your life 👌
If your initial thought when someone mentions Pakistani food is that it’s spicy, you will not be wrong. But the diversity of spices in Pakistani cuisine is just the beginning. Overall, this entire cuisine differs a lot from others in this region, yet still has many similarities, which is why people may confuse it. The richness in the taste matters the most, and here ghee—a special type of butter that’s commonly used—has the prime role.
Of course, if you want to prepare some Pakistani food, the most common option is searching for a Pakistani cookbook on Amazon, and this guide should help you choose the best one.
Eat real Pakistani food with the 10 best Pakistani Cookbooks we’ve selected just for you!
1. The Indian Cuisine: Dishes from the Sub-Continent of India and Pakistan
One of the most detailed cookbooks written by Malika Hyder Hussain, who dedicated her life to it and collected copious recipes during the forty years, is The Indian Cuisine: Dishes from the Sub-Continent of India and Pakistan. It’s a compilation of over 300 different recipes, and they are easy to cook thanks to a step-by-step guide personally converted by the author.
Besides amazing combinations from Northern and Southern India, this cookbook contains a spice and herb reference guide, which can help people not familiar with their usage. She also wrote many vegan-friendly options of popular dishes, which makes this Pakistani cookbook one that every gourmand should have.
2. Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes and Memories from Pakistan
This Pakistani cookbook won the prestigious title of “Best First Book” back in 2016 in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and got its author acclaim. Sumayya Usmani is a real Pakistani chef; she combined her knowledge of Pakistani recipes with experience collected in the kitchen from a young age thanks to her mother and grandmother.
With more than 100 authentic Pakistani recipes, we can learn more about this delicious cuisine and enjoy tasteful and exotic dishes in our homes. Besides some popular dishes, such as Alookibhujia, Attockchapli kebab, we can also find great recipes for fish and seafood, as Pakistan has a rich coastline.
3. The Food and Cooking of Pakistan: Traditional Dishes from The Home Kitchen
There is no doubt that Shehzad Husain is an expert in Pakistani recipes, and his collaboration with photographer Jon Whitaker resulted in one of the best Syrian cookbooks. It contains 85 various dishes, from popular street food to fancy desserts, and it also contains photographs of each meal, with a total of 450 of them that represent each preparation step.
Through 45 various recipes, Shehzad Husain covers all the flavors of this exotic cuisine, and this perfectly designed cookbook makes it much easier for beginners to cook them at home. He explains the usage of spices in every recipe and brings the culinary heritage of Pakistan closer to everyone in the world.
4. The Indian Grocery Store Demystified: A Food Lover’s Guide
It’s pretty challenging to live in America and enjoy Pakistani meals at home. Combining all the ingredients and spices perfectly to achieve a flavorful and well-balanced taste is not easy. Of course, there is always an option to visit a restaurant, but there is nothing like a homemade meal made with love. Luckily, Linda Bladholm created a great guide that can help every Pakistani food lover find the necessary ingredients and spices and use them properly to create an amazing meal at home.
The “Take It with You Guide” is full of illustrations, author’s anecdotes, recipes for traditional and popular dishes, and, the most important part: a list of Indian stores where all the ingredients can be purchased.
5. The Complete Asian Cookbook: India & Pakistan
Good things should not be changed, and that’s the case with this cookbook, written by Charmaine Solomon, as it has been with us for more than 45 years and is known as one of the most popular culinary classics. It represents a complete guide for Indian and Pakistani cuisine and has taught more than a million readers how to make them on their own.
Thanks to the variety of recipes, from savory main courses to delicate desserts, and a full explanation of spice usage, Charmaine Solomon describes the exotic flavors of India and Pakistan in the best possible way.
6. Pakistani & North Indian Cooking: A Complete Guide for Students & Beginners
As is mentioned in the title, this inspiring Pakistani cookbook is perfect for newbies willing to experiment and try something new. A detailed guide from the type of spices you’ll need, to knowing how and when to add them, along with precise instructions to follow for each recipe, is what this Pakistani cookbook is all about. It’s created for regular folks, and the review “Real food that real people eat” perfectly describes it.
Another interesting fact about this cookbook is that it’s written by S. Abbas Raza, a renowned and highly admired businessman who has several degrees, but not a single one is related to cooking. Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from writing a best-selling cookbook on Amazon.
7. A Taste of Pakistan in Fusion
The best way to learn about the culture of other countries is via their cuisine, and this Pakistani cookbook shows that perfectly. Namely, the entire point of it is to showcase the importance of Pakistani food, the influences of other cuisines, and guides on how to make a traditional Pakistani dinner. Dining brings people together, and when the food is exceptional, that gets even easier, which was the primary intention of Shaziah Zuberi, the author of this cookbook.
This blogger and recipe writer is pretty popular on social networks, and if you ever wondered where to start and how to produce some famous Pakistani dish, A Taste of Pakistan in Fusion should be of vast help.
8. The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Cuisine of North India and Pakistan
This cookbook is something every person who searches for Indian and Pakistani recipes that can be prepared every day needs to own. Among 90 simple recipes, they can find basic ones that can be cooked in less than an hour and more complex ones for special occasions. All dishes in this cookbook represent these cuisines in the best possible way.
These real traditional Pakistani recipes are simple to prepare, thanks to the detailed instructions from the author, a seasoned recipe tutor, and a recipe developer. The author also published a cookbook with vegetarian Pakistani recipes, which contains more than 200 simple meals for people who do not eat meat but still want to enjoy this cuisine.
9. The Best of The Pakistani Cuisine: Traditional Pakistani Recipes for the Whole Family
When we talk about food and recipes, the preparation time isn’t the crucial factor, and neither is how complex it is, as it’s more about mixing flavors and experimenting. This is why Pakistani cuisine truly is exceptional. What makes it the best Pakistani cookbook you can find on Amazon is that it will make you immediately run to give the recipes a try.
The directions are simple and concise and, since it is a compilation of the best Pakistani meals, you will have a real cooking treasure at home. Mixing seasonings, spices, and aromatic ingredients will tickle your tastebuds, as the author, Valeria Ray, has really succeeded in gathering the best easy-to-prepare at-home Pakistani recipes in this cookbook.
10. Pakistani Recipes: Authentic Pakistani Dishes to Die for
There isn’t much about Pakistani food specifics that are not mentioned in this amazing cookbook, as the main point of this recipe is the focus on the ingredients that make it unique. Saffron, cashew, butter, rice, mutton, and (of course) spices are just some of the ingredients used in Pakistani cuisine but, to really make an authentic Pakistani dinner, you need to know which ones to use and when.
All that and more you can find in one of the best Pakistani cookbooks created by Rachael Rayner. Her goal was to present to people how preparing Pakistani dishes can be easy, yet the amazing taste of this food will leave you speechless, and she has done it. So, if you’re searching for authentic recipes from this region, it does not get more authentic than this.
Final Thoughts about Pakistani Food culture! ☆
Dishes from this region are unique and cannot be compared to another cuisine in the world. Regardless of whether we talk about Indian, Pakistani or Syrian cookbooks ((check out our guide on the Best Syrian Cookbooks), the fact remains that the food is spicy yet extremely rich in flavor, and will leave everyone in awe and craving more. As for Pakistani cookbooks, finding the best recipes can sometimes be challenging, especially when you don’t know what to focus on. These 10 cookbooks we have mentioned above should help.
As you might have noticed, there are guides, positive reviews, tips, and tricks on how to prepare some traditional and authentic Pakistani food. On the other hand, there are also tips on how to implement certain Pakistani cooking techniques into your everyday life and meals in the cookbooks mentioned above. The best advice one can give you is to test, experiment, and use these guides as a reminder of how to make a special and authentic Pakistani meal.
Overall, it doesn’t matter if you are a foodie or not, as tasty meals will always bring a smile to your face. There isn’t much about Pakistani food that wouldn’t interest someone to at least try it, as there are so many dishes and variations. There really is something for everyone looking for their own delicious Pakistani adventure. Of course, tasting authentic meals is something everyone will highly recommend, as it is the best way to understand Pakistani cuisine and the culture to its fullest.
About Pakistani Cooking 🍴
It’s impossible to achieve the flavors of Pakistan without understanding the special cooking techniques they use to achieve it.
Bhunai is a technique used in order to cook meat and vegetables; excess liquid is removed and combined with the sautéing technique to enhance flavor.
Tarka is a quick technique that requires oil or ghee and spices such as garlic, onion, and ginger. It’s put on the pan at high heat and, thanks to the infusion of spice with the dish, they create a flavor that cannot be resisted.
Dumm is the slowest technique used for several types of meat; it’s slow because it cooks in its own juices seasoned with spices. The final result is a tender piece of meat full of delicious flavor.
Pakistani Recipe book 📚
The variety of delicious Pakistani recipes is described in several cookbooks, and since they use diverse ingredients and spices, there is something for everyone. The most popular dishes are Kabuli palaw, Chaplikabab, Tika, and Mutton karahi, but we need to mention Biryani, Sajji, Samosas, and many others that one needs to try at least once in a lifetime.
Although it’s unique, Pakistani food represents a perfect mixture of many other world cuisines, such as Indian and Asian (check out our guide on the Best Asian Cookbooks), with many elements from the Mughal legacy. These influences resulted in delicious and well-seasoned meals which are now famous all over the world. There is also a lot of Pakistani vegetarian food, which is very seasoned and delicious, a different way of making vegetables (check out our guide on the Best Chinese Vegan Cookbooks).
Many regions in Pakistan have their own cuisine, which can differ a little from each other, but adds to the variety. Thanks to world influence, fast food is becoming more popular, but it still has the authentic taste of Pakistani cuisine.
Pakistani recipes are full of flavors and cannot leave anyone uninterested. What’s so special about it? Well, the use of spices such as coriander, cardamom, saffron, and cumin adds up to an amazing taste in every dish if well balanced and combined. They also have pre-prepared mixtures called Garam masala, Chaat masala, and others which make seasoning dishes much easier for beginners.
Besides different spices, Pakistanis use a lot of vegetables in their cuisine, so rice and dhal are irreplaceable in many meals. Many dishes have a sweet and sour taste, and Pakistanis use dried plums and pomegranate seeds to achieve that.