Pashtun cuisine

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Some of the popular Pashtun dishes, from left to right: 1. Mutton grilled kebab (seekh kabab); 2. Palao and salad; 3. Tandoori chicken; and 4. Mantu (dumplings). The Pashtun cuisine includes a blend of Central Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Most Pashtun dishes are traditionally non-spicy.

Pashtun cuisine (Pashto: پښتنۍ خواړه) refers to the cuisine of the Pashtun people and is covered under both Afghan and Pakistani cuisines. It is largely based on meat dishes including mutton, beef, chicken, and fish as well as rice and some other vegetables.[1] Accompanying these staples are dairy products (yogurt, whey, cheeses), various nuts, local vegetables, and fresh and dried fruits. Peshawar, Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Quetta, Mardan and Islamabad are centers of Pashtun cuisine.


The following is a short and incomplete list of Pashtun dishes.

  • Kabuli palaw
  • Pekhteh or Pukhtay (beef/mutton ribs)
  • Naray ghwakha (mutton, mutton dish)
  • Chopan Kabab (lamb chops, skewered and grilled on charcoal)
  • Seekh kabab (beef/mutton/chicken)
  • Chapli kabab
  • Shinwari tikka (roasted lamb)
  • Kichrei (sticky rice with mung beans and onions topped with melted qurot sauce, mostly eaten during winter)
  • Londei, also known as Tarshay (spiced lamb or beef jerky cooked with rice)
  • Shorwa (soup)
  • Aush (hand made noodles)
  • Aushak (vegetable and chive-filled dumplings topped with tomato and yogurt sauces)
  • Mantu (meat dumplings, usually served under a yogurt-based white sauce)
  • Bolani, also called Piraki in Afghanistan
  • "Kaddo Borwani (baby pumpkins pan fried and then baked and served with garlic and yogurt,"[2] not to be confused with Bolani)
  • Bonjan (eggplant cooked in oil with potatoes and tomatoes)
  • Bendei, known as Bhindi in Urdu/Hindi (okra cooked in oil with onions and tomatoes)
  • Masteh (freshly made yogurt)
  • Ghatay Rujay, Ghatay Wrejay (literally "fat rice"; a rice dish resembling risotto prepared in Charsadda, Mardan, Pirpiai, and other villages of the region where short grain brown rice is grown)
  • Afghani naan or Dodai (a flat bread made in vertical clay ovens called Tanoor in Pashto, Tandoor in Urdu/Hindi)
  • Shomleh/Shlombeh, also known as "Triwai" in Kabul (a drink made by mixing yogurt with water and shaking it extensively before adding optional dried mint leaves and a small amount of salt)

Traditional breakfast items[edit]

Pashtuns in their traditional territory drink green or black tea (chai) with breakfast. Some drink masala chai, especially the Pakistani Pashtuns. Sheer chai, also known as Kashmiri chai, is consumed by well-off Pashtuns in Afghanistan. Their breakfast include Afghan naan, paratha, eggs, butterfat, milk creams, cheeses, etc. Pastries, cakes and cookies are consumed with either tea or warm milk. Those in cities buy and eat whatever breakfast items are sold in grocery stores, which may include porridge, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, sausages, fruit juices, etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The End of Afghan Cuisine in Pakistan?". 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Exile on Charles Street: Restaurateur Qayum Karzai's life is split between Baltimore and his native Afghanistan". Baynard Woods. The Baltimore Sun. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 2021-12-28.