Food, in the past, used to be a necessity to stay alive, it was a need and eating was limited to very few flavors. Up until the 16th century, food was only consumed to tame one’s hunger, it was considered a luxury to be eating more than one serving at a single mealtime.

But nowadays thanks to modern technology and the rapidly growing food industry, food of all kinds and flavor is available to pretty much everyone and has gotten way cheaper than it was before.

Speaking about flavor, the taste of foods vary from country to country, widely in some cases, for example, American food does not include the use of various spices, they like to keep their food simple and on the other hand, Mexican food is known for its use of spices and sauces in pretty much all their dishes, the most underrated food in my observation is desi food, desi food is mostly found in Pakistan and India, both countries share some dishes in common and the spices used in their foods are also very similar.

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Here are some iconic dishes from these neighboring countries:



Probably the most iconic dish on this list, biryani is the most loved dish shared between both India and Pakistan, this dish is so popular among the two countries that the dish has 50 renditions of this beloved dish.

Each rendition has a new flavor and different spices which give this dish a new taste, the dish was discovered in the year 1593 under the rule of the Mughals, and the dish has only gotten better with time. You can find biryani in nearly every major food street and market in Pakistan.

Chicken Tikka:

Chicken tikka is yet another dish shared by the people of both countries, it is a simple yet very delicious dish which has a very simple recipe, it is literally just a full chicken marinated in various spices and fried but it still turns out amazing, it is usually enjoyed with parathas, there are also many different ways of making a tikka and most recipes can vary depending on the amount and kind of spices but the end product is always amazing.


Karahi is a Pakistani dish that is spicy gravy with pieces of chicken or meat in it, there are many iterations of this dish as well, there’s white karahi, then there’s chicken karahi and mutton karahi, and it is usually eaten with roti which is desi bread.

The dish gets its name from the iron pan in which this dish is prepared. The metal dish can also serve as a serving bowl for the dish, the sizzling pot makes your tummy rumble one last time before you can dive into the delicious goodness.

Karahi is a dish every desi person likes and is a great balance of spice and texture, and no matter what kind of karahi you try it will definitely make you want more.


Paaya is one of the greatest of all Pakistani foods. It is a gravy made with cow limbs, which might sound weird to some, but is truly a delicious dish. The recipe to make them is easy but the execution is complex.

The delicious flavor that this dish packs, comes from slowly cooking them for hours usually, the night before they have to be served.

Paaya is usually enjoyed with roti, but it can also be eaten with rice, but then you won’t get to actually feel the oily deliciousness all that much. The tough part about making this Paaya dish is the fact that there has to be an equal balance of the Paye and easily chewable meat pieces as you don’t want it all to be just bones but without the bones, it won’t taste the same either, so that’s something to look out for. No Eid-ul-azha is complete without a full family sitting down on one table and enjoying this dish.

So these were some desi dishes that are enjoyed in Pakistan and India, people from either side of the border love all these dishes unconditionally. But desi food isn’t just about these dishes, the desi food is all about its taste and people of these countries have carried their desi food flavors down to the food that did not originate there, such as chicken tikka pizza. Or rolls with BBQ pieces of meat topped with a chutney which can be found at hungsters fast food, this is what desi food is all about.

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