10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan

When it comes to food, sweet dishes are arguably the most enjoyable as they are a fitting end to a meal. We look 10 of the most enjoyed in Pakistan.

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan f

There are numerous recipes but all are known for their hint of sweetness.

Nothing beats a dessert and in Pakistan, there are a plethora of delicious sweet dishes to choose from and to enjoy.

They provide a fitting end to a meal. This is particularly true if you have had too much spicy food as they usually will cool you down.

When it comes to sweet dishes in Pakistan, there are a variety of options. They may not prepare pies, puddings and cakes but their choice is worth a try.

Not only are they enjoyed in Pakistan, but they are also eaten in India. Some have even gained popularity in Western countries.

The most popular dishes incorporate a range of flavours and textures in order to appeal to different preferences. All are bound to entice the tastebuds.

We explore the most popular sweet dishes that are found in Pakistan.

Halwa

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - halwa

Halwa can be commonly found in South Asia and the Middle East. Not only is it easy to make but it is easily available.

The best part about halwa is that it can be made at home with a very minimal approach. All one needs is semolina, sugar, oil and a little bit of patience.

But this is the recipe for the simplest halwa that there is. In Pakistan, it is commonly referred to as Suji ka halwa.

You’ll be mistaken to think that there is only one kind. Suji ka halwa is readily available for breakfast with puri and naan.

Other variations tend to be more expensive and are more time-consuming.

Gajjar ka halwa (Carrot halwa) takes patience, skill, and lots of milk and carrots. It is often consumed in the winter and served to guests.

Even though suji ka halwa is available all across Pakistan, nothing beats the Multani Sohan halwa.

While it is mostly produced in Multan, it is also available across Pakistan. This popular halwa is filled with almonds, pistachios and cashews.

No matter the variant, halwa is a very popular sweet dish in Pakistan.

Barfi

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - barfi

No moment of joy and happiness can be celebrated without barfi. It is absurd to think that any special event can be celebrated without its presence.

There are numerous recipes but all are known for their hint of sweetness.

One of the most commonly available barfis is of the milk powder which also includes almonds and pistachios but it does not stop there.

There are ones made with chocolate, coconut and semolina.

It is interesting to point out that when being cooked, it looks white until it turns into a solid mixture.

If you’re in Pakistan, barfi can be found in any bakery and sweet shop. The bakeries in Pakistan tend to specialise in other sweet dishes as well as barfi.

Gulab Jamun

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - gulab jamun

Gulab jamun is one of the most popular sweet dishes in all of South Asia, not just Pakistan.

It is made from milk solids, usually from Khoya and created into soft balls. They are then deep-fried before they are dipped in a sticky, sweet syrup.

Gulab jamun is a dish which needs lots of attention.

They need to be fried at an optimum temperature for a specific duration so that they do not become too hard or too soft.

The right amount of softness is needed for the perfect taste.

This dessert is simply irresistible. The spongy texture melts in the mouth and the syrup gives it a rich sweetness.

Some enjoy it warm while others prefer it cold, either way, the delicious taste remains the same.

Ras Malai

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - ras malai

Ras Malai is always in demand regardless of the time of the year.

While desserts do vary in Pakistan based on the season, the dessert can be enjoyed all year round.

The ingredients can be easily found but it is the cooking technique which can make or break the dish. Not only it is filled with technicalities but it is temperature sensitive, to say the least.

One needs to form cheese curd balls out of milk, prepare the sweet syrup with milk and lots of sugar, and to prepare pistachios and almonds for the topping.

The cooking process requires lots of attention. This is especially true for the preparation of the cheese curd balls, also known as chhana.

Once made, they are then chilled in a refrigerator while the other elements are prepared.

Ras malai is found in milk shops and bakeries all around Pakistan. In fact, in Lahore, this dish can be easily found on most streets.

It is fair to say that most food outlets in Pakistan offer ras malai as a dessert.

Falooda

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - falooda

Falooda is a drink but it is also a dessert and it is one of the most popular sweet dishes available. It is also enjoyed in Western countries like the UK.

There are a variety of recipes for falooda but all of them use milk, vermicelli, ice-cream and chia seeds.

The milk is the main ingredient and is usually is the main ingredient in many South Asian desserts.

For a basic falooda, the milk needs to be sweetened. It is boiled and simmered before it is chilled. Once removed, it is combined with the other ingredients.

Meanwhile, the chia seeds soften by leaving them to soak. The vermicelli is boiled, drained and left to cool.

All come together to create a simple falooda but other ingredients are added to create different variations.

Rose syrup can be one addition and it introduces a very sweet taste and scent to the drink.

The sweet drink is usually topped with chopped nuts. Furthermore, ice-cream added to the cool drink to make the whole experience as sweet as it can be.

Cake Rusk

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - cake

Cake rusk is a must-have in every Pakistani household and it goes perfectly with tea.

The dish is a combination of cake and rusk. Rusk is a dry biscuit or a bread which has been baked twice.

The same process is involved with plain cakes and they’re a delight to have. Cake rusk has a different dough to regular rusk as it includes sugar for added sweetness.

Tea servings in Pakistan are incomplete without any complimentary snack. While there are snacks available, nothing beats cake rusk.

They are often dipped in tea to soak up the flavour and eaten. It soon becomes a soft and sweet teatime snack.

Vermicelli

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - vermicelli

On its own vermicelli does not provide much taste but when it is blended with milk, it transforms into milk seviyan which is a creamy and luxurious sweet dish.

Milk Seviyan can easily be made at home. All you have to do is to cook the vermicelli in milk with the required amount of sugar until the mixture has thickened.

The finished dish is then usually topped with chopped almonds and dried fruits.

This dessert tends to be served during dinners and special occasions.

Vermicelli is one of the most enjoyed sweet dishes in Pakistan due to its simplicity and availability.

Food colouring can be added to vermicelli for a unique twist on the dish.

Kheer

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - kheer

Kheer is one of the most common sweet dishes in Pakistan. Ready-made kheer can be found in any food shop in the country.

Like most Desi sweet dishes, it requires a lot of milk, however, that is not the complete picture.

It also needs rice and sugar but the cooking temperature and time are what helps achieve a creamy taste.

The rice needs to be boiled until it becomes soft. The milk needs to be boiled and simmered. Once done, cardamom seeds are added to the milk.

The rice and sugar are incorporated into the milk where it gently cooks for around two hours.

During this time, the mixture must be stirred every once in a while. If not, the mixture will start to stick at the bottom and can cause it to burn.

In order to ensure it does not happen, the flame needs to be set as low as possible while also keeping an eye on it.

After immense efforts and full attention, pistachios and almonds make up the final touches. It tastes great when warm but it can also be enjoyed cold.

Zarda

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - zarda

If you want to have something really sweet for dessert, zarda is just the dish to have.

It is very easy to make. All one needs is sugar, cardamom, lots of rice, and water.

The recipe involves boiling the rice with the cardamom, sugar and adding food colourings to create a vibrant dish.

Sliced coconut, cashews, almonds, pistachios and raisins are usually added to the rice and that is it.

There are many variations of zarda. One of the most well-known ones involves steaming the boiled rice with raw sugar, therefore creating Gur walay chawal (Raw sugar rice).

With lots of colours, it has a vibrant appearance and its contrasting textures is what makes it a popular choice at weddings.

Jalebi

10 Best Sweet Dishes and Food of Pakistan - jalebi

Jalebi is one of the best sweet dishes in Pakistan but it actually originated in ancient Persia.

Apart from India and Pakistan, jalebi is enjoyed in other countries where it is known by other names.

All it takes is a mixture of white flour, cornflour, baking soda, and ghee.

The mixture needs to be left aside for 8-10 hours. The sugary touch comes from the sugar syrup which is mixed later.

The whole mixture is contained in a cloth with a small hole. The oil is preheated on a medium to high heat.

Once the oil is hot, the cloth is squeezed and the jalebi mixture comes out. Each one is usually shaped into spirals by moving the cloth as the mixture drops into the oil.

After being fried, the result is a delicious orange jalebi which has a slight crunch to it but each mouthful is filled with a sweet flavour.

When it comes t0 sweet dishes in Pakistan, these 10 are some of the best.

No matter if you are on a diet or calorie-conscious, each dessert is a wonderful experience to enjoy.

All have a wide variety of tastes and textures which are guaranteed to please various preferences.

Whether you are in cities like Lahore and Karachi or in the more remote areas of Pakistan, you are bound to come across one of these authentic desserts and you will grow to love it.

Z. F. Hassan is an independent writer. He enjoys reading and writing on history, philosophy, art, and technology. His motto is “Live your life or someone else will live it”.