7 Healthy Pakistani Dishes for Weight Loss

Some Pakistani dishes boast a plethora of flavours and health benefits. Check out seven recipes that can help with weight loss.

okra has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

When it comes to healthy Pakistani foods, there are some delicious options which are packed with nutrients.

The ingredients and styles of cooking in Pakistani cuisine vary based on region, season and family tradition.

You can find everything from meat-based curries to vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as an assortment of spices and ingredients that give each dish its distinct flavour profile.

But it can be unhealthy due to its ingredients or cooking methods.

Fortunately, there are several dishes that are beneficial to your health without compromising on the flavour.

They are packed with nutrients which can help with things like weight loss.

As a result, they are frequently eaten across Pakistan.

With that said, here are seven healthy dishes that are eaten in Pakistan.

Bhindi Masala

7 Healthy Pakistani Dishes for Weight Loss - bhindi

Bhindi Masala is a sub-continent favourite, consisting of okra cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce.

It is also one of the healthiest as it is believed that okra has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be helpful in managing symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of interrelated conditions such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol levels – all of which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Okra is also high in dietary fibre.


  • ½ cup oil
  • 450g okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 4 Tomatoes, diced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp garam masala (garnish)


  1. In a pan, heat oil. Fry the okra for 10 minutes then remove and drain on a paper towel.
  2. Reheat the oil and fry the onions until translucent.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for one minute.
  4. Add the powdered spices and fry until aromatic.
  5. Fry the tomatoes on high heat until they begin to soften then add salt.
  6. Add the okra and gently stir until well combined.
  7. Finish with garam masala and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Pakistan Eats.

Hariyali Chicken

7 Healthy Pakistani Dishes for Weight Loss - hariyali

Hariyali Chicken is a Pakistani classic that gets its flavour from fresh coriander, mint, green chillies, garlic and ginger.

This also gives this dish a distinctive green colour.

It is also healthy because the ingredients can provide antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Hariyali Chicken is typically not deep-fried, which is a healthier cooking method compared to frying.


  • 5 Garlic cloves
  • 30g coriander
  • 15g mint
  • 250g low-fat yoghurt
  • 5 Green chillies
  • 6 tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 500g boneless chicken thighs
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place the garlic, coriander, mint, yoghurt, chillies and vinegar into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add as little water as possible then set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan then add the chicken. Once the chicken begins to change colour, add the salt.
  3. Cook the chicken until golden then add the blended mixture to a pan.
  4. Cook on high heat, stirring often until the mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Once thickened, check for seasoning.
  6. Skim off any excess oil then serve.

This recipe was inspired by Fatima Cooks.

Chicken Keema

7 Healthy Pakistani Dishes for Weight Loss - chicken

Keema is a Pakistani household staple and this chicken recipe is a great low-calorie variation that can help with weight loss.

Chicken is a leaner protein plus the inclusion of spices offers a variety of health benefits.

It is full of flavour, easy to prepare and comes together in less than an hour.


  • 900g chicken mince
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Green chillies, halved
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • A handful of coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until softened.
  2. Add chicken mince, cumin seeds and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well, then reduce the heat and simmer until the mince has fully cooked and the liquid has reduced.
  4. Remove from the heat, add coriander and cover until ready to serve.

This recipe was inspired by Chai and Churros.


This traditional dish is made from a mixture of wheat, barley, lentils and meat (usually chicken, beef or lamb), along with various spices.

It is slow-cooked to achieve a thick, porridge-like consistency.

The various ingredients can help with weight loss. For example, the lentils and whole grains contribute dietary fibre, which can help with digestion and keep you feeling full.


  • 200g cracked wheat
  • 118g yellow and orange lentils
  • 50g pearl barley

For the Meat

  • 350ml avocado oil
  • 3 Onions, thinly sliced
  • 900g chicken
  • 1½ tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1½ tbsp garlic, grated
  • 236ml yoghurt, whisked
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Green chillies, chopped
  • 1.9-litre water
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee


  1. Soak the cracked wheat for 30 minutes. Soak the lentils for 30 minutes also.
  2. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until crispy. Set aside on paper towels.
  3. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of oil and fry the meat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes then add yoghurt and cook for five minutes.
  4. Add half of the fried onions, three teaspoons of garam masala, coriander powder, cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, black pepper, salt and green chillies and stir for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the meat has fully cooked.
  7. Meanwhile, place the wheat, barley and lentils into a pot along with four cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for one hour.
  8. Remove the bones from the meat and discard. Shred the meat then return to the pot.
  9. Blend the lentil mixture until it becomes smooth.
  10. In a large cooking pot, combine the shredded chicken with the sauce, grains-lentils mixture, coriander and mint. Bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
  12. Add garam masala and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  13. Garnish with the remaining fried onions and serve.

This recipe was adapted from The Delicious Crescent.

Khatti Daal

If you are looking to include more protein in your meals, Khatti Daal is a viable option.

It contains masoor daal and gets its signature tangy flavour from lemons.

As a good source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, Khatti Daal is a Pakistani dish that can help with weight loss.


  • 1 cup masoor daal
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 1 – 2 Lemons, juiced

For Tempering

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 5 Whole dried red chillies
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves


  1. In a pot, boil the daal with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and sugar in four cups of water until the daal is completely tender.
  2. Add the juice of one lemon and taste. If is not overtly sour, add more lemon juice.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan.
  4. Add the red chillies and cumin seeds. Cook until the chillies have darkened.
  5. Add the curry leaves then immediately pour over the daal.
  6. Serve with roti.

This recipe was inspired by Flour and Spice.

Karela Sabzi

Not everyone is fond of karela, or bitter melon, but it is a very healthy food option.

Besides being good in B Vitamins and Vitamin C, Karela is also rich in minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorous.

It has a number of health benefits, including purifying blood and healing skin disorders.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 250g bitter melon, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 Onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder, add as required


  1. If the bitter melon is too bitter, mix in some salt and set aside for 20 minutes. Then squeeze the pieces and rinse in water.
  2. Heat oil in a pan then reduce the heat and add the bitter melon. Fry for five minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the onions.
  4. Mix in turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. If the onions or bitter melon start to stick to the pan, deglaze with some water.
  5. Cook for 12 minutes until cooked.
  6. When the onions are lightly caramelised, add the dry mango powder and garam masala. Mix well then turn off the heat.
  7. Serve with paratha and a bowl of plain curd.

This recipe was inspired by SooperChef.

Lobia Masala

Like lentils, black-eyed beans are a great vegetarian source of protein. They are also an excellent source of protein.

They are also relatively low in calories compared to many other protein sources. They can help you feel full and satisfied without consuming excessive calories, which contributes to weight loss.

Black-eyed beans are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is important for promoting a feeling of fullness, regulating blood sugar levels, and maintaining healthy digestion.


  • 250g Black-eyed beans (soaked overnight)
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp green chillies, sliced


  1. In a pot, add the onions and stir fry until light brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes along with all the spices and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the black-eyed beans and fry for five minutes, adding water as required to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  4. Pour in four cups of water and cook on low heat until the black-eyed beans are tender.
  5. Garnish with coriander and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Masala TV.

These seven recipes promise flavour as well as various health benefits.

Their fresh, natural ingredients make sure you get the maximum amount of nutrients to your body, which in turn can help with weight loss.

So, if you are looking for a healthy and tasty Pakistani dish, check out these options.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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