Pakistan is a major exporter and consumer of Rice. Pulao is the most popular type of rice consumed in Pakistan. Dishes made with Rice include many varieties of pulao:
- Maash pulao – A sweet and sour pulao baked with mung beans, apricots and bulgur (a kind of roughly milled cracked wheat). Exclusively vegetarian.
- Matar pulao – Pulao made with peas.
- Murgh pulao – Chicken and stock added. Creates a brown rice.
- Yakhni pulao – Meat and stock added. Creates a brown rice.
- Kabuli Palaw – is an Afghan dish, which is popular in Pashtun dominated regions in Pakistan such as the Tribal Areas, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in North-West Pakistan, and Balochistan in the South-West Pakistan. It is a variety of pilaf, consisting of steamed rice mixed with raisins, carrots, and lamb.
Biryani is a very popular dish in Pakistan, and has many varieties, such as Lahori and Sindhi biryani. Tahiri, which is a vegetarian form of biryani, is also popular. All of the main dishes (except those made with rice) are eaten alongside bread. To eat, a small fragment of bread is torn off with the right hand and used to scoop and hold small portions of the main dish. Pickles made out of mangoes, carrots, lemon, etc. are also commonly used to further spice up the food.
In the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, feasts using mountains of spiced rice combined with pieces of slowly roasted lamb are often served for guests of honour. These kind of pulaos often contain dried fruit, nuts, and whole spices such as cloves, saffron and cardamom. Kabuli Palaw is very popular in Pashtun dominated regions in Western Pakistan. Such rice dishes have their origins in Central Asia and the Middle East.