15 Desi Food Items I Miss The Most After Moving To America

By Maliha Khan | 27 Jan, 2019

Living in America might have its perks, like no load-shedding, but it has many downsides as well. People in Pakistan can take normal amenities like mouth-watering desi food for granted, but the fact is ke you don’t know how great you have it. The emotions I feel every time I read about all the delicious food from all over Pakistan, is pure jealousy. Here is a list of a few things that I miss dearly because they just do not taste the same abroad.

1. Aam

Source: pakistanpoint.com

That sweet, juicy taste is irreplaceable. Nahi chahiye bahir ke fancy aam. Pakistani mangoes are just different, I can’t explain it. And the way we eat them too – all the weird combos (roti and aam, anyone?) Ugh, y’all are lucky.

2. Ganna

Source: par.com.pk

The perfect snack to grab off of the streets from vendors. Sweet, probably not super healthy (I’m guessing) but who cares? It’s nature’s treat.

3. Mithai

Source: allimagesphotos.blogspot.com

No, I don’t want brownies and macarons and fancy desserts, okay? I’m sick of them. I just want to taste a juicy gulab jamun or a sheeray se bhara rasgullah again.

There’s no replacing desi mithai. The variety and rich taste land it in every foreigner’s suitcase when leaving Pakistan.

4. Chaalli

Source: visitpak.com

The only thing that can make me step out in the scorching heat of Pakistan. There’s something special about the way it’s always sold along the roadside, or at the seaside. And eating this during the winters? Oof. Apna hee maza hai.

5. Desi Shawarma

Source: kfoods.com

The best on-the-go meal in Pakistan that has made it out of Pakistan, but is not the same anywhere else. The way the shawarmas here are jam-packed with flavor and masala and mirchi? Yeah, no one can beat that. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

6. Kulfi

Source: tribune.com.pk

The creamy, milky taste abroad can come close to that of the ones we get in Pakistan, but it’s never the same. I mean, kulfis in Pakistan are crafted with love and care. You can tell. It’s a staple dessert. You don’t just get that apnapan anywhere else. Man, I could do with a kulfi right about now.


7. Falooda/Rabri

Source: Chuck Manley

Every time I visit Pakistan, I have made it a tradition to enjoy the dessert on the very last day of my trip so I do not miss it too much when I return. I don’t even fully understand what I love about it. I just know that it’s unmatched.


8. Dabbay wala mango juice

Source: Punjab Asian Bazaar

Oh, the sad product that gets shipped to the United States is just too different than the original maal in Pakistan. It’s just not the same, yaar. Firstly, the mangoes aren’t the same. Then the juice isn’t the same. I mean, what is the point, then?


9. Jamun

Source: thelovelyplants.com

This rare fruit is apparently specific to only South Asian countries, which means I can only enjoy it when I am visiting Pakistan. And OF COURSE, I happen to love it. Which means that when I’m not visiting Pakistan, I have to go months without this.


10. Lassi

Source: blogs.tribune.com.pk

The taste of fresh milk and yogurt will never equate to the overly-processed dairy products I get here. Lassi is legit the king of all beverages, yaar. Can’t beat the taste.


11. Naan

Source: candidanimal.com

Probably the food item that I miss the most because not all Pakistani tandoor walay cannot be shipped overseas. Also, thak gayi hoon bol bol ke that it’s not naan bread, it’s just naan. Rakhein yeh apna naan bread. I’m only interested in our naan.


12. Garma

Source: dawn.com

Cantaloupe and honeydew just do not taste better than a garma does. I can’t pinpoint anything specifically. But difference hai.


13. Jalebi

Source: faridbinmasood.wordpress.com

No foreigner can perfect the balance between the sweetness, consistency, and shape of this delicacy. Fresh jalebis, when it rains, or simply when you’re out for a long drive. Ugh. Miss this a bit too much.


14. Fish Kata Kat

Fish Kata Kat
Source: pak101.com

I’ve only witnessed this being made in Pakistan and nowhere else. It’s absolutely mouthwatering and I mean, it’s a complete experience for all five senses, you know?


15. Bun Kabab

Bun Kabab
Source: reddit.com

The perfect combination of meat, buns, and egg. A timeless, culture-specific meal. Filling, sasta, and just…SO scrumptious.

Okay, now I know I didn’t add biryani or nihari to this list, and yes, the list could go on, but I would like to interject and state that bhai itni nikammi nahi hoon, khud pakana aata hai. I learned the essentials, you know? So we’re good on that front.

If anyone else has anything in mind, or if you’re going through something similar, let me know in the comments.

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Cover image via faridbinmasood.wordpress.com

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