Punjab has a great history and culture. It is a land of rivers, fertile agricultural areas, hardworking and brave people and most importantly diverse food dishes. Dishes like Sarson ka saag and Makki ki roti, kadhi pakoda, Matar paneer, tandoori chicken, Amritsar fish, butter chicken rule over the heart of Punjabis. Punjabi dishes are famous for their rich flavour of butter and the love mixed in it. Punjabis are simple living people so their food is simple like them. So, let’s take a look at some famous and full of flavour dishes.
FINGER-LICKING DISHES OF PUNJAB
Sarso ka saag and Makki ki roti
A heavenly-made combination, Sarso ka Saag and Makki di Roti are cooked on a daily basis in every household of Punjab, particularly during winters. It is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamin K. and generally consumed along with white butter or ghee, jaggery, and lassi. It is very healthy and provides essential nutrition to the body. It gives energy to the body to do tiring work. Old ladies of the village cook this freshly cut saag from their field on chulha, “a traditional Indian stove”.
Butter chicken is the most favourite dish of Punjab. It is rightly said that butter chicken is the love of Punjabis. No occasion is complete without butter chicken. It’s a gravy that’s made with cream and butter. It is spicy and tangy in flavour.
You might have heard about Gujarati kadhi. It is sweet as well as tangy in taste. But Punjabi kadhi is different from that. It is spicy, tangy as well, consisting of pakoda made up of chickpea flour called as besan. You can have kadhi with rice or with chapatis.
It is a simple dish cooked in every house in north India. You can’t separate rajma from chawal. They are like a couple meant to be together. Rajma are red kidney beans cooked in a low frame and served along with basmati rice. You can easily find it in every restaurant or dhaba of north India.
A famous Punjabi dish, Amritsari Kulcha, can be described as a crunchy aloo ka paratha and a local variation of the famous naan. It is known for its spicy taste and crispy texture. A vast variety of Kulcha is available like Aloo Kulcha, Masala Kulcha, Paneer Kulcha, etc. Its non-veg version is also available like keema naan. It is generally served with chole/chana and a glass of lassi. You can easily find it on the streets. They are prepared in a special oven called “tandoor”.
A popular and delicious breakfast dish which is cooked in every house of Punjab. Bhatura is a kind of puri but with a new face. It is made up of flour and then fried in flaming oil. It’s served along with well-cooked chickpeas toasted in spicy masala.
A mouthwatering dish, originated in Punjab before the partition of India and Pakistan. Tandoori Chicken consists of moderate-sized pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt, seasoned with the tandoori masala consisting of red chili powder, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and other spices along with it. The chicken is cooked in a tandoor, a cylindrical oven, by placing it on skewers called “seekhs”. Amritsar city is famous for the best spots to try out Tandoori Chicken.
Aloo ka paratha
Your life is incomplete if you have not tasted aloo ka paratha once in your lifetime. It is an all time favourite breakfast for north Indian families. A wheat dough is stuffed with aloo (potato), onion, chilies, and a lot of Indian spices. Then this stuffed dough is fried in desi ghee. Aloo ka paratha is served with yogurt and beverage lassi.
It’s a simple dish to cook but full of taste. Black lentils (known as kaali daal in Hindi) and kidney beans (known as rajma) are cooked together. It is cooked for at least 2-3 hours in a cooker so that the flavours can properly indulge in them. Here “Makhan” (known as butter) plays a very important role in making the dish more flavourful and royal.
Paneer bhelpuri is a very unique and uncommon dish among people. Many people may not even have heard about it. The main ingredient in this dish is paneer but we can also add potato and chickpeas. Paneer is coated with all purpose flour and then fried in flaming hot oil. After that, the fried chickpeas, potatoes, and paneer are mixed together with onion, chilies, tomatoes, and chat masala.
BEST SWEET DISHES
Shakarpare is a snack which is served along with tea. It is made from semolina and flour. The desired shape is made from the dough and then fried in flaming oil. Then it is covered with coconut powder. It is mostly made during weddings to be given as a return gift to relatives and friends. You can keep it for more than 2 weeks.
Kada prashad is a sacred food that you get as prashad from gurudwaras. It becomes even more tasty when you have it on a cold winter morning. It is made of sooji mixed with sugar and butter. Dry fruits can also be added to it.
It’s really easy to make rabadi but it takes some time. Rabadi is made from milk, when you cook milk along with sugar on a low flame then milk becomes thicker, and after it is cooled down and then served with jalebi.
Jalebi is a spiral-shaped sugar coated dessert that you can have with rabadi to enhance its flavour. Jalebi can be easily found in village carnivals.
Pinni, a sweet dish which is good to eat in winters that helps you to make your body warm. Pinni is very similar in shape to ladoos. It is made with desi ghee, almonds, gur (jaggery), wheat flour, pistachio, cashew, etc. It’s an excellent source of energy for our body.
- Lassi is the most famous beverage of the people of Punjab. It is made with yogurt. Amritsar has various famous spots that serve lassi. Lassi is available in both sweet and salty flavours. As a changing preference of people now you can have lassi in strawberry, mint, mango and in many more flavours.
Classic sweet lassi
This classic recipe is ridiculously simple to make at home in just a few minutes. The ingredients that are used to prepare this classic lassi are curd, water, and sugar. All the ingredients are easily available at home. It is prepared by mixing these three ingredients: curd, water, and sugar. The taste of classic sweet lassi is enjoyed by both the children and adults. This scrumptiously delicious beverage will be enhanced by the addition of cream or malai on top.
It’s one of the most favorite fruits in the summer season, and combining it with curd to make a lassi is a great way to enjoy it. This delicious Indian drink is made by blending mangoes with curd, cardamom, and sugar in a blender.
Mint Lassi is a refreshing summer beverage that soothes your stomach. The curd is blended with mint leaves, black salt, cumin powder, and coriander, as well as some ice cubes, to make this delicious beverage. If you want the sweet taste of this mint lassi then you can add some sugar in all the ingredients.
If you’re a strawberry lover then you should try this. Strawberry lassi is a delicious fruity, cool, and sweet variation of the classic lassi. The ingredients that are needed to prepare this lassi are strawberries, curd, sugar, and ice. All you need to do to prepare this lassi is just blend all the ingredients.
If you enjoy Punjabi cuisine, you will enjoy the dishes, sweets, and, beverages listed above. So, what are you waiting for? Start trying this tasty food.
Article by Parneet Kaur