The thought of Punjabi food is just mind boggling because as you start preparing traditional Punjabi dishes, the smell of desi ghee lingering around makes your palate salivate craving for delicious food to grab. Punjabi cuisine (from the Punjab region Northern India and Eastern Pakistan) is arguably the most popular north Indian cuisine offering a wide assortment of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies and there is no second thought in this.
Punjabi food is world famous for its delicious, flavorful and very aromatic hearty meals. Be it Home cooked, Restaurant style or the authentic Dhaba Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with Restaurant style using large amounts of Butter, locally known as Desi Ghee and the Home cooked food concentrating mainly upon the masalas (spices) flavouring. The level of spices used can vary from minimal to very customary. Traditional Punjabi is wholesome, appetizing, scrumptious and full of rustic and robust flavours. Even today, the custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoor prevails in the rural areas of this state.
Tandoori dishes are very popular all over the country today. Classic and exotic dishes like Tandoori Rotis, Naans, Tandoori Chicken, Malai Tikka are typical Punjabi tandoor dishes. Other popular Punjabi breads are the Paranthas, Rotis, Kulchas, are made of maize or wheat flour.
A typical simple Punjabi meal consists of a roti, subzi served hot with a chunk of butter of desi ghee accompanied with a plate of onions, green chillies, lime and a glass of luscious creamy Lassi. Though Wheat forms their staple food, Punjabis do cook rice on special occasions.
Lentils like black gram and yellow gram are a must in Punjabi cuisine and so are the rotis (Indian flat breads) and curd. Milk & milk products is synonymous and plays an important role in the Punjabi recipes & diet. Kheer is one of the main desserts of Punjabi desserts and they are rich and delicious. When it comes to food, each region in Punjab has an entirely different preference like people of Amritsar are particularly fond of stuffed paranthas and milk products.
It is said that the philosophy of life for most of the Punjabis is to eat, drink and make merry. Punjab food is well known for some the simple to very elaborate dishes which has been a part of their diet since ages. Some of the popular Punjabi dishes are:
Sarson da Saag Sarson ka saag with Makki di Roti is the traditional dish of Punjab. It is the most popular winter dish in Punjab and is highly nutritious as it is made with mustard leaves (contains a lot of iron and protein). This luscious green gravy from the Punjabi cuisine is made with green mustard leaves and some spinach also added which further enhances the nutritional value, taste of the saag and adds a vibrant green colour and thickness the gravy
Makki di Roti Makki di Roti is a flat, unleavened Indian bread made from corn flour primarily eaten in North India and Punjab province of Pakistan. Makki di roti literally means ‘bread of corn’, is yellow in colour and generally made during winter season. Like most Indian flat breads, this too is baked on a tava and is one of the important elements of the rural diet of Punjabi cuisine. This roti is accompanied with saag or sarson da saag, butter and buttermilk.
Tandoori Chicken Tandoori Chicken is a popular Indian dish consisting of chicken marinated in a mixture of yoghurt and spices traditionally cooked in high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven) and also can be prepared on a traditional barbecue grill.
Aloo Paratha In Punjab, stuffed paratha or parantha is a routine breakfast. The stuffing can be potatoes or cheese or cauliflower etc. Aloo Paratha which is commonly called as Aaloo da Prantha in Punjabi language is the easiest and the most relished stuffed bread. It is cooked in loads of ghee and served with curd or white butter. So whenever you have it, count your calories for the day! Parathas are whole-wheat Indian flatbread that can be either made plain or stuffed with many different fillings. This recipe uses the most popular filling – Potatoes. Aloo Parathas are perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
Rajma Masala Rajma is one of the favourite main course dishes of all Punjabi’s irrespective of age. It is made with kidney beans, boiled and cooked in tangy and spicy gravy. This is served with steaming hot boiled rice called chawal. Rajma is rich in iron and protein while rice is rich in carbohydrates. Therefore it is a wholesome meal.
Butter Chicken Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani is a very popular Punjabi non-vegetarian dish that is well like by most of us. It is made with succulent pieces of chicken cooked in silky tomato gravy. This dish is just lip-smacking, luscious and impossible to resist. Butter Chicken goes well with Butter Naan.
Dal Makhani Bukhara Dal Makhani, an amazing dish from Punjabi cuisine is prepared with lentils and beans combined with fresh cream (malai), spiced and cooked to get a creamy texture that enhances the flavor of the dish.
Paneer Makhani Hariyali Hariyali paneer makhani is a punjabi paneer recipe with succulent paneer cubes cooked in creamy green gravy. The gravy is prepared by mixing spinach and makhan( cream) and is aptly spiced to suit every palate.
Punjabi Kadi Pakodi Punjabi kadi pakodi is a popular dish from the Punjabi cuisine where pakoras are made and cooked in tangy sour and spice yoghurt sauce thickened with besan flour.
Punjabi Sweet Lassi Lassi is the favourite drink of Punjabis. It is made from beaten curd and milk. It is thick and creamy often had with breakfast, lunch or even otherwise. It is a very healthy drink and does not contain any artificial flavours. It is usually served in tall steel glasses.
By and large, Punjabis are predominantly very passionate for good and delectable food which popularly showcases in their cuisine. Highly rich in taste, aroma, flavor and texture with a personal touch is the synonymous of any Punjabi food. Apart from these few popular Punjabi dishes they are also an enormous variety of mouth-watering and lip-smacking vegetarians as well as non-vegetarian dishes.
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