Unity in diversity is the saying which aptly suits India. The diversity is seen in culture, language, dance forms, music and cuisine. Punjab is a fertile state with abundant Milk and Milk products. Punjab state has experienced the Green revolution. Punjabi cuisine are very popular, they do not require extensive use of sauces. The taste of Punjabi delicacies is the result of rich spices and extensive use of Desi Ghee. The dishes are served with toppings of fresh cream or Ghee.  Milk and Milk products are the unavoidable parts of daily Punjabi Meal. The Punjabi cuisine consists of several varieties of non-vegetarian & vegetarian delicacies. The spice level in their dishes changes from minimum to maximum depending on therequirements. People from all parts of the country relish Punjabi food due to its authentic taste. ‘Dhabas’ or local road side restaurants are very popular. These restaurants make extensive use of Desi Ghee to add better taste to food. However, desi ghee is substituted by refined or sunflower oil at household to maintain low fat level in the food.

People of Punjab prefer to eat wheat foods. However, rice is eaten during important festivals and special ceremonies. You can find diversity in eating habits across the state with people of Amritsar preferring to eat milk products and stuffed paranthas. Punjabi people believe in enjoying their life to full extent. They are good lovers of tasty food. The Punjabi dishes have abundant use of Ginger, garlic and onion to provide richness to the curry and enhance its taste.

Punjabi Thali or the full course Punjabi meal consists of several bread variants like Kulcha, Lachha parantha, naan and Tandoori Roti. Some of them are baked in Tandoor, while some others are dry baked in Tava. Rumali Roti is also another variety of Roti usually large in size and less in thickness. Apart from these dry breads Bhatora (Shallow fried item) and Poori (Deep fried item) is ate with chole (Chick pea’s curry). Some of the other delicacies which are special to the state include Roghan Josh, Makki Di Roti, Sarson Da Saag, Mahki Dal and stuffed Paranthas. Punjabi food is extremely suitable for people who are involved in hard labor and work in the fields. For urban people, a single Punjabi dish would be enough considering the high fat content. The main ingredients of Punjabi dishes are ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes and lot of Desi Ghee. The Punjabi dishes go well with different types of Rotis. Hence Rotis are their staple food. They love to eat traditional Sarson da Saag with Makki Di Roti. They can simply have rotis with onions if there are no vegetable or curry. Lassi (Butter Milk) is a part and parcel of each household. It is the welcome drink in Punjab, usually offered in large glasses.

Background of Punjabi Cuisine

The preparation of Punjabi delicacies at home and restaurants differ to a large extent depending on the use of Desi Ghee and spices. Restaurants make extensive use of Desi Ghee to enhance taste. But house hold preparations mainly rely on age old methods and rich use of natural items like wheat, rice, spices and condiments.

The taste and likes of the people vary to a great extent depending upon the regions across Punjab. People of Lahore and Amritsar region are fond of milk products and stuffed Paranthas due to the presence of high quality milk products in the region. Some dishes like Makki di Roti and sarson da saag is consumed by people across the state. Tandoori dishes prepared in a Tandoor are very popular and unique traditional variety of Punjab state. Prior to partition of the country, tandoor dishes were restricted to Punjabregion only. However, now it is popular across the world. Numerous delicacies like tandoor items, naans, paneer dishes and pakoras served to foreign tourists originally belongs to the state of Punjab.

Popular Delicacies

The traditional delicacies of Punjab state are very tasty and no one can resist themselves from tasting them all. The most popular and mouthwatering dishes of the state are listed below.

Famous Dishes of Punjab

Vegetarian Dishes

  • Sarson ka Saag (Mustard leaves curry)
  • Dal Makhani/ Dal Handi (curry of pulses)
  • Choley (generally eaten with Naan)
  • Punj Ratani Dal (a mixture of 5 lentils)
  • Kadhai Paneer
  • Shahi Paneer
  • Sheer Korma

Non-Vegetarian Dishes

  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Butter Chicken
  • Bhuna Ghosht (dish made of lamb)
  • Kebab
  • Amritsari Fish
  • Tandoori Fish
  • Fish Tikka
  • Chicken Biriyani
  • Lamb biriyani
  • Keema Naan
  • Reshmi Tikka
  • Malai Tikka
  • Pork Pickle

Bread & Flour Preparations

The Punjabi dishes have numerous varieties of bread variants, the tasty bread varieties of the state are listed below.

  • Naan
  • Tandoori Roti
  • Kulcha
  • Lachha parantha
  • Phulka or chapatti
  • Aloo parantha
  • Mooli parantha
  • Poori
  • Bhatoora


The traditional Punjabi full course meal is incomplete without savoring sweets and desserts. The most popular dessert in the entire Punjab region is roh di kheer, prepared by cooking sugar cane juice in rice for long duration. Some of the other popular Punjabi desserts are.

  • Rice Kheer
  • Jalebi
  • Malpua
  • Rabri
  • Sewaiyyan
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Zarda
  • Firnee
  • Gaajar Halwa
  • Sooji Halwa


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