Punjab offers various range of delicacies in both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian categories. There is a slight variation in the tastes of homemade and restaurant prepared dishes. The restaurants make use of abundant milk products like cream, butter, ghee and curd, as good quality milk is available in Punjab. On the contrary, house hold cooking does not make use of extra butter and ghee being health conscious.

Punjab is a large state and the tastes of recipes vary from region to region. Tandoori dishes are the gift of Punjab to the entire world. Punjab is also the mother land for numerous cuisines.

Some of the popular Non-Vegetarian dishes which you can savor in its authentic taste in Punjab are

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is a popular Punjabi non vegetarian dish served on a road side dhaba, multi cuisine restaurants and marriage ceremonies. It earns its name from the earthen oven in which the dish is prepared. This dish is prepared by marinating chicken with spices and curd. This authentic Punjabi dish is used as a starter before serving the main course meal.

Butter Chicken

The next common chicken cuisine is the Butter chicken. The recipe for the dish varies from region to region. However, the common ingredients with chicken like spices and butter are the same. The chicken used can either be boneless or with bones. The usual procedure involves marinating the chicken using spices, masala powder, coriander, chilli and turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste. At some places, the marinated chicken is roasted in a Tandoor. It can also be fried in a pan or grilled as per the convenience at home. The wet gravy for the dish is prepared using cloves, cinnamon, Tomato puree, spices, cashew paste, pepper, coriander and fenugreek. Butter in large quantities and Dry fenugreek leaves (Methi) provides the aromatic flavor and authentic taste for Butter chicken. The chicken pieces and gravy are then cooked in a container followed by garnishing with fresh coriander leaves. Butter chicken is best served with different types of rotis and fried rice.

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka is a popular dish in both Punjab region and the neighboring country of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is basically prepared using small pieces of boneless chicken. The chicken pieces are marinated using curd, spices and inserted into a skewer. It is then baked in an earthen Tandoor. It is served as a starter and at times, this baked chicken is prepared along with gravy to form another chicken recipe “the Chicken Tikka Masala”. The baking process of chicken pieces is undertaken over red hot coals in some parts of Punjab, also the pieces may or may not be boneless. The pieces removed occasionally from the heat and brushed with butter or ghee to enhance the flavor. This starter is served best with onion salad, lime and tangy chutney.

Rogan Josh

It is an authentic lamb recipe usually prepared in the Kashmir region. But, it is now a popular Punjabi dish. The delicate pieces of lamb are cooked in oil at a very high temperature and served both as a starter and main course.


Biryani is a popular rice-based dish made using pieces of chicken or lamb. There are numerous versions of biryanis in the country. Punjabi non-vegetarian dishes also include biryanis. The areas where people prefer rice, there Biryani is very popular. It involves a complex process of marinating the meat and preparing it separately followed by adding layers of aromatic basmati rice. It is a part of marriage ceremonies and most of the Punjabi Non vegetarian thalis.


is a traditional dish prepared from both chicken and mutton. There are many variants in this dish which includes seekh kebab, shami kebab, reshmi kebab, boti kebab, Tangdi kebab, Kalmi kebab, haryali kebab etc. The main process of preparation of kebab remains the same, it is always prepared on hot flames. The type of kebab varies as per the ingredients that are used for marinating. This dish once brought by travelers to the country is a popular part of Punjabi non vegetarian dishes.

Kunna Gosht

Kunna gosht is a lamb dish usually prepared in an earthen clay pot. The native way of preparation of this dish provides the excellent taste.


Minced meat usually lamb is used to prepare this dish. Kheema is cooked with other vegetables like peas and potatoes. Keema is also used as fillers for samosas and naan. This dish is served with rotis and steamed rice.


It is a soup prepared from the feet of lamb or goat with herbs and spices. This soup based dish is sautéed with fried onions, garlic pieces and tomatoes. This cooked dish is served after garnishing with sliced ginger, lemon and fresh coriander leaves.

It is always advisable to taste the authentic Punjabi non vegetarian dishes when you travel in Punjab. Food lovers are sure to savor the aromatic dishes served with scores of butter and ghee.

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