Punjab is known for its wealth and diversity not only in its scenic environment, but also in terms of its food. Punjab has given some excellent delicacies to the world and the cuisine here is authentic and tasty.
There are seasonal dishes in Punjab that are hugely popular all over the world. And then there is Chole-Bhature which is available all through the year and at all places, be it a roadside eatery or a luxury hotel. Punjab is known for this dish, which is nothing but rounded bhatura bread made of Maida served with excellently cooked chickpeas, also known as chole. Sarson-ka-saag which is a dish made of cooked mustard leaves cooked in huge dollops of butter , accompanied by a huge glass of lassi (a drink made of nicely beaten yoghurt) and roti, is widely consumed in Punjab during the winter seasons.
The stuffed Parathas are another hot favourite among people all over the world. Having its origins in Punjab, the soft, flaky parathas are usually stuffed with mashed alloo or potato, methi (fenugreek leaves), or muli (radish). The Mah Ki Dhal (lentil curry) and Rajma Chaval (rice with kidney beans) are also some of the famous dishes in Punjab. Almost all the food in Punjab taste quite rich and authentic because of the dominance of milk products in them. Most of the foods make use of butter, cream, paneer, curds etc. to make the dishes grander and taste divine.
In the non-vegetarian segment, chicken is most common, however in regions like Amritsar, fish curry tastes great. This area is also famous for the soft Kulchas which is another kind of bread prepared from refined flour.
Food in Punjab is incomplete without a glass of lassi or a sweet. Huge glasses of churned yoghurt mixed with salt or sweet perfectly compliment the food in Punjab. Phirni, is another sweet that Punjab is famous for. It is made from milk, sugar and refined flour and kept in authentic earthen pots for cooling. Gulab Jamuns and Barfis are excellent desserts available in the state.
There are various divine vegetarian dishes in Punjab that are made out of paneer or cottage cheese. Kadai Paneer, Makhani Paneer, Paneer Burji, Paneer Tikka etc. are just a few varieties of Punjabi dishes.
Tandoor was earlier a huge cooking place that was dug inside the ground. This was a huge vessel that women used to cook their breads and meat in. This was the starting point of what is known famously known as Tandoori dishes in almost all the hotels.
When it comes to Punjab, one cannot ignore the contribution of the Dhaba. Dhabas were originally roadside eatery shops that were often visited by drivers who used to travel long distances. However now, Dhabas have become commercially viable hotels in all places in the country.
What to Drink in Punjab
This is the first and foremost drink in Punjab. It is made of churned yoghurt and it can be either salt of sweet. In sweet lassi, people usually add fruits or sugar. In salt lassi, there are some spices added. The consistency of lassi is very thick. During religious festivals, honey is used to sweeten the lassi. Sometimes a pinch of turmeric powder is added along with this and it is believed to be very good for the stomach. This drink is usually taken along with lunch. In some rare cases, some milk is added to the lassi and a layer of cream adorns it.
It would be apt to say that this is the more watery or liquid counterpart of Lassi. In lassi, the curd content is more and it is thick, whereas in chaas, the water content is more. In some places, salt, cumin seeds, ginger, coriander and green chillies are added to chaas for a refreshing taste. It hydrates the body and usually drunk during lunch. It is also popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan. This is known as Taak in Marathi, Mooru in Tamil and Malayalam, Maajige in Kannada and Majjiga in Telugu.
List of Punjabi Dishes
This is nothing but wheat parathas stuffed with potatoes that are boiled and mashed. Curd, sauce or pickles are an excellent combination for this.
This is bread made of wheat flour. It is small and round and is common all over the globe. This dish is the best fit during religious festivals.
Big and round bhature bread served along with chickpeas is a filling breakfast dish all over Punjab and is a common dish all over the country.
This resembles a Dosa, but it is a sweet dish and goes well with pickles or spicy chutneys.
Lunch and Dinner
There are various vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available in Punjab cuisine. A sweet or desert is mandatory.
This is a simple lentil curry cooked with huge dollops of butter and goes well with any kind of bread.
This is bread that is stuffed with mashed or minced chicken or lamb that is marinated. This is a dish mostly cooked for festive occasions.
Rice along with cooked kidney beans is a simple and healthy dish.
Here the Pakoras are immersed in curry and then served along with rice and the dish tastes divine.
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