One of the most impressive things about Punjabi food is its variety. While meat lovers can never have enough of the evergreen Butter Chicken, Bhuna Gosht, Tandoori Chicken, and Amritsari Macchi, vegetarian fare is equally delightful. Sarson ka Saag, Chole Bhature, and Dal Makhni are just a handful of vegetarian Punjabi specialties with fans across the globe. Think of Punjab and you can imagine its earthy heritage of lush green fields and robust lifestyle. What makes Punjab different from the other states is its culinary treasure, it is a state synonymous with food. Punjabi food is a lot like Punjabis – rich, robust, and full of life. Bold textures and hearty ingredients are what make Punjabi cuisine so popular all across North India. Keep reading to know about the Top 12 Cuisine Of Punjab Everyone Must Taste.
Punjab is home to authentic tandoori food. It is believed that the ‘tandoor’ originated in Persia and was introduced to India by the Arabs. Back in the day, people living in the Punjab region were the first ones to learn the art of cooking with the tandoor. It is believed that tandoori chicken was invented in Peshawar as recently as the 1930s and became popular thereafter.
Despite being the land of five rivers, you won’t find much seafood on the menu. Fish is their favorite but not in curries. Deep-fried and skewered fish delicacies are quite popular, including Machch Ke Sooley, Fish Kebabs, Fish Tikkas, and Amritsari Macchi
While not being a dish, the langar is an absolute must-try for everyone at least once in their life. The community kitchen of every gurdwara is open to all for service and serving. Anyone can go there and help to cook for the people, as well as receive a meal. Being just simple food consisting of naan, daal, and some Prashad, it is definitely one of the humblest meals you’ll have while sitting with people across castes, creeds, genders and everyone is treated equally here.
2. Butter Chicken
If Italy gave the world the pizza, India did the same with butter chicken. This mild and creamy preparation of juicy chicken chunks in a delicious and buttery gravy made from white butter, tomato puree, fresh cream, cumin seeds, red chili powder, and sugar is a trademark Punjab dish. Family lunches or dinners are complete only when this dish is on the menu. The taste of this adds it to the Top 12 Cuisine Of Punjab.
3. Shakkar Para
A great accompaniment to tea, it can also be snacked on when you’re craving something a little sweet. Made from semolina and flour, it is light and not overly sweet. For those with a sweeter tooth, these can be coated in coarse sugar or desecrated coconut for a different flavor. These can be just as easily made at home and stored for 2-3 weeks to keep munching on! It is deep-fried Punjabi Food so do be careful of how many you munch on.
4. Sarson Ka Saag & Makke Di Roti
If vegans are feeling neglected, then hold on because this dish is just for you! Sarson ka saag is a staple Punjabi preparation made from mustard leaves, spinach, and bhatua. The saag (which means curry) is a mixture of leafy vegetables which is flavored with various spices by the process of tadka (tempering). To accompany this delicious vegetable dish is the famous Indian bread, called a roti, made from Makka (corn) .The taste of this adds it to the Top 12 Cuisine Of Punjab.
A drink known far and wide, lassi is something Punjabi’s pride themselves in. Though it can be salty, the original lassi as it became famous, is sweet with a dollop of cream and butter to make it as rich as you can. Flavors like mango rose or strawberry is added these days to give it a twist while beating the summer heat. Almost all restaurants serve this even if they’re not Punjabi joints which show the popularity of this humble drink.
6. Dal Makhani
Folks in India travel by road for two main reasons, to experience the rural scenery and to stop at the Dhabas on national highways that enchant the taste buds of travelers far and wide. One of the signature dishes that you can gorge on at a Dhaba is the dal makhani. It is a simple dal dish made from rustic spices and techniques. In many restaurants, the dal is delicately simmered overnight to enhance its creaminess and bring out the flavors.
It’s a standard Punjabi dish in most fast-food restaurants now. And these two accompany each other like a dream when you feel like indulging a little. Made with flour and milk rather than wheat flour, it’s different from a poori. And although it’s much larger than a poori, you can’t just eat one because it’s that tasty! The soft, slightly fermented bhatura should be your go-to when you are craving some hardcore, spicy food of Punjab. The taste of this adds it to the Top 12 Cuisine Of Punjab.
8. Suji Ka Halwa
After you’ve feasted on Punjab’s main courses it’s time to get enchanted by the sweet dishes like the suji ka halwa. Suji (which means semolina) is the main ingredient in this halwa, a pudding famous for the enormous amount of delicious ghee butter in it. After seasoning it with almonds, raisins, and Kesar milk you will fall in love with this delicious Punjab specialty.
No matter who you are, chances are that you’ve had a parantha at least once in your life. This delectable offering has come to India through the annals of Punjabi cuisine, and what a discovery that was! Be it plain or stuffed, this bread is a staple of most Punjabi households. Even while traveling, the most preferred item to eat at a Dhaba is mostly always a paratha. Fried in desi ghee is the way most people in Punjab like it. Have with some cold curd and pickle, it is quite a humble match made in gastronomic heaven. The possibilities of the stuffings are endless. Be it potatoes, onions, cottage cheese, keema to newer variants like bottle gourd, mangoes, and almost anything you could imagine!
10. Amritsari Fish
An amazing contribution of the food of Punjab to the rest of India, Amritsari fish is a favorite dish among non-vegetarians of India! A succulent, fried fish, this can be had either with naan or just like that since it is a dry dish. Batter-fried, it is juicy and succulent on the inside while also being spicy. It is served in places all over the country with the same name which is only a testament to its popularity. A spicy fish with cold lassi, you possibly cannot go wrong with the combination!
11. Punjabi Pakoda Kadhi
The Punjabi kadhi attests to the awesomeness of the day-to-day food of Punjab and its people. The Punjabi kadhi is different from its Gujarati friend in a number of ways. It’s spicy and tangy along with having besan pakoras while the Gujarati variant is sweeter and of a lighter consistency and white in color. The pakoras that are put are generally made of besan and onions. An alternative to them is also by putting in some peas and sliced onion to give a different flavor.
12. Rajma Chawal
It’s a staple in every household in north India while also having a nostalgic connotation for most. Having rajma or chawal with anything apart from each other feels wrong, like breaking up your favorite couple. Even though it comes from Kashmir indigenously, it’s a favorite among all Punjabis and their grandmothers. This Punjabi dish is also generally served with a side of pickled onions, to enhance the taste. To give it a slight twist, some people also add a little bit of crushed papad to their rajma chawal to give it a nice crunch. The taste of this adds it to the Top 12 Cuisine Of Punjab.
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