For many, Indian food is synonymous with Punjabi cuisine. The border region between India and Pakistan is an area rich in agriculture and livestock. For this reason, typical Punjabi dishes have a variety of ingredients and an abundance of dairy products.
In this article I present to you the best dishes of Punjabi cuisine so that your pulse does not tremble in the Indian restaurant or on your trip to India.
Punjabi cuisine is one of the most familiar to lovers of Indian food . This is because they have been a community with many migrants who have spread their taste through various countries in Europe and America.
Punjabis adore dairy and due to their mix of religious faiths they have a very rich cuisine in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
They are also notable for being the only ones in North India who regularly cook Indian fish recipes , due to the abundance of rivers in the region.
The next time you go to an Indian restaurant see if they have butter chicken or paneer with spinach.
Muslim influence, the richest breads in the world and many spices await you on your plate.
Punjabi cuisine vegetarian dishes
Punjab Indian food vegetarian dishes are outstanding. In fact, it is one of the regions of India where vegetarianism is most practiced.
The exceptional use of mixed vegetables with a touch of creaminess and spices you will love. They are ideal to combine with breads such as naan or kulcha .
Chole bhathura ( छोला भटूरा) is a spicy chickpea stew (chana masala) accompanied by lightly fried refined wheat flour bread (maida).
It is eaten for breakfast and is one of the classic dishes of Punjabi street food.
Do you dare to try it on the street? Manohar Japani Samose Walla ‘s in Old Delhi is spectacular.
Rajma chawal ( राजमा चावल ) are basically beans with rice.
Black beans have never been tastier than in this Punjabi concoction. The stew is served on a rice base which helps balance the flavor of the spices.
I love the one they prepare at Café Mehran , in Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort (I know that’s not Punjab).
sarson ka saag
Sarson ka saag ( सरसों का साग ) is a seasonal Punjabi staple.
The saag is a type of recipe that is prepared with different types of leaves. The most typical of Punjab is made with the mustard plant and has a characteristic smoky flavor.
It is accompanied by makki ki roti , cornmeal bread.
It is among the typical Punjabi dishes served in a thali. It is a very everyday dish.
Typical recipes with chicken or fish
Tandor baked meat dishes are very characteristic of Punjab Indian food. However, it is also a region that is very rich in rivers and therefore in fish.
Here are some essential recipes for lovers of non-vegetarian food.
Amritsar fish or Amritsari macchi (अमृतसरी फिश) is battered with chickpea flour and a dash of ajwain and deep-fried.
You can tell that the batter has a special flavor. Write it down if you don’t like spicy.
Taste the best fish in Punjab at Amritsar’s Makhan Dhaba . A secret with voices!
The famous butter chicken or murgh makhani (मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) is a dish created by the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi. A recipe with a date of birth!
The chicken is cooked in a tomato sauce, heavy cream and a mild blend of spices.
Daryaganj’s Moti Mahal restaurant is the original. Today he has many franchises in New Delhi.
Typical Punjabi Desserts
Punjabis have quite a sweet tooth and their desserts have a high presence of dairy products and syrup.
Among the typical dishes of Punjab, two essential recipes must be included: gulab jamun and kheer.
The gulab jamun ( गुलाब जामुन ) is that little brown ball that you have surely tried in an Indian restaurant.
The dough is made with khoya (evaporated milk) and refined flour. They are fried and then dipped in a syrup flavored with rose water, spices and saffron. A sweet explosion.
You can balance it out by mixing the gulab jamun with vanilla ice cream. The freshness and creaminess of the ice cream temper the sugar rush.
Indian rice pudding
Kheer (खीर) is a rice pudding recipe that is not just an Indian heritage.
The particularity of their recipe is that they mix broken wheat with the rice and that it is flavored with many spices: cinnamon, cardamom, saffron… and crushed nuts.
The langar at Amritsar’s Golden Temple serves spectacular kheer with just the right sweet spot.
Traditional and modern ways of cooking in Punjab
Today most families and restaurants use the pressure cooker and gas stove with a type of very flat pan called a tawa and the karai that looks like a wok.
However, the traditional cuisine of Punjab to this day is made with implements typical of this region between India and Pakistan.
- The tandoor is the oven for cooking meats and breads that has been used in the Indus Valley since time immemorial. The first vestiges are four thousand years old. Naan is inconceivable without a good charcoal-fired tandoor, but neither are grilled meats and vegetables like tandoori chicken .
- The chulla is a clay stove on which cooking pots are placed. It is lit from below with firewood, charcoal or cow dung ( ghobar ).
- The hara is a tall oven with a roof that is used to boil milk or cook pulses, which are the basic protein of the Punjabi diet.