Punjabis are known nationwide for being immense food lovers. With open hearts and flamboyant souls, they cherish food with great conviction. If you want to have a meal that satiates your tummy, tickles your taste buds and stays in your memory for a long time, try Punjabi! Punjabi cuisine ranges from semi-spicy to spicy, and is almost always rich, with abundant use of ghee and butter.
1. Langar – The Feast of Piety in Punjab
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. Aloo Paratha
Have a Punjabi Paratha and a tall glass of their creamy Lassi for breakfast and you will not feel hungry till lunch-time! From signature Punjabi food recipes like Sarson ka Saag and Makki Di Roti, breakfast delights like Chole Bhature, Bread Pakora, parathas with mango pickle to homely treats like Aloo Paratha and Aloo Gobi, and lip-smacking delicacies like Paneer Tikka and Baingan Bharta, this section will introduce you to several ‘famous and favourite’ Punjabi treats.
3. Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken is one of the most popular dishes for hard-core-meat-lovers. Chicken pieces are mixed in an authenticated flavoured creamy tomato-based gravy and marinated with spices.
4. Chole Bhature
When you need a quick and tasty snack, what do you do?. Go to any Dhaba/Hotel nearby and enjoy a plate of Chole-Bhature. This dish is found in almost every corner in Punjab. The Best thing about it? You will always get it hot and ready to be eaten.
5. Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti
Sarson ka Saag and Makki di Roti is the traditional dish of Punjab. It is the most popular winter dish of Punjabis. It is a highly nutritious because mustard leaves contain a lot of iron and protein. But at the same time it can be little high on calories if it is served traditionally with lots of ghee or butter. Along with mustard leaves, spinach is also added which further enhances the nutritional value and taste of saag.
6. Dal Makhani
This delicious lentil preparation takes a day to make if one follows the original method. It’s the crème de la crème of dals and is high on proteins. Julia Roberts is said to have been served Dal Makhani when she was shooting for ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and she absolutely loved it! Moti Mahal in Old Delhi is renowned for their dal. Do try the dal at Kesar da Dhaba in Amritsar, Zimidara Dhaba in Ludhiana, Lucky Dhaba in Jalandhar, Karnal Haveli in Karnal and Amrik da Dhaba in Bathinda.
7. Methi Chicken
Paneer and chicken form an inseparable part of the Punjabi cuisine. There’s a lot of variations on these ingredients to cater to everybody’s taste. Methi Chicken is a tangy chicken, which is flavoured with kasuri methi.
8. Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken is available everywhere but if you haven’t had the traditional Tandoori Chicken in Punjab, you are missing out on life! The thick gravy with the mouth-watering smell of the spices will make sure that you lick your plate clean!
9. Masala Channa
Boiled chickpeas wrapped in a flavourful mix of masalas and cooked to perfection. A quick fix for an afternoon meal or a great option for a hurried weekday dinner. This recipe will be loved by one and all.
Phirni is a dessert made with ground rice that’s cooked in milk and flavored with almonds, saffron, and cardamom. A favorite in North India, it is most often prepared for special occasions or festivals such as Diwali and Karwa Chauth. Traditionally served in small clay bowls, phirni is always eaten well-chilled and garnished with nuts and rose petals.
11. 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 flavour. 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.
After all the eating, you crave for something cool and sweet to quench your . And what best to satisfy that? A tall glass of Lassi will definitely do that. There are the un-sweetened version of Lassi too but if you need a good cool drink. The sweetened Lassi is for you.
13. Amritsari Naan
Amritsari naan can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s dough stuffed with potato, cottage cheese, or cauliflower cooked in a tandoor. It is generally eaten with chole or curd.
14. Paneer Tikka Masala
Paneer Tikka Masala is an absolutely vibrant and exotic paneer dish in India. This dish is the vegetarian version of butter chicken. It is an Indian curry made of soft paneer cubes that are dunked in spicy tomato-based gravy.
15. Dal Tadka
A good way to eat Dal is this Dadka style which means to temper. The aroma is exquisite, and the texture is mushy and soft. This Dal is to die for.