Punjab Food Trail: Traditional Cooking To Its Popular Dishes
Image Credit: Image Credit: Shutterstock| Punjabi food

One of the most distinctive and well-known Indian cuisines, Punjabi originates from the Punjab area, which is split between Pakistan and India. It provides a wide range of delicious and distinctive vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods that are made using a variety of traditional cooking techniques, including the tandoori technique. In addition to making foodies hanker after more, the exotic and delectable tandoor items and various other mouthwatering and finger-licking dishes with rich, spicy, and buttery flavour, enjoyed with Punjabi Basmati rice in a variety of forms and special Punjabi breads like Tandoori Roti and Naan, have brought the cuisine much fame outside the Punjab region, taking it to locations around the world like Canada and the UK. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Punjab region of India is known as the "bread-basket of India" and has land that is perfect for growing wheat. The two main crops farmed by Punjabi farmers are still rice and wheat, which are grown mostly during the Kharif and Rabi seasons, respectively. Dairy products for a wide range of sweet meals are generally sourced from cattle used for agricultural and dairy farming in the area. Thus, dairy products and other essential foods produced locally play a crucial role in the local diet. 

Traditionally, numerous Punjabi foods are prepared with ghee, butter, paneer, and sunflower oil. The recipes are typically prepared with Indian spices that have been ground in a ghotna, a traditional kitchen tool for crushing and grinding spices and other ingredients. Many Punjabi cuisines are prepared using kasoori methi, or dried fenugreek leaves, onion, garlic, and ginger. To improve the flavour and taste of different foods, a variety of food additives such vinegar, bulking agents like starch, colouring agents like zarda, and condiments like cumin, coriander, dried methi leaves, and black pepper are employed. Many Punjabi dishes are also prepared using fermented ingredients, such as pickles. Again, Punjabi meals, like the stuffed parathas, especially in the rural areas, are complemented by pickles, especially the ones made of mango. 

The people still employ aspects of the traditional cooking equipment, such as the Punjabi bhathi, which resembles a stone oven, while practising traditional cooking methods. Traditional stoves and ovens in Punjab are referred to as Chulla and Bharolli, respectively, and band chulla and wadda chulla ovens are frequently found in Punjabi homes. In Punjab's rural areas, community tandoors are also a long-standing custom. These ovens are referred as Kath tandoors. 


The morning fare varies according to the regional culinary preferences and preferences of Punjab. Aloo and gobi stuffed parathas served with white butter, mango pickles, or curd are some of the usual stuff. Chana masala may also be included in halwa pooris. You can have Chana Masala with Bhatoora or Amritsari Kulchas as well. 


Much of the beverages that are served with parathas and pooris at breakfast, lunch, and dinner complement them, as they do with any other dish. The well-known dairy-based drinks include, Makhni Doodh (buttermilk), chaas, Amritsari lassi, mango lassi, mangoshake, and doodh soda, Shikanji, Jal-Jeera, and Tamarind Juice (Imli ka Paani) are some others. Along with this, tea and masala chai are enjoyed as beverages in this area. 


The Punjabis consider a variety of breads made in various ways using various types of flour to be their main source of nutrition. While Chapati, Makki ki Roti, Baajre ki Roti, and Jowar ki Roti are dry cooked in Indian pans called tavas, breads like Naan, Lachha Paratha, and Kulcha are baked in the tandoor. 

Main Course 

The beautiful vegetarian meals in Punjabi cuisine can be enjoyed with a variety of breads as well as some types of rice, such as plain, hot Basmati rice or Jeera Rice. To name a few, Shahi Paneer, Mattar Paneer, Paneer Kofta, Paneer Paratha, and Khoya Paneer, Rajma, Aloo Gobi, Aloo Tikki, Aloo Mattar, Baingan Bharta, and Navratan Korma are some of the dishes that are popular. Sarson da saagbest is a delicious vegetarian meal from Punjab that is often enjoyed with Makki di roti. This dish has become a mainstay in Punjabi cuisine. 


The non-vegetarian Punjabi cuisine typically uses lamb, goat, eggs, and fish as ingredients. Due to religious prohibitions, pork is illegal in Pakistani Punjab while beef is prohibited in the Punjab region of India. The five rivers that make up Punjab are home to a variety of fish, including rohu, carp, tilapia, and catfish. One of the most well-known rice meals from Punjab is the tasty biriyani, a rice concoction with chicken, lamb, varieties. Amritsari Tandoori Chicken, Kebab, Chicken Tikka, and Amritsari Fish Tikka are a few of the most well-known dry non-vegetarian foods. 


There are several different sweet dishes, or mithyai, in Punjabi cuisine, including Kheer, Barfi, Kulfi, Motichoor Laddu, Rabri, and Sheer Korma, to name a few. The popular one is Gajar ka halwa.