Punjabi Cuisines can be obtained from Northern India (Punjab) or Eastern Pakistan. Some Punjabis are truly vegetarian where as a group of Punjabi consumes non vegetarian dishes. There can be variation in the amount of spices in Punjabi dishes. The varieties of dishes in Punjab is the important features in Punjabi Cuisine. There can be difference between food prepared in homes of Punjab and restaurant made food in Punjab. You will be able to taste varied masalas (spices) and wheat varieties in homemade food. But the food cooked in restaurant will be filled with cream and butter. Staple food of Punjabi is chapatti or roti. Thus, they use different variety of wheat in making them. They also cook rice, but in special occasions. One of their special delicacies is known as Rao Ki Kheer. This is made by using rice and sugar care juice.
If you have consumed food in Punjabi Dhaba and homemade food in Punjab, you might feel the difference between both the food items. Home cooked foods are rich with spices for flavouring where as the Punjabi cuisine prepared in restaurant and dhaba will be filled with desi ghee and butter. This is generally done to add an extra taste over the homemade food.
Good variety of bread is made by people from Punjab as this is regarded as staple food of the people. While making bread, they use either wheat or maize. An important part of Punjabi food is yellow gram as well as black gram. This is applicable in roti and curd. The products made up of milk are also very important in Punjabi food.
Punjabi food can be experienced with rustic flavour. In the rural areas, you will find the custom of cooking with the help of tandoors and ovens. Many people have a fascination for different varieties of tandoor dishes. This is a world famous cuisine liked my millions of people in the world. Punjabi breads such as rotis, naans and parathas are served with Punjabi curries along with lime, onion, desi ghee and green chilly.
Well known foods of Punjabi, which is made up of lentils, pulses and beans are Rajma, Sarso da saag, Dal Makhani, Choley, Dal Amritsari, etc.
Famous Punjabi breads:
Generally, Punjabi breads are flat in shape. You can only get little type of breads which are in a raised fashion. Different varieties of flours are used in making the breads. Various methods of making such breads are as under:
- The breads like Laccha Parathas, Naan, Kulcha and Tandoori roti are baked in Tandoor.
- Jawar ki roti, chapatti, Makke ke roti, Pulka, Baajre ki roti are made by baking over a tawa in an oven.
- Deep fried varieties are Bhatura and Puri.
- Tandoor is also used in preparing meant and chicken dishes such as Malai Tikka, sheikh Kebas, Reshmi Tikka, Tandoori chicken, etc.
Popular combination of Punjabi platters are:
- Sarso da saag and Makke ke roti ( mustard greens with a flat corn bread)
- Bhatura and Pindi chole
- Rajmah and Jeer Chawal ( red kidney beans with cumin rice)
- Mooli Paratha with Dahi
- Aloo Paratha with Dahi
- Dal Makhani with Tandoori roti
Even with Punjabi food, pickles can be of good condiments.
Anchars: Kala Nimbu, Gajat Shalgam Gobi, ,mixed vegetable
Salad: Hari mirch fresh, lime wedges, onion slices, coriander leaves, green pepper
Lassi: For all Punjabi, a diet is incomplete without Lassi. This includes Kanji (fermented carrots), whipped yoghurt, and chaanch.
Since Punjabi are fond of breads made up of wheat, they also cook rice, but only where there is a special occasion. When they cook rice, they can either cook it pain or serve it with rajma or include some favouring agent such as cumin or jeera. The flavouring can also be made by wing fried onions. During winter, rice is cooked like a sweet dish with jagerry and sugar care juice. This is known as Rao ki kheer
Kheer is also a popular choice of many Punjabis. This is made up of rice and milk. Dry fruits are also added for the taste.