Punjabi food collectively refers to the Punjabi cuisine & culinary traditions and dishes originating from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
Punjabi food is known for its rich and robust flavours, generous use of spices, and hearty preparations. Here are some key features and popular dishes of Punjabi cuisine:
1. Wheat-based Staples: Wheat is a staple grain in Punjabi cuisine, and various wheat-based dishes are popular. Roti (flatbread) and naan, often cooked in a tandoor (clay oven), are commonly consumed with various curries and lentil dishes.
2. Tandoori Delights: Punjabi cuisine is famous for its tandoori cooking. Tandoori chicken, marinated in yoghurt and spices and cooked in a tandoor, is a popular dish enjoyed both within India and internationally. Other tandoori dishes include tandoori fish, kebabs, and paneer tikka.
3. Dairy Products: Punjab is known for its dairy production, and dairy products play a significant role in Punjabi cuisine. Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is widely used in dishes like palak paneer (spinach with paneer), paneer tikka masala, and kadai paneer. Lassi, a refreshing yoghurt-based drink, is also a popular Punjabi beverage.
4. Spices and Masalas: Punjabi cuisine utilizes a variety of spices to create its distinct flavours. Commonly used spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and red chilli powder. The use of these spices gives Punjabi dishes their bold and aromatic profile.
5. Dal Makhani: Dal makhani, a creamy lentil dish made with black lentils (urad dal) and kidney beans (rajma), is a beloved Punjabi delicacy. It is slow-cooked with spices, butter, and cream, resulting in a rich and indulgent dish often served with naan or rice.
6. Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti: This iconic Punjabi combination consists of sarson da saag (a mustard greens curry) and makki di roti (cornmeal flatbread). It is a traditional winter dish that is both nutritious and flavorful.
7. Chole Bhature: Chole Bhature is a popular Punjabi dish of spicy chickpea curry (chole) served with deep-fried bread (bhature). It is often enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or lunch option.
8. Punjabi Sweets: Punjabi cuisine offers various delectable sweets and desserts. Some popular examples include gulab jamun (deep-fried milk dumplings in sugar syrup), jalebi (syrup-soaked spiral-shaped sweets), and phirni (rice pudding flavoured with cardamom and saffron).
These are just a few examples of the rich and diverse Punjabi cuisine.
Punjabi food is known for its bold flavours, hearty preparations, and a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, making it a favourite among food enthusiasts around the world.