Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India. It can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian.
Background and overview
One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Home cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amounts of ghee (clarified butter) with liberal amounts of butter and cream, with home cooking concentrating on mainly upon preparations with whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored with masala.
Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences. People in the area of Lahore and Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and dairy products. In fact, the area is well known for quality of its milk products. There are certain dishes which are exclusive to Punjab, such as sarson da saag and makki di roti. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty especially for non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the most popular elements of Indian cuisine as it is marketed to non-Indian customers (such as tandoor, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer) is derived from the Punjab.
A variety of Punjabi dinner cuisines; left to right: Aloo Gobi
, Seekh Kehbab, and Beef Karahi
- Chicken: Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka
- Lamb: Rogan Josh, Bhuna Gosht, Kadhai Gosht, Raan Gosht, Dal Gosht, Saag Gosht, Nihari Gosht, Rara Gosht, Paye da Shorba
- Freshwater fish dishes like Amritsari Fish, Tandoori Fish, Fish Tikka, Fish Pakora
- Kebabs: lamb, chicken and beef chunks
- Biryanis: lamb, chicken, and beef variations
- Kheema: braised minced lamb or beef meat, commonly served with naan
- Kunna Gosht: meat prepared in Kunna (matti ka bartan)
- Paye: Siri Paye
- Kadhi is a type of curry made by cooking garamflour with curd or buttermilk. Fried lumps (pakoras) of gramflour with salt and chillies are also added.
Punjabi breads are both flat (unleavened) breads as well as raised breads. The breads may be made of different types of flour and can be made in various ways:
- Baked in the tandoor like naan, Tandoori roti, Kulcha, or Lachha Paratha
- Dry baked on the Tava (Indian griddle) like Phulka or Chapati, jowar ki roti, baajre ki roti and Makki ki roti (these are also smeared with white butter)
- Shallow fried like Paratha, Keema Paratha, Potato or Radish Paratha
- Deep fried like Puri and Bhatoora (a fermented dough)
Naan is also very popular. It is served with most of the dishes made at an Indian restaurant.