Punjabi cuisine

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Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. Since both Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab are historically North Indian regions, so Punjab carry all the specialties of North Indian regions.

Background and overview[edit]

One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dish preparations. Home cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant style uses large amounts of ghee (which is clarified butter); and home cooked recipes use more whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored with masala (a dry spice mixture relevant to the region).

Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences. People in the area of Lahore and Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and dairy products which is well known in the area for the 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. Before the 1947 partition, tandoori cooking in India was traditionally associated with the former undivided Punjab.[1] 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 Punjab.[citation needed]

Chicken tikka, a popular dish in Punjabi cuisine
A variety of Punjabi dinner cuisines; left to right: Aloo gobi, Seekh Kehbab, and Beef Karahi
Mint Parantha from Punjab, India
Mint salted lassi from Punjab, Pakistan

Structure of the meal[edit]

Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Tea (meal), Dinner and Supper is the usual way of the structure of the meal in Punjab. There are local names for times of the food eaten and it varies with region to region.

Cooking methods[edit]

Cooking methods vary from region to region but cooking traditional Roti, Rumali Roti and Khamiri ( Also known as Naan ) requires Tawa and Tandoor. The Traditional name of the stove in Punjabi language is Chulla. Outdoor cooking and grilling have many different types of Chullas. Traditional houses also have Ovens ( Local name is Wadda Chulla or Band Chulla ) that are made from bricks, stones and in many cases with clay.[2] The older communities in Punjab also used Earth ovens ( Khadda Chulla ) but this tradition is dying out now.

Animal fats and Clarified butter[edit]

Paneer One of the South Asian Cheese variants commonly used in cooking in Punjab

Animal fats are pretty essential items for Punjabi cuisine. Clarified butter, Paneer and normal butter are mostly used for traditional cooking. Clarified butter most known variant is Ghee that is widely used as well.[3] Also in some regions Suet is used for cooking purposes.

Typical dishes[edit]


Meat and Fish[edit]

Tandoori Chicken especially famous in Punjab


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.

Raita and Chutney[edit]

Along with all types of main dishes Raita and Chutney is served as well that is known to add the taste in food as well.


Seviyan (Vermicelli)s in Pakistan and in India
Gajar Ka Halwa ( Dessert made from Carrot)
Jalebi sweet

Various types of desserts are prepared based on different occasions. Typical desserts include local variants of pies, ice creams and puddings. Fruit is also included in the dessert as well. Pudding made from rice known as Kheer[7] along with Rabri is especially famous. Semolina based desserts are also pretty famous.[8] South Asian sweets are distributed and eaten on all local occasions. Kulfi is especially famous among local ice cream delights.

Bread preparations[edit]

Breads are of various types and forms. Flat (unleavened) breads as well as raised breads are eaten on a daily basis. Other variants of bread are made on an occasional basis. Raised breads are known as 'Khamiri Roti'. Sunflower and Flax seeds are also added in some breads occasionally. The breads may be made of different types of flour and can be made in various ways:

  1. Baked in the tandoor like naan, Tandoori roti, Kulcha, or Lachha Paratha
  2. 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)
  3. Shallow fried like Paratha, Keema Paratha, Potato or Radish Paratha
  4. Deep fried like Puri and Bhatoora (a fermented dough)


The Indian spices are used as Punjab is historically Indian region.


Punjab have diverse beverages as well. Some are derived from animal fats like lassi.[9] Mango lassi,[10][11] Mango Milkshake,[12][13] Chaas[14][15] etc. Others are juices derived from vegetables and fruits. Water Melon shake,[16] carrot juice, tamarind juice ( Imli ka paani) are famous among fruit juices. Shikanjvi and neembu paani drinks are specifically famous in hot summer season.

The local regional drinks in Punjab also includes Doodh soda ( Milk Soda) and bantay ( local soda drink ) in Pakistan.

Fermented Foods[edit]

Achar Gosht ( A famous dish made from chicken and pickles mixture)

Fermented foods are common in Punjabi cuisine. Also fermented foods are added in the preparation of some dishes as well.[17] Mango pickle is especially famous in many villages of Punjab[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/dining/a-tandoor-oven-brings-indias-heat-to-the-backyard.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  2. ^ http://clayoven.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/1-building-a-clay-oven-the-basics/ : Clay Oven
  3. ^ http://nomnompaleo.com/post/15235810877/d-i-y-ghee : Ghee making
  4. ^ http://showmethecurry.com/curries/punjabi-kadhi.html :Yogurt curry
  5. ^ http://indianfood.about.com/od/vegetarianrecipes/r/bainganbharta.htm : Baingan Ka Bharta Recipe
  6. ^ http://indianfood.about.com/od/vegetarianrecipes/r/chatpatiarvi.htm : Arvi Recipe
  7. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/indianricepuddingkhe_90219 :Kheer ( Rice Pudding Recipe)
  8. ^ http://cooks.ndtv.com/recipe/show/suji-ka-halwa-100564 : Suji Ka Halwa
  9. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/sweet-lassi-punjabi-lassi/ : Lassi recipe
  10. ^ http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mango_lassi/ : Mango Lassi Recipe
  11. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mangolassi_74038 :BBC Food Mango Lassi Recipe
  12. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/mango-milkshake-recipe/ :Mango Milkshake
  13. ^ http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beverage/MangoLassi.htm : Mango Milkshake
  14. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/chaas-recipe-buttermilk-recipe/ : Salted Chaas Recipe
  15. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/pudina-chaas-recipe/ : Pudina Chaas
  16. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/watermelon-juice-fresh-watermelon-juice/ : Water Melon Shake
  17. ^ http://maayeka.blogspot.de/2013/03/gobhigajar-aur-shalgum-ka-achar-punjabi.html : Punjabi Mix Vegetable Pickle Recipe
  18. ^ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/punjabi-mango-pickle/ :Mango Pickle Recipe
  19. ^ http://www.jopreetskitchen.com/2013/06/punjabi-mango-pickle-aam-ka-achaar.html : Mango Pickle Recipe