Top 7 Dishes That Make Punjabi Cuisine So Delicious!
Punjabi cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world. It is highly sought after not just in India but also in countries like the U.K., Australia, the U.S., and Canada. In fact, this cuisine has become so popular that it has even become a part of western popular culture. If you are wondering what makes this cuisine so widely known, then here is everything you need to know about traditional Punjabi food.
The Indian state of Punjab is famous for its music, whole-heartedness, and of course, food. The food of Punjab is part of the best North Indian delicacies that leave you yearning for more. This cuisine is characterised by large servings of ghee, butter, and fresh cream, making it one of the richest and most nutrient-packed cuisines of India. Let us take a look at seven of the most mouth-watering dishes that make Punjabi cuisine so delicious.
This flavoursome dish is easily the crown jewel of the popular Punjab cuisine. This dish is not just popular across the entire country, but also widely known in western countries as the go-to Indian dish to have without any regrets. It is essentially juicy, marinated pieces of chicken braised in a tantalising sweet, spicy and tangy gravy. It is known as butter chicken because of the addition of large dollops of butter and fresh cream, which give its gravy a rich and smooth creamy texture.
Makki ki Roti and Sarson da Saag is a typical Punjabi dish that is also considered a staple in many Punjabi households. Since traditionally Punjabis were avid cultivators, they have been preparing and consuming this staple dish for several decades. Today, this duo of maize flour flatbread and a gravy made from spinach may look mundane. But with the abundance of flavours and seasonal availability, it has become one of the most iconic traditional Punjabi dishes out there.
This dish is usually served on a large plate to accommodate the equally large bhatures, which are soft and fluffy Indian bread. Bhatures are accompanied by a spicy chickpea curry known as chhole. These two are a match made in heaven and can easily sum up everything good in Indian cuisine because this dish is not only a delicacy of Punjab but is also a fast food served all over the country. You can find chhole bhature at a roadside fast-food stall in Amritsar, as well as at an upscale Club Mahindra restaurant in other parts of the country.
Although fish is not a major part of the Punjabi diet, there are a select few dishes of fish that are popular in the state. For example, Machhli Amritsari (or Amritsari Fish) is a tangy and spicy dish made with any choice of river fish. It can be consumed as a main course dish with rice or as an appetizer. This popular dish is also served at many of the Club Mahindra resorts across the country. Due to its popularity, Macchli Amritsari has also become an international dish that can be found in several luxurious and boutique restaurants around the world.
While most food enthusiasts may not find a plain lentil dish as appealing as something more extravagant like chicken, Dal Makhni has earned its rightful place in Punjabi cuisine. It is because of this that Dal Makhni is often referred to as the queen of all lentil dishes. This rich and creamy lentil dish is made with black lentils and red kidney beans. It is satisfyingly smooth in texture with a wholesome mouthfeel. Loaded with thick fresh cream and simmered for hours, Dal Makhni has a flavour that is deep enough to mesmerise anyone who tastes it for the first time.
Paneer or cottage cheese is one of the most loved food items in Punjab, and because of this, any paneer preparation is widely appreciated by Punjabis. This love for paneer has caught on throughout India and paneer tikka, which is traditionally a food of Punjab, is now available in almost every corner of the country. Just like the popular chicken tikka, paneer tikka is also prepared in a traditional earthen oven (known as tandoor). Before being placed into the tandoor, the cubes of paneer are doused in a spicy marinade and then skewered. The cooked cubes of paneer are then plated with freshly cut vegetables like onion, cucumber, and tomato, and served with a mint sauce (chutney).
Rajma Chawal, which is the final entry on this list, is less of a speciality dish and more of a regular diet in Punjab. Although the origin of Rajma Chawal is from Kashmir, it has long been integrated into Punjabi cuisine. If you wish to get a glimpse of the rich flavours of this cuisine, then sampling a plate of rajma chawal can sometimes be enough. This dish is essentially made from a tomato puree and a generous helping of red kidney beans. It is high in plant-based proteins and is also not too strong on the stomach.
These are the seven most popular dishes that make Punjabi cuisine so delicious and give it the fame that it rightly deserves. You can sample any of these delectable dishes on your next visit to Punjab because they are easily available even at roadside dhabas in the state. However, Punjab is not just famous for its indulgent cuisine but is also popular for housing a variety of tourist places. Club Mahindra has several resorts that you can book for yourself and your family and savour the flavours of some popular Punjabi dishes.
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