Samosas, Pakoras, jalabee, gulab jamun are just some of the few popular food-items that are a part of Punjabi cuisine. Connoisseurs of the cuisine say that the gravy used in Punjabi cuisine originated from the Mughals. What is quintessential of this cuisine is the tandoor or oven where rotis, naans and parathas are made. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven which is half buried in the ground and in which food is cooked over a hot charcoal fire. Some other famous Punjabi dishes are the makki ki roti (maize flour bread), sarson ka saag (mustard leaf gravy), ma ki dal, rajma (kidney beans) and stuffed parathas. A very well-known beverage called lassi (sweet or salted drink made with curd) is always consumed with every meal. Fresh curd and white butter are also consumed in large quantities.
Wheat-based foods are mostly consumed with rice being consumed only on festive or special occasions. Having plain or steamed rice implies that somebody is sick. Rice is eaten always with a Bagar (flavouring) of cumin or fried onions with rajma or kadhi, rajma with rice or rice with kadhi is eaten or holidays or on festive days. In winter rice is cooked with gur or peas called matarwale chawal or as a delicacy called Rao Ki Kheer wherein is rice cooked on very slow fire along with sugar cane juice for hours.
Within the state, too, there are different preferences in flavours and styles. For example, in and around Amritsar, there is a preference for parathas and milk products and in the Malwa region there is a preference for bajra (ground maize) and khitchadi. Some of the basic ingredients included in Punjabi cuisine are onion, garlic and ginger.
Below are recipes for two dishes to give you an idea of what Punjabi cuisine is all about.
- 3 cups of milk
- 5 tablespoon of sugar
- 15 almonds
- 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons of melon seeds
- 2 cardamoms
- Few peppercorns
Soak the almonds and the poppy seeds in water for 30 minutes. Then peel off the skin from the almonds. Crush the cardamom and peppercorn to powder and put them along with the melon seeds, almonds and poppy seeds in a blender and grind until you get a smooth paste. Add about a quarter cup (¼) of water to this mixture and then strain it to get a smooth liquid. Add the milk and sugar, blend again. Chill before you serve
- 3 cups chick-peas cooked
- 2 tablespoons of oil (corn or veg.)
- 2 cups potatoes diced or cubed
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste – (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ginger chopped or paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic chopped or paste
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped – (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of channa masala
- Salt to taste
Mix the channa masala with 3 tablespoons of water to make a paste. Heat the oil in a large pan or pot (non-stick is ideal). Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and brown. Then put the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes after which add the spice paste and sauté until the mixture becomes dry (3 minutes.). Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Put potatoes, 2 cups of water, cover the pan and simmer until the potatoes are tender (15 minutes.). Add the chick-peas, tamarind paste and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Garnish with the coriander leaves (cilantro).
Following are a few Punjabi cooking classes in North India:
Contact name: Food Art
Contact number: 011 26495244
Contact address: C-92, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110017
Contact name: Mahak Cooking Classes
Contact number: 011 26513938
Contact address: A-97, Gujranwala Town-I, Kingsway Camp, New Delhi 11009
Contact name: Rajee Srinivasan
Contact number: 4986789 / 4329980
Contact address: Mylapore
Contact name : Neetu’s ( Popular Cookery expert)
Contact number : 9821727500
Contact address : Andheri , Mumbai, Maharashtra
Learn Cooking classes for : Punjabi cooking courses in mumbai.