Offer anyone a dish of Dal Chawal and they will willingly oblige by eating a plate or two!
It is a well-known fact that Pakistani Punjabis really love their food.
After all, we belong to a region much known for its warmth and rich culture.
Flavourful Punjabi food is know the world over.
Just add to it a dash of rich creamy butter and tantalising spice and you can enjoy the most amazing gastronomical delights.
We’ve selected the 5 most delectable Punjabi dishes from Pakistan that you must try.
Delicious rice cooked in flavourful chicken broth and sprinkled with spicy green chilies, Yakhni Pulao is a delight to behold and eat.
The richness from the chicken broth seeps into the rice and gives it a wonderful aroma that is hard to ignore.
- 500g Chicken
- 500g Rice
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 2 or 3 Cardamoms
- 1 big Bay Leaf
- 2 to 3 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Onions chopped finely
- 5 to 6 Green Chillies
- 120 ml Yoghurt
- 2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- Salt according to taste
- Make sure to soak the rice half an hour prior to cooking
- Fry the chicken along with cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and add to it cumin powder, garam masala, ginger garlic paste and 4 cups of water and salt.
- Let it simmer for a while
- In a separate pan, add oil and fry the chopped onions until golden brown
- Add to it the chicken cooked with spices
- Keep on stove until all the water has dried up
- Now whip the yoghurt and pour it into the pan
- Let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes
- Add the rice to the mixture
- Now add enough water until it’s one inch above the rice
- Toss in the green chilies
- Put the rice on the stove and cover it once the water has steamed up to make it fluffy.
- Serve with fresh yoghurt garnished with mint leaves
Matar keema is made up of minced meat, peas, and potatoes as an optional extra. It is a hearty meal rich in protein as well as carbohydrates.
Most people enjoy matar keema with parathas, however it tastes equally delicious with rice.
- 500g of Lamb Keema
- 2 finely chopped Onions
- 2 chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 stick of Cinnamon
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 to 3 Cardamoms
- 200g Peas
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2 tbsp Yoghurt
- Heat oil in a large pan and add onion, garlic, ginger and chillies and fry lightly.
- Add the mince and continue to fry until brown. Break any lumps up as necessary.
- Add spices and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- Add yoghurt, salt and pepper and a splash of water.
- Let it cook for 30 minutes on medium heat but stir at times.
- Add peas and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Garnish it with coriander leaves and a dash of lemon juice
Punjabi Dhaba Style Daal
Daal is a staple food that you’ll find on every Punjabi’s table. Enjoyed by all Punjabis, it’s a great comfort food as well.
Offer anyone a dish of Daal Chawal and they will willingly oblige by eating a plate or two!
- 400g Chana Daal
- 3 to 4 Green Chillies
- Coriander for garnish
- 3 Tomatoes chopped finely
- 2 Onions chopped finely
- 8 to 10 cloves of crushed Garlic
- 1/2 tbsp Kasoori Methi
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 2 tbsp Oil
- Soak the daal 6 hours prior to cooking. Make sure you wash the daal first until water runs clear.
- Cook the daal on a low heat in 2 litres of water until tender.
- Heat oil in a pan and add onions, fry till golden brown
- Now add crushed green chilies, crushed garlic and tomatoes
- Cook till the oil and the tomatoes separate
- Add in cumin and salt
- Now add the cooked daal
- Heat the butter and add kasuri methi to it and drizzle it over the daal
- Enjoy with piping hot naans or boiled white rice.
Kulchas are the softest of breads and are usually served with gravy-based dishes.
Lahore is famous for its scrumptious kulchas that are made in a hot tandoor.
You can make them at home in your grill as well. It is very easy to prepare and uses the least amount of ingredients.
- 450g of Maida or White Flour
- 110 ml Oil
- 120 ml Yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 240 ml Water
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- A pinch of Baking Soda
- In a bowl add the flour and all the other ingredients
- Now slowly add water to knead the dough
- The consistency of the dough should be smooth and fluffy and it shouldn’t be too tight
- Set it aside for 2 hours
- Preheat the grill at a high temperature
- Make balls of the dough and spread them into a tear shape using your hands for best results
- Toss on the grill and cook both sides evenly brushing oil onto each side for a crispy taste
Kulchas can also be stuffed with potato filling to make it a beautiful meal on its own.
Kheer is a delightful rice pudding which is rich in flavour and is a perfect combination of cold milk, rice, sugar and cardamoms.
It is quite easy to make and the best part is that it can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.
- 75g of Rice
- 2l Milk
- 300g Sugar
- 3 to 4 Cardamoms
- 4 to 5 Almonds finely chopped
- Soak the rice for 1 hour
- Drain the rice and place it in a utensil with a heavy base along with the milk
- Cover it for an hour and cook on a low heat
- Add the sugar and the cardamoms and cook for another 20 minutes or so
- Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped almonds
- Leave to cool in the refrigerator, because it tastes best when cold
If you get the chance to visit the region of Punjab in Pakistan, do try these dishes in their real environment!
Otherwise try cooking them yourself and bring the sweet and tasty aroma of Pakistan’s Punjab to your own home!