It is said that people eat to live but Punjabis live to eat.
Punjab is known for its delicious, spicy and butter laden food throughout the world.
Punjabi dishes are much loved across India and are well known for packing a punch.
Delicious food and continual eating is somewhat of a birthright for Punjabi’s. It is said that people eat to live but Punjabi’s live to eat.
DESIblitz have counted down a few of our favourite Punjabi dishes especially for you. Here are a few famous recipes from India’s Punjab.
Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti
Sarson ka Saag and Makki di Roti is the traditional dish of Punjab. It is the most popular winter dish of Punjabis. It is a highly nutritious because mustard leaves contain a lot of iron and protein.
But at the same time it can be little high on calories if it is served traditionally with lots of ghee or butter. Along with mustard leaves, spinach is also added which further enhances the nutritional value and taste of saag.
A bunch of spinach and mustard leaves each
One chopped onion and one chopped tomato
2 chopped green chillies
½ teaspoon grated ginger and garlic each
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon maize flour
½ teaspoon garam masala
- Wash and chop spinach and mustard leaves.
- Add one teaspoon oil, all greens, ginger, garlic and green chillies in a pressure cooker.
- Add few pinches of salt and 1 cup water.
- Cook till it has done 2 whistles.
- Let it cool. Grind it into a smooth paste.
- Heat ghee in a saucepan, add onion and tomatoes. Sauté till cooked.
- Add above mixture to the cooker. Add maize flour, lemon and garam masala.
- Let it simmer until oil separates out.
- Serve hot with makki ki roti. (Indian bread made of maize flour)
Lassi is the favourite drink of Punjabis. It is made from beaten curd and milk. It is a healthy drink as it does not contain any artificial flavours. It is usually served in tall steel glasses.
A glass of thick and creamy lassi can be had with breakfast or lunch or even otherwise. It is believed that lassi induces sleep. So beware when you have it during working hours!
3/4th glass curd
½ glass full fat milk
6 teaspoon powdered sugar
- Put together all the ingredients and blend for 2 minutes.
- Pour into a glass and serve chilled.
Punjab is known for the best chicken dishes, be it tandoori or curry chicken. One of the hot favourites of Punjabi’s is Butter Chicken.
It is high on calories as it contains butter but it is a mouth watering creamy dish and impossible to resist. It is best served with butter naan.
1 kg chicken pieces
½ kg chopped onions
2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, 5 chopped green chilies
250 grams tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, turmeric powder coriander powder, chili powder each
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
100 grams butter
- Add butter in a pan. Then add cumin seeds and onions. Fry till golden brown.
- Add chicken and all ingredients except coriander leaves
- Put the lid on the pan and let the chicken cook in steam for 25 minutes on low flame.
- Check if the chicken is cooked. Add chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with butter naan.
Aaloo da Prantha
In Punjab, stuffed Prantha is a routine breakfast. The stuffing can be potatoes or cheese or cauliflower etc. Aaloo da Prantha is the easiest and the most relished one. It is cooked in loads of ghee and served with curd or white butter. So whenever you have it, count your calories for the day!
4 Boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
1 Chopped onion and 2 chopped green chillies
Dry spices (red chillies, garam masala, black pepper, amchur/ dry mango powder)
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Dough (made from whole wheat flour) to make roti (Indian bread)
Ghee and white butter/ Curd
- Mix the mashed potatoes, onion, green chillies, dry spices, coriander leaves and salt. Mash well.
- Make a round flat roti from the whole wheat kneaded dough. Stuff the above mixture in it.
- Roll it into a size of normal roti and cook it on a hot griddle.
- Roast with at least 2 teaspoons of ghee on both the sides.
- Serve hot with home made white butter on the top and cold yoghurt and mint leaves.
Rajma is one of the favourite main course dishes of all Punjabi’s irrespective of age. It is served with steaming hot boiled rice called chawal.
It is very popular for most of Punjabi families on weekends. Rajma is rich in iron and protein while rice is rich in carbohydrates. Therefore it is a wholesome meal.
1 cup rajma or red kidney beans soaked for 6 hours
Tomato puree of 4 tomatoes
Smooth paste of 4 onions, 1 inch ginger, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 green chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder and garam masala each
Freshly chopped coriander leaves to garnish
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon Oil
salt to taste
- Add 3 cups of water in soaked rajma in a pressure cooker. Add some salt. Keep on flame till rajma get soft. It will usually take 30-45 minutes.
- Take a pan, add oil and cumin seeds. Let it turn brown. Add tomato puree and onion paste. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until the masala is fully cooked.
- Add turmeric powder, some salt and garam masala. Stir properly.
- Once cooked, add this masala to the rajma in a pressure cooker. Stir in cooked rajma on low flame without closing the lid of cooker till the masala is absorbed by rajma. It will usually take around 20 minutes.
- The more you simmer the rajma, the tastier it gets. The consistency can be altered by adding more water. Add some butter for enhanced taste.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.
Punjabi dishes are the pride and joy of the Punjab. Food plays a huge cultural and social part of the Indian mindset and needless to say it is understandable. With such amazing flavours and foods, your taste buds are in for a treat: Happy Cooking!