Punjabi cuisine is associated with food from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. Punjab has a rich tradition and Diverse it is! as the Fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das had a belief that collecting different people from different places makes a place better; he welcomed everyone to make friendly and trade relations. It was largest market for all materials like food, shoes, dry fruits and fabrics.
Whether it is fusion food of Chandigarh, local traditional food from Ludhiana or peshawar’s Mughlai food, all has a beautiful junction at Amritsar. Yes, the place where Harminder sahib (Golden Temple) is located, the most sacred temple. Since pilgrims come from all over the world, they serve delicious food in Golden Temple. Free meals / community kitchen is started by Guru Nanak dev (First Sikh Guru) 500 years ago. The main purpose of Langar was to make people feel equal; people with any economic or social status will sit on the floor together for meals. This concept is still followed by Sikhism, even if they are living away from India. That’s beautiful to see people holding on to their roots and beliefs.
Apart from this Sacred and pure kitchen for people, Punjab has great variety of street food also. We all know about Amritsari chole ,Pakode, Paneer bhatura, aloo Kulcha, Fish tikka and Lassi (Butter Milk). That’s heaven !
The basic Punjabi food is simple. It has many types of fusions because of history of people ruled in Punjab. Afghani food has a great influence in Punjabi cuisine. All Punjabis are not meat lovers, basically they were vegetarians. Real Punjabi food includes Sarso (Mustard leaves) ka Saag full of pure Clarified butter and makki (Corn) ki Roti . This dish is served especially in winters. They prepare food in Mustard oil as they have great source of Mustard and it considered good for health. Only few sweets are prepared in Clarified Butter like kadha prasad, but they pour Clarified Butter on cooked food to make it more delicious. And trust me, it is WOW.
Tandoor (Sanjha Chulha) is the most important part of Punjabi cuisine that has won hearts all over the world. Tandoori chicken is one of the most loved preparations from it.
Butter Chicken is Murgh makhani, Chicken in butter curry is very famous all over the world.
Lahore is famous for Murgh Chole, made from Chickpeas and Chicken. It is very famous in Lahore and some parts of Punjab.
Patiala is a royal style of everything in Punjab, whether it is drink, dish or tradition. Raja Bhupinder Singh had great love for food; he had different chefs for different cuisines.
The food served in Patiala royal style came from the kitchen of Red fort’s style from the era of Mirza Ghalib, that’s why Punjabi cuisine has Mughlai cuisine fused into it.
The Royal family of Patiala still hosts dinner for their friends and family in royal style like their ancestors used to do. Where many old recipes like ‘Narangi Pulav’, ‘Patiala Aloo’ and ‘Safed Korma’ are cooked. Patiala is famous for its extra large ‘Patiala Peg’, that is because the global standard 30ml or 60 ml peg was never sufficient for them.
Cultivation of Sugarcane was developed in India only; it was used to make sugar and jaggery. Peanut or Sesame is combined with jaggery in a proportion to make ‘Chikki’ that is served in festivals like lohri. It gives heat to body in winters.
The food like ‘Sarso ka Saag’ and ‘Makki ki roti’ symbolizes that beauty lies in Simplicity. Community Kitchen/Free meals/Langar teaches us that equality is respectful. Lets keep these beautiful facts about Punjab in our heart and enjoy delicious cuisine that Punjab gave us.