palatesofindia

From the smiling soul of India – Punjab

Posted on: January 25, 2011

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Punjab? Beautiful green and yellow mustard farms or the spectacular golden temple or the hustle and bustle of Chandigarh in sector-17? For me, it is bais number phatak (Gate no. 22), near Sahni bakery in Patiala – my home away from home for a good 5 years of my life in New Delhi. This is where my very good friend’s parents lived and I visited during all festivals. My true encounter with Punjabi cuisine was through her  late mother who always cooked delicious traditional Punjabi meal during our Punjab visit.

Punjab is a state in northwest India. Most of the Punjab is fertile plain and agriculture is the largest industry. Punjabi cuisine is very rich with liberal use of with butter, cream, clarified butter and cheese. People are normally very hard-working and the calorie rich diet provides the fuel for all the hard physical work.

When we are talking about traditional Punjabi dishes, the list just has to start with “Makki Ki Roti” ( flat bread made up of corn flour) and “Sarson Ka Saag” (mustard green). So, let’s dig this delicious combination and more.

Makki Ki Roti & Sarson Ka Saag

Makki ki Roti & Sarson ka Saag - palatesOfIndia

 

“Makki Ki Roti” is a flat bread made from cornflour. Corn flour has lot less adhesive strength than regular flour which makes it difficult to handle and hard to make. This is generally made in winter and served with “Sarson Ka Saag”.

“Sarson Ka Saag” is a curry  made with mustard green, spinach, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilis and served with butter and “Makki Ki Roti”.

Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

Butter Chicken - PalatesOfIndia

 

This Indian dish from Punjab is most popular and is served in most Indian restaurants all over the world. The Makhani sauce is made with tomato puree, butter, spices like cinnamon, coriander, cloves, cumin. dry fenugreek leaves and fresh cream.

Chicken is marinated with yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, ginger & garlic paste and lime juice. This is then grilled (traditionally cooked in tandoor) and added to the Makhani sauce.

This is served with naan (indian flat bread) or steamed rice.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani - palatesOfIndia

 

Dal makhani is a treasured staple food in Punjab. This dish is a type of lentil boiled with ginger, garlic, green chilis and salt. Then the boiled dal is cooked with red onions, garlic, garam masala, asafoetida powder,chili powder, tomatoes, butter and fresh cream. Traditionally this is cooked in low flame for hours on charcoal giving it a rich creamy texture.

This dish is best served with naan.

Lassi

Lassi - palatesOfIndia

 

Lassi is a very popular yogurt based drink in Punjab. There are many variation of this drink such as Sweet Lassi – made from yogurt, sugar and optionally rose-water and/or fruit juice with a layer of cream on the top; Salted Lassi –  made from yogurt, salt, water, mint leaves and optionally  ginger, green chilis and other spices.

Lassi is enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment mostly served with lunch.

Please follow this link for recipe of the above

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