Top 20 dishes from the Land of Five Rivers

Five Rivers

Punjabis are known to live life king size. Their cuisine reflects this philosophy too. Admired worldwide, Punjabi cuisine is a favorite for many and must try for the rest. Cooked to perfection and with an abundance of spices and buttery delights, every dish leaves its incredible mark on your taste buds.

1. Butter Chicken

A crowd puller, it makes the list of favorites of any non-vegetarian foodie. Renowned world over, for its buttery rich taste butter chicken simply melts in your mouth.  Made by adding more than sufficient amount of butter to a thick onion-tomato curry base and adding grilled boneless tender chicken, this dish is unforgettable. Described by some as the love of their life, all the ingredients added come together to make a heavenly delight.


2. Lassi

A cold beverage for the hot summers, lassi is essentially yogurt blended in water. The Punjabi version of this drink is quite remarkable. Thickly made, add a generous amount of butter on top of a glass of lassi along with cumin powder and a few drops of rose water. Traditionally, matkasare used to serve this delicacy.  There are several variants of this including sweet, salted, mint, mango and so on. Abundant in its dairy products, this drink is part and parcel of traditional Punjabi meals.


3. Sarson ka Saag

Saag is a dish made with greens, Sarson ka saag or Sarson da saag consists of mustard greens. A farming state, Punjab is ripe with mustard greens in fall. One of the most popular dishes that originated in Punjab, it utterly warms you up from the inside. Time-consuming but easy to make the unique texture of the dish sets it apart from the rest. Add homemade butter, serve along with makke di roti, and savor the heavenly taste.


4. Aloo Paratha

A regular household recipe traditionally made with wheat flour and stuffed with potato, spices. Adding a pinch of ajwain powder and a dash of dry pomegranate seeds or amchur powder makes the Punjabi recipe of the paratha distinctively remarkable. Filling by itself, it tastes delectable with dollops of butter, dal makhani, pickle, and curd. If you are feeling like it- glass, of Lassi would be perfect. It makes a complete meal, and you leave with a full tummy.


5. Tandoori Chicken

Marinate tender chicken in yogurt and spice. Roast it to perfection in a grill or tandoor, after adding tandoori masala. Truly Punjabi with its lovely and exquisite taste, it is every chicken lovers delight. Adding lemon brings out the flavor in the masala. Garnish with coriander and onion rings. Served as a main course, it becomes finger licking good when dipped in exemplarily made green chutney!


6. Machili Amritsari

Punjabis add their flavor to seafood as well with Machili Amritsari. The batter is made by mixing gram flour with garam masala, cumin powder, and red chili powder. Add salt and turmeric for taste. Cleaned fish marinated in salt and then coated with the batter and deep-fried. Sprinkle lemon juice and garnish with coriander before serving hot.


7. Chole Bhature

For anyone who has tasted Chole Bhature, the name itself is sure to make them go yum. A perineal dish, it can be had for breakfast, snacks or dinner. Bhature is Indian bread made with Maida and deep-fried. Chole is a chickpea dish made with authentic Indian spices. The combination of both is extremely famous world over and for a good reason. In case you missed on this heavenly dish, make sure you take a bite as soon as possible.


8. Kadai Paneer

Creamy, lavish delight Kadai Paneer simply makes your mouth water. An essential dishes in any Indian’s platter, Kadai Panner is available across all restaurants and is quite a common delicacy available at any function, big or small. Made in the kadhai, paneer, sautéed capsicum and onion along with an array of spices, Kadai Paneer goes well with everything!


9. Rajma

One of the most endearing dishes, Rajma is a curry made with kidney beans. It often is relished along with Jeera rice. Rajma-chawal is a regular household dish. A comfort meal for many, this loaded carry makes for a savory delight leaving both tongue and stomach satisfied.


10. Dal Makhani

A perfect dish to order when eating in a Dhaba, Dal Makhani is beautiful in its simplicity itself. Made with black gram and rajma, it tastes good with Naan or Jeera rice. Spicy and smothered with butter, it is a delight to your taste buds.


11. Bhindi Masala

Lady’s finger is a perfect vegetable for cooking. It does not dominate the flavoring and subtly adds to it. Bhindi Masala is one dish which is filled with spice and fried in an onion-tomato base; it is easy to make and marvelous to taste. Serve it with soft-pulkas, and it will soon become one of your regular dishes.


12. Kulcha

Another dish made in the tandoor oven, kulcha is Indian bread stuffed with various mixes ranging from potato to paneer. Fried until golden brown and served warm, often paired with curry of one’s choosing.


13. Carrot Kanji

Warm drinks are what we need during chilly winters. Carrot Kanji, made by fermenting black carrots is a perfect drink for a wintery evening. Local to Punjab it is an acquired taste, it is sour, sweet and pungent giving the appetizer an array of distinct flavors.


14. Punj Rattan

Healthy and rich in fiber, Punj rattan dal consists of five different dals simmered and mixed with aromatic spices. A feast for one’s taste buds, this dal alongside plain or aromatic rice and roti as well is a perfect combination.


15. Masala Channa

Add completely boiled channa to sautéedonions, tomatoes, and spices to get a perfect chana masala dish. Flavorful and astonishing, this is one item, which is and always will be a favorite among kids and adults alike.


16. Paneer Tikka

Paneer cubes grilled in the tandoor and marinated in spices; Paneer Tikka is always in demand in the whole country. Add grilled vegetables like onion and capsicum, and you have a very delicious starter to gorge on.


17. Murgh Malaiwala

Chicken marinated in ginger-garlic paste and white pepper powder and added to a thick gravy of cream and milk mixed with various spice; Murgh Malaiwala simply melts in your mouth. Scrumptious and creamy, its vibrant taste more than compensates for the paleness of the dish’s color.


18. Gobhi-Shalgam-Gaajar-Achaar

Indians love pickles. Punjabis have this unique pickle to spice up their meals. Gobhi-shalga-gaajar achaar, as the name, suggests it is made from cauliflower, turnips, and carrot. This sweet and sour condiment served with dal rice or hot parathas is a must try.


19. Pinni

A delicious combination of rice flour, jaggery, almonds and a generous amount of desi ghee, this is an authentic Punjabi dessert eaten during cold winters. Also made with urad dal or gram flour, this is one sweet, which can be stored and savored for a few weeks.


20. Kheer

Essentially made from boiling rice and jaggery, this dessert is popular in the whole country. Generally made during Navratri, rice can be substituted with Sabu dana too. Though this is a preparation easily made at home, it is worth a taste when made with the usuals Punjabi gusto.