Best known for their richness – North Indian curries are moderately spicy and usually have a thicker consistency when compared to their South Indian counterparts. Nut pastes and dairy products are often used to enrich the flavor and texture of the gravy.
There are many sub-types of North Indian cuisine including Kashmiri, Mughlai, Rajasthani, Awadhi, etc. In this article, we will be looking at the rich and flavourful Punjabi Cuisine in detail.
The cuisine in Punjab is by and large influenced by the agricultural and farming lifestyle prevalent in Punjab since the Indus Valley civilization. Hence the availability of fresh vegetables and meat makes the cuisine extremely diverse.
Many cooking practices like cooking in a tandoor – an oven made of clay used to cook meat, bread, etc give the food a very distinct flavor comparable to none.
Let us explore some of the staple dishes and their significance from the land of five rivers – Punjab.
Paranthas – Flatbread, usually stuffed with potato, cottage cheese, cauliflower, etc, and pan-fried is one of the staple breakfast dishes of the region, usually enjoyed with thick curd and butter.
Halwa Poori – The signature dish of Punjab also offered in the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar as “Prashad” – holy meal offered to devotees after offering to god, is made of some friend Rava, sugar, ample Ghee – clarified butter and is loaded with dried fruits and nuts this is usually eaten with poori, deep-fried wheat-based bread.
Tandoori Chicken – Tender chicken marinated in spices and curd and grilled to perfection in a tandoor, usually enjoyed with naan – flatbread cooked in tandoor.
Paneer Tikka is the vegetarian option for Tandoori chicken made with fresh homemade cottage cheese cubes instead of chicken.
Naan – flatbread cooked in tandoors comes in a whole range of different variations like butter naan, garlic naan, cheese naan, stuffed kulcha, etc to choose from.
Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani – Chicken cooked to perfection in a delicious thick tomato-based gravy enriched with butter and nut pastes and other aromatic spices.
Paneer butter masala is usually considered the vegetarian alternative of this dish made with fresh cottage cheese cubes as a replacement if Chicken.
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Dal Makhani – A delicious mix of boiled lentils and aromatic tempering enriched with fresh cream and butter some unforgettable flavors that linger on.
Lassi – A refreshing drink made of rich yogurt/ curd and sugar, this comes in various flavors like mango lassi, strawberry lassi, rose lassi, etc.
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Rajma Chawal – Red Kidney beans cooked in delicious tomato-based gravy and aromatic spices are usually eaten with boiled basmati rice.