Regional Indian Cookery – The Punjab

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Regional Indian Cookery – The Punjab

The Punjab is located in eastern India and is divided by the Indian/Pakistani border. It is really fertile since of the rivers that cross here and as a consequence, agriculture is central to the economy. Wheat represent a large percentage of the crops, in addition to corn, mustard greens, sugar walking cane and rice.

Buffalo milk which is 3% higher in fat than cows milk, is also essential to the Punjabis, who are not prey to concerns about cholesterol. Some of the butter will be conserved as is and the rest will be warmed gradually and turned into ghee (clarified butter) by putting off the clear butter and discarding the solid sediment. More of the milk will be made into paneer, the Indian equivalent of home cheese.

The Punjab is mainly Sikh, being the home of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, central to the Sikh faith, therefore majority of all Punjabis are vegetarian. No one goes starving here and Sikh temples always use basic complimentary meals of bread and veggie curry to all who turn up.

Bread is the most fundamental part of the Punjabi diet. Rotis are made from wholewheat flour and water, formed into balls and flattened into discs which are then slapped onto the website of a tandoor or onto a tava (a flat griddle pan like a flat fry pan). Rotis are typically consumed for breakfast with butter, fresh yoghurt and pickles, while for lunch or supper there will be parathas which are much richer, being brushed with ghee, folded and rolled again before being prepared and brushed with more ghee.

Unlike the majority of the rest of India, rice in the Punjab is for special celebrations only or for making rice pudding.

Lunch in the fields will often consist of paratha and a curry made from onions fried with garlic, ginger, green chillies, cayenne, garam masala, tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Potatoes are stirred in and covered with the spices before including water and cooking gradually.

Breads may likewise be served for supper with small black beans and kidney beans cooked with onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and garnished with butter. Another favourite is paneer bhaji – tomatoes, chillies and ginger rapidly fried with fallen apart paneer included – or the very same basic mixture with pureéd spinach and cubes of paneer added. Paneer can also be dipped in chick pea flour batter and deep fried, making pakora. Mustard greens may be cooked very slowly with green chillies then when soft, pureéd, thickened with cornmeal flour and added to fried onion, ginger and tomato and garnished with white butter.

For the non-vegetarians, there is tandoori chicken – entire chicken marinaded in yoghurt and spices, cut into pieces and cooked in a tandoor – or tikkas (kebabs) of chicken or cubed or minced meat mixed with spices, garlic and ginger.

Low-cost fast food dining establishments called dhabas prevail in the Punjab and typically have their own specialities – one may concentrate on paneer bhaji and another, tandoori chicken – but you can be sure that anywhere you eat in the Punjab, you will be filled with nourishing, delicious food.

The Punjab is located in eastern India and is divided by the Indian/Pakistani border. Some of the butter will be conserved as is and the rest will be warmed slowly and turned into ghee (clarified butter) by pouring off the clear butter and disposing of the solid sediment. More of the milk will be made into paneer, the Indian equivalent of home cheese. Breads may also be served for supper with little black beans and kidney beans prepared with onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and garnished with butter. Another preferred is paneer bhaji – tomatoes, chillies and ginger quickly fried with collapsed paneer included – or the very same basic mix with pureéd spinach and cubes of paneer included.

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