Welcome to the Party!! Bhalley! Bhalley!!
Are you ready to feast your eyes on all the scrumptious preparations straight from the wonderful land of Punjab?
It is with great pleasure that I present this beautiful edition of Regional Cuisine Of India - Punjab!
When I started blogging a few months back I could never have imagined how fulfilling an experience it would be :)
For a kid who could not wait to go to school for all the RIGHT reasons, like the lunch break, so she could share and exchange the 'dabba' aka tiffin box with her friends, I sure am excited for this food fest ;) I always loved eating the puranpoli from my maharashtrian friends, dhokla from my gujarati friends, paratha fom my punju friends and idli/dosa from the south Indian friends. But never stepped into the kitchen till I came to this country :) And now to be hosting one of the most popular cuisines, that makes me sooooo HAPPY :) I sure have learnt a lot along the way and my sis still can't believe I'm so headlong into cooking now. I find it to be the most creative, fun and relaxing thing to do (once I plan the menu, that is!!) :)
I got to learn so many new recipes and was able to utilise some great tips so magnanimously shared by fellow bloggers. Was privy to excellent nutrition and scientific information pertaining to food and also got to peep into blogger kitchens along with creating a special e-bond with so many of you :)
I can't think of any other medium which would let me do all this from within the confines of home (and err office I might add) ;)
I always look forward to all your comments with great anticipation and try to reply as much as possible. Even If I do not get to reply to all due to time constraints, be rest assured I read and sometimes re-read ALL of them, so keep them coming, it sure makes blogging all the more fun and fascinating :) I feel it is like saying hello to a friend and we do that every time we meet, don't we :)
So in the spirit of FOOD and Love of Food I dedicate this post of RCI-Punjab to all the foodies out there!!! STAY COOL friends & Enjoy the PARTAYYYYY...........
Please note that I received One Hundred & Thirty (130) delicious dishes and I've tried my best to categorise, make lists, make the slide and the like. Some of the dishes may not have the pictures as advised by their creators, some entries have multiple listings and others have them clubbed, Phew!!!!!
I've replied to every single entry that I received by email, if you did not hear back from me, chances are your entry never reached me in the first place :(
If I missed out any entry inadvertently, please excuse!! You may inform me by re-sending the entry and I will include it in the list.
Thanks Lakshmi for this wonderful event and also for your valuable input in regards to making a slide/collage for the presentation :) It will definitely help avoid traffic congestion and loading issues for everyone trying to access this page!
Palak Paneer & Chole share the honor of being the most loved dishes with multiple entries :) .
Diets change everyday, rather diet fads change everyday, but one thing that remains constant is our love for snacks/ in between's :)
Whenever we reminisce over good times spent with friends and family, it is the food that comes to our mind first! We always relate events with food, such and such had prepared such delicious pakodas or she makes the best tea that ever was :)
She is such a good host and always feeds us well, you never go hungry at her place and so on.....
I remember the incident vividly, we were at our friends place for dinner, her parents were visiting from India. One thing led to another and we ended up playing card games the whole night. In that period my friend & her mom made tea at least 4 times, snacks were conjured up quickly & served throughout the night and we had an ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC time. You see where I'm going, the memories are all around food, simple food served lovingly :) A little emotional, aren't we :)
Punjabis are known for their extraordinary sense of 'Khatirdari' aka sense of looking after the guest with great love.
So lets begin by exploring the myriad varieties of snacks, appetisers and drinks which are savored with deep sense of fulfillment by the guests.
.....It is fun now and then to roam uninhibited and unhurried
through a smorgasbord,
a buffet russe,
hors d'Oeuvres varies'....
however it may be called.................... M.F.K. Fisher
For the Love of Tea and it's accomplices:
Who does not like a crispy samosa stuffed with the ever favorite potato, or the addictive matthi with a hot cup of tea :) And what if there is Alu Tikki and also some Dahi wada on the side. What if there is some of that gorgeous Gudpara to go along with it?
What if? What if? What if?
Well, now there's no if's or but's, just go ahead and make these beauties, the recipes are right here, no more excuses ;) Indulge...........
Madhavi/My Veggie World
Now, one can't live by Tea & snacks alone?
Or can one :)
But here's more, if you ever finish your tea, that is !!!!
Parontha / Kulcha / Naan di bauchaar - Paratha's & Kulcha's & Naan's Galore!
Stuffed Paratha's or Kulchas are a complete meal in themselves, served with a dollop of yogurt makes it an unbeatable match! The variety is only limited by your imagination, who's to stop you from making paratha's from any veg or dal for that matter. I visit a restaurant only so that I can go home with their menu card, their paratha list is exhaustive :)
Now, rolling a paratha takes some time to master, but once you get the hang of it, you would want to whip up tasty parathas for your loved ones. I remember initially I used to end up with a 'floury' counter top, 'floury' rolling pin and flour everywhere, all trying to patch up the leaking stuffing from the dough. I had strict instructions not to be disturbed during my paratha making process, it needed my FULL attention and focus, you know :) If there was ever a 'tense & serious me', you had to see me during those rolling times :)
Things are better now, even if I say so myself, but there's still a lot to learn from my dear blogger buddies :)
Lets see some expert paratha connoisseur's roll out them YUMMY parathas/Kulcha/Naan:
Priya/Live To Cook
Sour Dough Naan
Archana/Tried & Tested Recipes
Alu anardana Kulcha
Bee & Jai/Jugalbandi
Whole wheat pudina Naan
Komal/Daily Adventures with Cooking
There are some combinations of dishes best enjoyed as a complete meal, they seem to bring out the best in each other :)
No one would stop you from pairing these with something else, but then why would you??
Sarson da Saag and Makke di Roti is the epitome of Punjabi food. Prepared with fresh greens from the fields , it is a taste to savor! The greens are cooked for a long time on the angithi, stirring once in a while, adding spices as it cooks in it's own juices, all in pure ghee, don't be chickening out now ;) It is cooked in a handi shaped vessel, the narrow neck keeps the flavor in and is easier to stir things in it without spilling, all while catering to other duties of the household & a chat with the visiting neighbor :)
Maa di daal aka Dal Makhani needs no introduction, it's popular throughout the country! The restaurants have done their thing in making it oh-so-inviting, but they took it over the edge by literally pouring gallons of makkhan(butter) and cream, lest anyone challenge them to the word 'Makhani' :) How I wish blogger had them emoticons ;)
Coming to 'Kadhi', it is all the magic of the humble dahi(curds) elevated to lipsmacking heights! Spice it up with some seasonings like methi dana(fenugreek seeds), jeera, red chili, add besan(chickpea flour) for the thickening and you have yourself a fine kadhi. But Punjabi's have taken it a step further, Enter the Pakoda :)
A BIG bowl of thick kadhi with some delicious pakoda's floating in there, served with Rice, Sheer Bliss! Do not disturb for a couple of hours after that, those are the times for siesta :)
Makki di roti te' Sarson da saag
Coffee/The Spice Cafe
Naan te' Dal makani
Manasi/A Cook At Heart
Dal Fry/Jeera Rice
All these Kadhi's and Rajma go hand in hand with Rice :) That is the way it is lovingly savored in Punjab!!
Anita/Mad Tea Party
Pakode wali Kadhi
Lisa/Food & Spice
Mushroom Rajma Masala
Archana/Tried & Tested recipes
Srivalli/Cooking for all seasons
.......One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating..........
......Luciano Pavarotti & William Wright
Today, lets give a break to all those restaurants who churn out greasy dishes, after all they did put some of these wonderful dishes out on the map for every one to enjoy!
And aren't we all a little guilty in indulging in these once in a while ;)
But wait, even better it will be, if we make these restaurant classics at home!
The ever popular Paneer presented to you in various dishes, each lovingly prepared by the foodies giving their own style and charm to the dish :) Paneer Lovers Paradise!
Can Chole be far behind?????
Chole, Chole, Chole & More Chole :)
Palak Paneer, Methi Matar Malai, Aloo Gobi, Bhindi and the Yum....
You will also see some rustic recipes with vegetables like shalgam(turnip), arbi & tori, these are truly from the 'pind' village.
When we talk about daily Punjabi food, it does involve onions and tomato along with the usual suspects ginger and garlic. It's all good as long as we add these, but as soon as we start adding too much cream and butter, we lose the taste of the vegetables therein! Also, it can get a liitle too heavy to be part of a daily meal, it's fine occasionally though :)
Baingan aur Paneer subzi
Gucchi te' Paneer & Lobia
Dahiwala Baigan Bharta
Butter Paneer Masala
Neetu/Food & Life
Dal & Papad
Madhavi/My Veggie World
Nupur/One Hot Stove
How about a round of applause to Lakshmi/Veggie Cuisine, the creator of this event who sends in her delightful entry!
Alu Pudine ka Saag
Methi Matar Malai
Gobi Alu Matar
Trupti/The Spice Who Loved Me
Roopa/My Chow Chow Bhath
Linda/Out Of The Garden
Paneer Butter Masala
Panner Makhmali & Tandoori Gobi
Sig/Live To Eat
Naan & Panner
Lata/La Gourmet Chef
Phool Makhana Masala
Swapna/Swad of India
Chole, Paneer Malai, Gobi Paratha, Kadah
Jayashree/My Experiments with Food
Mahek/Love 4 Cooking
Sukanya/Hot & Sweet Bowl
And let me close this event with my contribution :)
Richa/As Dear As Salt
Maa Choleyaan' di daal
Thank You all for participating and you owe yourself a big pat on the back for all those lovely entries!
On to Swapna/Swad Of India for the next in the series, Good Luck!!