Monday, June 25, 2007

Regional Cuisine Of India (RCI) - PUNJAB

I'm happy, honoured and excited to be guest hosting the Regional Cuisines Of India
(RCI) - Punjab!
This event started by Lakshmi showcases various cuisines of all the states of India, where one can cook authentic dishes exclusive to the state, this time it is Punjab!

Many a times cultures and flavors of neighboring states mingle and have an influence on the food cooked, much to the delite of food lovers like us :)
The total area of the state is 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 square miles). The population is 24,289,296 (2000). Punjab's capital is Chandigarh, which is administered separately as a Union Territory, since it is also the capital of neighbouring Haryana. Other major cities of Punjab include Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala. The state is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization.
The word "Punjab" is a combination of the Persian words 'panj' (پنج) Five, and 'āb' (آب) Water, giving the literal meaning of the Land of the Five Rivers. The five rivers after which Punjab is named are the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej - all tributaries of the Indus River. More here.
And now lets talk Punjab da' Khana aka Punjabi Food!
Punjabi food needs no introduction, just the thought of getting to eat some punjabi food makes one break into a smile:)
Punjabi's usually like to indulge in a hearty breakfast consisting of various kinds of stuffed paratha, Missi Roti(roti made out of besan), a large glass of lassi and milk with malai(cream)!
The more popular parathas include Alu paratha, Gobi paratha and Muli paratha & Matar paratha, which make a regular appearance on most of the restaurant menu's these days. Then there are some finger licking good paratha's like ajwain paratha, dal paratha which you will find being dished up only in the homes. Makkhan (real white butter) goes a long way with these parathas.
Sooji(semolina) halwa is a sweet that makes an apperance on the breakfast table when celebrating a birthday, anniversary or any auspicious function.
Lunch usually consists of a rasewali(gravy) subzi, sukhi(dry) subzi, roti, dahi and some kind of salad.
The sukhi subji can be anything from the most popular Alu-Gobi, to the much loved Bhindi-Alu, Methi-Alu, Baingain(eggplant)-Alu, Shalgam, Gajar-Matar and the like, yes Alu is a much liked vegetable :)
Punjab being a major agricultural state, the focus is on fresh vegetables.
Various Paneer dishes like Palak , Paneer, Paneer shimla mirch(green bell pepper), matar paneer and paneer pulav adorn the dining tables for meals.
Rasewali subzi includes Rajma, Choley, Kale Chane, Lobia and the like. Gheea Koftey is also a regular on the menu, the likes of malai kofta are usually reserved for special occasions! Wheat is the staple food of Punjab and rice is cooked occasionally. These days with changing tastes many homes cook rice as per the wants and likes of the family.
Salad consists of chopped large slices of cucumber, radish, tomato and onion with some green chili. A squirt of lemon juice with salt & pepper is the most common dressing for salads.
Afternoon or evening tea is accompanied with snacks like Matthi(maida based fried crisp), vegetable pakora, samosa and the like. Pudina/Mint chutney is the chutney of choice most of the times. Dry snacks like Dalmoth(fried whole masoor) and biscuits are pretty popular too. The ladies get a chance to bring out their collection of tea pots with some pretty tea cosy during such times.
Dinner consists of a subzi, dal and roti. Use of various kinds of dals is very popular in Punjab and everyday a different dal is cooked in homes. The tadka/tempering is always with ghee, though with changing times people have started substituting it with oil and some other substitutes.
Punjab produces some of the best dairy products and the best of curds and paneer is used in various dishes to bring out the authentic flavor!

Speaking of pickles the mouth watering gobi-shalgam-gajar da' achar reigns supreme! This is made by experienced hands and consists of cauliflower, turnip and carrots smothered in a special blend of spices. Then there is the mango pickle with it's seed, lemon pickle and the Amla murabba! Then there is 'sirke wale pyaaz'(onion in vinegar) which is a popular way of pickling onions.
Chaats, dahi bhalley, pakodey, pani puri and samosa are a few appetisers high on the list of must-have's when out dining or when expecting guests! After all Punjabi's are well known for their hospitality and passionate cooking.
Certain combinations of food are synonymous with Punjabi cuisine.
Makke di Roti te' Sarson da' Saag(cornmeal roti & sauteed mustard greens), Chole Bhature served with khatai(tamarind chutney), Kulche te' Achaar(stuffed leavened bread & pickle), Maa di' daal(whole urad simmered with kidney beans), Rajma-chawal(kidney beans & rice), Kadhi-chawal and more....
Meat & fish dishes like butter chicken, chicken tikka & Amritsari fish are quite popular.
Desserts include Chawal(rice) Kheer, Phirni, Gajrela(gajar halwa), Moong dal halwa, Kulfi and fruit custard.
A very special sweet known as 'Panjiri' is cooked with wheat flour, tons of dry fruits and loads of ghee. It is a must have for a new mom and is fed with gusto for strength and a quick recovery.
Let us celebrate this beautiful state and it's equally beautiful cuisine in the month of July!
If you would like to participate:
1. Write a post on your blog featuring Punjabi cuisine, from now until 25thJuly.
2. Please include a link to this post for your & other readres future reference.
3. Feel free to use the RCI logo created by Lakshmi.
4. Mail me at asdearassaltAThotmailDOTcom with the permalink/URL of the post and RCI-Punjab as the subject.
5. Mail me the picture of the final dish.
6. Check back on the 1st of August for the round up!

Are you ready with your aprons yet :)


archana said...

This is going to be fun.I have already put my apron on Richa :)

Tee said...

Great! My apron is out too :) there are a couple of Punjabi dishes that I have been planning to try out...this gives me a good chance to do so.

bee said...

what? no tandoori chicken and amritsari macchi on your list? bad bad richa. :-D

Richa said...

thanks archana! u already put on ur apron, now that's like it ;)

thanks tee! yup, this is the right time to try out the dishes :) enjoy

bee, this is what happens when u don't read the entire script, how did u miss the Amritsari Fish :) heh!heh! and there's chicken tikka as well, hmm maybe ur eyes are blurry after counting all those peas ;)

Anonymous said...

I already have something for you Richa!!! Punjab ki cuisine....meri favorite!!!


Sig said...

yay, you are hosting RCI, how can I not participate? I've never cooked anything Punjabi, but will definitely make something just for you, will be non-veg though :D

Swapna said...

Oye..Chak de fatte:)..Punjabi food is an all-time fav...

Rachna said...

wow, am excited that you are hosting the punjabi regional cuisine, have to rattle my brain to come up with an a unique dish that ive not tried... thanks richa, hope u have a good time hosting... (btw - wanted to tell u, my mum calls me richa at home :) )

FH said...

Richa,Bhalle Bhalle!!Graet info:))
I have already the and ready to go! and I am fully in immersed in Gheyo!;D
I am still on vacation,see you on Wednesday.

Richa said...

thanks truoti, looking frwrd to ur yummy entry!

thanks sig! i'm so happy to know u will be participating, non-veg is no problem, maybe a veg as well ;) heh!heh! love ur recipes, sweetie!

bring it on swapna, bhalley bhalley!! looking frwrd to an awesome entry from u :)

thanks for ur encouraging words, dumela! looking forward to your entry, so the thinking cap's on ;)
oh! so it's ur pet name too :) good to know, what a coincidence :)

Nupur said...

Richa, your post made me sooo hungry! I'm going to rack my brains and come up with something :) I know very little about true home-style Punjabi cuisine and this event is going to be a treat.

Anonymous said...

thanks richa for hosting this wonderful event. i have to get thinking now!!

Richa said...

thanks asha! oh u r immersed in gheyo, that too on your vacation, heh!heh! u sure know how to vacation, girl!!!!!
look frwrd to ur great spread :)
bhalley bhalley!!

sunita said...

I'm already lost in the world of all those yummylicious dishes...simply adore Punjabi cuisine...hmmm, will have to come up with something...

TheCooker said...

I'm looking forward to preparing 'real' Punjabi food...not the cliched restaurant ishtyle stuff.
Just reading your post is making me hungry and I just finished lunch. Not good :)

bee said...


yo need to

1. change the black background. it's hard on my ancient eyes.

2. i'm sure you added the macchi and chikken tikka later, after i pointed it out. that's what i do on my blog, anyway. ;-)

3. chicken tikka is not tandoori chicken. tsk tsk.

Anonymous said...

Oh Richa, just reading your wonderful description makes me want two aprons at least! Luckily I'm not on vacation till August, so I have all month to cook ;)

Jyothi said...

Hi Richa, I am big lover of punjabi dhaba food. Now-a-days I am trying so many punjabi recipes. This is a good chance for me. Congrats for hosting and as well as thanks too.

Richa said...

thanks nupur, looking forward to ur entry :) am sure u will cook up something good!

thanks dee, do send in ur entry.

thanks sunita! waiting eagerly to see what comes out of ur ktichen!

thanks tc! sure go ahead, cook any kind of dish, home style or restaurant style, both r fine by me :)

bee, sure we all have long wish lists...;)
1. ancient eyes, hmmm, aren't we getting exotic here! speaking of 'exotic' that is precisely the reason for the black background :) sweetie, did not add it later! but good to get ur confession on the same.
3.yup u r right, they are not same, but may be similar :)
enjoy, looking forward to ur entry!

thanks linda! looking forward to your beautiful entry!

thanks jyothi! wow dhaba style food, love it. do send in your lovely entry!

Anonymous said...

Good now I can try Amritsari machchi :)
Bong Mom's CookBook

Arts said...

Sasriyakaal ji..
Tusi inni joor di bhook lagi hai..
abhee todde vasate banaye deti kuch punjab da khana! :D

Arts said...

btw, any limitations on number of entries?
kya hai na.. Punjabi food is my second fav after maharashtrian food :)
aur haan.. i tried ur dhokla..yummy.. its going to MBP :)

Srivalli said...

Richa...can you believe, I missed reading your post yesterday from food blog desam and saw it just now when I was about to post my none other than a dish from punjabi lucky I am..heheh....check your mail for my entry...thanks for hosting this...punjabi is my all time favorite cuisine..


J said...

Hi Richa, I posted Amritsari fish fry recently, shall I send it along??? My, I already have a lot of Punjabi recipes on my blog, but will add more!! Nice write up!

Richa said...

thanks aarti! glad to know u tried my sandwich dhokla & enjoyed it! soappa ahey na karayla :)
ani kaay rao, entries pathvun dya. tumcha utsah pahun anand zhala! tussi banao ji, bhalle bhalle :)

thanks for ur delicious entry srivalli!

thanks jyothsna! sure send it, will make this exception for you sweetie! enjoy...

thanks sandeepa.

Priyanka said...

OMG!!! thats susch great news!!! mala aaj sakalich vichar ala ki tu pan koncha tari event host karayla payje ani voila.... will definitely come up with loads of recipes.

DEEPA said...

This is going to be great fun ..I am sure we shall have loads ...All the best for it

Kajal said... definitely participant in this event....if you are I do some Punjabi dish.......:)

Aspiring Annapoorna said...

What to cook, what to cook...thinking thinking not striking only...atleast I have almost a month to figure it out :)
Incidentally, I just realized you speak so many languages...hindi, punjabi, marathi, gujarati...aur.......??

Richa said...

thanks priyanka! mahanjey mala mind reading jamla :) good to know u will be cooking up some yummy dishes for the event!

thanks aa! yup, you do have lots of time to think and then to cook ;)
Aur... a few more... keep tuned :)

Richa said...

thanks kajal! su banavino plan che? looking forward to ur entry :)

thanks deepa! shud be fun :)

Sharmi said...

I am ready Richa!!

Roopa said...

yumm yeah me too on! great going richa witht he wonderfull info!

Anonymous said...

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Richa said...

thanks sharmi & roopa. look forward to ur entries.

Anonymous said...

Good choice, I need to research a bit and post some good recipes, as I think most of the food that I like apart from andhra belongs to punjab.

Vanamala Hebbar said...


This is my visit to your blog ... and i am a new blogger
How to join RCI ?


Richa said...

welcome to my blog, mala!
About RCI, it is a monthly event showcasing various state cuisines of India. I'm hosting RCI - Punjab this time. If you want to participate, you may post a punjabi recipe on your blog anytime from 25th June till 25th july and send me an email with the url of ur recipe, the picture and add a link to this event. I've also given all the details at the end of this post. Hope i answered ur question! Feel free to ask me any further clarifications if you would need so. Enjoy.....

Sangeeta said...

I am so excited to be making hearty Punjabi food. Thanks for hosting the RCI event for this month :)

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely introduction into Punjabi cuisine! I enjoyed reading it.

I have written a post on Chana Masala today, but I don't have a photo of it (bf's taken the camera). Can I still submit this post to RCI? Thanks

Richa said...

thanks sangeeta for ur encouraging words!

thanks maninas!
sure, go ahead send it over. maybe if you do make it again this month you can take pics then :)
good to know you enjoyed making chana!

Anonymous said...

Hi Richa, thanks for dropping by to my blog! I've added more info on chana masala and on RCI event now.

I will try and make this dish again soon. The problem is that I don't have a camera at the moment, it's on holiday with my bf!

Thanks for hosting this wonderful event!

Jayashree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jayashree said...

Punjabi food....mmm...mmm...good!!!
Count me in....

Prajusha said...

hi richa,
first time to ur blog. I love punjabi food.


Hey Punjabi food ..I am totally in... I will send in some recipe for the food actually made in the homes and not necessarily available in the restaurants ...:-)

Padma said...

I will surely join in as this will be my very first RCI post.I love pujabi cuisine because of its spicy flavors, your write up about Punjab and its food gave me lot of ideas..pretty much excited!!
About me, I am a budding food blogger, do visit me said...

I can't wait to see the round up of recipes! I love to eat Punjabi food, but do not know too many recipes!


Anonymous said...

This is nice blog to visit lot new things about making different recipies are learned from this blog . Punjabi dishes is simple, healthy and yet has its own fascination. The famous dishes like matar paneer, dal makhani, parathas, bature, lassi are popular all over India.