Indian traditional recipes – some Punjabi greats
At the thought of Punjab one can picture the swaying wheat fields, the bhangra dancing farmers, the truck drivers singing merrily into the night while driving on the highways, the valiant soldiers of the Sikh and Punjab regiment and last but certainly not the least the delicious food whether it is sarson da saag and makai di roti or tandoori murg.
Punjabi food on the whole is full of rustic flavours. There is a profusion of dairy products like malai, paneer and dahi. Punjabi dals are a speciality too made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram. They are cooked on a slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The most famous vegetarian preparation of Punjab is, perhaps, sarson da saag accompanied with makki di roti. This is one of the most popular Indian traditional recipe from the Punjabi repertoire. One could have a tough time choosing between dahi bhalle, palak paneer, matar paneer, ma ki daal, rajma rasmissa, a variety of paranthas – stuffed or plain…alu parantha served with either aam ka achaar or butter is a typical, wholesome Punjabi breakfast. Breakfast on Sundays could probably mean chole-bhature and teatime could be samosas, paneer pakoras, tikkis, mathries…the list seems endless. Though the staple food is wheat, rice is also eaten but mostly on festive or special occasions. Rice is usually eaten as a pulao. Winter time is also the time to have sweet dishes like gajrela (gajar halwa), gulab jamun, phirnis like Strawberry Phirni, jalebis and pinni.
To say that tandoori chicken and murg makhani (butter chicken) have made Indian cuisine globally acceptable would perhaps be repetitive but certainly not refutable. Fresh water fish is available in plenty. Among the fish dishes fish amritsari and peshawari machli are very popular. Among the lamb preparations palak gosht, Patiala mutton and achari gosht come to mind. Another Indian traditional recipe that is world famous is the afore mentioned tandoori chicken. It is a dish whosoever tastes, keeps asking for more! It is cooked in a tandoor, which is an earthen oven fired with charcoal. Also known as Sanjha Choolha meaning common cooking place it tends to bind the people together. Tandoor cooking is one of the oldest ways of cooking food and can be traced back to the nomadic tribes of the North West Frontier who used to cook their food, which was mostly meat, in holes dug in the ground and fired with charcoal and dry cow-dung.