Food and Restaurants in Punjab

One of the best parts about visiting Punjab is being able to eat the delicious Punjabi food on offer. The robust Punjabis with their love for life and their hearty attitude and infectious joy love their food and this is evident in the care that goes into cooking and making every dish a stand out meal. Whether you’re eating at some of the best restaurants in Punjab or sitting down for a simple meal at a humble dhaba, you know that you’re going to relish every bite and morsel.

Some of the best Punjabi food is simple homely meals like sarson ka saag and makki di roti, which has been eulogised often enough in Bollywood movies. The simplicity of the saag made with spinach and mustard leaves, tempered with spices and eaten with crisp roti made with corn becomes a meal that is not forgotten easily. Delicious Punjabi food can be vegetarian like aloo tikki or non-vegetarian, like butter chicken and chicken tikka. Most of these Punjabi dishes have been adopted by other states all over India and you can find different versions of them throughout the country. But, there’s something to be said about eating these dishes here, in the state where they were conceived and made popular. Here’s a list of some of the food and restaurants in Punjab that you should certainly try.

No one can resist these juicy morsels of chicken that have been marinated in spices and yoghurt and then grilled on skewers and sprinkled lightly with more masala and served with wedges of lime. This lip-smacking dish is counted among the most popular food of Punjab and with good reason too. It’s impossible not to reach out for more than one after you’ve tasted it. Almost every city and town in Punjab serves this in their restaurants and its popularity has not abated over the years. If you’re in Amritsar, then do head out to Beera Chicken House or Charming Chicken, which are establishments that have been around for years now.

Tender and juicy chicken pieces in a creamy sauce with lashings of butter served with hot naan is everybody’s idea of culinary heaven. Butter chicken is simply one of the best Punjabi food available and every city has their own version of it. The gravy is made with tomato puree, fresh cream, white butter and masalas and has a slightly sweet taste. Its richness is compounded with the addition of cashew paste. For the best butter chicken in Ludhiana, head to Aman Chicken and gorge all you want.

Vegetarians also have it good in Punjab. Thanks to its agrarian background, Punjabi food includes delicious fare for those who do not eat meat too.  Dal makhani is one of those dishes that is a must during a meal because of its simple and delectable nature. While the dish is simple enough, made with dal and spices, in some restaurants the dal is simmered overnight to make its texture creamy. Relish dal makhani wherever you go, be it restaurants or even roadside dhabas. You can never really go wrong with a bowl of dal makhani with your rice or roti.

Yet another famous Punjabi food is sarson ka saag and makke di roti. Made with mustard leaves and spinach that is tempered with spices, and served with a textured roti made of corn, this is a dish that you simply must try when you are visiting Punjab. Often served with a dollop of white butter, this is another dish that you can enjoy at many dhabas on the highway.

This is considered to be one of the most popular food of Punjab. Filets of freshwater fish marinated in spicy yoghurt and then fried and served immediately, this mouth-watering dish is often enjoyed as street food. Chaat masala is sprinkled on top and it’s served with a wedge of lime. The different tastes mingle together to create a delicious snack that is crisp and unforgettable.

Punjab doesn’t lag behind when it comes to desserts. However, calorie counters stay as far away as possible as everything is often soaked in ghee and nuts. Suji ka halwa is delicious and sweet, something perfect to end your meal, especially on a sweet note. The other famous dessert is gulab-jamun which is of course renowned all over the country and a firm favourite of all those who love desi desserts.

A mention of popular food of Punjab wouldn’t be complete without including the ubiquitous lassi. Thick and creamy, this is a refreshing drink that is either had sweet or with salt and spices. The sweet version is thick and delicious, and often topped with lashings of fresh cream and served either in heavy metal tumblers or clay glasses. The salty one is often used to help digest all the heavy and rich food you have splurged on, and is often lighter, made with spices, water and yoghurt, beaten into a frothy and refreshing drink. Come summer time, you will find lassi everywhere you turn in Punjab. Enjoy this delicious drink here especially because although it is available all over the country, there’s something special about the lassi here.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on eating some of this delicious Punjabi food, then do make it a point to check the SOTC website for offers and deals on Punjab tour packages.

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