15 culinary delights from Punjab that you must try

Famous indian landmark - Sikh gurdwara Golden Temple

Punjab, the land of five rivers, is not only famous for its vibrant culture and rich history but also for its mouthwatering cuisine.

Also read: Golden Temple Amritsar: All You Need to Plan Your Visit

From hearty meals to indulgent desserts, Punjab offers a plethora of culinary delights that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Here are 15 must-try dishes from the heart of Punjab:

1. Sarson Da Saag and Makki Di Roti:

Sarson Da Saag and Makki Di Roti

A quintessential Punjabi dish, Sarson Da Saag is a delicious mustard greens preparation cooked with spices and served with Makki Di Roti, a maize flour flatbread.

The earthy flavors and rustic charm of this dish are unparalleled.

  • Location: Traditional dhabas (roadside eateries) like "Bharawan Da Dhaba" in Amritsar

  • Price: Approximately ₹200-₹350 per serving

2. Butter Chicken:

Butter Chicken

One of the most popular dishes not only in Punjab but across the globe, Butter Chicken is a creamy and decadent chicken curry cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce.

Served with naan or rice, it's a delight for the senses.

  • Location: Authentic Punjabi restaurants such as "Kesar Da Dhaba" in Amritsar

  • Price: Around ₹500-₹800 for a serving with naan or rice

3. Chole Bhature:

Chole Bhature

A beloved street food of Punjab, Chole Bhature is a combination of spicy chickpea curry (chole) and deep-fried fluffy bread (bhature).

This indulgent dish is a must-try for anyone visiting Punjab.

  • Location: Street food stalls in bustling markets like "All India Famous Amritsari Kulcha" in Amritsar

  • Price: Typically ₹100-₹200 for a plate

4. Amritsari Fish:

Crispy yet soft Amritsari Fish fry

Hailing from the city of Amritsar, this dish features deep-fried fish marinated in a flavorful blend of spices.

Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it's a seafood lover's paradise.

  • Location: Iconic eateries in Amritsar like "Makhan Fish and Chicken Corner"

  • Price: Approximately ₹400-₹700 per serving

5. Paneer Tikka:

Paneer Tikka

A popular vegetarian option, Paneer Tikka consists of marinated paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes grilled to perfection.

Served with mint chutney, it's a delightful appetizer or snack.

  • Location: Popular Punjabi restaurants and street food vendors like "Bharawan Da Dhaba" in Amritsar

  • Price: Usually ₹300-₹500 for a plate

6. Tandoori Chicken:

Tandoori Chicken

Originating from the Punjabi city of Peshawar, Tandoori Chicken is marinated in yogurt and a blend of spices, then cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) to achieve a smoky flavor and tender texture.

  • Location: Tandoori joints and upscale Punjabi restaurants like "Beera Chicken House" in Amritsar

  • Price: Around ₹400-₹600 for a half portion

7. Punjabi Lassi:

Punjabi Lassi

A refreshing yogurt-based drink, Punjabi Lassi comes in various flavors such as sweet, salty, or fruit-infused.

It's the perfect accompaniment to spicy Punjabi dishes, offering a cooling contrast.

  • Location: Lassi shops and sweet stalls across Punjab like "Ahuja Lassi Wala" in Amritsar

  • Price: Generally ₹50-₹150 per glass

8. Punjabi Kadhi Pakora:

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

This tangy yogurt-based curry is made with gram flour (besan) dumplings known as pakoras.

It's seasoned with spices like fenugreek seeds, cumin, and mustard seeds, offering a burst of flavors in every bite.

  • Location: Traditional Punjabi homes and local eateries like "Bade Bhai Ka Brothers Dhaba" in Ludhiana

  • Price: Approximately ₹200-₹350 for a serving with rice

9. Aloo Paratha:

Aloo Paratha

Aloo Paratha is a popular Punjabi breakfast dish consisting of unleavened dough stuffed with a spicy mixture of mashed potatoes, herbs, and spices.

It's typically served with butter, yogurt, or pickles.

  • Location: Roadside dhabas and breakfast joints like "Giani Dhaba" in Chandigarh

  • Price: Typically ₹100-₹200 for a plate

10. Punjabi Samosa:

Punjabi Samosa

These deep-fried pastry pockets filled with a spicy potato and pea mixture are a favorite snack across Punjab.

Served hot with tamarind chutney or mint sauce, they make for a delicious treat.

  • Location: Street food vendors and snack shops like "Bansal Sweets" in Ludhiana

  • Price: Around ₹10-₹20 per piece

11. Punjabi Dal Makhani:

Punjabi Dal Makhani

Immerse yourself in the velvety embrace of Punjabi Dal Makhani—a symphony of black lentils and kidney beans slow-cooked to perfection.

Infused with butter, cream, and aromatic spices, each spoonful is a journey to culinary bliss.

  • Location: Bharawan Da Dhaba, Amritsar

  • Price: Approximately ₹250-₹350 per serving

12. Punjabi Rajma:

Punjabi Rajma

Rajma, or red kidney beans, cooked in a thick tomato-based gravy with aromatic spices, is a staple in Punjabi households.

Served with rice, it's a wholesome and nutritious dish packed with flavor.

  • Location: Punjabi households and local restaurants like "Sadda Pind" in Amritsar

  • Price: Approximately ₹200-₹350 for a serving with rice

13. Gajar Ka Halwa:

Gajar Ka Halwa

A traditional Punjabi dessert made with grated carrots cooked in ghee, milk, sugar, and flavored with cardamom and nuts.

This rich and indulgent sweet treat is often enjoyed during festivals and special occasions.

  • Location: Sweet shops and festive gatherings like "Kanha Sweets" in Ludhiana

  • Price: Usually ₹200-₹300 per serving

14. Pindi Chana:

Pindi Chana

Pindi Chana is a spicy and tangy chickpea curry cooked with an assortment of aromatic spices.

It's a flavorful dish that pairs well with rice, naan, or roti.

  • Location: Punjabi street food stalls and family-owned restaurants like "Pal Dhaba" in Chandigarh

  • Price: Around ₹150-₹250 for a serving with rice or naan

15. Punjabi Kheer:

Punjabi Kheer

Conclude your Punjabi culinary adventure with a touch of magic, indulging in the ethereal Punjabi Kheer—a velvety rice pudding kissed by the essence of cardamom, saffron, and the delightful crunch of nuts.

As you savor each spoonful, you'll find yourself transported to a realm where every bite is a celebration, making it the enchanting finale to your gastronomic journey through Punjab's rich flavors and traditions.

  • Location: Lovely Sweets, Jalandhar

  • Price: Usually ₹80-₹120 per serving

Also read: 10 Best places to go on a family trip in North India - Must Visit!!

In conclusion,

Punjab's culinary landscape is as diverse and vibrant as its culture.

Whether you're indulging in rich gravies or savoring sweet treats, every bite is a celebration of flavor and tradition.

So, the next time you're in Punjab, make sure to treat yourself to these 15 culinary delights for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

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