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Flavours of Pakistan Village Food Series Taste of Punjab

Pakistani cuisine is popular all around the world and can be described as a refined and unique blend of various regional cooking traditions of the South Asian subcontinent. Pakistani cuisine is known for its richness in flavours and spices with traditional dishes. There are many kinds of Pakistani cuisines that vary from region to region defining the cultural diversities and country’s ethnicities.

Food that is made in eastern provinces of Sindh and Punjab are highly seasoned and spicy that is the characteristic of the flavours of the South Asian region. However, the other parts of the country such as Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan involves the use of fewer spices, less oil, and mild aromatic spices.

This all depends upon the region to region as it may differ in taste. Today we are going to emphasize Punjab which is considered one of the most prosperous states in Pakistan famous for its lovely people who loves to eat. Yes, you heard it right Punjabi's are extremely popular as food lovers. It does not matter what divides people but the fact is that food has the power to unite people as Pakistani especially the rich Punjabi food made with desi ghee and succulent taste that gives a more exotic flavour to Punjabi dishes.

There are many Punjabi cuisine dishes from the Punjab regions of Pakistan that are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The major feature of Punjabi dishes is its diverse range of dishes that are cooked with love. Punjabi dishes are usually made by incorporating desi ghee (clarified butter) with liberal amounts of cream.

Either its home cooked or restaurant made Punjabi food is made significantly with ghee, cream and butter while making whole wheat, rice and including other ingredients such as flavours and spices. People have a different preference in Punjab such as people who lives in the area of Lahore prefer dairy products made with desi ghee karhai, and stuffed parathas full of spices.

There are many dishes that are exclusively meant for Punjab such as Makki di roti and Sarson ka Saag. The main ingredients or spices used in Punjabi dishes are garlic, ginger, and onion. The typical dishes of Punjab includes specifically non-vegetarian dishes such as halwa Poori, paratha, falooda, and lassi.

1. Butter Chicken

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Butter chicken is absolute love for Punjabis and is considered as the king of all Punjabi dishes, you can also say chicken is the national bird of Punjab as used in almost all dishes. This dish is not originated in Punjab but is now incorporated by Punjabi families as in all their celebration this dish is must and no celebration is complete without this delicacy. Butter Chicken is made with some spices mixed with cream and butter that makes a creamy gravy dish which is paired up with either rumaali roti or naan.

2. Lassi

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Lassi is well-known traditional drink in Punjab, for Punjabi's a day is incomplete without lassi as they pride themselves in. Lassi is rich in a dollop of cream and butter to make it full of flavour as much as it is required with a sweet and saltish taste. In the beginning, lassi was usually made without any particular flavour but now there are many flavours that can be added in Lassi such as mango, rose, or strawberry. Especially in the season of summer lassi is used to beat the summer heat.

3. Dal Makhani

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A dal dish that rules all the major dishes in Punjab is dal makhni. It is a buttery dish rich in a concoction of black lentils and red kidney beans that is made richer with dollops of cream. This dish has a viscous gravy that smells and tastes absolutely tasty it is made in low flame in about 2 to 3 hours as the low flame makes the gravy thicken while flavour becomes deeper.

4. Sarson ka Saag

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We all have heard the phrase “Sarson da saag tey makkai di roti” Punjabi's most favourite dish that is a passion for Sarson ka saag from sarson k kheat every Punjabi worth their salt and spices that are being associated with this dish. Sarson ka saag is particularly winter favourite and it is found in almost all desi restaurants as their speciality in Punjab. It is made with a slightly bitter taste of mustard leaves, while Spanish is also added in it to make it healthier and richer of flavours. In order to get its rich flavour and a tastier dollop of ghee is used.

5. Makke ki Roti

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Of course, Sarson ka saag is incomplete without makke ki roti as both these dishes compliment each other. Both of these dishes are consumed together and are considered as the equivalent of mac and cheese that just goes together. Cornflour is being crumbled in nature to make ki roti with regular flour and grated radish as a binding agent. This dish is a true match made for Punjabis that they enjoy eating.

6. Punjabi Pakoda Karhi

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Who doesn’t loves Karhi? It is a popular traditional dish in Punjab that attests to the awesomeness of the day-to-day food of people of Punjab. Karhi is a spicy and tangy dish in which pakoras are dipped that are made from besan. This dish is rich in flavour with a yellow coloured thick gravy, the pakoras dipped in gravy and made from besan and onions.

7. Paneer Tikka

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Panner Tikka is a BBQ dish loved by Punjab's. People living in Punjab prefer tikka as it goes with all and has a special place in the food of Punjab. In order to make paneer tikka chargrilled spices are used along with a soft cottage cheese delicacy.

8. Paratha

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It does not matter what you are eating or what are the dishes that are being offered when you are ready to eat, a Partha is ready to go dish that everyone loves. It can be incorporated with almost anything either its gravy or bbq Punjabi's enjoy eating Partha almost every time. Partha is also eaten in breakfast along with alu ka bharta or Chaney. Now parthas do comes in many varieties one of which is stuffed paratha that is being stuffed with potatoes, onions, keema, cheese, tikka and what not.

Stay tuned for next episode!