Traditional Food

People of Punjab are fond of eateries, so we have a wide variety of eatables and beverages. Punjabi cuisine has a rich tradition of tandoori cooking. The extensive cuisine of Punjab can be vegetarian and non-vegetarian. One commonality between all Punjabi dishes is the liberal usage of ghee or clarified butter, spices and Punjabis are fond of sweet-meats also. Most Punjabi food is eaten with either rice or roti. These cuisines have become world-wide delicacies with large scale representation.

The local cuisine is influenced by the agriculture and farming lifestyle that has been prevalent throughout Punjab for centuries, and supported by locally grown staple foods. Distinctively Punjabi cuisine includes sarson da saag, tandoori chicken, shami kebab, and makki di roti.

Tandoori Cooking

Tandoori cuisine centres on cooking food in the tandoor which is traditional in the Punjab, Pakistan. In India, tandoori cooking is traditionally associated with Punjab as Punjabis embraced the tandoor on a regional level and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi. In rural Punjab, it is common to have communal tandoors, which are also called tadoors in Punjabi.

Staple Foods

Punjab is a major producer of wheat, rice and dairy products which form the staple diet of Punjabi people. The dairy products form an important component of Punjabi diet. Roti and paratha also form part of the Punjabi staple diet.

Dairy Products

Clarified butter, sunflower oil, paneer and butter are used in Punjabi cooking. Clarified butter is most often used as the variant ghee.

Food Additives

Food additives are usually added to enhance the flavor of food. The most common additives are vinegar, monosodium glutamate (sometimes known as Chinese salt) and soy sauce. Food coloring as additive is used in sweet dishes and desserts. For example in a sweet rice dish, a color known as zarda is added. Starch is used as a bulking agent. The typical additives include black pepper, coriander, cumin and dried maithi leaves. South Asian cuisine has typical mixes known as chutneys.

Typical Breakfast

Chana masala, Chole, Paratha, Halwa poori, Beef Nehari, Sri Paye, Bhatoora, Falooda, Makhni doodh, Amritsari Lassi, Masala chai, Tea, Kulchas, Phainis, Dahi vada, Dahi, Khoya.

Traditional Meals

• Biryani: lamb, chicken, and beef variations.

• Kebab: braised minced lamb or beef meat, commonly served with naan.

• Keema: Braised minced lamb or beef meat, commonly served with naan.

• Lamb:  Bhuna Gosht, Kadhai Gosht, Raan Gosht, Dal Gosht, Saag Gosht, Nihari Gosht, RaraGosht, Paye da Shorba

• Shami Kebab, Chicken karahi, Tandoori Chicken, Punjabi Karhi (The Chicken yogurt curry of Punjab)

• Kunna Gosh: tmeat prepared in Kunna (mitti ka bartan (clay utensil)

Fish:  Since Punjab is the land of five rivers, freshwater fish is an important part of its cuisine. Rohu is the most commonly prepared fish. Other fish types include thela machi, recently shrimp and prawn have been introduced.

Vegetarian Food

•  Khichdi is made of millet floor, mung beans and moth lentils. However, khichdi made of rice and lentils is also consumed.

• Punjabi Kadhi Pakora (traditional curry with pakoras) and rice. Kadhi is a type of curry made by cooking garamflour with curd or buttermilk. Fried lumps (pakoras) of gramflour with salt and chillies are also added.

• Sarson da saag (a dish prepared from green mustard leaves) and with makki di roti, a bread made by corn flour.

• Zeera rice: cooked rice with cumin seeds.

Sweets & Desserts

Punjabi cuisine includes various types of desserts and Mithai which include:

• Jalebi

• Barfi

• Gurh: made out of sugarcane juice.

• Kheer

• Khoya

• Kulfi, an ice-cream-like dessert

• Laddu

• Rabri

• Halva

• Sheer korma


Punjabis eat a variety of Breads. Flatbreads and raised breads are eaten on daily basis. Raised breads are known as khamiri roti. Sunflower and flax seeds are also added in some bread occasionally. The breads may be made of different types of flour and can be made in various ways:

• Baked in the tandoor like naan, tandoori roti, kulcha


Punjab has a diverse range of beverages. Some are dairy based such as lassi. Mango lassi, Mango Milkshake etc. Others are juices derived from vegetables and fruits. Water Melon shake, carrot juice, tamarind juice (Imli ka paani) are famous among fruit juices.

Sattu (ground flour) and Gurh (condensed sugarcane juice) is a traditional drink used in Summers to beat the heat. Punjab. Sattu is made by roasting barley grains and then ground into powder. The local regional drinks in Punjab also includes Doodh Soda  (Milk Soda)