Punjab on Platter: A Guide to Explore the State's Famous Food (2023)

Punjab – The land of five rivers, is known for its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. Punjabi food is famous for its rich flavours, spices, and hearty portions. The cuisine here is influenced by Mughal, Afghan, and British recipes, resulting in a unique and diverse food scene. Punjabi cuisine has everything to cover each corner of your platter, from traditional breakfast dishes like chole bhature to delectable desserts like phirni and gajar ka halwa.

So, join us on this culinary journey as we explore the rich food culture and traditions of Punjab. Also, discover some must-try dishes that have made Punjab’s cuisine famous worldwide.

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Traditional Punjabi Breakfast Dishes

Breakfast in Punjab usually includes a variety of delicious traditional dishes. Let’s look at some of the must-try popular Punjabi breakfast options:

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  • Chole Bhatura: The dish consists of a spicy, tangy Chole and fluffy, deep-fried Bhature. This full and savoury morning dish is best served with pickles, onions, and green chutney.
  • Stuffed Parantha: This is a type of flatbread stuffed with various fillings such as potatoes, cauliflower, paneer, or radish. It’s then rolled out and cooked on a hot griddle or tawa with oil or ghee. Paranthas are a nutritious and filling breakfast dish that can be enjoyed with a side of yoghurt, pickle, or chutney.
  • Chola Kulcha: A must-try dish in Amritsar, Chola Kulcha combines spicy chickpea curry and soft, fluffy kulchas baked in a tandoor (clay oven). It’s a delicious and filling breakfast option that is perfect for those who enjoy spicy food.
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Popular Punjabi Vegetarian Main Course Dishes

Punjab is also counted as a vegetarian paradise, with a vast array of delicious vegetarian dishes that people all over India and abroad love. Here are some popular Punjabi vegetarian dishes you must try while in Punjab:

  • Sarson ka Saag and Makki ki Roti – This classic dish is made with mustard greens and spinach cooked together and served with Makki ki Roti. The dish is slow-cooked with spices and ghee, giving it a rich, earthy flavour. It’s a nutritious and satisfying meal that is best enjoyed with butter, pickles, and radish on the side.
  • Rajma with Rice – Rajma is another popular Punjabi dish that you can enjoy with rice. The dish is made with a blend of spices, and garam masala, giving it a warm and aromatic flavour. It’s a protein-packed meal, mostly preferred for lunch.
  • Kadhi with Rice – Kadhi is a yoghurt-based curry that is made with gram flour, spices, and vegetables like onion and tomato. It’s a tangy flavoured cuisine that is served with rice.
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Must-Try Non-Vegetarian Main Course Dishes in Punjab

Punjab has a long history of non-vegetarian cuisine, and the popularity of meat dishes in the state is unparalleled. Punjabis are known for their classic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the must-try dishes are:

  • Butter Chicken – Butter chicken is one of the most well-known Indian meals in the world. The dish is made with boneless chicken pieces marinated in yoghurt and a mixture of spices. This meal is a must-try and is best savoured with rice or naan.
  • Tandoori Chicken – Tandoori chicken is a popular classic Punjabi dish marinated in yoghurt and a mixture of spices before being cooked in a tandoor or clay oven. It is a tasty and nutritious dish that is ideal for dinner at family gatherings.
  • Amritsari Fish – If you’re a seafood lover, you can’t miss out on Amritsari fish. This dish is made with boneless pieces of fish being deep-fried to perfection. The fish is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and it’s served with a side of mint chutney and lemon wedges.
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Punjabi Desserts

Punjabi desserts are renowned for their rich, creamy and mouthwatering flavours, and no Punjabi meal is complete without one. Some must-try Punjabi sweets are listed below:

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  • Phirni – It is a creamy rice pudding flavoured with cardamom and saffron. It is made by cooking rice flour in milk and sugar in a flat khullad (earthen pot). The dish is garnished with sliced almonds and pistachios and is served chilled. It is a must-try dessert, especially during the summer months.
  • Gajar ka Halwa – Gajar ka halwa is a sweet dish made with grated carrots, milk, sugar, and ghee. The halwa is then garnished with sliced almonds and served hot. It’s a perfect dessert for the winter months and is often made during festivals like Diwali and Holi.
  • Kulfi – Kulfi is a frozen dessert that is like ice cream but has a denser and creamier texture. It is made with milk, and sugar, and garnished with cardamom, saffron, and pistachios. Kulfi is a popular dessert in Punjab, often enjoyed on hot summer days.
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Popular Punjabi Drinks

Punjabi drinks are a perfect complement to the tasty Punjabi cuisine. These refreshing and delicious drinks are a must-try for anyone visiting Punjab, and they offer a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. The top three of them are listed below:

  • Lassi – It is a traditional Punjabi drink that is made with yoghurt, water, and sugar. It’s a thick, creamy drink perfect for a hot summer day. Lassi is available in a variety of flavours, including classic sweet, rose, peda (Indian sweet), and mango. Saffron or nuts can be added as a garnish.
  • Chaach – The popular Punjabi beverage chaach, also known as buttermilk, is taken before and after meals for its refreshing and digestive properties. It is frequently served cold and is flavoured with mint leaves and roasted cumin powder.
  • Kesar Sharbat – Kesar Sharbat is a popular Punjabi drink that is made with saffron, sugar, and water. It’s a sweet and fragrant drink that is perfect for any occasion. Kesar Sharbat is often served with ice and garnished with sliced almonds and pistachios.
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Where to Eat in Punjab?

Known for its rich and diverse culinary heritage, Punjab offers multiple dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences. You can easily find top eating places in Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and other towns and villages of Punjab.


All the cities of Punjab have some luxurious dining spots, which include luxurious, roof-top and fine-dining restaurants. Here are some of the top suggestions for you to explore.


  • Rustic Punjab – Ludhiana
  • Love Italy – Jalandhar
  • WelcomCafe Phulkari, Hotel ITC – Amritsar
  • Bistro Flamme Bois – Ludhiana
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Cafes in Punjab offer a unique blend of traditional Punjabi flavours and modern cuisine. These cafes are popular among youth, offering diners a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere. Some of the best cafes are:

  • Elgin Café – Amritsar
  • Coffee House – Ludhiana
  • Hungry Owl Café – Jalandhar
  • The Hedgehog Café – Chandigarh
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Dhabas are an essential part of Punjabi culture and cuisine. These traditional eateries offer delicious and authentic Punjabi food at affordable prices, making them a popular dining option for locals and tourists alike.

  • Raja Dhaba – Khant (Also popular as Babbu Maan’s village)
  • Kesar Da Dhaba – Amritsar
  • Friends Dhaba – Ludhiana
  • Lucky Dhaba – Jalandhar
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In conclusion, Punjab’s culinary heritage truly reflects the state’s vibrant culture, history, and traditions. From delectable vegetarian dishes to mouthwatering non-vegetarian delicacies, Punjab’s cuisine will completely satisfy your taste buds with traditional spices. In addition to its food, Punjab is also known for its warm hospitality, which is evident in its famous dhabas and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or casual street food, Punjab’s culinary scene will surely leave you satisfied and wanting more.

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So, the next time you’re in Punjab, don’t forget to explore the local food scene and indulge in some of the state’s famous dishes.


What is the famous food of Punjab paragraph? ›

Punjab is a major producer of wheat, rice and dairy products. These products also form the staple diet of the Punjabi people. The state of Punjab has one of the highest capita usage of dairy products in India. Therefore, dairy products form an important component of Punjabi diet.

What are 2 famous dishes of Punjab? ›

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  • Bread. Puri. INDIA. shutterstock. ...
  • Rice Dish. Pulihora. Andhra Pradesh. India. ...
  • Cream. Malai. INDIA. ...
  • Stew. Pav bhaji. Mumbai. ...
  • Pancake. Masala dosa. Southern India. ...
  • Stew. Rogan josh. Jammu and Kashmir. ...
  • Ice Cream. Kulfi. INDIA. ...
  • Fried Chicken Dish. Chicken 65. Chennai.
Mar 30, 2023

What is the famous food and festival of Punjab? ›

Meethey chawal, kheer, kadhi are specially prepared to keep up with the spirit. As it is the case with any Indian festival, food forms an iconic part of Baisakhi celebrations. Punjabi delicacies like Sarson da saag, chhole bhature, Pindi chane, achari mutton also make it to a traditional Baisakhi feast.

Is Punjabi food spicy? ›

Punjabi food is an important part of North Indian cuisine, which appeals to the taste of many people. People in this state usually go for spicy foods and use a lot of oil and ghee. There are no complex marinades or exotic sauces, but there is a great use of spice, with a generous addition of oil or ghee.

Which sweet is famous in Punjab? ›

Panjiri is one of the most popular punjabi sweets.

Why is Punjab food famous? ›

Punjabi cuisine is known for its rich, buttery flavours along with the extensive vegetarian and meat dishes. One of its main features is its diverse range of dishes. Restaurant-style dishes use large amounts of ghee and butter. Some food items are eaten daily while some delicacies are cooked only on special occasions.

Is Punjab famous for rice or wheat? ›

Punjab is known as the wheat granary of India.

What is the seasonal food of Punjab? ›

The most famous ones are chicken tikka, butter chicken and Amritsari macchi. Desserts in this region vary as per season. In summers, kheer and falooda are savoured whereas in winters, gajar ka halwa and panjeeri are relished. Punjab has a wide range of beverages which are majorly dairy-based.

What is the language of the Punjab? ›

The Punjab Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced on November 11, 2021 in the Punjab Assembly. The Bill amends the Punjab Official Language Act, 1967. The Act provides for the adoption of Punjabi, written in the Gurmukhi script, as the official language of the state government.

Which side is Punjab in India? ›

Punjab is a state in northwest region of India and is one of the most prosperous states. The name Punjab is made of two words Punj (Five) + Aab (Water) i.e. land of five rivers. These five rivers of Punjab are Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab, and Jhelum. Only Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers flow in today's Punjab.

What is the popular food popular dance and language of Punjab? ›

Tandoori chicken. Kulcha amritsari. Dance: The main Punjabi folk dance for females is giddha or giddhah and for men or for both men and women is bhangda or bhangra.

What is the food dance and festival of Punjab? ›

Folk Dances of Punjab

One of them is Bhangra which has also become immensely popular in the west. This dance form began many years ago when Punjabi farmers used to perform to welcome the harvest season. Giddha and Sammi, Luddhi and Dhamal are some other popular dances in the region.

What is the food of Punjab culture? ›

Dairy products, unleavened flat breads, pulses, vegetable and meat curries continue to reflect the rural temper of the state while being wedded to the residual flavors of foreign invasions, such as rice and gravies. As a result, Punjabi cuisine is among the richest in the country as well as the world.

What do Punjabi people eat for breakfast? ›

Apart from stuffed or flavoured parathas, Punjabis also like to have kulchas, bhaturas and laccha parathas for breakfast. Chole is also very popular. It is served with bhaturas or other breads too.

What is the hottest Indian food? ›

Phaal is the hottest curry in the world because it is made from Bhut Jolokia, the world's hottest chilli.

What is the most eaten food in Punjab? ›

The Most Popular Punjabi Foods
  • Tandoori Chicken. Tandoori chicken is a Punjabi cuisine which is also known as tandoori murgh. ...
  • Butter Chicken. ...
  • Sarson Ka Saag – One Of The Most Famous Punjabi Foods. ...
  • Paneer Tikka – The Famous Dish. ...
  • Rajma Chawal. ...
  • Amritsari Fish. ...
  • Dal Makhani -Traditional Punjabi Foods. ...
  • Chana Masala.

What is the famous drink of Punjab? ›

1. Lassi: It is the most popular and traditional yogurt-based drink from the north-western region of Punjab in India. There are several varieties of lassi such as mango lassi, salted lassi, sweet lassi, bhang lassi, and chocolate lassi.

What is Punjab popular for? ›

Tourist places - Punjab is the place of Sikhism . The holiest of Sikh shrines, the Sri Harmandir Sahib (or Golden Temple), is in the city of Amritsar . The five Takhts (Temporal Seats of religious authority) of Sikhism, three are in Punjab.

What are the top 5 Punjab food? ›

Here are the best dishes from Punjab -

Butter Chicken - The king of all Punjabi dishes! Shakkar Para - A sweet, indulgent dish of Punjab! Chole-Bhature - Punjabi Food Fiesta! Amritsari Fish - Non-veggie delights!

Why is Punjab vegetarian? ›

A combination of religion, agrarian pasts, and the expense of meat meant vegetarianism was prevalent and preferable in many Punjabi families.

Is butter chicken a Punjabi dish? ›

First served back in the 1950s, its invention is attributed to three Punjabi restaurateurs, Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Dass, who founded the world-renowned Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi.

Why is Punjab called food bowl of India? ›

Punjab is one of the prominent northern agrarian states of India. Its contribution to agriculture and Indian economy has been remarkable and it has made India self-reliant in food. Punjab is the food bowl of India.

What two foods are important crops in Punjab? ›

The largest area is under wheat crop. Other important crops of the state are rice, cotton, sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit.

Which rice is best in Punjab? ›

Basmati Rice is the pride of Punjab and is being grown here since time immemorial. Earliest mention of word Basmati has been made in the epic “Heer and Ranjha” composed by the famous Punjabi poet Varish Shah in 1766.

What is the capital of Punjab? ›

What is the main season of Punjab? ›

Spring: The climate remains the most enjoyable part of the year during the spring season (from mid-February to mid-April). Temperatures vary between (max) 16 °C to 25 °C and (min) 9 °C to 18 °C. Autumn: In autumn (from Mid-September to mid November.), the temperature may rise to a maximum of 30 °C.

What is winter special food in Punjab? ›

Punjabi Indulgence: 5 Punjabi Desserts To Relish This Winter
  • Pinni. A Punjabi winter delicacy, Pinni is a usual suspect in Punjabi households during winters. ...
  • Panjiri. We know you have heard about this sweet dish during Janmashtami. ...
  • Shakarpaare. ...
  • Meetha Puda. ...
  • Atte Da Halwa.
Jan 20, 2022

Which crops are grown in winter season in Punjab? ›

  • Wheat.
  • Rapeseed and Mustard.
  • Sugarcane.
  • Berseem.
  • Pea.
  • Potato.
  • Chilli.
  • Cauliflower.

How do Punjabis greet each other? ›

Sat Sri Akaal (Gurumukhi ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ, pronounced [sət sɾiː əkɑːl] ( listen)) is a Jaikara (lit. Call of Victory) now used, often, as a greeting by Punjabi Sikhs.

What is the climate of Punjab? ›

Punjab has a continental monsoonal type of climate. It receives rainfall from the south-west monsoon winds between the months of July and September.

What is the history of Punjab? ›

The Indian State of Punjab was created in 1947, when the partition of India split the former Raj province of Punjab between India and Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became Pakistan's Punjab Province; the mostly Sikh eastern part became India's Punjab state.

What is the old name of Punjab? ›

The region had various other names during ancient times. According to Vedic texts it was known as Saptha Sindhu. The Greeks named it Pentapotamia. During the Mahabaratha and Ramayana, it was called Panchnada and Braham Vrata.

Are Punjabis Indian or Pakistani? ›

The Punjabis are an ethnic group of Indo-Aryan peoples, originating from the Punjab region, found in Pakistan and northern India. Punjab literally means the land of five waters (Persian: panj (“five”) ab (“waters”)).

What is the meaning of the Punjab? ›

The correct option is A land of five rivers. The word Punjab is made up of two words, 'Punj' and 'Aab'. The word 'Punj' means five and the word 'Aab' means water. Thus, the word Punjab literally means 'the land of five rivers'.

What are the 5 dances of Punjab? ›

Other forms of Jhumar exist, such as Satluj Jhumar, Chenab Jhumar, Beas Jhumar, and Multani Jhumar. This dance is very popular among Punjab folk dances and is known for its grace and elegance in particular.

What is the lifestyle of Punjab? ›

Punjabi Lifestyle in Villages

The villages of Punjab are full of greenery and people do farming usually in villages to make their ends meet.

What is the main dance of Punjab? ›

Bhangra is the most popular folk dance from Punjab, originating in the Sialkot area of Punjab, Pakistan. It is especially associated with the vernal Vaisakhi festival. Bhangra was mainly done by Punjabi farmers during the harvesting season. It was mainly performed while farmers did agricultural chores.

Which festival is made in Punjab? ›

Vaisakhi is also a harvest festival for people of the Punjab region. The harvest festival is celebrated by Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus. In the Punjab, Vaisakhi marks the ripening of the rabi harvest. Vaisakhi additionally marks the Punjabi new year.

What is an interesting tradition in Punjab? ›

As per the tradition of Punjab, to celebrate this festival a huge bonfire is made. Sesame seeds, jaggery and nuts are thrown into that bonfire. People perform bhangra and gidda with dhol and nagadas beating, around the bonfire. People wear silk made traditional clothes.

What is the most important festival of Punjab? ›

Lohri. Lohri can be said to be the most important festival of Punjab. Celebrated during the winter solstice, or the last day of the month when winter solstice takes place, Lohri has a lot of cultural and historical significance.

Which is the main festival of Punjab celebrated when crops are harvested? ›

Lohri is a popular Indian festival that is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvest season for winter crops. Every year, during the month of Paush, a day before Makar Sankranti – usually on January 13, with much fanfare especially by the people of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated.

What is the famous dress of Punjab? ›

The traditional dress for Punjabi men is 'Punjabi Kurta' and 'Tehmat', especially the popular Muktsari style, which is being replaced by the kurta and pajama in the modern day Punjab. The traditional dress for women is the Punjabi Salwar Suit which replaced the traditional Punjabi Ghagra.

Why is the food eaten in Punjab different from the food eaten in Tamil Nadu? ›

Answer. Answer: Punjabians or citizens of Punjab eat food like butter chicken,aloo paratha,makki ki roti,lassi,etc in which raw materials are their own cultivated produce. Whereas, Tamil Nadu is a coastal state in which citizens usually eat seafood especially fish.

What language do they speak in Punjab? ›

Punjabi language, Punjabi also spelled Panjabi, one of the most widely spoken Indo-Aryan languages. The old British spelling “Punjabi” remains in more common general usage than the academically precise “Panjabi.” In the early 21st century there were about 30 million speakers of Punjabi in India.

What is special about Punjab? ›

The land of five rivers

The five rivers namely Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej ran through pre-Independence Punjab, and are now divided between India and Pakistan. The presence of five rivers is the reason why Punjab's soil is conducive for wheat cultivation, and hence it is also called the Wheat Bowl of India.

What is the culture of Punjab? ›

Punjabis are high spirited and liberal people. Residing in the heart of India, they are soft natured people who celebrate every event and festival with utmost zest. They are lively and vibrant with a vibrant history and culture. They enjoy liquor and revelry as much as they enjoy Lassi and folk music.

Why is Punjab called the food basket of India? ›

Being the largest contributor of main cereals to the country, Punjab has earned the title of 'Granary of India' or 'India's Bread Basket'. Punjab produces roughly 12% of the total cereals produced in India.

Why is Punjab known as the food basket of Pakistan? ›

Punjab in Pakistan is the major food producing province and titled “bread basket” for the country's more than 220 million people. Wheat is the major cereal crop produced in Punjab, putting Pakistan 8th among the wheat producing countries.

Why do people in Punjab eat wheat? ›

These crops do not require much rainfall. They also require fertile soil to grow in. As the soil , temperature and rainfall in Western India is more conductive to the growth of wheat, wheat is the major cultivated Rabi crop in Haryana and Punjab. Hence wheat is the staple diet in Haryana and Punjab.

What is the religion of Punjab? ›

Today, however, the majority religion of Punjab is Sikhism, which originated from the teachings of Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. Hindus make up the largest minority, but there also is a significant population of Muslims. There are small communities of Christians and Jains in some areas.

What is Punjab traditional dance? ›

Bhangra is a type of traditional folk dance of Punjab, originating in the Sialkot area of Punjab, Pakistan. It is done in the season of harvesting. According to Manuel (2001), bhangra is especially associated with the vernal Vaisakhi festival.

Is Punjabi a nationality? ›

The Punjabi people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group originating from the Punjab region. Traditional Punjab identity was primarily linguistic. Regardless of religious affiliation or ethnic background, those speaking a Punjab language were regarded as Punjabi.


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