Even Hollywood Loves Punjabi Food, Here’s Why
Punjabi food… the very name brings to mind aloo parathas, butter chicken, paneer and chicken tikkas, lassi (sweet buttermilk) and a host of other mouth-watering dishes. Of course hearty Indians love this spicy cuisine but charcoal-grilled tikkas have found favour internationally as well! From becoming the favourite low calorie food of global celebs to being the most popular Indian fare at carnivals, Punjabi food is truly India’s gift to the culinary world. Little surprise why Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Tom Cruise and many more Hollywood celebs can’t stop savouring it and vouching for it. Here are some amazing facts about this rich and ancient cuisine, which will make every foodie go gaga over it!
- Punjabi cuisine is influenced by farming methods which date back to the ancient Indian Harappan civilisation, making it a throwback to a long-lost and glorious era.
- Punjabi cuisine has a distinct flavour and richness that is savoured by people from all over the world. Especially popular in India, Canada and the United Kingdom, Punjabi dishes are mind-blowing and rich in taste and nutrition, due to their high protein content.
- Although many dishes such as dal makhni and the sweet pinni can contain much fat due to their high butter and/ or clarified butter (ghee) content, there are other healthy dishes to choose from, such as chole (a dish made from chickpeas), chana masala (spiced chickpeas), rajma chawal (kidney beans curry served with steamed rice), sarson ka saag (curry made from leaves of the mustard plant), makke ki roti (corn bread), mooli paratha (radish infused Indian bread), palakwali dal (lentil and spinach curry), among others.
- Food additives such as food colours and vinegar and condiments such as coriander, cumin and black pepper are important in Punjabi cooking.
- Preparations made from wheat, rice and dairy products hold a place of pride in Punjabi homes and hearts. Naturally, since Punjab is also a major producer and exporter of wheat, rice and milk.
- Basmati rice, the long-grained fragrant rice which is a staple in pulao and biryani, is native to Punjab. This rice variety is known to possess many health benefits and has a medium glycaemic index, which is suitable for diabetics.
- The yummy tandoori dishes which are so popular at every Indian wedding reception, party and international hotels originates from Punjab. Tandoor is basically a clay or metal oven over which the food, known as tandoori, is cooked to give it a distinct flavour. Common tandoori dishes include tandoori roti, tandoori naan, tandoori kulcha, tandoori laccha paratha, samosa, Peshawari seekh, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka.
- Every gurudwara ends its prayers with langaar, a feast which is enjoyed by every visitor who comes to the gurudwara, irrespective of caste, creed faith, race and gender. Usually consisting of naan, dal and karma prashaad, langaar is a wonderful practice which ensures that every person returns from the place of worship content and with a full stomach.
- Punjabis end their meal with a variety of desserts which include gajar ka halwa, pinni, son papdi, sooji halwa, motichoor ladoo, kalakhand, kaju barfi, gulab jamun and others!