The use of milk, lassi and tea is common in the province of Punjab
Punjabi cuisine is a culinary style originating in the Punjab, a region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Punjab, India and Punjab, Pakistan. This cuisine has a rich tradition of many distinct and local ways of cooking. One is a special form of tandoori cooking that is now famous in other parts of India, UK, Canada, and in many parts of the world.
The local cuisine of Punjab is heavily influenced by the agriculture and farming lifestyle prevalent from the times of the ancient Harappan Civilization. Locally grown staple foods form the major part of the local cuisine. Distinctively Punjabi cuisine is known for its rich, buttery flavours along with the extensive vegetarian and meat dishes. Main dishes include Sarson ka saag (a stew whose main ingredient is mustard greens) and makki ki roti (flatbreads made with cornmeal).
Basmati rice is the indigenous variety of Punjab and many varieties of rice dishes have been developed with this variety. Many vegetable and meat based dishes are developed for this type of rice
Style of cooking
There are many styles of cooking in Punjab. In the villages many people still employ the traditional infrastructure for cooking purposes. This includes wood-fired and masonry ovens. Modern methods include cooking on gas cookers. Tandoori style of cooking involves use of the tandoor. In India, tandoori cooking is traditionally associated with Punjab as Punjabis embraced the tandoor on a regional level. This style of cooking 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 Kath tadoors in Punjabi.
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.
Clarified butter, sunflower oil, paneer and butter are used in Punjabi cooking.
Some north Punjab villages have also developed a local cheese variant known as dhaag, but the tradition of making dhaag is dying out.
Food additives and condiments
Food additives and condiments are usually added to enhance the flavor of the food. The most common additives is vinegar . Food coloring as additive is used in sweet dishes and desserts. Starch is used as a bulking agent.