Thali Menu #131 – Punjab | Winter Foods
Punjab is a state in northern India. Forming part of the larger Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, the state is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, and the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west.
Punjabi is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The main ethnic group are the Punjabis, with Sikhs (58%) forming the demographic majority. The state capital is Chandigarh, a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana. The five tributary rivers of the Indus River from which the region took its name are Sutlej, Ravi, Beas, Chenab and Jhelum Rivers; Sutlej, Ravi, and Beas are part of the Indian Punjab.
Punjabi cuisine is a culinary style originating in Punjab region. This cuisine has a rich tradition of many distinct and local ways of cooking. 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 per capita consumption of dairy products in India. Distinctively Punjabi cuisine is known for its rich, buttery flavours along with the extensive vegetarian and meat dishes.
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. In India, tandoori cooking is traditionally associated with Punjab as Punjabis embraced the tandoor on a regional level. In rural Punjab, it is common to have communal tandoors, which are also called Kath tandoors in Punjabi.
This weekend, we celebrate this rich cuisine with a menu comprising of winter dishes like Sarson da Saag served with Makki Ki Roti, white butter and jaggary or the classic Shalgam Gosht curry -a lamb dish with turnips- or the Aate Ka Halwa which is a soul food for most homes in cold Punjab winters. Join us this weekend and share the joy de vivre that the happy Punjabi’s are so well known for.
Recipe of the week
Pineapple Kesari/ Pineapple Sheera
Pineapple Kesari / Kesari Bhath/ Pineapple Sheera
Classic Indian semolina pudding
- 1/2 cup Semolina
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Ghee-clarified butter
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Pineapple -chopped
- 8-10 Cashew nuts
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder -
- 8-10 Saffron strands
- Dry roast semolina slightly until it is hot to touch.
- Heat a tsp of oil and fry cashew nuts on low heat until golden brown.
- Cut pineapple, discard the skin and core. Chop the pineapple flesh into small cubes and keep it aside.
Preparing the Kesari Bhath
- Heat the rest of the ghee and fry in a wok or Kadhai, add the semolina and roast lightly for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the chopped pineapple and mix well.
- In a separate saucepan bring 1 1/2 cup of water to boil, add saffron strands
- Add the boiling water to the semolina, stirring continuously. Cook the semolina on medium flame stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming in the semolina.
- Once all the water has evaporated, add sugar. When the sugar is added, the mixture will turn watery again.
- Cook the semolina well on medium or low heat.
- When it starts leaving the sides of the wok add fried cashewnuts, cardamom powder and switch off the heat.
- As it cools it will thicken.
- Garnish with chopped pineapple and fried nuts and serve warm.
- This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.