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
All Time Favourite- Bengali Classic Chutney
Tomato Khejur'r Chutney
A Bengali classic- Sweet-spicy tomato chutney with dates and dried fruits.
- 500 gms tomatoes
- 40 gms pitted dates
- 40 gms raisins
- 25 gms cashew
- 400 gms sugar
- Salt to taste
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 pc dried red chilli
- ½ tsp panch phoron
- ½ tsp citric acid
- Wash and dice the tomatoes. Split the Dates length-wise.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan, and temper it with dried red chilli and ‘panch phoron’.
- Add the tomatoes, along with the salt and turmeric, and cook them, covered until the tomatoes are completely soft and mushy. Add ½ tsp of citric acid now and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cashew and sugar, at this stage with the addition of the sugar the colour of the chutney will start to change from pale to a deep red. Once that has happened, stir in the raisins, dates, and bring to boil and then simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Remember to remove it from the heat while it is still thin because it will thicken once cooled.
- You can store this chutney as a preserve too, in which case, allow it to cool completely before you pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate. It can last for up to 2 months.