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
Chef Sanjay’s Dal Makhani
Slow cooked black dal with garlic, tomato, butter and cream
- 280 gms Whole urad dal (black lentil)
- 60 gms Red kidney beans
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- Pinch of asafoetida
- 650 ml Tomato puree
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli crushed
- 10 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1” piece ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp crushed Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 100 gms butter
- 60 ml single cream
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish
- ½ ” ginger slivers for garnish
- 1.5 to 2 ltrs Water for cooking dal
- Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight in a bowl in plenty of water.
- In a large heavy bottom stock-pot add the black lentil and kidney beans along with the water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat for an hour. Stir a few times and scarp of the foam from the top. Continue cooking for further 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Drain, reserving the cooking water and set aside to use for later. Mash the lentils till you have a coarse consistency. You want some lentils whole but most of it mashed.
In a heavy bottom large stockpot heat the oil, add the asafoetida, chilli and cumin seeds. Let them crackle for few seconds and add the garlic and ginger for frying for a further 30 seconds, add chilli powder. Cook till the oil seperates.
- Add the tomato puree and fry for a further 3 minutes to let it cook
- Season to taste and add the mashed dal. Stir well and make sure to mix all the spices with the dal
- Add 650 mls cooking liquid and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes on a very low heat with the lid on. Make sure to stir a few times preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the pan
- The dal should be thick and creamy so add a little more water only if you need to. Add the garam masala powder along with the butter. Stir well simmering for a minute
- Just before you serve add crushed Kasoori methi, butter, a swirl of cream, fresh coriander and ginger. Serve with paratha or pulao
Serve with paratha or pulao