Growing up in one of the world’s most diverse food cultures must have been fascinating!
Off We Go Exploring!!
Today we explore the Punjab State of India. Even the state name (meaning five rivers) denotes life, lush areas and fish.
The region, lushly fertile, is known as the “Bread basket of India.” With a climate ranging from 7degrees in “winter” to the upper 30’s in the warmest season, it’s actually quite similar to southern Ontario.
The diversity of people in this state comes from successive waves of invaders looking to benefit from the riches of the land.
With the fertile land comes such a variety of crops leading to some of the world’s most loved culinary dishes.
Imagine the Diversity!!
Travelling upward from the southern states to the Punjab Region allows one to experience firsthand – the culture and cuisine so wonderful.
Imagine the fields and markets to the south filled with fruit, vegetables, teas, sugar and of course…spices!
Without India it’s believed our food worldwide would have been found to be very boring!
Travelling through India allows a culinary experience not readily found elsewhere.
In some areas entire states are nearly all vegetarian while in others meat is very prevalent.
Introducing the Punjab!
The “taste of India” is very crowd pleasing and indicative to Punjabi cuisine.
Such a variety of masalas, desi ghee, and thick creams are synonymous with the tender flavors appreciated the world over.
Punjabi cuisine has a balance of everything – neither too strong nor too mild. Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani are the two most sought after dishes in the cuisine worldwide.
Many meals in the region are still made using wood fires and masonry ovens or the tandoor (A Punjab style underground oven).
What a Streetscape!!
As you pass through the region you might share the street with elephants, water buffalo, cattle, other livestock, as well as the usual cars, scooters and tuk tuks!
Welcome to the Menu!!
It should come as no surprise that dairy products play a huge part in the region as well.
The Indians use milk from both cattle and water buffalo to make yoghurt, butter and paneer (Indian cottage style cheese) as well as the delicious buttermilk found in various flavors of Lassi (Milk based drink either sweet or savory).
The meats used in the region most commonly are poultry, lamb and goat.
Many of us have enjoyed Butter Chicken, Biryani, Kebabs or Keema!
As utensils generally are not used, the bread served with a meal becomes an important tool. Often used is Naan or Roti so that every last drop of the wonderful meal can be eaten.
Find this Most Wonderful Cuisine....Right Here!
Here in Barrie, we are so lucky to be able to experience the Punjabi Cuisine first hand. This is where the owners of Tandoori Kingdom on Blake Street bring their passion of food from!
It’s a delicious way to break bread together!
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott
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