For The Love Of Food: The Best Food and Dishes of Punjab

Butter dripping from the butter chicken, the effervescent sarso da saag, the soulful Dahi Bhalla and the tempting kulfi. All of these absolute lip-smacking dishes are synonymous with the state of Punjab. A state known for its gastronomical wonders, Punjab will truly enthrall you with its delicious dishes. Every lane, every street and every alley of Punjab is brimming with restaurants, food joints and the aroma of freshly cooked tandoori chicken. With every bite, you take you will be taken on a culinary journey, as the flavour play around in your mouth.

Here are some of the best dishes in Punjab that you must get try



While walking through the little lanes of Jalandhar, the one sound that will always attract your attention is the sizzles of the wondrous batter softly being poured into a boiling cauldron of oil. With an amazing trickery of hand, the cook conjures up the perfect spirals, and tops it up with a sugar syrup that gently dries down from its little round edges! known as jalebis. The traditional sweet of North India, jalebis are especially sweeter in Jalandhar. Filled with the goodness of saffron, ghee, cardamom, and curd, you must fill your mouths with as many jalebis as you can when in Jalandhar. 

Gol Gappe

The staple street food of India has to be the taste round maida balls called Gol Gappe. This exceedingly flavourful street food is known by different names in the different states of India. But the Gol Gappes of Jalandhar surely takes the cake. Brimming to the top with a spicy and tangy flavoured water with a little dash of tamarind chutney, this little ball of goodness is straight out of paradise. The Gol Gappes of Jalandhar is made with so much flavour, that even when your eyes are tearing because of the spice you won’t be able to stop.


The delicious Bhaturas of Jalandhar deserve a whole another column for themselves. This exceedingly soulful flatbread is dipped into boiling oil and comes out as a well puffed up delight. The sight itself will make your mouth water, as you forget all your diets. It is best paired with Chhole, which is a kind of chickpeas. Just tear a little piece of your Bhatura and dip it into choose to embark on a culinary delight. It is tangy, spicy, salty and even a little sweet. With such a range of flavour, it is hard to not have a dozen of these goodies.

Butter Chicken

When in Jalandhar you just cannot fiendish your meal without tasting the world-famous Butter Chicken. The iconic dish of India is famous all over the world, but its true identity rests in the little town of Jalandhar. It is made with a large dollop of butter and eaten with butter naan or tandoori roti. Each mouthful of its gravy is rich with cream and will make take you to another level.


Amritsari Kulcha

The Amritsari Kulcha has wowed many tourists who have come to Amritsar just to taste this wholesome dish. Accompanied by chickpeas and some pickles, Amritsari Kulcha is stuffed with potatoes if cooked most traditionally. There are other variants as well of the stuffing used for this dish such as cheese, paneer, cauliflower or even mixed veg Kulcha. This is a staple breakfast dish in Amritsar, so make sure to try this one out on your trip.

Bheega Kulcha

While this might not sound appetizing at all, Bheega Kulcha or wet bread is all the rave at Amritsar. This salivating delicacy will gran your attention from afar and pull you closer till you take a big spoonful of this gem. Made with dough balls of maida, these lovely kulchas are then completely covered with a gravy made of chickpeas. A lot of delicious spices are added, and it is topped with a dash of lime juice and coriander leaves. This dish is not served anywhere else in the entire country of India, so make sure you try this one out while visiting the Holy City of Amritsar.

Soya Champ

Roaming around the streets of Punjab can get a little challenging for vegetarians, as it is widely believed that there are hardly any dishes for the veg crowd. However, this is far from reality. Soya Champ, available at Amritsar can rival any non-veg dish easily. This delicious and healthy dish is made up of soybean chunks. It can be eaten dry or with gravy. If you want to add something more to this, then pair it up with a fascinating roomali roti and seal the deal.

Dal Makhani

The authentic dish of Punjab, Dal Makhani is a heart stealer. Made with whole black lentils, butter and a lot of creams, this Amritsari delicacy will take you to heaven and back. It is an extremely famous dish and Punjab and is used and cooked extensively in the smaller villages of Punjab. Popular all over India, Dal Makhani is truly a gem. Whether you dip your roti in it, or just eat a spoonful of this dal, either way, you will find yourself in a trance!

Fish Amritsari

It is a well-known fact that Amritsar and Punjab, in general, are obsessed with chicken, however, if they are also known for its famous fishes. As you walk through the little alleys or the crowd markets of Amritsar, stop at a Dhaba and tuck into some exceptional Amritsari Fish. Marinated with gram flour, and covered in a range of spices, this delicacy will take you on a journey. It is usually served with a mint and coriander chutney, which just adds another layer to this dish. Just


Kulfi is the sweet dish that your taste buds have been waiting for. This ice cream topped, spaghetti-like falooda is a gift from the gods. This wondrous dessert is an extremely popular delicacy in Amritsar, and will surely make your heart sing the moment you take a bite. There are several flavour combinations that you can opt for as well.


Dahi Bhalla

This hearty little dish is made with such sweet and tangy ingredients that you will keep wanting more and more. Dahi Bhalla is a sought after dish in Chandigarh, and you must indulge in it. Made with hollow puris, and topped with curd, chutney, and spices, this dish is an explosion of flavours in your mouth,


If you are wandering through the streets of Chandigarh, then you just cannot miss the variety of Chaats that are available here. From Papdi Chaat, Bhel Puri, Pani Puri, Bhalla Papdi, Aloo Tikki, Ragda Patties, Kachori, and many others, Chandigarh is a heavenly abode. All of these chaats are different from one another so you must try as many as you can to become a true street food champion in Chandigarh.

Rajma Chawal

A popular North India delicacy, Rajma Chawla has soothed a lot of hearts and stomachs. Made with red kidney beans, this dish is eaten with rice. Quite a healthy and tasty dish, you will find it in all of the dhabas and restaurants in Chandigarh.


If you are visiting Chandigarh then you just cannot neglect the chilling and soul refusing lassi. Made with yogurt, fruit and other spices, this quintessential Punjabi drink will soothe your mind and stomach.

Sarso da saag and Makki di Roti

There is perhaps no other dish in Punjab or Chandigarh that is as synonymous with these places like Sarso da saag and Makki di Roti. The most authentic Punjabi dish is popular all over India and the world. You will find everywhere in Chandigarh. It is essentially a type of flatbread and spinach made with mustard. It is a dish that will give you warmth and love.


If you are at Chandigarh and you haven’t tucked into ghee or butter laced Parathas, then are you even at Chandigarh? Served with pickles, raitas or gravy, these taste shallow fried flatbreads are something else. There are many kinds of Parathas, like keema, paneer, potato, onion and many more, so choose your pick and tuck away.

When in Punjab, you have to forget your diet and eat like the Punjabis. Just make some space in your stomach and gorge on these hearty dishes that will be etched into your memories forever. A food tour in Punjab is not only a treat for your taste buds but will also show you their culture. So, just carry some digestive medicines, and keep binging on these yummy Punjabi dishes and watch as your heart goes Balle Balle!

Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita is a student, who has always dabbled with a bit of writing here and there. She has always made herself look into things in a different way than others, which has allowed her to explore certain feelings and emotions which many cannot. She is a bold writer and believes in the saying, 'a pen is mightier than the sword'. She strongly believes that the writing should be so compelling that the writer feels that they are on a journey they read through the article. The writing must make the reader feel something, otherwise it pointless

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