Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Punjabi Thali

Punjab, the land of five rivers is known as the breadbasket of India. Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in world history.
This is the majestic Golden Temple, which I am still waiting to visit.

The Golden Temple, located in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India is the most sacred shrine of Sikhism. Sikh devotees, for whom the Temple is a symbol of freedom and spiritual independence, come to the Temple from all over the world to enjoy its environs and offer their prayers. The official name of the Temple is Harmandir Sahib which means literally "the Temple of God" -- from Hari: God and Mandir: temple.

Baisakhi is a major festival of Sikhs and is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety the festival falls on April 13th or April 14th and marks the beginning of the solar year. People of North India, particularly Punjab thank God for good harvest. Visit to Gurudwaras, Baisakhi processions and traditional performances are the highlights of the day.

Punjabi cuisine can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes.
A typical Punjabi meal with consists of roti, daal, yogurt and curried vegetable. Many Punjabi eat rice very infrequently and only on special occasions. Punjabi meals usually have lot of onion, tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, mustard, garlic, ginger cooked in pure cow ghee(clarified butter). Milk is a very important part of Punjabi food in its many form such as yogurt (dahi), lassi, paneer, makhan (white butter) and ghee.
In rural India, Punjabi food is mostly served at "Dhaba". Dhaba is a usually self-service roadside food joint that is frequented by truck drivers and travelers. But now that dhaba food has become so popular around the world, that even big restaurants serve dhaba food.

So here is the Menu

  • Gobi Paranthas (Indian bread stuffed with spiced cauliflower)
  • Pindi Chana (Chick Peas cooked with onion-tomato sauce and a special touch of Indian spices)
  • Jeera Mutter Pulao (Basmati rice cooked along with peas, cumin and spices)
  • Paneer Mutter Malai ( Home made Indian cheese cubes cooked in cashew-milk cream sauce)
  • Halwa(Sweet delicacy made of semolina, wheat flour, clarified butter, milk and sugar)
  • Kakdi-piyaz da raita (Cucumber-onion mixed with yogurt and seasoned with spice)
  • Lassi Patiala (Chilled butter milk pampered with Indian spices)
  • Achar (Punjabi pickle)
  • Punjabi Papad (Dried Lentil chips)

I enjoyed making this Punjabi Thali a lot because we go to restaurants craving for such food. When we got to eat all this at home, it was a great party!!

Gobi Paranthas

3 cups plain white flour
1/2 tsp salt
warm water to make dough
2tsp oil


1 cup finely grated cauliflower
2tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chopped green chillies
fresh chopped cilantro or paste
ajwain (carom seeds)
cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1-2tbsp oil


Prepare a soft dough combining salt, warm water, oil and flour. Set aside. In a pan add oil and cumin seeds. When the cumin and carom seeds starts spluttering, add ginger and chillies. After the ginger and chillies get fried, add grated cauliflower, turmeric, salt and saute well. The water from the cauliflower should get evaporated. I added cilantro paste instead of chopped one. That is why the filling looks green. The filling is done. Once it cools down, it is filled in to the dough, rolled into paranthas and fried till done on the griddle, just as you make your usual parathas.

Please visit my dear friend Kajal's blog to see the step wise pictures on how to make paranthas .

Pindi Chana


2 cup kabuli chana (white chick peas) soaked overnight
1 tea bag
1 large tomato chopped
1 large finely chopped onion
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. ginger grated
3 green chillies chopped
1/2 tsp.each cumin seeds
1tsp Punjabi chole masala
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Pomegranate powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 star Anise (chakra phool in Hindi)
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/3 tsp asafoetida
4-5 tbsp.thick tamarind extract
3-4 tbsp. oil
Salt to taste
for Garnish
1 small onion sliced into rings
Cilantro chopped
whole green chillies


Pressure cook the chick pea along with one tea bag and 2tsp salt, for not more than 3 whistles. Keep the chickpea aside after discarding the tea bag and water. I did not discard the water instead, I added it to the wheat flour to make dough for Paranthas. This way it becomes a healthy Parantha.

In a deep bottomed pan add oil, once it heats up add cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Once you see them splutter, add ginger, garlic paste, green chillies, chopped onions and fry well till onion turns translucent.

To the same add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric, all the other masala powders and cook well to see the oil separate from the tomato puree. Now add the cooked chick peas. It is a semi dry spicy chana. Once the chana gets well coated with all the masalas add the tamarind extract and mix gently. Keep on low heat for about 5 minutes and remove. Garnish with onion rings, chillies and cilantro. This Pindi Chana can be eaten as it is or can be combined with rotis or Naans.

Jeera Mutter Pulao (cumin-peas pulao)


2 cups Basmati rice (long grain rice)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star Anise (chakra phool in hindi)
41/2 cups water
4-5 tbsp oil or ghee(clarified butter)


Wash the rice and drain the water and keep aside. You have to do this when you are ready with all the ingredients for the next step. The rice should not remain that way for more than 5-8 minutes.

In a heavy bottom and non-stick cookware, add oil on medium heat. When the oil heats up add cumin and allow it to splutter. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and star anise to the oil. Once the aroma is out in the air, add the peas and rice. Stir gently so that each grain of rice gets coated with oil. It should be just on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Now add water and salt. Give it a gentle stir and cover the vessel with lid. once the water boils on medium high flame, reduce the heat to low and leave it to cook until the rice is done. This is stovetop method. you can do it with a rice cooker too by transferring all the ingredients once they are coated with oil and water is added. "Jeera Mutter Pulao is ready"!!!!

Paneer Mutter Malai


1 cup paneer cubes (cottage cheese)
1/2 cup frozen peas
10 Cashew nuts
1/3 cup heavy milk cream
1 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup tomato puree
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
1 Bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 star Anise (chakra phool in hindi)
1/2 tsp garam masala
2-3 tbsp oil
1/4 cup water
Cilantro for Garnish


In a blender combine cashews and tomato to make a thick silky puree. Keep aside. In a deep bottomed pan heat oil on medium heat, add cumin seeds. While they splutter add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. When they start spreading the aroma into your kitchen, add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and fry. Then add onions and fry till translucent. Add Paneer cubes and peas to fry for 2 minutes. Now, add the cashew-tomato paste, turmeric, salt and garam masala and fold in together all the ingredients.

You can see the oil separating out of the gravy. Add 1/4 cup water as the cashew paste intends to thicken. simmer the heat and add heavy cream. If you are calorie conscious you can also add 1/3 cup of plain whole milk. Leave leave the gravy on medium low heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Paneer mutter malai goes great with naan or Jeera pulao.


For Sikhs, there is no greater occasion of joy than the full moon day around October-November when Guru Nanak (the founder of Sikhism, and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.) was born, and Guru Parab, the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh (was the tenth and last of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism). It is a day when they rededicate themselves to unity, brotherhood and equality among all human beings. To symbolize these principles, the festival highlights a community kitchen called the Guru ka Langhar. From this free kitchen, food is served to devotees of all castes and creeds provided they sit together and eat the same food. The meal is simple and compact. After the singing of hymns Karah Parshad is served.


1-cup semolina (Sooji)
¼ cup wheat flour
1cup sugar
1cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup milk
1tbsp cashews
1tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
ghee for frying cashew nuts and raisins


Karah Prashad can be prepared with either semolina or wheat flour or by mixing both. Karah parshad are made only at Gurdwaras. Read more about Karah Parshad Here.

I followed the Karah Parshad recipe to make a halwa at home. I mixed semolina and wheat flour. In a deep, heavy bottomed pan warm up the clarified butter, add semolina and wheat flour. Fry continuously till the color changes to light brown. Remember the heat should be on medium. Once the mixture is well fried, simmer the heat.
Add sugar and milk and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed. Stir gently until the milk is fully absorbed and the mixture comes to an halwa consistency. The process is just like sooji halwa. Separately fry cashews, raisins and add it to the halwa.

Kakdi-piyaz da raita (cucumber-onion raita)


2 cups thick yogurt
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped onions
finely chopped green chillies(optional)
finely chopped mint leaves (optional)
roasted and powdered cumin powder


To the yogurt fold in all the ingredients except cumin powder. Garnish with cumin powder and serve.

Lassi Patiala

Patiala is a city in the Punjab state of India. Lassi is the famous drink of Punjab. Lassi is a traditional Punjabi drink made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Traditional lassi is flavored with ground roasted cumin. The Lassi of the Punjab uses a little milk and is topped with a thin layer of malai, a clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream. Lassis are enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment.


2 cups fresh chilled yogurt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed cardamom
8-10 saffron strands
2 drops of vanilla essence
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tsp. hot milk


Soak saffron in 1 tsp.milk for few minutes. Add milk and ice to the yogurt bring it to a thick buttermilk consistency. Add rest of the ingredients to the buttermilk and whip well so that it gets light and frothy. You can also pulse it in the blender just 1-2 times. The lassi is ready when it is light and frothy. Serve it chilled.

Punjabi Papad (dried lentil chips)

Papad is a dried lentil chip studded with Indian spices that comes alive when grilled or deep fried. It is served as an accompaniment to an Indian meal, as a snack and as croutons in soups. Papads are thin wafers made of urad dal(black lentil).

Roasting North Indian Papad's

The papad is held between tongs and roasted evenly over an open gas flame. The whole process should not take more than 30 seconds. Quick and frequent turning is required to prevent burning. As soon as papad has changed color, curled up and become crisp, it is done. This will require some practice with timing the turns and the intensity of the heat as papads burn up so quickly.

Papad out of Microwave

Place a papad in the microwave oven and cook on high for 15 seconds. Stop, flip and cook for 15 more seconds. If your microwave has less power increase the time from 15 seconds to 20 seconds and up to 30 seconds on each side.

I also would like to add one of my previous post to this one. Click on Punjabi Kadi to get this recipe.

This one is contributed to Richa of Asdearassalt who is hosting this month's 'Regional cuisine of India'.

(Source Wiki)


Padma said...

yeyyyy! I am the first to comment, Wow what a nice thali, feeling hungry. I liked the gobi paranthas.. and ur raita too... nevertheless to say the parshad has topped my list.
Beautiful pics and thanks for sharing
enjoy and 'Balle Balle'

Anh said...

This is a perfect meal! I would love to try it. Am I invited to your house? :P

Roopa said...

wooooooooow yummm feel like hopping to your place :) a full meal thali. what a spread. Great entry!

Anonymous said...

Love the thali sharmi, can I order one please ;)

archana said...

You are just gr8. Nice presentation and nice selection of dishes.I am coming over :)

Sreelu said...


What a feast, looks absoutely gorgeous. not only Punjabi cusine but Punjabi's make the best of friends. I too have Amritsar in my to go list of places

Ramya said...

I loved the thali,i did tumble at the post because i knew u would prepare the thali,it's so nice and simple.

musical said...

Awesome!! Sharmi, its such a yummy feast, dear. i am self inviting myself over :-D

Kajal said...

Hi Sharmi,

I feel I am at Punjab.Great post. Is this dish for me? Please say yes only.
This one dish is enough my dear not want any thing more........:)))))

Sig said...

Oh my... Sharmi. I've been waiting to see your RCI post, I mean feast ... :) Another perfect post... Looks super delicious...

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

Lovely.Wish you would have invited me .Hee..hee really looks awesome.

Nupur said...

She has done it yet again! Sharmi, I have been waiting eagerly for this post....everything looks so delicious, and picture-perfect. You know, you are really something!

Asha said...

Whoa!! Great spread.Your post is longer than my Punjabi food post!:))
Wonderful to see Golden Temple.I am saving the whole page,thanks Sharmi.

Richa said...

lovely spread! i see two of my favs, chole & paneer, makes me happy :) and the paratha made by someone else are always preferred heh!heh!
thanks for this lovely entry!

Nanditha Prabhu said...

hats off to you!
wish i could have it now! makes me hungry!

Mishmash ! said...

Sharmi...I really dont know how to praise you more, each time when u come with such great posts for re simply superb! :))


Priyanka said...

A great entry as usual Sharmi. Am drooling rite now!!!! those dishes are too yummy...

Shivapriya said...

I was waiting for ur post:). Lovely thali. I'm sure ur folks are having a ball with all these feast!!

Srivalli said...

as usual you rock sharmi..everything looks so perfect...


Kay said...

Sharmi, When I first saw that picture, my mind immediately concluded (within the first nanosecond of seeing the picture), that it must be from a restaurant in NJ. See, that lassi in the corner..See, the channa? Everything looks perfect! So, it must be from a restaurant. [Though I've rarely r had such great food from a restaurant anytime!] And then I read on, to my surprise, that you made all those!!! Wow! Can I come for lunch? :)

Channa Pindi is also a fav. dish of mine. I saw that first in a recipe book by Hawkins and tried it. It turned awesome.

I'm so tempted to give this menu a try. Will let you know how it goes.

Kay said...

Btw, we've moved - still unpacking (I know, I'm lazy!) Will get back to blogging soon.

TheCooker said...

What a meal!
You're too good.

Seema Bhat said...

Your family is really lucky. They have such a full 3 course authentic meals almost every month right? I loved the Chole recipe and the Lassi. I am saving the whole page Sharmi. You the best specially when it comes to RCI entry I literally wait for your post. Nice as always girl.

Sia said...

i am salivating looking at ur punjabi thali sharmi... and cant take my eyes off from that plate of pindi channa... another superb entry for RCI from u:)

Prema Sundar said...

hey U did it again Sharmi. Infact I was waiting for ur RCI post. I really admire ur hard work for the RCI entries and all of them are awesome.Lovely authentic punjabi thali..Good work girl!!!!!!

Tee said...

How did i miss this post!!!???
Your Punjabi Thali is awesome! You really are great!

USHA said...

Hi Sharmi,,

I wonder how you manage to make lot of varieties...really hatss of to your patience....It was very informative....very clear explanation below the recipes pertaining/ to that ....Punjabi thali is awesome....what a spread..

Pravs said...

I always get a feast for the eyes when ever i come here...really mouth watering dishes, sharmi. I wish i could grab some food across the screen :D

SMN said...

hey sharmi no words for this post im shamelessly asking when cani come for to have this..

indosungod said...

One Punjabi dish is enough to satisfy and make you happy but her whoa here you have a thali full.

SeeC said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Sharmi.
In a moment you made me feel like being in Punjab. What a great spread !!!
I am really astonished.
Thanks for this lovely post.

Shah cooks said...

what a spread.. i think i will grab that entire bowl of halwa there! love that.

Suganya said...

OMG.....U r great.....This is looking so perfect....Excellent feast....

ServesYouRight said...

WOW!!! This is the spread to die for!! I'm moving to your neck of the woods :-)


Dhana said...

wow Sharmi! Reminded me of those amazing wholesome meals at a Dhaba in India! I miss India now!!!

Creativecook said...


Thanks for stopping by! Absolutely stunning pictures, particularly the subtle touches like the litte sprinkling of spice on the raita.


Pragyan said...

Wow, that's a complete Punjabi thali :) That was inspiring. I am waiting to try this the next time we have someone over for dinner! Hats off to you!

- Pragyan

smdatta said...

Hey Sharmi
You are the 8th wonder in the Cooking World. I am really truly amazed by the wonderful Thalis you present for each RCI.
Great spread...makes me so very hungry :)

Sharmi said...

Anh, sure you are!!

Hima, ofcourse!

Archana, you are so welcome.

Musical , Kajal, Dr.Soumya, you are always welcome!!

Sharmi said...

Kay, I wish you come all the way to have my food. thanks for the lovely comment. hope you settle down soon.

Sharmi said...

Thanks a million all of you for your very, very valuable comments. this is what makes me do all the hard work each time. you all inspire me.

Lakshmi said...

woooooooooowww Its lunch time here in Singapore and what a perfect blog to visit. Drooling over your pics! Great presentation and great entry.

sra said...

Sharmi, I missed this post! You do go all out for an event, don't you! V nice post!

Vcuisine said...

Sharmi looks like a feast. Very nice. The parathas and paneer mattar malai are really tempting. Excellent dishes. Well chosen and well presented. Viji

Mahek said...

great great post!!!
so well done , you have put in so much efforts to make this post really great!!!

Dee said...

sharmi , hats off to you. you have so much patience to make so many dishes! Wow this is soo.... good!

Nirmala said...

Sharmi, I have amny times wondered if somebody posts a whole thali how it be...Now I feel u're family shud be really lucky to have this treat at home! Great job dear!

shweta said...

Hi Sharmi,
Wow!!I have been working 16 hours shift currently..and am starved!!your thali has made my situation even worse!Can I please hop over to your place and have some of the great food !!
Great Food & Great pictures !!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

It would make a wonderful thali for dinner...I am all hungry from now itself...
Just love the Gobi paranthas..and should appriciate your patience for posting the whole thali the way u presented.. Excellent!

bee said...

sharmi, i am coming over to spank you. looking at your posts, it makes me feel like a lazy, useless bum. what a gorgeous thali and what elaborate explanations for each recipe.

Bong Mom said...

Hey Sharmi
What a great spread you have. You are really amazing !!!! I admire you for what you put in for each of this event.
I am feeling so very hungry while I munch on asad salad :(

BTW I am hardly getting time these days to blog, summer means days are so very hectic, even at home my daughter always wants me to play with her outside or do something, so even though I cook, blogging has taken a back seat

Sharmi said...

yes Sandeepa, summer vacation for kids changes our schedule. I too try to take out time to meet all ends.

Neelam said...

Wow how did I not see this earlier! This is one great spread! I really dont have any words to say! Fantastic, Beautiful.....

Jyothi said...

Hi Sharmi! what a lovely meal spread. Looks amazing. lovely matar paneer malai. Thanks for sharing dear.

A, mama of twins said...

Ok, this is just gorgeous.. I am salivating over all the good food.

Sowjanya said...

Thats a lovely feast indeed and thanks for dropping by my blog.I loved those pics. Keep it up.

Chris said...

The Golden Temple is stunning!And, these feast you prepared - So much great food! I would love to try the various flavors. Yum! I loved reading this!

Laavanya said...

Sharmi, I am totally at a loss for words. That's an absolutely delectable thali you have there!!

Thistlemoon said...

This is a delicious feast fit for a king! You must have enjoyed eating these dishes! So beautifully presented as well! I am so hungry!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Almond Bread Company said...

Hey Can I come over when you make this next time? It looks too good. I don't think even great restaurants can pull this off. Great job.

bha said...

can you beat that....superb

Sharmi said...

thank you so much dear friends.
Jenndz, thanks a lot!!

Shri, Of course you can. what time??:)

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

Hey Sharmi this combo rocks.So tempting think daily i will come and have look lovely really

Poonam said...

That is such a delicious thali! All the food looks very professional!

Suma Gandlur said...

Great food, right?
Wish I was in your home. Where do you get all this energy / patience to cook so many dishes at a time?

sunita said...

Simply mouthwatering...I don't know what more to say...all of my favourites in there...well done again!

TBC said...

Wow! What an amazing spread!!!
Paneer matar malai looks so good!

Vijiram said...

Hi Sharmi,
I just loved your blog!! Lovely photographs and excellent recipes. It's amazing that you keep posting all type of Indian foods. Hats off to you!!!

Sharmi said...

Suma, punjabi thai was the easiest to make among all the other RCI thalis.

Sharmi said...

Thanks Viji, it is a great compliment.

Prajusha said...

Wow..what a perfect Punjabi thali.i love punjabi food a favourite is parantha and Halwa:)
Great Entry for RCI

Apple said...

Hi Sharmi,

Thanks for your comments on my blog....Your Punjabi thali is just perfect...very well presented...I liked the Gobhi Paratha and the raitha...

Gaurav said...

wow, that thali, the pictures border on food porn.


Aruna said...

My dear Sharmi!!! Let me know where u live so that I can stop by to have a sample of that delicious menu galore u have in there...
U really have some patience gal!!! Its hard to cook up a curry for dinner after a day at work for me... Ur hubby dear is one luucky guy!!!!

swapna susarla said...

WOW the thali looks tempting sharmi.
U have so much patience to write that long post.
the lassi patiala looks perfect for this hot hot weather.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I m new to your blog :-) and only, one word to say- AWESOME! :-)

I have a doubt, are phyllo sheets completely vegetarian?? (eggs are non-veg to me) Will you pls clarify? :-)


Sharmi said...

Dear Hema, yes Phyllo sheets are vegetarian. they are NOT made of eggs. so carry on!! thanks for visiting.

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

holy smokes! i don't know how i missed this post, but boy am i glad i saw it! i immediately bookmarked it! simply superb!

WokandSpoon said...

Wow - what a feast! Thanks for sharing all those recipes - they look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sharmi, will let you know how i fared in tmw's party :-) (cos the recipes are from your courtesy!)


J said...

Gosh, why am I so late??? Is there anything left for me?? Love that thali, perfect pictures and recipes Sharmi. Great job! said...

You are just too good at these spreads! Man I wish I was invited over for the days you serve these up.

Your family must really appreciate you! This looks just stunning.


Sharmi said...

Jyothsna, you are most welcome. thanks for the lovely words.

Kanchana, you can drop in any time dear. Thanks so much for the compliments.

Sangeeta Bavi Shroff said...

Hi Sharmi,

The Punjabi thali was awesome! Hats off to you for having the patience to come up with such a wide range of items. The thali looks yum! I have already tagged your paneer mutter malai, will definitely look out for more recipes on your blog. Great going.


Dhana said...

Btw, you have been tagged!

Arts said...

Lovely Thali [:)]
u have lotsa enthu n patience.. love it!

Athika said...

Hi Sharmi, My first time in your blog and I loved it such a beautiful blog you have with all those recipes awesome. That punjabi thali looks so yummy will definetely try some. I will visit your blog everyday for some more new recipes. Thanks for sharing. Do visit me at
Your comments and suggestion are most welcome.

Anonymous said...

Honestly Sharmi, I am speechless. What a FABULOUS thali!! :)

Chandrika said...

Wow what a feast Sharmi! :-)

Unknown said...

Nothing like the punjabi food.... Amazing recpies... I love eating and making....

Unknown said...

Thanks for the sharing of such information. I'm glad to have visited your blog and good to know you! I find it interesting and informative.
Gurgaon Restaurants

Unknown said...

Punjabies and their food are always awesome. I like it very much. you shared the recipe, but still we people did not get such taste as yours. I will definitely try this ;)
3 star hotels in jaipur

unnatisilks said...

Wow...... what a delicious recipes looks so inviting, wonderful platter!

Unknown said...

very nice.. like the step by step pictures most you have come up with i am tried the similar recipe, you have many of good recipes.. do try to visit my place when time permits love to have your feedback dear ..i have followed u glad if u follow me back.. Have a good day.....!

Unknown said...

I love Punjabi food. Specially Sarsaon ka saag.Please share with us great food...!!
Yatra Coupon

Unknown said...

Your blog caught my attention thanks to the quality of your
recipes.From, one of the biggest recipe search engines in
India and in the world Indian Food