When we talk about Indian Cuisine we talk of the dish that has put Indian cuisine on a global map which we all know as “Chicken tikka masala”. But not a lot of people know that Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of the United Kingdom whose parents were purchased from the Indian Government.
Tikka as most of us might not be knowing is derived from the word Tinka which refers to a grain-like structure. Tikka over here refers to the cut of the breast which is a grain-like symmetry. But did we all know that Chicken tikka masala is a dish from Northern India, a region called Punjab?
Punjab is also known as the land of the gurus, the land of five rivers and also the land of people who eat freely. Punjabis are known for their wit and humour and also their love for food. The culture of langar or open community kitchen where everybody else is invited to come and eat was what was started under the guidance of the first Sikh guru Shri Nanak Dev ji
THE STORY OF LANGAR
The story traces back to its times before the British colonial raj. Guru Nanak dev ji was given 20 rupees by his father and asked to trade goods worth the same, guru Nanak spent the whole amount of 20 rupees to feed a troupe of saints who were hungry for a very long time. Guru Nanak dev ji’s good deed worth 20 rupees is what has extended to feed millions of hungry stomachs on today’s date.
FACTS ABOUT THE PUNJABI CUISINE
Punjabi cuisine is majorly influenced by Awadhi and Arabian cuisine like the addition of poppy seeds, cashew nuts, and raisins all dry fruits which are a product of international trade and invasion over time.
The soil of Punjab and the northern region is mainly composed of silt bought about by the rivers like the Ganga, and Yamuna which carry a lot of minerals which make the land fertile. The breed of cows which are grown in the region is the Sahiwal cattle. The alluvial soil is suitable for the rearing of such cows which yields premium quality milk-based products.
A restaurateur who has been handling his successful Indian restaurant in Penrith explains “the Punjabi cuisine because of the fine breed of cattle available in the region can always be seen as making use of butter, buttermilk, lassi and curd in their daily meals in the form of either an appetiser or a gravy base or to add richness to their curries.
The culture of Tandoor was introduced by the Turks to the Punjabi and the Awadhi region, the concept of roti, with belan and chakli, was also native to this region.
One of the food historians who has been educating western chefs about the evolution of Indian food and also explaining the importance of catering Indian food in Wollongong explains “About the famous Kadha Prasad that is famous all over the gurudwaras all over the county, the Kadha Prasad is said to be born during the guruship of Guru Tegh bahadur when he did not have enough provisions to feed his disciples, all he had was a sack of flour and some ghee, he mixed them along and blended them well to feed his disciples.