Baisakhi or Punjabi New Year is a festival celebrated with great pomp in Punjab and many other North Indian states. It is a celebration of the harvest season for wheat. And so is a big event, especially in the rural parts of Punjab. It is celebrated in mid-April every year. The better the harvest, the bigger the celebration.
Baisakhi is one of the biggest festivals in Punjab, so understandably there is a wide range of mouth-watering dishes prepared during the celebration and the food is obviously to die for!
Have a look at some of these traditional and delectable dishes prepared to ensure the festivities are ‘larger than life’ in authentic Punjabi style!
Meethe Peeley Chawal
This traditional recipe of sweetened rice is one of the staple recipes for Baisakhi. It is simple and comforting and delicious to eat.
- Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
- Serves: 4 people
- Basmati rice: 1 cup (soaked)
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Water: 4 cups
- Yellow Food colour: 1 pinch
- Kesar: 10-15 strands
- Bay leaf: 2
- Green Cardamom: 4-5 pcs
- Clove: 4-5
- Almonds: 20pc (Blanched)
- Raisins: 15-20
- Cashew nuts: 15-20pcs
- Ghee: 1.5 cups
- Fresh Coconut: ½ cup (grated)
- Rose water: a few drops to sprinkle
- Atta dough: to seal the vessel
- In a large vessel, boil water with cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves, along with the soaked rice and yellow food colour. Cook the rice till it is 80% cooked or slightly uncooked.
- Drain the rice and leave it in the colander to cool down and infuse the masalas. Now take a heavy bottom pan and heat some ghee in it, fry all the dry fruits in it, remove and keep aside. Now add the 80% cooked rice to the vessel and mix well.
- Cover the vessel and seal it with some atta and let the rice cook for a few minutes.
- The next step is to alternate half the rice with half the sugar in 2 layers. Add the saffron strands on top, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes on low flame.
- Once the rice is fragrant and cooked completely garnish with the fried dry fruits and sprinkle rose water just before serving.
- Serve warm.
Meetha pooda or sweet wheat pancakes are the perfect breakfast recipe to start with Baisakhi festivities.
- Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- Serves: 4 People
- Wheat flour: 2 cups
- Fennel Seeds: 2 teaspoons
- Ghee: 6 tablespoons
- Sugar: ¼ cup
- Salt: 1 pinch
- Water: ¾ cup
- Almonds: 7-8 (chopped for garnishing)
- In a mixing bowl add the whole wheat flour along with sugar, salt and fennel seeds and mix well. Gently add water and mix to get a smooth batter that can be easily spread.
- Make sure you dissolve the sugar in the batter and get a smooth batter to avoid clumps or crystals of sugar.
- Heat a pan and add some ghee to it. Gently spread the batter on the pan and allow it to cook on low flame. Flip the pooda so that both sides are perfectly cooked. Keep the flame low to get that attractive golden brown colour on the pooda.
- Once cooked, transfer the pooda to a plate and garnish with sliced or chopped almonds and serve hot.
What is a Punjabi festival without its iconic Pindi Chole on the menu? This comforting, rich dish made with chickpeas is perfect with bhaturas or puris.
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- Serves: 4 people
- White Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana): 3 cups (soaked overnight)
- Cloves: 3 pcs
- Cinnamon: 1-inch stick
- Black cardamom: 2
- Green cardamom: 2
- Bay Leaves: 2
- Tea bags: 1pc
- Black Salt: 1 teaspoon
For Pindi Masala:
- Cooking oil: 2 tablespoons
- Ginger garlic paste: 2 tablespoons
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 spoon
- Coriander powder: 1 spoon
- Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
- Chole masala: 2-3 teaspoons
- Amchur powder: 1 teaspoon
- Salt: as per taste
- Lemon Juice: 1 teaspoon
- Take a pressure cooker and add the overnight-soaked chickpeas to it. Add the required amount of water along with black salt, cloves, black and green cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon and a black tea bag.
- Pressure cook the chole for about 4-5 whistles. Cook for longer if the chickpeas are not fully cooked. After cooking the chickpeas, discard the spices and tea bag and drain out the chickpeas.
- To make the Pindi chole masala, you need to take a heavy bottom pan, add the cooking oil and heat it. Once heated, add ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smell wears off.
- Now reduce the flame or switch off the flame and add the dry spices like coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala, amchur powder and chole masala and mix well.
- It is important to do this on flam to avoid the masalas from burning or turning black. Now add the cooked chickpeas to the masala mix. Mix well and adjust the seasoning and salt.
- Serve hot with bhaturas, puris and onions.
Paneer Dal Makhni
This comforting rich and creamy dal made with black lentils and paneer is the signature dish without which any Punjabi fare is incomplete. This dal takes longer to cook but is totally worth the time. Relish this with naan, or steaming hot rice.
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cooking Time: 1 hour
- Serves: 4 people
- Whole black urad dal: ¾ cup
- Rajma: ¼ cup
- Onion: ½ cup (finely chopped)
- Tomato puree: 1 cup
- Ginger garlic paste: 2 teaspoons
- Green chilli: 1 (finely chopped)
- Cumin seeds: teaspoon
- Cloves: 2-3 pcs
- Black Cardamom: 1
- Cinnamon: 1-inch piece
- Bay leaf: 1pc
- Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
- Nutmeg powder: 1 pinch
- Fresh cream: ½ cup
- Kasuri methi: 1 teaspoon
- Butter: 2 teaspoons
- Fresh coriander: for garnishing
- Ghee: 2 tablespoons
- Malai Paneer: 100gm (cubed)
- Add the soaked urad dal and rajma in a cooker with some salt and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles or until it is soft and mushy
- To a heavy iron cooking pot, add the ghee with butter and temper with cumin seeds now add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook on a slow flame for a few seconds. To this add the finely chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Add the green chilli and ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smell wears off.
- Once the mixture is completely cooked, add tomato puree and add salt and cover and cook until the oil leaves the pot. Add the chilli powder and nutmeg powder and sauté until the mixture is golden reddish and brown.
- To this mixture add the cooked dal and add salt, and add water if needed to adjust the consistency. Cover and cook on a low flame for some time. The consistency of the dal must be creamy and not too thick or too runny.
- Once the dal is well blended add fresh cream on a low flame (or off the stove) and stir gently so that the cream does not split. Finally, add small cubes of malai paneer to elevate the dish to the next level. Garnish with fresh green coriander and serve hot.
- Tastes best with naan or rice.
What a lovely way to celebrate Baisakhi by Big Basket. Really impressed with the idea of sharing the information on Baisakhi festival and the recipes.