Journey beyond butter chicken and dal makhani

Regional cuisine

Despite a number of dhabas, restaurants and street food vendors, who serve the capital Punjabi food, one still yearns to have a taste of traditional makki di roti with sarson da saag, aloo ke paranthe with white makkhan and kali maa chhole di dal. Though generous amounts of desi ghee is poured in dishes like butter chicken and mutton roganjosh at Kake da dhaba, we still miss the mithas of these food items, which we believe can only be found in the pinds of Punjab.

However, rescuing us from this yearning for our comfort food, Punjab Grill launched ‘Rangla Punjab’ a special menu curated by head chef Gurpreet Singh which included authentic and regional delicacies from the pinds of Punjab. 

When Metrolife headed to try the menu, the expectations were pretty obvious, since the restaurant is already popular for the Punjabi food. But little did we know that our long lost mithas of sarson da saag and ghee shakkar would be waiting for us at the table.

We were served Kaali Gajar Di Kaanji at the very beginning. The khatta taste of the gajar in cold water with heeng, served in glass martaban gave a rich taste to the drink.

Then came in Machhi de Pakode with potato chips. Deep fried fish served along with Gobhi Shalgam da achaar and Meat da achaar including mutton and chicken, was a savoury starter infused with right amount of spices.

While Kunna Meat which is traditionally cooked in earthen pots was, according to chefs, the most popular dish at the restaurant, what caught our eyes was Kotkapura atta chicken. 

A regional dish of Kotkapura, Kotkapura atta chicken has chicken wrapped in a cloth inside a chunk of atta. It is cooked in charcoal for around one-and-a-half hours. The atta layer and the cloth is then torn off, with a smoky, flavoursome chicken inside, which has all its aromas intact. 

A huge, oval-shaped chunk of atta cooked in charcoal on the table, a fancy sight, indeed! It took a while for the waiter to cut open the atta and the cloth, but the whole wait was worth it. Moderately rich in spices and cooked to perfection, Kotkapura atta chicken is a joyous journey for any Punjabi, beyond butter chicken and dal makhani.
Within minutes after this, our table was filled with main course menu items. Kunna Meat, Khoya Paneer, Maa Choley di Daal, Harey Chholoya da Pulao, Pind da saag along with mukka maar ke pyaz, white butter and ghee shakkar... one can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia after seeing these regional Punjabi dishes.Too much gluttony did not seem like a bad option in spending 15 minutes indulging in these delicacies. 

What left was desserts, and Gurh wale Chawal and Makhane di Kheer, cooked just like it is cooked at home, was all what we wanted. 

A full-circle menu, Rangla Punjab at Punjab Grill was a dream come true for any Punjabi food lover. 

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