The one district of Punjab that is thronged by foodies from all over the world is Amritsar. It holds religious, cultural and political significance because of its World famous Golden Temple and Wagah Border among the tourists. Considering that the place is also called the Culinary Capital of Punjab, people from across the globe enjoy the food. It has many varieties of Non-vegetarian food that adds to its taste and probably compels one to take a halt and enjoy rich delicacies of the city.
We have certain handpicked non-veg delights that are sure not to be missed by any guest of this city during their visit to this land of great Punjabi cuisine.
We have seen Punjabis obsession for Chicken, but what they really boast of is their World famous Machhi – (fish). Go anywhere in the alleys or bylanes of the city and one thing you would definitely find at a core non-vegetarian Dhaba or restaurant is Amritsari Fish. These fritters are basically pre-marinated in gram flour batter with all spices and are then deep-fried in hot oil. The mouth-watering dish is served with mint and coriander chutney which is equally delicious and comes with many additional qualities. Best served at Makhan Da Dhaba, the delicacy has not only locals hooked to it but also is World Famous now. The best fish that is used in its making is either Sole or Singara.
A dried chicken recipe that is usually liked by people as starters or as a snack. These traditional Punjabi initiators are the boneless pieces of chicken marinated in a spiced yogurt mixture and are then put in a Skewer and cooked in a traditional method using charcoal Ovalclay Tandoor till crisp golden. The basic punch lies in the marination of these chunks which is usually done a few hours before to give this opener its authentic taste. The smoky taste of this much-loved starter is due to its cooking in the Tandoor. Loved by people of all ages, this is sure to take hold of your taste-buds once it melts in your mouth. Being more of street food, this is easily available in the area of Ranjit Avenue at several places, most famous being Bubby Dhaba.
A classic delight for Punjabi food lovers, the chicken champ is the minced chicken binded together and is a mixture made with spices to give it its authentic taste. Though available in other cities as well but a different variation of it. Punjabi love this delicacy in its dry form and enjoy as a starter. Again available at different food joints in the spacious markets of the city, the much-loved are of Beera Chicken House from Basant Nagar these minced chicken logs are enjoyed by people belonging to all age groups.
Similar to the Chicken Champ, these are mutton sticks cooked in a similar way and is enjoyed by people who love mutton. Shredded mutton is binded together to give a juicy and rich flavor that melts in the mouth thereby being dominant on our taste buds. Shallow fried and slow-cooked, the tender succulent meat comes right off the rib with a spicy and sour flavor. Accompanied by the mint sauce and raw onions, the taste is loved by all, craving for mutton. The dominant seller being the MAMA Meat Shop.
A very special dish that is peculiar to Amritsar is the Paya which are basically the pieces of a goat or sheep’s legs cooked with different spices. Made into a broth the dish is best eaten with a Keema Naan. Hours of cooking and whole spices along with chili and lentil leaves mixed in it give this broth its unique buttery taste. It is believed that apart from being rich with flavors, the dish has various advantages as it makes the bones strong and acts as a medicine for such bone ailments. A dish of the old city’s food market, the superlative version is best served at Pal Da Dhaba inside Hathi Gate.
Another mouth-watering chicken starter prepared by roasting the chicken in a Tandoor – a cylindrical clay oven. Marinated with various aromatic spices hours before it is to be cooked, the peculiar things about it are the pieces are slashed to the bone in several places helping the marinade to penetrate in it so that it gets cooked quickly. The addition of lemon gives it a tangy taste. Being a wholesome meal it is even preferred by people who are little diet-conscious and prefer to skip meals at night. A different version of it is equally famous which is normally cooked at homes and is fried instead of roasted.
It is basically the goat’s brain which is yuk to some and yum for many. This is more like a shredded cheese dish if to compare but it has no gravy. The chopped brain is cooked with spices and served with dollops of butter accompanied by a Butter Naan or a Keema Naan. Forget about up-segment restaurants if you want to enjoy this delicacy. Relished by those who are a die-hard non-vegetarian the best version of the dish is served by old dhabas of the city, Mama Meat Shop being on the top of the list.
Being a world-famous dish, it has its traditional taste when made in Punjabi style. Mixed with various spices and herbs in a moderate quantity, accompanied with lots of cream and butter, the dish is a complete “Yes” for hard-core Punjabis. This is believed to be synonymous with Punjabi appetite and is worshipped by Punjabi diners. Crystal Restaurant, fine dining in Queens Road is famous for this delicacy.
These Tawa dishes are best known in Amritsar. It is basically a pan-fried chicken with a moderately spicy but a dense onion gravy. The dish is best served in fine dinings and restaurants, topping the list is again Crystal Restaurant in Queens Road.
A variation of Restaurant style Indian Naan Bread, stuffed with ground meat and cooked in a Tandoor to give a smoky taste is what all Punjabis are craving for. Accompanied by various chicken and mutton curries, this crispy stuffed bread is served with a dollop of butter on it. It can easily take the place of a plain Butter Naan if you have a liking for it and want to enjoy a wholesome meal just like a Punjabi. Try it at Pal Da Dhaba for its authentic taste.
It is rightly said “When in Rome, do as the Romans Do” but we say “When in Amritsar, Eat As a Pure Amritsari Eat”. And it’s right also. If being in Punjab, you haven’t tried the rich and world-famous cuisine, then you haven’t actually taken a correct tour. So enjoy some of these delicacies on a special demand with our Street Food Walking Tour to enjoy the flavors of the land.