Punjab with its rich cultivating lands has traditionally been an agrarian society since the time of the ancient Harappan Civilization. The land in the Indian Punjab is ideal for growing wheat and is called the ‘Granary of India’ or ‘India's bread-basket’. The two major crops cultivated by the farmers of Punjab are rice and wheat, which remain the principal crops. The indigenous Punjab Basmati rice has been the pride of the region. The practice of multi-cropping is quite common in Punjab which also grows sugarcane, bajra (pearl millet), jowar (great millet), barley, potatoes, vegetables and fruits among others. Cattle primarily used for agriculture and dairy farming in the region form the major source of dairy products starting from ghee, butter, clarified butter, curd, paneer (cottage cheese) to a wide variety of sweet dishes. Thus the staple foods grown locally including the dairy products form an integral part of the local diet.
Traditionally, ghee, butter, clarified butter and paneer are used to cook various Punjabi dishes. However, nowadays ghee, cream and butter are liberally used in restaurants to prepare Punjabi dishes. Traditional Indian spices grounded in Ghotna, a conventional kitchen device to grind and crush spices, are generally used in preparing the dishes. Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves, onion, garlic and ginger are used extensively to prepare various Punjabi delicacies. Condiments like cumin, coriander, dried methi leaves and black pepper are used to enhance the taste and flavour of various dishes.