Pakistani comfort food at newly-opened Punjabi Kitchen

by Bronwyn Jones11/04/2018 - 11:36


A recent addition to Prishtina’s palette, Punjabi Kitchen specializing in south Asian comfort food, is packing new flavors that are here to stay.

My friend waited for me at the entrance of the bar, “What’s this new curry house that’s going to open up!?”

The new curry house, much to the delight of many, is the Punjabi Kitchen run by a Pakistani family new to Kosovo. It’s located on the back street behind Kafja e Vogel, next to Tartine. For the last few weeks it has been doing a soft opening, with a limited menu getting a feel for Prishtina as Prishtina gets a feel for it.

Punjabi Kitchen focuses on Pakistani and Indian style curries. It’s the kind of curry house that can be found globally that focuses on what is essentially comfort food: A curry for when you have the flu, after a late night out or an early morning, leftover from last night, breakfast wake up, a spot to hang out with your friends, to watch football or to curl up and binge watch the latest Swedish crime box set (they do have takeaway).  This is sometimes the best food in the world.

Expect a strongly flavored, bold, robust style of curry. But don’t worry if hyperactive heat isn’t your thing, they’ll nicely dial it down for you. However, if your needs are more robust, tell them you’re feeling quite strong today.

From the minute you enter the colorful interior, a bit of gentle pop music from the subcontinent settles you in for a Punjabi tea. It’s essentially a masala chai with lovely blend of spices including cardamom and steamed milk that warms you up inside. It’s calming, relaxing and a great way to start a meal, end it, or both.

Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

The Beef and Chicken Kormas (at seven and five euros respectively) are done in rich, meaty sauces that have layers of flavors. The more you eat the more you envelop yourself in all of the spices. The beef was my favorite, as the stronger meat enriches the sauce. It’s a filling, satisfying dish either way.

The Chicken Tikka Masala was recently added to the limited menu. This is a lovely version of the all-time favorite, rich with spices and tender chunks of chicken served in a lovely rich sauce.

For vegetarians/vegans there is also a lovely dal. I’m not a fan of beans or lentils but these were, by any standard, excellent. The lentils were cooked to tender perfection in a thick deep sauce, filled out with butter. If you’re sharing with omnivores they won’t miss the meat. But make sure you ask for the vegan version if that’s your thing.

Photo: Bronwyn Jones.

Also try the spinach and potato curry, Palak Alou (at five euros). It’s a mild curry with layers of flavor and a spicy kick at the end. The spinach is soft and tender with pillowy potato chunks. It’s also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. But as I said before, omnivores will love it too.

My absolute favorite dish right now is the vegetable pakora (one euro for four pieces), which comes with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce. They are perfectly crispy outside but tender inside, delicately spiced with garam masala, served hot. They are moreish treats that prove that while the Italians make brilliant fritti misto, the South Asian frying game ups the ante considerably.

For dessert try the kheer, a creamy rice pudding scented with cardamom, coconut and raisins. They will also introduce a vegan desert of scented and spiced prunes. I had an early taste of it and loved the sweet, spicy endnotes.

The permanent chef will be in house in mid-April. Until then, try flavors that have taken some time coming to Kosovo but are now here to stay.

11 April 2018 - 11:36

Punjabi Kitchen


Fehmi Agani st. n/n


Mon-Sun 11 am to 10 pm.


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