SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN / CARDAMOM CHICKEN.

SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN.

Today’s recipe is SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN, cardamon/Elaichi chicken.
After someone asked me for an authentic sindhi recipe for phote bhuga TEEVARN( mutton), I went straight to the source of my sindhi recipes, MY MOTHER. While I was on a short trip to India. Sadly Mom’s health has detoriated as well as her memory. But she immediately could recall this recipe, and told me. In fact I asked her if we could add tomatoes, she said not at all.😊 so this recipe is more like a stew with a strong cardamon flavour and peppery undertones.A very light on the tummy dish.

Memories of my mom making this super fragrant dish( phote bugo teevarn) on sundays for my grandparents are so clear. My mom is a masterchef of sindhi delicacies, but sadly cannot cook any longer at the grand age of 90. But I am so thankful to have learnt most of my sindhi cooking from her.

Pls try it and have this accompanied by parathas and tawa toasted bread. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it so special.
The last time I made it was years ago for my mother in law , but with mushrooms. ( vegetarians please note).

500 gms chicken with bone( 6 good size pieces) make slashes on the chicken.
2 tsps of freshly ground cardamon with skin
4 to 5 whole cardamons..lightly bashed.
2 tsps freshly ground black pepper.
1 tsp shah jeera
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
1/4 tsp garam masala
1.5 tsps salt.
3 cups water.
Finely cut corriander leaves with stems.
3 tbsps oil
2 tbsps Wheat flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water.
( DO NOT USE CORNFLOUR).
Heat oil in a pressure cooker, and add the shah jeera, whole cardamons and the powdered cardamom. After a few seconds add the chicken and start sauting for at least 10 mins. The cardamom will start sticking to the chicken, keep going. Now add the corriander leaves, black pepper powder, turmeric and salt, mix for another 5 mins. The combined flavours of corriander, pepper and cardamom are amazing. Add the water and close lid. After 3 whistles, shut the flame and let the cooker cool down.
Open the lid and bring the chicken to a boil. Add the wheat flour slurry and simmer for a few more minutes.
Serve hot, sprinkled with black pepper and corriander.
Serve with parathas, and tawa toasted bread.or pao.

Sindhi Chicken/ lotus stem

The recipe which I will share today is usually the base for sindhi pawa(trotters, or paya) but I cook my mutton or chicken,or Lotus stem( beeh) using this recipe of my mother, its easy enough to follow..( had shared the mutton version of this long back in a post on this blog)

SINDHI CHICKEN
1 whole chicken cut into 8 or 10 pieces.
3 big onions, cut fine
2 tomatoes chopped
2 tomatoes boiled and pureed.
2 tbsps ginger garlic paste.
1 tsp shah jeeri
3 tsps red chillie powder( or to taste)
1 tsp haldi powder.
2 tsps dhania powder.
2 tsps home made garam masala( shared recipe previously.)
Salt about 2 tsps.

Take a square piece of muslin cloth, about the size of a man’s handkerchief and put these spices onto it

1 tsp cummin seeds
1 pc of cinnamon ( about an inch long) a 2 small dried bay leaves
4 cloves
12 black peppercorns 
4 green cardamoms
4 small shallots and 4 cloves of garlic
and a small piece of ginger
2 tbsps raw rice and 1 tbsp raw chana dal
Tie this into a secure potli and make a bouquet garni, put this packet of spices into a pressure cooker, add chicken into the cooker, add sufficient water and close the lid, cook for about 2 or 3 whistles on medium flame. Once pressure is released from the cooker,  Remove the bouquet garni, open it gently, and put the spices into a mixer and blend using about one cup of water, strain this thick spice water and keep aside. ( DISCARD CINNAMON STICK AND BAY LEAVES)

Now take a pot, add about 4 to 5 tbsps of oil, and add 3 finely chopped onions. saute until onions turn pale golden in colour.

Add shah jeeri or caraways seeds to the onions
Add 2 tbsps of ginger garlic paste and continue to saute.
Now add 2 sliced tomatoes and puree of 2 boiled tomatoes

Continue to saute till every thing comes together and then add dry spices like turmeric, red chillie powder, corriander powder and lastly the king of all masalas …garam masala., season with salt.

Now is the time to add the boiled chicken  together with the stock. mix well and let it cook covered for 10 mins, then add the strained spice mixture little by little. Cover once again and simmer till your kitchen is engulfed with the fragrance…abt 15 mins on a low flame, adjust the thickness of the gravy , it should be semi thick and slightly sticky due to the starch in the rice. The chicken literally falls of the bones…

** Tip, Its better to pressure cook the chicken a day before, if possible. Keep the stock, bouquet garni, and water from boiled chicken in the fridge, next day you will see that the stock has turned into jelly. It gives awesome flavours..then you can grind the spices in the bouquet garni. BUT, if time does not permit, then go ahead and cook directly.

Finally add lots of chopped corriander leaves , stir and serve hot with phulkas or bread slices( we prefer pao or bread buns, to soak up the gravy)… and some sindhi kechumbo .

Kechumbo

Rub some salt onto 2 sliced onions, and leave for 5 mins, then wash under running water, squeeze the water out and put the onions in a bowl . now add 2 sliced green chillies , 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp vinegar. mix well and refrigerate.( I  even add grated raw beetroot and grated carrot to my kechumbo)

FOR VEGETARIANS I WOULD SUGGEST MAKING LOTUS STEM AND POTATOES,OR MUSHROOMS. USING THE SAME ABOVE METHOD.

Mitho lolo ( sweet flat bread ) and mirchaan ji bhaaji( chilli sabji)

MITHO LOLO
Those familiar with sindhi cuisine would know about koki or loli as we call it, the top comfort level breakfast for any sindhi😊, paired with yogurt and papad. In my home its a sunday breakfast.

Mitho lolo, is the sweet version of loli.
Mostly made on certain festivals like Satai or Thadri as its known. Food is generally cooked a day prior to Thadri, and eaten cold the next day, items which keep well are pakoras, puris, seeras, and rice which is mixed with yogurt, and mustard powder. No fire is lit to cook on Thadri.
Ladies go thier parents homes and just enjoy for the day. This year it falls on 29th August.
My late mother in law would make make mitho lolo’s every Thadri, she would make the dough patiently, rolling out the lolas and send them to the kitchen, where I had to roast them on the tawa at a very low heat..
patience 😊is the key to make good lolas.
I rarely make lolas nowadays, bcoz there are some home chefs who sell them in jakarta. I tried making them this year and they were quite good. We pair mitho lolo with a chillie sabji. Sharing both recipes today. Do try the recipe. Thank you.

Mitho lolo
250 gms whole wheat atta
6 tbsps of oil
125gms grated jaggery
2 tbsps powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder.
Extra 1 cup oil for dipping.

In a bowl add grated jaggery, sugar and about 4 tbsps of hot water. Mix well till jaggery disolves.

Prepare a deep plate with about one cup of oil in it to dip the lolas.keep aside

In a big bowl or plate, put the flour( atta)
And add the oil, add 5 tbsps first and mix with finger tips. If you can gather the flour in your hands like a ball, that means oil is enough otherwise add 1 tbsp more. Add the cardamon powder and liquid jaggery, and knead gently. Try your best not to add any water. I needed to add 1 tbsp. The dough shd be tight. We need to use the dough Immediately, to avoid gluten formation, which will make the lola soft. The lola should have a crisp bite to it, and be just a little soft inside.Now divide the dough into about 5 balls, cover with a wet napkin, take one ball and smoothen it on the rolling board. Roll out to about 1 cm thick, plus minus. Prick all over with a fork. Roast on a preheated tawa on a very low heat, gently press with a wooden chapati press or napkin. Brush with very little oil, When both sides are golden brown remove onto the oil filled plate, soak for just a minute and drain.
Stack in a plate. Lolas have a long shelf life, if you store them well. In airtight boxes.

you can add cut nuts while rolling out the lolas. We like them plain.

Mirchaan ji bhaji
( chillie sabji)

250 gms green chillies( I used the thick variety)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp hing
1.5 tbsps besan
2 tbsps grated jaggery
2 tbsps tamarind pulp
Salt to taste.
Wash and cut the green chillies into 3 to 4 pcs..

Heat about 4 to 5 tbsps oil in a pan, add cut chillies, and saute till the chillies turn white. Drain and reserve the oil.
Take the chillie oil in a cooker and add
Mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing.
Next add the besan and saute till fragrant, add turmeric powder.
Next add chillies and half cup of water.
Close the lid and cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
Open the lid and cook till water almost dries up, at the same time mashing the chillies with a wooden whisk.
Finally add jaggery, tamarind and salt.
You shd be able to balance all the flavours here. Done.

Sindhi fusion Dal pakwan

This delicious dish of sindhi origin, barely needs an introduction,as it is so well known , almost like a trade mark for us sindhis. Crispy Pakwan( fried flat bread) topped with a creamy dal chana, garnished with citrusy onion relish, and a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, with a sprinkling of red chillie powder, its a match made in heaven, in terms of gastronomy.

Dal chana( lentils)is cooked to a creamy consistency, normally bland with just salt and turmeric. But I have been making the dal with a green twist since years, and its remained an earmarked recipe im my cook book.My version is slightly different , as I have added ginger, garlic and green chillies, and the addition of cardamom powder as it brings a subtle rich flavour to the dal, this is my fusion version😊
Mostly served for breakfast on lazy sundays.Growing up in pune, mummy usually made the dal at home, and prefered getting the pakwans from the sindhi uncle at babajan chowk, who sold dal pakwan from his cart only on sundays., It was something we looked forward to. In India it is sold in carts, in sindhi dominated areas, or even sweetmeat shops. That is not to say that only sindhi people relish this soul satisfying dish😊. People from all walks of life love and appreciate the deliciousness of dal pakwan.
Try making this at home and listen to the satisfying sighs around your table…😊
Yes, making pakwan is time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients for dal
1 cup dal chana ( Rinsed and soaked in water for 4 hours)
2 green chillies
5 pods garlic
1 inch pc of ginger
12 curry leaves..chopped finely.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1/2 tsp saunf( fennel seeds)
1 tsp finely ground cardamon powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt, or as needed.
Method.
Boil the dal till soft, but not mashed.
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies with little water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ajwain, saunf, curry leaves, add cardamon powder and turmeric powder.
Add the ginger garlic green chillie paste and saute for a while.
Now add the boiled dal and salt.
Add 1 cup water and let it cook on medium flame till the dal reaches to a thick consistency, but not mashed. Pour in a bowl and garnish with khatti meethi chutney, kechumbo kotmir and a sprinkle of red chillie powder.
Serve with pakwan,

Ingredients for Pakwan
1 cup flour( maida)
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp jeeri( caraway seeds)
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1 tbsp oil
Cold water to knead the flour.

Mix flour, jeeri, ajwain, salt and oil.
Add some cold water and knead a stiff dough. Dough should not be soft nor very hard. Medium hard dough. Knead well till pliable . Cover with a wet napkin and keep aside for half an hour. Now make small balls of the dough, roll out into thin puris. Prick with a fork.
Fill a wok with oil to upto half level
Heat till oil is medium hot.
Slide in the puris, press with a sloted spoon,for few seconds. Then let the puri continue to cook untill its crisp and golden brown.
Each pakwan takes upto 5 mins on a low to medium flame. Remove and keep aside.

Serve with a onion relish( kachumbo)
Cut one onion finely, add sliced green chillies, add little salt. Then wash under running water. Strain properly, add little sugar, vinegar and salt.

Khatti meeti chutney( sweet and sour sauce)
Boil together 4 tbsps thick tanarind paste with 4 tbsps grated jaggery. Abd about 10 tbsps water. Cook till medium thick.. strain into a bowl, add little salt, red chillie powder and jeera powder.

Fusion Indian caramel flan

Caramel, the name itself will get you imagining a beautiful golden river of sugar . Endless are the desserts which have caramel incorporated into them. Its a world wide favourite. Be it the salted caramel icecream or the luscious flans. Not to forget the alpenliebe caramel candy or the carmello cadbury chocolate both my favourites. Call this a flan, or a caramel custard , or a pudding, this dessert is always drool worthy.
Today’s recipe is my version of the caramel flan with a indian twist to it.

I have added cardamon and saffron with rose essence highlighting the pudding.
Recalling childhood days when we did not own an oven. Mummy made this pudding by steaming it . Of course she did not call it a flan, instead named it as bedhe ji pudding( egg pudding). And she always used cardamom as a flavoring . I never tried making this delicious pudding, only because either my mom or my sister always made this on my trips to India. This custard is also very popular in Parsi cuisine, called the lagna nu custard, normally served during weddings. The Parsi variation is more richly made. One of the best caramel custard pudding,I have ever eaten would be at the Dorabjee and sons Restaurant which is situated at dastur meher road , Pune. You can find the best authentic Parsi food here.
In recent years I have tried many receipes to get a good caramel flan, and this method is top rated in my diary.This flan be made by either baking it in an oven using a water bath, or by steaming it directly in a steamer.
Do try this recipe and relish it cold.

Ingredients
3 cups of full fat milk
200 ml condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs( at room temperature)
1/2 tsp saffrons strands soaked in a little hot water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp rose essence

Method
1. Boil milk and condensed milk together with the cardamom powder. Once it boils, shut the flame and keep aside. Cool completely.
2. To make the caramel, put 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a pan and heat on high heat untill sugar melts and starts browning .At this point lower the heat and allow the sugar to turn to a beautiful golden brown liquid. Try not to stir in between. Transfer this caramel to either one big oven proof dish or divide it into 2 dishes. Allow the caramel to cool.
3. Beat 4 eggs lightly and add to the cool milk mixture. Mix well and strain this mixture.
4. Add the saffron liquid and rose essence to the milk and egg mixture.
5. Pour into the caramelized bowls , cover the bowls with aluminium foil .
Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 60 mins.
Cool completely before transferring to the fridge..

Overturn the caramel onto a serving platter at the time of serving.

Garnish with sliced almonds and pistas.

* For the water bath baking, I put the flan dishes in a baking tray and poured hot water into the tray , to come upto 1/4 level of the dishes.
Using this method, the flan does not dry up and retains its moisture.

The sugar rush

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Something about the addiction to sugar; everyone has heard of the saying, girls are made up of sugar and spice and everything nice, this is also true in the case of so many desserts! We have desserts with oodles of sugar laced with so many spices like cinnamon, cardamom , saffron, cloves to name a few. Be it Indian desserts like our kheers, payaasams, kulfis or the baklavas of the middle east, the apple or pumpkin pies of the west….. some spice is always added to balance out the flavours. How many of us have followed our noses to the tempting aromas coming from bakeries and given in to the temptation to a piece of St. cinnamon? I confess that I have, because I have a sweet tooth which is rather well known…

Sweets are something which we grew up on, since my full family had a sweet tooth. Winters in pune were cold.. and to fortify us during the chills, mom always served sweet breakfasts, proper sindhi sweets.. on most sundays during winter we always got a plate full of mithyun seyun( sweet vermecilli or sevaiyaan.. and every mouthful was a burst of flavours, cardamon being the most prominent…and to balance the sweetness , this dish was always accompanied by small cubed fried potatoes sprinkled with chillie powder and salt..sindhi cuisine has many rich sweets to offer like lapi, malpura, mitho lolo etc… here i share my moms version of the mithyuoon seyun and tariyal patata…

INGREDIENTS

200 gms roasted fine vermicilli 170 gms sugar

1/2 cup ghee

1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts like almonds, pistas, chironji..

1 tsp cardamon powder

METHOD Heat ghee in a nonstick pan, and add vermicilli and nuts , saute till aromatic, when vermicilli turns golden brown add enough hot water to cover the seyuoon, cover and cook for a few minutes. add sugar and cardamom powder..cover once more and cook on a low flame till water dries up..shut the flame and leave covered for abt 5 mins.. serve hot sprinkled with sliced almonds and pistas…accompanied with tariyal (fried)potatoes sprinkled with salt and chillie powder.