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.

Sup oyong bakso ayam/ Ridgegourd/ Turaiya chicken noodle soup.

Sup Oyong Bakso Ayam
( Turaiya/Ridgegourd chicken noodle soup)
This is one of the best ways to eat this lovely vegetable. Adding Ridgegourd to soup gives it a silken texture and surprisingly it enhances the taste.
One of our favourite soups at home. Especially on a Rainy night.  Indonesians are not familiar with cooking Turaiya in a sabji form. Its mostly made this way in a soup. Do try this soup, which is very very easy  to make and a delight to have. A meal in a bowl I love Turaiya in any form, be it the aisi turiyuoon ji bhaji which my mother made often when we were young or even the phota bhuga turi which my mother in law gave me during child birth.😊

For the bakso ayam
Chicken dumplings
Blend 200 gms of boneless chicken with
2 pods garlic
2 egg whites
1 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour.
2 tbsp spring onion..finely chopped
1 tbsp  celery …finely chopped.

Make tiny balls with the help of 1 tsp.
Keep dipping the spoon in a small bowl of water.
Keep the chicken balls ready.

Soak about 70 gms of glass noodles in hot water. For 10 mins..drain and keep ready.

Take 2 Ridgegourds ..try to take the ones without seeds .
Peel and cut into round chunks. Not too thin, and not too thick…keep ready.
Blanch 1 bowl of moong bean sprouts in hot water , strain and keep ready( I used toge)

For the soup.
Grind 6 shallots, 3 garlic pods with a mortar and pestle. Make a paste.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add onion garlic paste, and 1 tsp of white pepper powder.
Saute till fragrant.
Ad 5 cups of hot water( better if you have chicken stock) I used stock. and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken balls .
Add 1 tbsp chicken sesoning or 2 cubes of knorr . I used royco.
Let the soup come to a rolling boil.
Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil.
Add  the ridgegourd / turai/ oyong.
Give a final simmer for 5 mins and take off the fire.

To assemble..
Put some glass noodles in a bowl, add blanched bean sprouts, and laddle the soup into the bowl.
Top with fried onion and chopped spring onion. And a healthy squirt of lime juice.
Serve with chilli sauce. I used fresh home made  sambal..

Ayam Rendang

Ayam Rendang..
Rendang, which means slow cooked food, mostly beef which is cooked for hours on a very slow fire., but chicken or even jackfruit cooked on a slow fire tastes as good, this recipe is from the   the west Sumetra regions of  Indonesia. The food from these regions is normally known as Padang food, made by the minangkabao people.
Padang restaurants are popular all over the country.
They do not offer you a menu to choose from, once you are seated, a waiter will bring out   dozens of small dishes filled with various dishes. Customers take only what they want from this array, and they pay only for what they take. Usually the plates can be  about 10 to 12 varieties of food. Curries, barbequed meats, greens etc.
This food is normally eaten with hands.
And steamed rice is served.

This was a dish I fell in love with when I moved to Indonesia 37 years ago, the taste was fabulous and a little familiar to my Indian taste buds😊

My husband would get this chicken from a popular padang restaurant called sari bundo, and we would really enjoy this on many sundays.

Do try this home made version .

Indonesian chicken curry

8 pcs of chicken.( I use thigh pcs with bone)
Make cuts on the chicken to soak up the gravy.
I potato cut into 8 pcs
2 pandan leaves tied in a knot
1/2 cup fresh coconut grated, and sauted till semi dry.
Coconut milk( I used tetra pack) 200 ml
1 stalk of lemongrass( bottom white part only, bashed)
2 fresh bay leaves
5 cloves
1 pc of cinnamon
2 tbsps tamarind paste.
( I normally soak about half kg tamarind in some hot water, squeeze and strain the paste, pour into ice cube moulds. Store in the freezer and use as required, here I used 2 cubes)
1 tbsp of jaggery.

To be ground into a paste
10 shallots
5 garlic pods
1 inch pc of ginger
5 fresh red chillies
5 dry red kashmiri chillies
6 pcs of candlenuts or cashews
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg.

Heat abt half cup oil in a pan, and add bay leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon , cloves, pandan leaves and saute till herbs and spices release thier fragrance.
Add grated coconut and ground paste.
Saute till oil is seen on the sides. Add tamarind, jaggery and salt.
Also add the chicken and potato pcs.
Saute for 10 mins, add few tbsps of water and saute again. Repeat process about 5 times.
Finally add coconut milk and some water.
Stir, cover and cook for about 20 mins till oil floats on top, and a very thick gravy is left.
This rendang is always slow cooked and tastes fabulous with white rice or layered parathas.

You can even cook till no gravy is left, and then grill the chicken to get Ayam bakar rendang.
Enjoy.

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.

Grilled Sindhi Dal Sandwich

The dal sandwich

Grilled Sindhi Dal Sandwich

This Sindhi Speciality, usually sold in carts in Ulhasnagar area, is a grilled vegetable sandwich using raw vegetables and boiled potatoes…Boiled moong dal is usually poured over it and garnished with chutneys, and some sev. A complete meal on its own, and very low on oil usage.  There are many variations for the filling, but I prefer incorporating raw vegs along with boiled potatoes.Do try it out.

A sandwich, when we were children, meant either chutney with sliced tomatoes or a boiled potato toaster, which I loved. My mother would put lots of chillie, onion, kotmir and some dry masalas in boiled mashed potato, make a sandwich and toast it using a stove top hand held toaster, not forgetting the liberal use oil used to make it crisp. We happily ate those along with tomato sauce. Never once asking… where is the protein in this meal?😁😁

Ingredients and method for dal
1 cup of yellow moong dal
( soaked for 4 hours, and boiled with 1 tbsp of crushed garlic and salt)
Boil till soft and mushy, don’t mash it up too much, leave a little bite to it.
Adjust consistency. We want it easily pourable. Not too thin nor thick
Keep aside.
Ingredients  for Sandwich
6 slices of bread
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded raw beetroot
1/2 cup finely sliced green paprika( capsicum)
Tomato slices
2 boiled  potatoes.. peeled and sliced.
Some chaat masala.

Mix cabbage, carrot, beetroot and paprika.
Onto a bread slice place tomato slices and top with the raw shredded vegetables, lastly place boiled potato slices , sprinkle chaat masala and cover with another slice of bread.
Grill the sandwich with oil or butter applied.
I grilled on a stove top with a heavy cover, brushing oil to get it crisp.

Other ingredients
Green chutney
Khatti meethi tamarind chutney
Chaat masala, red chilli powder
And some sev and corriander leaves.

Assembling
Cut a grilled sandwich into half
Place on a plate
Pour HOT dal on it.
Top with green chutney, tamarind chutney, dry masala and sev.
Enyoy your wholesome meal

* make it at serving time. Eat immediately.

Javanese Soto Ayam ( Indonesian chicken Noodle soup)

Javanese Soto Ayam
(Indonesian chicken noodle  soup)
Soto is a traditional Indonesian soup mainly composed of broth, meat, and vegetables. Many traditional soups are called soto, and the ingredients vary from region to region.
Its a light flavoursome soup on the lines of a Burnese khowsuey, but minus the coconut milk. A DIY style of having soup. A flavoursome soup is made out of herbs, and chicken is normally boiled in it and shredded afterwards. Accompanied by some steamed vegetables. It does require some preparation but the end result is amazing.
Do try this soup as cooked in my home.
Its a one bowl meal.😊

Soups bring comfort during winters and make for a light meal during summers. Sadly, soups were not something made very often at home when we were kids.

Mummy made soup only if we were sick.😊.

But living in Indonesia, its been very easy to make friends with a number of soup varieties. And Soto is a favourite of mine.😊
On to the recipe…


Ingredients to be ground to a fine paste for the soup..
15 small shallots
1 inch pc of ginger
1 inch pc of galangal( can omit)
5 to 6 garlic pods
1 inch piece of fresh turmeric
1 tbsp corriander seeds
5 candle nuts( pan roasted) or 5 cashew nuts

To be added to the soup
300 gms chicken with bone( I prefer the thigh).

Ingredients for flavouring the soup
1 lemongrass root( bashed)
Few fresh bay leaves
Few kaffir lime leaves

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a sauce pan
Add lemongrass root, bay and kaffir lime leaves. Saute till the herbs release thier fragrance.
Add ground paste and chicken,
saute till oil seperates.
Add 1 litre of hot water.
Add salt and sugar.
Let it simmer for 10 to 15 mins.
Remove chicken, shred and keep aside
Strain  the remaining soup and keep hot.
Prepare the remaining ingredients
1 cup finely sliced cabbage( blanched)
1 cup of bean sprouts( blanched)
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions and celery
1/2 cup of fried onions
2 potatoes( cut into thin slices and fried, or use ready potato chips)
Rice noodles, boiled and strained( about 1 big bowl)
1 bowl of shredded chicken
2 boiled eggs( quartered)
Slices of lime
Sambal( boil 6 red chillies, and blend with a little water, 2 pods garlic, salt.

Assembling
Take a bowl and add rice noodles, cabbage, beansprouts ,  boiled eggs, shredded chicken, potato chips, spring onions, fried onions.
Top with very hot soup. And enjoy with a squirt of lime juice and sambal.

Ras kalaan

A vegetarian dish which is simple to cook and delicious to eat, describes Ras kalaan, which originates from the southern state of Kerala, inspite of not containing any onions, garlic or ginger, is yet so pleasing to the palette.
In today’s recipe I have added drumsticks, sweet potato, broccoli and green peas. Normally it is made using tubers like yam or potatoes. I like adding different vegetables to this, and at times, have even used mushroons, babycorn etc . Do try this recipe which comes together very quickly.
KALAAN, A name which was so unfamiliar to me years ago, until I stumbled upon it by chance when south Indian food was a big mood with me, it was that particular year when I was cooking a lot of south Indian food. Having been born and brought up In India, I love the regional food which our great country has to offer.
Back to the KAALAN, which is basically a keralite preparation, made with fresh coconut and yogurt. Its fresh and tangy taste is so refreshing , making you want to make it it often. The ideal pairing for this vegetable is rice, though I prefer having it with a roti adai(rice flour roti)or paratha.
Many of us have a image about south Indian food which probably consists of Dosa, Idli, Uttapams etc. Reality is that its a vast platter of numerous dishes which delight the palette. So, on to the recipe. Feel free to replace any vegetables with your favourites.😊

Ras Kalaan
Ingredients
4 drumsticks..scraped,cut into 4 to 5 pieces , and boiled.
1 small sweet potatoe, boiled and cubed
1/2 cup green peas( I used frozen)
1 cup broccoli flowerlets, par boiled.
(Roughly about 200 gms mixed vegetables)
1 cup fresh grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
2 cups fresh yogurt
1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
1 tsp raw rice(washed)
2 tbsps palm sugar( gur) jaggery
1 or 2 green chillies
FOR TEMPERING
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, broken into pcs
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
Few curry leaves
Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method
1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and add 1 tsp methi seeds and 2 dry red chillies(broken). Saute for 2 mins.
2. Grind 1 cup grated coconut, 2 cups yogurt, 2 green chillies, 1 tsp raw rice, the sauted methi seeds and dry red chillies. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsps coconut oil in a pan, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tbsp udad dal, curry leaves. Saute for a while till fragrant.
4. Add the vegetables and coconut paste along with turmeric powder, salt, 2 tbsps palm sugar and half cup of water.
5. Cook for 5 to 10 mins. Untill oil seperates.
Serve hot with steamed rice, or parathas.

Vegan omelette with Premix Recipe.

In a world where instant is becoming a norm, whether its instant noodles or instant meals which only need to be reheated. Everyone wants to cook something that is not time consuming or tedious and at the same time, nutritious. Today’s recipe is all that, instant and quick. A premix is always handy to have around in our pantry, and if it is a homemade premix, rest assured you are stress free knowing no preseravatives and chemicals are in it. HOMEMADE is the new normal now, especially since the world wide lockdown. A vegetarian omelette premix, which is also vegan is a boon to have, breakfast and snacking or even a light meal are suitably covered.
Growing up in Pune, my mom made a vegetarian omelette from besan(chick pea flour) frequently. This was our meal on days when she did not feel like cooking😊. 2 slices of white bread and a crisp besan omelette and tomato ketchup. Soul satisfying. I have added oats and flaxseed powder to the premix, making it more nutritious. This premix quantity will yield about 275 gms, which is good enough for about 15 medium omelettes. This premix stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1 cup besan( chick pea flour)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup flaxseed
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp red chillie powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds)
1 tsp jeera( cumin seeds)
1 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)

Method
Roast the sesame seeds for few mins and keep aside.
Grind seperately the oats and and flax seeds to a fine powder.
Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl .
Store in an air tight container

To make the omelette.
In a bowl, take 2 tbsps of the premix and add about 2 or 3 tbsps of water( you might need more) mix gently and add some chopped onions and corriander leaves, and if you like it spicy add chopped chillies. Now mix and add little water to get a batter which is medium thin. Not to thin nor thick.
Heat a non stick pan, brush with oil and using about 2 or 3 tbsps of batter spread out making a thin omellete. Pour little oil around the omelette. Once crisp on the underside, flip over and let it become crisp. Serve with a chutney or chillie sauce.

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.