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.

Asian fusion noodle omelette

Eggs, world wide favorite ingredient for countless recipes. You name it and an egg is most often present in most cakes, custards, souffles, in savoury dishes and the list goes on.
At our home eggs in some form are always present at breakfast time.
My favourite anytime dish is bedo dabroti( an omelette and a slice of bread).
Today’s recipe incorporates instant noodles mixed with beaten eggs and some vegetables to give you a noodle omelette. The slight difference here is that I have not cooked the noodles. So the omelette has a bit of crunch. A hearty snack or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a crunchy salad .
Do try this simple to put together recipe. Feel free to add or change the vegetables. A bit of crunchy bacon or ham will surely high light this simple wholesome dish. Came across this idea on a tik tok video and played around with the additional vegetables and realised that we used to make a similar omelette using cooked noodles. Flash back mode.😊. Do try this recipe.



Ingredients

2 packets of any brand instant noodles… maggie, indomie etc
Spice mix sachets( included with noodles)
2 tbsps finely chopped carrots
2 tbsps finely chopped cabbage
2 tbsps finely chopped paprika
2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions and celery.
3 big eggs or 4 small eggs.



Method..
Put the noodles from the 2 packets in a food processor and blitz for few seconds. You will get crushed noodles. Alternately you can crush the noodles manually while still in the packet, with your hands or a rolling pin.
Transfer broken noodles to a big bowl, add the spice mixture from both the packets. At this point you can add some chillie flakes or chopped chillies if you wish.
Add the carrots, cabbage, parika and spring onions celery to the noodles.
Beat the eggs seperately and add to the noodles. Mix well and add to a preheated nonstick frying pan to which about 3 tbsps oil have been added.
Spread the egg mixture evenly.
Cook on a low flame for few mins, untill golden brown.
(Do not cover)
Gently flip the omelette. Cook for a few more minutes.
Remove onto a platter and cut into wedges.
Serve hot…
** as we are using the spice packets which are included in instant noodle packets, there is no need to add salt or any other spice. Unless you wish to make it more spicy.

Dhaba chicken

Many years ago, I happened to come across a concept to making a meat dish similar to the recipe I will be sharing with you all today. This particular dish is really very tasty, and best eaten with parathas or phulkas. For those of you who are eggetarians, can substitute paneer for chicken. Just imagine a delicious chicken curry, topped with beaten and seasoned eggs, then steamed for a short time.
Please try and use boneless chicken fillet or thigh .
The name which I have given to this dish, not a very original name for sure, but thats how I have written it in my cook book. And also because I always make it in a stainless steel container, which is also called a dhaba. Today’s reference picture also contains a small glass ramekin, in which I made it, just for you all to see how it looks.
Do try this recipe, and serve it with kechumbo( onion relish).

Dhaba chicken

500 gms boneless chicken cut into cubes.
150 gms finely chopped onions
2 tomatoes
4 pods garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 sprig curry leaves(12 leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp chicken tikka masala or any box masala you have handy
Salt to taste
1 cup thick yogurt
Chopped corriander leaves.
2 eggs .
Grated cheddar cheese.

METHOD.
Take a bowl, add yogurt, red chillie powder, turmeric, corriander powder, garam masala, chicken tikka masala, chicken cubes. Mix well and keep aside.
Now heat 4 tbsps oil in a pot, and add finely chopped onions .
Saute till golden brown , remove and keep aside. When cool, blend together with 2 tomatoes and keep aside.
In a mixer jar, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Add little water and grind to a fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the curry leaf paste, saute for 5 mins and add marinated chicken..cook till almost dry, then add the fried onion tomato paste. Cook till oil seperates. Add salt and corriander leaves. Check the gravy.
Consistency of gravy should be thick, but not dry.
Lastly smoke it.( optional) ( picture is included)
Now, put the chicken curry into a steel or heat resistant glass container. Beat eggs in a bowl , season with salt , and pour on top of the curry. Top with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle red chillie powder and chopped corriander leaves.
Steam in a hot steamer for 10 or 15 mins. Serve hot with parathas or phulkas. And onion relish.

ONION RELISH/ KECHUMBO
Cut one big onion into slices, grate one carrot, and thinly sliced paprika. Mix with with 2 tsps salt. After sometime wash under running water, squeeze out all water, and add lime juice, salt and sugar to taste.

Tofu, egg and sprouts Salad with Peanut sauce

( Tofu ,beansprouts and egg salad with peanut sauce)

ALSO KNOWN AS TAHU TELOR .

This delicious dish can be called a cousin to the famous gado gado salad of Indonesia. Easy to make and assemble.
Having lived in Indonesia since 35 years, my taste buds have got used to the delicious food available here except for tofu or tahu as its known here. For me given a choice between tofu and paneer, paneer wins hands down anyday. But on the other hand, tofu and tempe are staples in the Indonesian diet, and a good source of protein . Both tofu and tempe are also present at afternoon meals in our home too. Fried, sauted, steamed..any which way. So, i have learnt to befriend tofu in some dishes.
Growing up in India, we did not really know much about tofu, even with the advent of chinese restaurants, which started mushrooming all over India during the 1970’s., tofu was not part of thier menu. Chinese food was of course egg fried rice, hakka noodles and veg manchurian😊. The awesome chindian food, especially catering to the Indian Palette. Frankly speaking, I still love that particular chindian food which i definetely make it a point to have when in Pune. The spring rolls at chinese room are my favourite. Tofu is now easily available in India, and many people have replaced paneer with tofu in the new fad vegan diets.
So on to today’s recipe..pls do try it.
Best eaten with warm sauce.


Ingredients.
Tofu/ paneer 300 gms cut into small cubes.
3 eggs
100 gms fried peanuts with skin or without
Plus 4 tbsps fried peanuts.
100 gms beansprouts, blanched.
4 tbsps chopped celery
4 tbsps finely chopped spring onions
4 kaffir lime leaves ( middle stock removed)
1 big cucumber slit and chopped in semi circles.
4 tbsps fried onion
1/2 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
Veg stock powder, or msg 1/4 tsp
3 bird chillies, 3 red chillies
3 pods of garlic
30 gms palm sugar( I have boiled the palm sugar with little water , and strained to get rid of impurities.)
3 tbsps tamarind pulp

Method
1. Saute the red chillies, bird eye chillies and garlic in 2 tbsps oil.
2. In a mixer jar, add fried peanuts, chillies and garlic. Add salt, pepper and veg stock powder., the kaffir lime leaves. Add some water and blend to a thick paste.
3. Heat 2 or 3 tbsps oil, and put the peanut paste. Saute for a while, and add palm sugar and tamarind water. Also add about one cup water and let it cook till oil starts seperating.
Keep aside.
4. Now beat 3 eggs, season with salt and pepper.
Add tofu cubes to the eggs and mix.
Heat 1 tbsps of oil in a wok, slide in a laddle of the egg and tofu mixture., you can do it it in batches.( I got about 8 small omelettes)
Stir for a bit and let semi set. After a while flip it over.
Slide onto a serving platter.
Top with cucumber, beansprouts, peanut sauce, celery leaves,spring onions, fried onions and some fried peanuts.
Serve warm. Enjoy.

Aloo ka Salan with Khameeri Roti

ALOO or POTATO, one of the most popular and versatile vegetabe in the world. This wonderful root vegetable, takes on all flavours beautifuly, when teamed with meat or vegetables. Today’s recipe is based on a recipe from the book DAASTAN E DASTARKHAN by Sadaf Hussain. I loved reading this book which has awesome recipes . A cook book well written with each recipe having its own small memory attached to it.

In India, every region has its own popular recipes for aloo sabji/ salaan. The sookha aloo puri served in maharashtra, which is a popular dish to take on long train journeys, or the aloo or potato chaats of Banaras which are oh so spicy and tangy, the Dum aloo of Awadi cuisine and so on.
Potatoes are a favourite with children and adults. Also considered to be healthy carbs, unless fried.
But the pleasure of eating french fries dipped in different sauces, or biting into a piece of sindhi aloo tuk, double fried crispy goodness is something which I love. So when I came across this interesting recipe incorporating anjeer( dried figs) I knew I had to make this. And believe me it was a very tasty sabji which I paired with Khameeri Roti.

INGREDIENTS For Aloo Salan
4 boiled potatoes, cubed.
1 big onion finely chopped
2 +1 tbsps of mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
4 medium tomates, finely chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tsp khus khus(poppy seeds) soaked in 1 tsp water, then ground to a paste.
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turneric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 or 3 dried figs , diced.
Salt to taste
Fresh corriander leaves.

METHOD.
Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan and sauted the boiled potatoes till crisp.
Remove and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsps mustard oil , when it smokes add onions and saute till translucent.
Add cumin seeds, and ginger garlic.
Cook for few mins before adding the tomatoes, green chilli and all the dry spices.
Add the khus khus paste and diced figs.
Season with salt to taste.
Toss in the potatoes, and about half cup of water.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for about 10 mins.
Adjust the gravy as you wish, I prefer a thick gravy which can be mopped up with a soft roti.
Garnish with corriander leaves.
KHAMEERI ROTI
In a deep bowl take 250 gms flour
Add 1 tbsp instant yeast, 1 tsp powdered sugar , 1 tsp salt.
Mix the dry ingredients and add 1 tbsp of oil. Rub with finger tips.
Add 100 ml of warm milk and 50 ml of warm water.
Knead to a smooth dough adding 1 tbsp oil as you go.
Cover with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for 1 hour.
After one hour, DON’T punch down the risen dough.
Just divide into 6 and roll out thin rotis.
Heat a tawa and put one roti, cook on high heat.
Flip after few mins and baste with flavoured oil, pressing with a spatula as you go.
Sprinkle corriander leaves .
And flip again.
Remove onto a plate.
Serve hot.
# Basting oil..
Take 1/4 cup oil, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/4 tsp red chilli powder.

Sindhi Aisi bhaji/sabji (spinach and Ridge gourd)

Todays Delicious recipe is in memory of my dear mother in law, who made this particular version of spinach and turaiya, whenever I had given birth to my children. Supposedly very good for lactating mothers. She made sure I ate this sabji every second day for 40 days after child birth. It had to be turaiya every day, either mixed with spinach or made plain with only cardamom, which we sindhis call as phote bhugun turiyuoon And to be frank I loved eating both these variations. She sometimes served it with plain chappatis and sometimes with mitho lolo( sweet flat bread).The only thing that she omitted was chillies. Aisi, otherwise would mean only spinach cooked plain with out the addition of any other vegetables. But, this version of mummy is really very tasty..😊

The way this sabji is cooked is almost like the famous sindhi saibhaji, but the addition of turaiya gives it super silky texture. We cook it in the pressure cooker and mash it towards the end till everything is one beautiful green smooth sabji. Adding garlic once while cooking and once as a tadka just enhances the taste.

Spinach was not my favourite vegetable when we were growing up, but as an adult it definately has a special place in my list of favourite vegetables. I remember my mother making tikkis out of left over saibhaji, just by adding boiled potatoes after drying out the sai bhaji as much as possible by cooking it further. She always panfried the tikkis which were yummy… A close cousin to the hara bhara tikkis which we relish at Indian restaurants.

Do try this simple recipe and serve with any simple pulav or phulkas.

Ingredients

350 gms peeled and chopped turaiya/ ridge gourd

150 gms chopped spinach

1 big onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes sliced

4 green chillies finely chopped

2 tbsps chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp methi seeds

1/2 tsp hing..asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

3 tbsps oil

Method..

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pressure cooker and add methi seeds, cumin and hing. Saute till fragrant.

Add chopped onion and saute till golden brown.

Add 1 tbsp of garlic, ginger and green chillies.

Add tomatoes, corriander powder, turmeric, salt

When tomatoes are pulpy, add chopped turaiya and cook till the turaiya start letting out water.

Add the chopped spinach and 1/4 cup of water.

Close the cooker and cook for 3 to 4 whistles.

Open the lid, and churn with a wooden hand churner( mandiro) or an electric whisk.

Lastly heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, add 1 tbsp chopped garlic and fry till pale golden. Add this tadka to the sabji…mix well and serve.

The complete Sindhi meal with Basar jo pulav, ( onion pulav) sookha aloo( potatoes with dry spices) Boondi raita, some fryums and onion carrot achar.

Dakshin paneer do pyaaza

Regional flavours of India are truely amazing. The same type of dish will taste differently in every state of India. The secret lies in the spices of course. Each state and sometimes even cities have some favourite spice which is dominant in most dishes. Todays recipe is the do pyaaza. Almost every indian is familiar with this dish where onion is used in 2 forms, a ground paste of onions as well as sliced onions. In todays recipe, I have used whole shallots ( also called sambhar onions) as well as sliced onions. The Dakshin or southern twist is in the simple masala made dominantly with udad dal also known as black lentils. Udad dal rules southern India where its use in almost all idli and dosa preparation is extensive. Using Paneer in this dish gives it a north Indian twist.

Growing up in Pune, my knowledge of south Indian food was limited to dosa, idli and medu wada. Going to Priya restaurant for these treats was often, and something to look forward to. The fragrance of food as you entered this small and cozy restaurant on main street was mouth watering . Of course, the waiters would always direct us to go upstairs where it was for families and ladies only.

My interest in cooking led me to try out different dishes from all over India, leaving a medly of recipes in my cookbook. Spices in the south use udad dal which is roasted slowly and powdered with red chillies and asafoetida, peppercorns etc. Aside from the mainstays,South India also has a huge variety of delicious vegetatarian and non vegetarian food.

Todays recipe is based on chettinad style of cooking. Please do try this simple dish and serve with chappaties or adai rotis made with rice flour.

Ingredients

200 gms paneer cut into cubes

15 shallots

1 sliced onion

2 sprigs of curry leaves

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 th tsp hing/ asafoetida

2 or 3 dry red chillies

15 black peppercorns

1 tbsp split udad dal

Corriander leaves to garnish

Method

1. Dry roast together, udad dal, black peppercorns and dry red chillies. When the dal turns a light golden brown, shut the flame and keep aside to cool. Grind into a fine powder and keep aside.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add mustard seeds , hing and curry leaves.

3. Now add whole shallots and stir fry on a low flame till the out skin of the shallots starts turning soft and light golden…about 4 to 5 mins.

4. Add the paneer and stir fry further for 5 mins and add sliced onions. Also add the tamarind paste.

5. Add salt to taste and powdered spice mixture. Mix well.

6. Cook further for few mins and add chopped corriander leaves.

Serve hot.