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.

SARSON(MUSTARD) PANEER AND PEAS WITH CHILLI OIL KULCHA

This recipe which is a fusion recipe, combines the tanginess of mustard and the smoothness of coconut milk. East India  merges with south India.  Mustard is one the most important spice in Bengali cooking, whole mustard seeds, or paste of mustard seeds are happily incorporated into daily cooking, used liberally to coat fish and wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. I have also used  Panch phoran to temper this dish, panch phoran is a combination of 5 spices,  mustard seeds, onion seeds or kalonji as they are called in hindi, cum20171125_10462320171126_151055in seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds are mixed together and used whole to temper the oil in the beginning of the cooking process. The use of mustard oil here imparts a nice nutty flavour. I love using mustard oil , coconut oil or ghee in all my Indian cooking , these oils bring out the true regional flavours of dishes from all over India. The use of coconut milk in this recipe balances out the tartness of mustard and vinegar used.

Paneer, or cottage cheese is so widely used in India, more so in the western, northern and eastern states. We Indians love our paneer in different forms, paneer pakodas, shahi paneer, paneer parathas, paneer bhurji, rosgollas, or kalakhands. Most Indian gatherings or parties will surely have  a paneer dish on their menu. I remember, when my mom magically transformed curdled milk into a delectable sabji, just by adding a paste of green chillies and corriander leaves and some garlic. Paneer has been very subtly introduced into the chindian cuisine in place of tofu, paneer chilli fry and paneer manchurian for example. My love for paneer started with a cold paneer sandwich which was served in Greenfields restaurant in main street way back in the seventies when I was a very young girl, this awesome sandwich had thin slices of paneer sprinkled with only salt and pepper,  sandwiched between 2 slices of white bread, slathered with mayonn20171125_144846aise and topped with crisp lettuce. Sadly, this restaurant shut its doors long ago. Puneites will surely remember this restaurant fondly.

Do try this recipe, and serve it with chilli oil kulchas, recipe of which i will be sharing here.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of diced paneer

1/2 cup of green peas.( I have used frozen peas)

1 big onion, finely chopped

4 green chillies ,finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic. roughly chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, sliced

3/4 tbsp mustard seeds

2 tbsps vinegar

2 + 2 tbsps mustard oil

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp paanch phoran

salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

PANCH PHORAN..( 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel (saunf) seeds, 1/ 2 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1/2 tsp onion seeds.. mix. Use as required.) In this recipe I have used 1 tsp.

METHOD

1.. Heat 2 tbsps of mustard oil, add the mustard seeds, when the seeds stop crackling, add chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic. saute for a while, shut the gas, and cool this mixture. When it cools down add 2 tbsps of vinegar and grind this mixture to a fine paste. add water if required, keep aside

2. Heat 2 tbsps of mustard oil in a pan, add 1 tsp of paanch phoran and wait till seeds splutter and there is an amazing nutty fragrance in your kitchen, now add chopped onion and saute till light brown, add the paste of green chillies, garlic and ginger. saute for another 5 minutes.

3. Now add the chopped paneer and green peas, season with salt, sugar and turmeric. and add the coconut milk.

4.. Add half a cup of water and cover, cook  till a thick gravy is left. about 5 minutes.

serve garnished with grated cheese and chopped corriander leaves.

 

CHILLI OIL KULCHAS

Ingredients

1 cup flour

100 gms boiled and grated potato

1/4 cup yogurt

1 tbsp chilli oil

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1 tsp shah jeera..(caraway seeds)

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients to form a dough.

Divide into 8 balls and roll out  the kulchas.

Roast each kulcha on a hot tava

Finally brush with chilli oil .

 

 

 

MILK SABJI/KHEERAJI BHAJI

MILK.. We are fed milk right from day one of our life, mothers milk and then weaned on to cows milk. For thousands of years human beings have grown up consuming cow milk. That is why a cow is treated like a mother in all parts of India, in fact a cow is considered very holy and sacred for all  Hindus. Milk has a very important place in all cuisines worldwide. Desserts from all over the world are mainly made from milk.. from ice creams to kulfis, mithais to toffees, cheese cakes to kalakhand. Milk is incorporated in many forms in Indian cuisine, it forms the very basis for our ghee and butter, and of course yogurt or dahi. No Indian home can function without milk, the average Indian man has at least 2 or 3 cups of milk tea or chai on a daily basis. Tea vendors can be found on most streets in India doing a roaring business at all times of the day, it is not unusual to see small groups of people holding impromptu discussions with their cuppa of chai . Most Indian households also make their own yogurt or dahi at home.

Milk also gives us Paneer or home made cottage cheese which is the strained  residue left after the milk has been curdled. Paneer based dishes are a must in most family gatherings especially amoung the sindhi, punjabi and bengali communities.Normally when the milk is curdled ,the remaining clear liquid , which is called  whey,  is discarded. Whey actually has a lot of nutrients, and there are many households who will put the whey to some use like kneading the bread or roti dough with it.

Todays recipe is based on milk which has been curdled, this easy to make dish is based on a long lost memory. Years ago milk was delivered early in the mornings by the milk man, it used to come in glass bottles. Even then the aluminium cover was an indication of low fat and full cream, the blue cover was for full cream milk and the green colour for low fat milk. I remember my grandfather collecting the milk at 5.30 am from the doorstep as he was an early riser. Baba then took the blue topped milk bottle and gently kept tilting it back and forth for a good 15 to 20 miniutes . Ater that when the bottle was opened, the milk had already separated with the fat rising to the top and forming a layer of white butter at the top, which mummy used to scoop out into a bowl for our breakfast. The remaining milk hence turned into fat free naturally.I remember once my mother was in the kitchen boiling milk and the milk happend to curdle, but she coolly went on boiling it and when the whey had reduced considerably, she added some green masala paste to it and lo behold it had turned into a delicious sabji..So based on that is todays recipe, the milk sabji or as we say in sindhi, kheeraji bhaji.. It is a very simple dish and is delicious at the same time, best eaten with phulkas and a side dish of potato sabji.

MILK sabji/ kheeraji bhaji

INGREDIENTS

2 ONIONS.. FINELY CHOPPED

3 MEDIUM TOMATOES …THINLY SLICED

1 TBSP FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC

1 TBSP GRATED GINGER

FINELY CHOPPED CORRIANDER LEAVES

12 CURRY LEAVES

2 TBSPS OF DRY KASOORI METHI

1 TBSP CUMIN SEEDS

1 TSP AJWAIN ..( CAROM SEEDS)

RED CHILIE POWDER, TURMERIC POWDER ,  GARAM MASALA AND SALT TO TASTE.

FEW DROPS OF VINEGAR

1 LITRE OF FULL CREAM MILK

METHOD..

1.. HEAT 3 TBSPS OIL IN A BROAD SAUCEPAN AND ADD THE CUMIN AND CAROM SEEDS( JEERA AND AJWAIN). WHEN THE SEEDS STOP SPLUTTERING, ADD ONIONS, GARLIC, GINGER AND CURRY LEAVES.. SAUTE TILL ONIONS START TURNING A GOLDEN BROWN, TAKE CARE NOT TO BURN THE ONIONS.

2.. ADD THE TOMATOES, RED CHILIE POWDER, TURMERIC POWDER , GARAM MASALA POWDER AND SALT . MIX GENTLY TILL EVERYTHING COMES TOGETHER AND FORMS A THICK GRAVY.. AT THIS POINT ADD THE DRY 20160911_185639 KASOORI METHI AND SOME CORRIANDER LEAVES.

3.. POUR THE MILK DIRECTLY INTO THE GRAVY AND STIR GENTLY , BRINGING IT TO A BOIL. ADD FEW DROPS OF VINEGAR AND CHECK IF THE MILK CURDLES , IF NOT ADD FEW DROPS MORE. BY THIS  TIME THE MILK SHOULD HAVE SEPARATED INTO SMALL GRAINS…

4.. KEEP THE MILK ON A ROLLING BOIL , UNCOVERED FOR ABOUT 15 MINS, AND THEN CONTINUE COOKING ON A MEDIUM FLAME UNTIL THE WHEY HAS REDUCED TOTALLY AND YOU ARE LEFT WITH A VELVETY  GRANULAR MIXTURE.. ADD SOME MORE CORRIANDER LEAVES AND SERVE HOT..