Thursday, March 30, 2017

PRAGRI / PRAGREE / SINDHI HOLI SWEET / CRISPY FRIED MAWA PUFFS


Pragri is a Sindhi sweet specially made during the Holi festival. It is somewhat like gujiya with mawa filling but the outer covering is multi-layered, flaky and very crispy. It needs a lot of patience to make this sweet as it is time consuming. The frying has to be done on very low flame. For best results use only desi ghee or dalda. The oil does not give the required crispiness to the layers.

All these years I was living away from India and missed these traditional dishes. This Holi I decided to make pragri at home. I have childhood memories of preparing all these traditional sweets with my grandmother. I would sit next to her assisting her with all the preparations which is why I am able to make all these goodies now. She would explain everything to me in detail while making and give me all the tips. I am really happy that the pragris have come out nice and crispy as they should be. I make the satpura sweet very often. The procedure of pragri is somewhat similar.


Ingredients:
For the outer covering:
Maida ............. 2 cups
Desi ghee ....... 2 tbsps
Water ............ for kneading ( I use cardamom flavoured water)

For the Paste:
Maida ........ 1/4 cup
Desi Ghee or Dalda ... 4-5 tbsps

For the syrup:
Sugar ...... 1 and 1/2 cups
Water ...... 1 cup
Green cardamoms .... few
Saffron ........ few strands
Rose water ....  1 tbsp or Rose essence - 2-3 drops

For stuffing :
Sweet mawa ....... 1/4 kilo ( I used the store bought ready mawa )
To make mawa at home see the recipe - HERE
Almonds  .... few chopped

For Garnishing:
Rose petals ... handful (fresh or dried)
Silver varq .... as needed

For Frying:
Dalda or Desi Ghee
(You may use oil if you want to avoid using these)

Method:

To make the sugar syrup put the water and sugar in a pan. Bring to a boil and add the saffron strands, split green cardamoms and allow it to simmer until it is thick. Switch off the gas and add the rose water or essence as mentioned.




Take the maida for the outer layer, add the ghee and knead with the cardamom flavoured water to make a soft dough. Cover and set it aside for resting.





Make the paste by mixing 1/4 cup maida and 4-5 tbsps ghee.. It should be of the spreading consistency (like butter at room temperature)






Now take the dough and make tiny portions rolling 4-5 at a time.







Roll them out like tiny roundels of the same size








Now with your finger tip spread the paste on each one.







Place them one on top of the other until you finish 4 of them. Cover the 5th one on top without the paste as you are again going to roll them together.





Carefully roll out the bunch of 5 roundels together to make them bigger one about the size of a puri.






Spoon the sweet mawa in the middle  and add some chopped almonds. Using your finger apply a little water or milk around the mawa so that it gets sealed when you fold it.





Fold the pragri carefully pressing the portion around the mawa with your finger. Take care not to seal the edges as they should puff up when you fry it.





Now heat the ghee or dalda or oil for frying. Reduce the flame and drop the pragri carefully. Using a pair of kitchen tongs try to open up the edges of the pragri with light hands. Don't overdo it as it might open up completely.



Turn it few times and fry on very low flame until it is very crispy and golden.





Repeat this process to make and fry all the pragris. Now dip them in the sugar syrup nicely and remove on a plate.








Place them in a serving platter and garnish with silver varq and rose petals. You can store them in a clean dry container after they are completely cold.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

SAAYE MASHALE MEI VANGAN / BRINJAL CURRY IN GREEN MASALA / HARE BHARE BAIGAN



Here is a brinjal recipe made with aromatic green masala. This masala is very much used in the Sindhi Cuisine to make many dishes. You can make it dry or with gravy as you prefer. You can serve it with rotis, rice or pulao.




Ingredients:
Brinjals .. 8-10 ( small variety)
Coriander powder .... 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp.
Salt ......... to taste
Oil

For Green Masala


Coriander Leaves.....1 cup
Mint leaves ........... 1/2 cup
Green Chillies........2-3
Onions................1 chopped
Tomatoes...........1 chopped
Garlic.................7 to 8 cloves
Ginger ...............1 inch piece
(Grind the above ingredients to make the green masala.)




Method:

1. Wash and slit the brinjals leaving the stem intact. Soak them in salt water.

2. In a pan add a little oil and shallow fry the brinjals on medium flame and simmer until half done. Remove and set aside.

3. In the same pan heat a little oil and add the green masala paste. Add the salt, turmeric powder and coriander powder.

4. Put the fried brinjals. Add half cup water and simmer to cook. If you need more gravy to serve with rice, add 1 cup water.





Wednesday, February 1, 2017

BESANA JO CHILLO / BESAN KA CHEELA / SAVOURY GRAM FLOUR PANCAKE


Besana jo Chillo is a quick breakfast option and a vegetarian alternative for an omelette. It can be prepared with any flour either plain or with the addition of some vegetables of your liking.


Ingredients:
Gram flour / besan ..... 1 cup
Whole wheat flour ..... 1 tbsp (optional)
Onion ......................... 1 small (finely chopped)
Tomato ....................... 1 small (cut into small pieces)
Green chillies ........... 2-3 (chopped or crushed)
Spinach ..................... 1/2 cup (chopped finely)
Coriander leaves ........ handful
Yogurt ....................... 1-2 tbsps (optional)
Cumin seeds ......... 1 tsp
Carom seeds / ajwain ... 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder .......... 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder ............. 1/2 tsp
Salt ................................ to taste
Oil or ghee .................  as needed

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Tip in the onion and sate for a minute until translucent.







2. Now add the spinach, tomato, green chillies and coriander. Simmer for half a minute. Let it cool.







3. In a large bowl take the gram flour, whole wheat flour. Mix the sauteed onion, and the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the list except oil.





4. To make cheelas, pour a spoonful of batter on a griddle, spread it and fry spooning a little oil or ghee on both sides until done.






Serve with chutney/ pickle / raita.








Note: For better results prepare the batter at least one hour ahead so that the flavours blend together.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TAMATE JI MITHI KHATAIRN / SWEET TOMATO PICKLE


Sweet Tomato chutney made in a quick and easy way using a pressure cooker. You can make it fresh in small quantities as and when required as it hardly takes 10 minutes from start to finish. You can serve it with parathas, mathis or puris.


 Ingredients: 
Tomatoes .... 3-4 (cut into big chunks)
 Demerara Sugar .......... 1/2 cup
Apple cider vinegar .... 1/4 cup
 Green cardamoms ... 4
 Cinnamon ............. 1 inch piece
Bay leaves ........... 1
 Black cardamom ... 1
 Kummel seeds or shahi jeera .. 1/2 tsp
Kalonji / onion seeds ... 1/8 tsp
Dry red chillies ............. 2-3
Salt ................. 1/8 tsp
Oil .................. 1 tbsp


 Method: 
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole spices.
 2. Reduce the flame and add all the remaining ingredients.
3. Close the pressure cooker.
4. After one whistle (when the pressure is full) reduce the flame and simmer for 5 minutes.
 5. Allow it to cool. Fill in the sterilized jar.

 Yield - about 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups
 Note: If you want the colour to remain clear and lighter use normal sugar. I like using demerara sugar.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CHAASHA MEIN DHABROTI / MITHI DHABALA / CRISPY BREAD SOAKED IN SUGAR SYRUP


This is a traditional Sindhi breakfast dish. We make it on special occasions when we have guests at home. Usually the bread slices are made whole or cut into triangular or rectangular shapes just by cutting them into two. I have given them a round shape using a cutter. The sides can be used to make masala bread or even bread crumbs after drying them for later use. If you are making for kids you can even cut out fancy shapes using different cutters.

Ingredients: 
Bread Slices ...6 or  as needed
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Cardamoms - 4
Saffron - a pinch
Rose water .. few drops (optional)
Oil or ghee for frying
Pistachios... few for garnishing

Method:
1. Cut the bread slices in a round shape using a cutter or a bottle lid.
 2. Fry till golden brown and crisp.
3. Make a thick syrup with sugar, water, saffron and cardamoms. Add rose water after it is cooled. 4. A few hours before serving, place the bread coins in a flat dish, pour the sugar syrup over them with a spoon and let them soak for about 1-2 hours or until they are softer.
5. Garnish with sliced pistachios.