Wednesday, January 30, 2019

SWANJHRE JO RAITO / DRUMSTICK FLOWERS RAITA


Swanjhro (drumstick flowers) is one of the edible flowers used in the Sindhi Cuisine. Surprisingly I have not come across any recipes with this flowers in any other cuisine though the drumstick leaves are used extensively in South India.
Apart from making curries we also make raita with swanjhro.
Here is the recipe.


Ingredients:
Swanjhro / drumstick flowers .... 100 gms (about 1and 1/2  cups)
Yogurt .......................... 1 cup
Yellow mustard seeds .. 1/2 tsp (crushed coarsely)
Pepper corns ............ few (crushed )
Salt .................... to taste.
White vinegar .... 1 tbsp



Method:

1. Pick out the stems from the flowers.







2. Boil water adding salt and little vinegar. Tip in the flowers.








3. Boil for about 5 minutes and drain the water.









4. Repeat the boiling process again with fresh water to remove the bitterness from the flowers.








5. Drain the flowers and set aside.









6. Allow them to cool.








7. In a bowl take the whisked yogurt and add the flowers, salt, crushed mustard seeds and black pepper. Mix well.







8. Serve as an accompaniment with your meals.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

SWANJHRO / SWANJHRE JI BHAJI / DRUMSTICK FLOWERS CURRY


 Drumsticks are used extensively in almost all the cuisines but seldom do we come across any dish made with the drumstick flowers. These are known as Swanjhro or Swanjhre Ja Gulla  in Sindhi language.They are mostly available in winter season.
Swanjhre ji bhaji (drumstick flowers curry) is a delicacy and a speciality of the Sindhi Cuisine.
This curry can be made plain or sometimes we add lotus stem, green peas or varyun (dried lentil dumplings) for a variation. It goes well with fulko or dodho (bhakris) or khichni .
Apart from making curries we also use them to make raita with crushed mustard seeds for the flavour.


Before we proceed to cook the Swanjhro the stems have to be discarded which a a bit tedious.. nevertheless it is worth the efforts. The flowers are then boiled  changing the water once to remove the bitterness. Drain them well and they are ready to be used.


You can store the boiled flowers for a couple of days in the refrigerator or freeze them in a zip lock bag for later use. You can also sun-dry them and store in a jar. The dried flowers are also available in the Sindhi grocery stores but the curry made with these does not taste as good as the one with fresh flowers.


Ingredients:
Swanjhro / drumstick flowers ... 400 gms
Daag / brown onion paste ......... 1/2 cup
Yogurt ............................... 2-3 tbsps
Turmeric powder ............ 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ........... 1 tsp
Cumin powder .............. 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ......... 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder ... 1/2 tsp
Salt ............................ to taste
Vinegar .................. 1 tbsp (to add while boiling the flowers)
Oil ....................... 4 tbsps
Coriander leaves ... handful


How to make Daag / Brown Onion Paste :


Onions ........... 6-8 (sliced)
Tomatoes ...... 2 (chopped)
Green chillies ... 4-5 (chopped)
 Ginger paste .... 1 tbsp
Garlic paste ...... 2 tbsp
 Oil ...................... 6 -7 tbsp
Saute the onion until golden brown.
Add all the ingredients and water to cook.
Blend it with hand blender.


How to make the Swanjhre ji Bhaji:



1. Boil water in a large pan adding salt and vinegar. Tip in the flowers.






2. Boil for 5 minutes.










3. Drain the water and repeat the process.









4. Boil again for a couple of minutes.









5. Drain them and set aside.








6.Heat the oil lightly in a pan. Add the mentioned spice powders except garam masala.








7.When they give out an aroma add the fried onion paste.









8.Add salt to taste.








9. Stir in the yogurt.









10. Mix well to avoid curdling.









11. Now add the boiled and drained flowers.









12. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the garam masala and simmer for few minutes until done.








13. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

LAHORI GAJRUN JO SEERO / SHAKARKANDI HALWA / SWEET POTATO SHEERA


Sweet potato sheera is a quick sweet packed with the goodness of sweet potato, desi ghee and organic jaggery and flavoured with cardamoms. This is usually made on fasting days. You can use sugar instead and add dry fruits of your choice. If you like a softer consistency you can add some milk while cooking.

Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes ... 1 large or 2 small
Organic jaggery .. 3 tbsps
Desi ghee ........... 2 tbsps
Cardamoms ...... 3-4
Pistachios and almonds ... 1 tbsp. for garnishing.

Method:

Boil the sweet potato.









Peel and mash it.









Heat ghee in a pan. Add lightly crushed cardamoms.









When they give out a nice aroma add the mashed sweet potato and saute.








After about a minute of sauteeing add the organic jaggery powder.









Stir well until the jaggery is incorporated into the sweet potato.
Garnish with sliced pistachios and almonds.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

NANKATAI / NANKHATAI / CARDAMOM FLAVOURED COOKIES


Nankhatais are basically shortbread biscuits flavoured with cardamom originating from the Indian subcontinent and very popular in India and Pakistan.
Nankhatais are very popular in Sindhi homes too. We usually make them during Sataen / Satam festival in the month of Shravan along with many other goodies.


Ingredients:
Maida ............. 1 cup
Icing sugar ..... 1/2 cup (if you like it too sweet add 1 tbsp more)
Desi ghee ....... 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder ... 1/4 tsp
Baking soda ...... 1 pinch
Salt .............. 1 pinch (optional - it actually balances the taste of all the sweet dishes)
Pistachios ..... 1 tbsp (sliced)

Method:

Collect all the ingredients and bring to room temperature.






In a bowl mix together Desi ghee and icing sugar.







Keep whisking until they are well blended.






Now tip in the cardamom powder, salt and baking soda.







Spoon in the maida little by little and keep whisking until all the maida is used up.






Knead the mixture lightly with your hands.







Take a small portion and make a round ball. Flatten it. Put the sliced pistachios on it and press lightly. Make all the nankhatais and place them on a greased baking tray.






Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 18 to 20 minutes.





Remove the tray from the oven and allow the nankhatais to cool well. Store them in an air tight container.






Wednesday, October 3, 2018

BESANI / BESANA JI KOKI / SINDHI FLATBREAD WITH GRAM FLOUR


Besani or Besana ji Koki is a traditional flat bread from the Sindhi Cuisine. Koki is made only from wheat flour while in Besani we add besan (gram flour) . You can take the ratio of half and half of both the flours. Finely chopped onions, green chillies and carom seeds are also added for flavour. This can be served for breakfast with curd , pickle or for brunch with any sabzi too if you like. It is quite filling.

Ingredients:
Besan / gram flour ... 1 cup
Wheat flour ............. 1 cup
Onion ..................... 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
Green chillies ........ 2-3 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves ... handful
Carom seeds / ajwain ... 1/2 tsp or cumin seeds
Turmeric powder ......... 1/4 tsp
Salt ............................ to taste
Ghee or oil ................ 2 tbsps (to add while kneading)
Ghee or oil .............. as needed (to brush while roasting)

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and knead adding water little by little.








Make a stiff dough.







Take a small portion and roll it out into a flat bread slightly thicker than the normal roti.









Heat a griddle and transfer the roti. Prick it with the spatula or a knife.






Roast the flat breads brushing a little ghee to make them crisp.








Repeat the same process and make all the rotis. Serve hot with pickle, curd or sabzi.