Sunday, November 26, 2017

KAARE MIRCHA WARI KOKI / CRISPY FLATBREAD SPICED WITH BLACK PEPPER


This is the most preferred breakfast in Sindhi homes during winters. Crispy koki flavoured with crushed black pepper and cumin seeds with a cup of cardamom tea is sheer bliss. You can carry it during your travels too.


Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour ....... 2 cups
Coarsely crushed black pepper ... 2-3 tsps
Cumin seeds ........................... 2 tsps
Salt ............................ to taste
Ghee or oil .......  as needed


Method:
1. Take the flour in a large bowl or thali.
2. Add the coarsely crushed black pepper, cumin seeds, salt and 2 tbsps of ghee or oil.
3. Mix it well. It should form a lump when you press a small amount in your fist. This is the tip for testing the right amount of moin (ghee) added to it.
4. Knead it adding water as needed to make a tight dough.
5. Roll out the koki.
6. Roast it on a griddle on medium flame spooning a little ghee to make it crispy.
7. Serve it with pickle. curd or masala chai.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NUKHTI / MITHI BOONDI / SWEET BOONDI


Sweet boondi is also known as "Nukhti" in Sindhi. We usually make this as prashad during festive days and sometimes the fine variety of namkeen sev is mixed together with the boondi to balance the taste. The preparation is not very difficult if you get the consistency of the boondi batter right.


Ingredients:
Gram flour ..... 5 tbsps
Water ........... 3/4 cup or as needed (to make the batter)
Baking soda ... 1 pinch
Salt ................ 2 pinches
Sugar ............ 3/4 cup
Water ........... 1 cup (for the syrup)
Cardamoms .... 3-4 (lightly crushed)
Saffron ............ few strands
Muskmelon seeds .. 1/2 tbsp (optional)
Unsalted pistachios ... few (sliced)
Siver varq ........... for garnishing (optional)
Dried rose petals .... for garnishing
Oil ........... to fry the boondi

Method:

Mix the gram flour, salt, baking soda and water to make a smooth batter of dropping consistency.





Heat oil in a pan and take few spoons of batter on a flat ladle with small holes.Tap it to drop the boondi into the oil.






Reduce the heat and fry the boondi until it is done.







Repeat the same until all the batter is used up. Drain it on a kitchen tissue.






Now take sugar in a pan. Add water, cardamoms, saffron and bring to a boil.






Keep stirring with a spatula until it is thick and one string consistency. Tip in the muskmelon seeds and stir.






 When the sugar syrup is almost to the point where it starts crystallizing, add the fried boondi and stir stir quickly until the boondi is well coated.




Leave it uncovered for a while and the boondi will soak up the syrup and each grain is separated. Stir it carefully to separate the grains..Add the pistachios.






Allow it to cool and put it in a serving bowl. Garnish with dried rose petals and silver varq if you like.

Monday, September 4, 2017

PANCHAMRUT / PANCHAMRIT


Panchamrut or Panchamrit is a Holy preparation made with 5 ingredients, milk, curd, honey, ghee and mashed banana. Few Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves are also added to give a nice flavour and taste. It is made for festive rituals and a spoonful is served as prashad after the puja.

Ingredients:
Milk ..... 1/2 cup or as needed
Curd ..... 2 tbsps
Honey ... 1 tbsp
Ghee ..... 1/2 tsp
Banana ...2 tbsps (mashed)
Tulsi leaves .. few


Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Add some Tulsi leaves.
3. Serve a spoonful as Prashad after offering to God. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

KANBHO / KHATTO BHATH


Kanbho or khatto Bhath is the Sindhi version of curd rice. It is a traditional dish prepared usually on Shitala Satam (Satain / Thadri) when we eat the cold food prepared the previous day. This is just seasoned with crushed mustard which helps in fermenting the dish and gives the tangy flavour. I prepare it the way I have seen my grandma doing it, ie add lukewarm milk to the cooked rice with a spoonful of curd and crushed mustard seeds and mix everything together. Some people also add Sundh (Sonth / Dry ginger powder)
 This was done at night before sleeping and by morning you have the khatto bhath ready.
Alternately you can also make it by mixing the curd and the cooked rice together and then season with crushed mustard seeds like we usually prepare the curd rice. But remember that we have to leave this for few hours at least to enhance the mustard flavours.


Ingredients:
Cooked rice .... 1 cup or as needed.
Milk ................ 2 cups (boiled and cooled)
Curd ............. 1 tbsp
Salt .............. to taste
Mustard seeds .... 1 tsp (crushed coarsely)
Sonth / dry ginger powder ... 1/4 tsp (optional)

Method:
1. Take the rice in an earthenware or glass bowl.
2. Add lukewarm milk.
3. Stir in the crushed mustard seeds and mix well.
4. Cover it with a lid and place a cloth napkin over it.
5. Leave it overnight to set.
6. In the morning stir the kanbho and check the consistency. Add a little water and salt if required.
(Remember the rice is already cooked with salt)

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.