My 'thaali' of the day comes from Punjab, a northern state of India. People who have tasted Indian food in any restaurant, especially in the western world can be automatically assumed to have tasted Punjabi food. The North Indian cuisine especially served in these restaurants is basically the delicious, calorie laden Punjabi food. The famous tandoor breads like naans, kulchas and parathas, the stuffed breads come from the region as are the paneer (Indian cheese) based side dishes. And of course the region can also boast about their mouthwatering side dishes like rajma, chole, dal makhnis which are equally popular in the other parts of the country. And the scrumptious carrot halwa, the ultimate dessert of the bollywood movies also is a gift from the region to the Indian subcontinent.
My today's thaali consists of the following items and I had tried to cut down calories wherever I can though traditionally it is not done so. I baked the samosas instead of deep frying, prepared a microwave version of gajar ka halwa using skim milk, didn't use butter in dal and made rotis using a little oil. I wanted to try the famous combo of 'makki di roti and sarson da saag' but wasn't sure how it would be received at home and decided to stick with roti, dal and palak paneer instead. I am posting recipes for jeera rice and Punjabi style kadhi today.
Baked mini Punjabi Samosa
Mithi chutney / Sweet chutneyJeera rice / Cumin flavored rice
Roti (Wheat flour based flat bread)
Achaar (Mango pickle)
Dhaabay di dal (Mixture of lentils cooked in a spicy base)
Punjabi Kadhi (Spicy chickpea flour & yogurt based gravy)
Gajar ka halwa
Onions and chillies on the side
Ingredients for jeera rice:
1 cup Basmati rice
1 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 or 2 cardamom pods
Salt to taste
* Rinse and soak rice in water for 10 to 15 minutes and drain.
* Heat a tbsp. ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom. When cumin starts to brown, add rice and saute for a minute.
* At this point, the rice can be continued to cook in the pan or pressure cooked.
Add 2 cups water and salt to the pan and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook on low flame until the rice grains appear cooked and fluffy. Don't be tempted to stir in between.
Or transfer the mixture to a container to place in a pressure cooker or directly to a small pressure cooker. Add 1&1/2 cups water and salt to it and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Ingredients for tadka / tempering:
1 - 2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
1 or 2 small dried, red chillies, broken into bits
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. ginger paste / minced ginger
2 pinches of asafoetida
Ingredients for the Punjabi kadhi:
2 small onions, thinly sliced lengthwise or chopped
1 cup sour yogurt
1/3 cup besan / chickpea flour
Salt to taste
Red chili powder to taste
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
About 2 & 1/2 cups water or as needed
1/4 tsp each garam masala or as per tasteMaking kadhi:
* Heat the oil in pan and add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, bay leaf and red chillies. When cumin starts to brown, add ginger and saute for few seconds. Next add asafoetida and onion and fry on low flame until the onion turns translucent.
* Mean while churn / beat the yogurt to get a uniform consistency. Sieve the besan. (Sieving beforehand helps in preventing the besan forming lumps when added to the yogurt.) Add the yogurt to the besan and mix well. Pass the yogurt - besan mixture through a sieve again to avoid any lumps if present. (I take this extra measure to avoid the trouble of lumps in the kadhi mixture later.)
* Add this yogurt mixture, chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to the fried onions. Also add about 2&1/2 to 3 cups of water to it. Cook on low heat for about 15 - 20 minutes till it thickens. Stir now and then. In between, the heat can be increased once or twice for a minute or so to quicken the cooking process. Add garam masala and amchur too if preferred to the kadhi. Cook for a couple of minutes more. Turn off the stove.
Kadhi further thickens after sitting for a while and so prepare the kadhi a little thinner than you like.
This goes to Blogging marathon #70, under the theme 'Thaali Recipes'. Check here to find out what the other marathoners are cooking as part of the BM.