Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mirchi Bada~Indian State Rajasthan

 Mirchi Bada~Indian State Rajasthan

Today we stop at Rajasthan, a state that I hope to visit soon not just because of the food which is splendid collection of colourful, spicy and unique dishes but because of its inhabitants and their rich culture.

As a child, in my nomadic lifestyle, we were at Akola, Maharashtra. Our neighbours were marwadis, a joint family their lifestyle amazed me. I loved watching how the old lady called dadiji though very old  was very sweet and saw to it that we were invited for every ”Teej Towhar” not only for food but the earlier day to apply mehendi, mehendi being the most important ritual. They used to draw the designs not with the mehendi cone but with matchsticks and the designs were breathtakingly beautiful. Thin lines and weaves it was really magic the way they did the job.

Another strange thing was the vessel were washed suka. That means the vessels were dampened then were scrubbed with ash. With a dry cloth they were wiped clean of all residues. Then one more cloth finished all the rest of the cleaning. This way the water used was minimal.

Food, like I said is delicious Rajasthani cooking was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. Because of lack of leafy green vegetables, the use of lentils, pulses, legumes and milk, curd and buttermilk in place of the water in the gravy marks the essentials of Rajasthani cuisine. To decrease the use of water in this desert state they use a lot of milk and milk products to cook.

Originating for the Marwar region of the state is the concept Marwari Bhojnalaya or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many part of India, which offer vegetarian food of the Marwari people.

Rajasthan is known for not only its snacks like Bikaneri BhujiaMirchi Bada and Pyaaj Kachori but also for  dishes like Bajre ki roti (millet bread) and Lashun ki chutney (hot garlic paste), Mawa Kachori from Jodhpur, Alwar ka mawa, Malpauas , let’s not forget dal bati churma ………………

The Rajput clan was always known to enjoy a hearty hunt (shikar) and the royal chefs (Khansamas) would delicately cook the day’s capture and incorporate the dish into the night menu. The women of the household never involved themselves in cooking the meat which they considered impure

 Rajasthan Food is an experience to be cherished.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora with Jeera Rice~Indian State Punjab

Punjabi Kadhi  Pakora with Jeera Rice~Indian State Punjab

Today we are Punjab the people who are real lively people who are fond of eating good food and enjoy life!! Hoy Bale Bale!!

Probably the most famous cuisine in Indian cuisine is Punjabi cuisine. Why not the Punjabis are the most enterprising people who have make their presence felt all around the world. Punjabi food is usually relished by people of all communities.  But Punjabi home cooking differs from the restaurant cooking style. At the restaurants, the chefs make a liberal use of desi ghee, butter and cream to make the food lip smacking and finger licking. At home just like you and me people prefer using sunflower oil or some other refined oil for cooking, with the basic idea of making the food low in fat content. 

The cuisine of Punjab has a variety of mouth-watering vegetarian as well as non vegetarian dishes. The spice content ranges from minimal to pleasant to high.
Wheat is the staple food here but rice is also enjoyed. When it comes to food, each region in Punjab has an entirely different preference. In the preparation of Punjabi food, onion, ginger and garlic are used extensively to enhance the taste of the food. 

Traditional Punjabi thali consists of varied kinds of breads; some are baked in the tandoor such as tandoori roti, lachha paratha, naan and kulcha, while others are dry baked on tava like chapatti and jowar ki roti. There is another fabulous variety of roti called rumali roti, which is larger in size as compared to the normal one and is also easily absorbable. Also, there are breads that are shallow fried such as parantha. Aloo paratha, methi paratha, paneer paratha and deep fried such as puri and bhatoora. 

But what will you eat it with Butter Chole, Rajma, or Cauliflower and Potato vegetable, palak panner, peas paneer or corn palak, mattar paneer… the list is endless! But there are also stuff like kadhi chawal, peas pulao… whatever you eat top it all off with lassi or chaas!!

Today however we have shall eat Punjabi Kadhi Pakora with Jeera rice!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kadugu Cauliflower~Union Territory Pondicherry

Kadugu  Cauliflower~Union Territory Pondicherry

The union territory of Pondicherry cuisine is also a reflection of a perfect blend of different cultures and customs. Do you know they have 4 official languages Tamil, Telgu, Malayalam and French! Wow I was thinking that only Goa has two official languages!!

The union territory of Pondicherry in the country of India was a French settlement for a long time. The French way of life has left a deep impact on the lifestyle of the people in the union territory of Pondicherry.

The Indo-French of food is an innovation in taste. The influence of the neighbouring areas like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala is also visible. The concoction of the various kinds of cuisines is something to be savoured and relished.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aloor Potoler Rasa and Luchi ~Indian State Odisha

Aloor Potoler Rasa and Luchi ~Indian State Odisha

Oriya Cuisine is rich and varied, while relying heavily on local ingredients. The flavours are usually subtle and delicately spiced, quite unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Food pattern is largely the same as that seen in the neighbouring states of Bihar and West Bengal due to the proximity and similar geographical conditions.
Rice is the major food crops and the staple food for the people of Orissa. Vegetables are integral part of the meal in the state. Fish and other seafood such as crab and shrimp are very popular. Chicken and mutton are also consumed, but somewhat occasionally. Only 6% of the population of Odisha is vegetarian, and this is reflected in its cuisine.
The oil base used is mostly mustard oil, but in festivals ghee is used. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella) is widely used for tempering vegetables and dals, while garam masala (curry powder) and haldi (turmeric) are commonly used for non-vegetarian curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yogurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end.
 Festivals and fasts witness a cuisine without onion and garlic, whereas other days witness an aroma of garlic and onion paste in curries. One can find restaurants serving food without onion and garlic in major places like Puri and other coastal area, which is run by Brahmin owners.