Three dishes, so different from each other :). And all three are pretty simply, yet delicious! The first one, a very simple khichdi. Now, this khichdi is the simplest ode to this whole genre of dishes-dal+chawal=khichdi! As simple as this sounds :). Moth/matki and rice cooked together to creamy perfection with just some salt and ghee! Its a lovely meal, and is my favorite since childhood. My Bibiji used to make it a lot.....daal and rice slowly blending together on angeethi (movable earthen stove) and the final taste and aroma would come from moth, ghee and the smoke! Yes, food cooked on slow fire on an earthern stove has that distinct touch.....and sometimes, simple food can be the most delicious :). Anyway, years later, when i was in the hostel, i once wrote a letter to my Mom telling her how much i craved this khichdi. and in her really cute response she wrote, "You've to learn to cook, to eat something delicious". If it were chat, you would see some wink symbols after this ;). So yes, i love this one. I don't have an angeethi or a chullah (fixed earther stove), so i can't get that real smokey flavor, but hey, its still delish :)).
The next one, the sukki aloo sabzi is another quick eat and is a Multani style recipe. Sliced potatoes cooked with dry spices. Yummy and tangy :). The last one, is one of those really old fashioned dishes, sounds quite odd, but is real easy to make and easier to fall in love with. The only pre-requisites: sour curds and freshest possible paneer :). I have had it a few times, long ago.....The memories of this dish were rekindled again during a casual conversation with an acquaintance, who fondly mentioned how his Mom makes the best paneer kadhi :).
So lets start:
Mothaan di khichdi:
- 1/2 cup moth/matki (soaked 1 hr. in warm water)
- 1/2 cup rice (non-basmati, i used brown rice)
- salt to taste
- a pinch of red chilli powder and garam masala
- 1-2 tsp. ghee
Blend in the remaining ghee and enjoy with mango pickles, dahi and papad. Occasionally also with raw onions (broken with your fist, pendu/rural style). The khichdi looks gorgeous with its reddish color and tastes great!
- 2-3 potatoes (sliced into rounds)
- 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp. coriander seed powder
- 1/4 tsp. ajwain (ground coarse)
- a pinch of strong heeng/asfoetida
- 1 tsp. sunddh/saunth/dry ginger powder
- 1 tsp. amchoor (traditionally its anardana/pomegranate seeds, i was out of it so i used amchoor)
- Salt and red chilli powder to taste
- 1 tsp. oil
- Crushed, dried poodna/pudina/mint leaves or mint leaves powder (to taste)
This is a low-fat adaptation :). The original calls for deep frying potatoes. I usually either bake the slices or stir-fry and then cook with a lil' drizzle of water. So, heat some oil and splutter the cumin seeds, add the rest of the spice powders except amchoor. Add the potato slices and stir on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add amchoor, drizzle enough water, so that the slices do not stick to the pan. Lower the heat and cover to cook till the slices are tender. Don't forget to stir a bit in between. Finally, add the pudina powder or crushed dry leaves and serve hot as a side dish :).
One of the interesting recipes i found on the internet is a coriander take on this classic and involves baking. Its called Multani Aloo (the author says that this dish gets the name from Multani masala, but for some reason doesn't have the masalas like ajwain, heeng and sunddh, which are very popular in Multani food). Paging Rachna :).
Paneer di kadhi:
- 10-15 cubes of fresh paneer
- 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk or beaten curd (sour preferred)
- 3 tbsp. besan
- 1/4 tsp. each Shah-jeera (black cumin), methi dana (fenugreek seeds) and kalonji (nigella seeds)
- a pinch of strong hing
- Turmeric and red chilli-powder (to taste)
- Kasuri methi
- 2 tsp. oil
Prepare the besan-curds mix by first beating the curd smooth and then slowly blending in the besan. Heat 1 tsp. oil and add methi dana and heeng. Add the cubed paneer and stir till the cubes are lightly toasted. If you are using fried paneer then just throw the cubes in and proceed to the next step. Add the turmeric and chilli powder and mix. Reduce the heat to very low and stir in the besan-curds mix slowly. Stir again and add some water and mix thoroughly. Bring this to a boil and cook on low heat till the kadhi thickens. Now with the remaining oil (or melted ghee, if you will) prepare another quick tadka of shah-jeera and kalonji and pour it over the kadhi. Stir in some kasuri methi and garnish with hari-mirch. Enjoy this kadhi hot with rice or pulaav (and if you are like me, even with a sourdough panini sandwich).
Indira posted a recipe with paneer and dahi some time back, and i find it to be a kinder, gentler version of a kadhi. That dish requires addition of beaten dahi in the end and has no besan. Do try that as well, because it is a lovely one :).
So folks, enjoy these yummy dishes :).
And, these dishes are my contribution to RCI: Punjab, an event hosted this month by Richa (As dear as salt) and originally envisaged by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine, to celebrate the regional cuisines of India.