Dahi Ke Kebab
(Soft, delicately tangy…often described as the veggie connoisseur’s “galouti kabab!”)
Ingredients: 200 g hung curd; about 2 tsp sugar; salt to taste; about 2 tsp chopped ginger; about 2 tsp green chili; about 1 cup cornflour; 2 tsp chili flakes; half cup roasted cashewnut; 50 g mascarpone cheese; 1 tsp cardamom powder; 1 tsp white pepper. Refined oil for frying.
Method: Mix ingredients to create a thick texture, check for seasoning and refrigerate. Take mixture and divide into patty kebabs. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry but do not overcook to brown, keep them on the ivory side and remove and serve with mint chutney.
Tawa Ki Dabi Arbi
(Simple to do and much loved veggie kabab.)
Ingredients: 200 g arbi, boiled, peeled; 2 tbs refined oil; a tbs ginger-garlic paste; salt to taste; a tsp turmeric powder; 1 tsp green chili paste; 2 tbs rice flour; 1 tsp chaat masala; juice of 1 lemon; 1 tsp red chili powder; 1 tsp coriander powder; 2 tsp kasthuri methi.
Method: With your hands smear on and marinate boiled arbi with rest of ingredients and set aside. Pre-heat pan, add oil and shallow fry each marinated arbi, pressing gently to crush it open a little for even cooking. When lightly golden brown remove and serve with green chutney or onion relish.
Dal Dum Dera
(A most famous dal of Punjab featuring protein-rich black udid or urad dal!)
Ingredients: Half cup 50 g urad dal (black); 1 tbs ginger garlic paste; refined oil as required; 1 tbs ghee; half cup fresh cream; a tbs Amul butter; 1 degi chilli powder; 1 tbs kasthuri methi powder; half cup tomato puree.
Method: Soak urad dal overnight and slow boil to cook. When cooked preheat a cooking pan, pour oil or ghee, add ginger garlic paste, followed by tomato puree. Stir cook. Once mixture is cooked add the cooked urad dal and bring to a gentle boil. Add in white or Amul butter and kasthuri methi. Finish with fresh cream and season with salt as per taste. Serve with roti or parantha.
Ingredients: 350 g white pomfret; 1 tbs ginger garlic paste; 1 tbs lemon juice; salt to taste; 1 tbs mustard oil; half cup hung curd; 1 tsp garam masala; 1 tbs cumin powder; 1 tsp turmeric powder; 1 tbs red chili powder; 2 tsp kasthuri methi powder; a cup gram flour (besan).
Method: Clean and marinate pomfret with ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and salt, keep aside. Make a second marinade with hung curd, garam masala, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, kasthuri methi and gram flour. Check for seasoning and salt as per taste. Cook in a pre-heated tandoor. Serve garnished with green coriander/mint sprigs with lemon wedges.
Note: According to Chef Pritpal in Punjab (land of five rivers, “panch” for five and “jab” for water) there is river fish like sole or singhara which is most flavorful but for this one may visit Punjab. With Punjab’s Silk Route one may say it is Punjabi food which is the niche and most sought after cuisine of north India…influenced as it has been by Persian, Afghanistan, Moghlai cooking styles and ingredients. The best food came out of the palace kitchens of the legendary Maharaja Ranjit Singh courtesy his love for the good life and good food!
Dahi Ke Kebab