Tag Archives: kashmiri cooking

Vost Haakh t, Nadir ( Lotus stems with Amaranth leaves)

From the land of dreamers, poets, artists, emperors and saints comes a cuisine that inspires all your senses.

Modern Kashmiri cuisine  tracks its history to 15th century when Timur ( a Turco-Mongol conqueror)  invaded India which led to the migration of 1700 skilled woodcarvers, weavers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the valley of Kashmir.

The descendants of these cooks, the Wazas, are the master chefs of Kashmir. Thus came an elaborate feast preparation called Wazwaan. “Waan” refers to a “shop” in Kashmiri.

Nadru or Lotus stems/roots are a delicious curious vegetable very popular in Kashmir (India). They are often fried and served as a street snack food. For the dinner table, the 2 most popular recipes are Nadru Yakhni (yogurt sauce)  and Nadru Palak ( Spinach). This recipe is a variation of the latter but you can try our the delicious yogurt recipe in my earlier post or my step by step guide on wikihow

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Lotus Stem is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

In this recipe I have the closest I could find to Vost Haakh or Wousta Haakh (red kashmiri spinach). Our local international market carries an abundance on “Shen choy” and I have fallen in love with it. These are Amaranth leaves and need to be washed through and picked off the stems. They impart this beautiful red color to your broth.

The ingredients are simple and the recipe is simple. I always use a pressure cooker with root vegetables as it locks in the ingredients and saves time but you can use a heavy bottomed pan.

I have served it with onion relish

I have served it with white rice and red onion chutney with cilantro and mint ( will post the recipe).

Take the time to make this and you will love it.

Ingredients are as follows, please adjust to taste

  • 2-3 mid size lotus stems
  • I big bunch of Shen Choy ( red spinach)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 clove
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder ( adjust to taste)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • Salt to taste

Heres how to cook it:

  • Pick the leaves of the spinach from the stems and wash thoroughly
  • Scrape of lightly peel the tope layer of the lotus stem.
  • Slice the Lotus Stems in 1/4 inch slices and wash thoroughly
  • Add 1 tsp of mustard oil to a pressure cooker and heat until smoking. Add the lotus stems with some salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook for about 5-6 whistles. Remove from cooker ( liquid and all) and keep aside.
  • Using the same cooker,  add mustard oil  and heat until smoking
  • Add chopped shallots and the garlic
  • Fry of a minute and add the greens
  • Add salt and Fry the green until completely wilted
  • Add cardamoms, ginger powder, fennel powder cumin and cloves
  • Pressure cook for about 2 whistles
  • Remove the cooker cover and add the turmeric and chili powder and fry a little
  • Add the cooked lotus stems and about 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for 10 mins.
  • This has a beautiful and unique flavor and is best served with rice.

Kashmiri Lamb Coriander Korma- Dhaniwal Korma

Kashmiri culture and ways of preparing the food lends to its exquisite, delectable and unique taste. This is then accented by how it is served….with flavorful white rice, rich yoghurt and tart chutneys.

This particular Korma is called Dhaniwal Korma which is a beautiful medley of lamb cooked in coriander and yoghurt. It is flavored with whole spices and black pepper and not red chilies. A simple twist in preparation changes the flavor  of a korma. Continue reading Kashmiri Lamb Coriander Korma- Dhaniwal Korma

Dum Gobi Paneer ( Cauliflower and Cheese)

Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking. While predominantly a meat centric cuisine, the vegetarian dishes hold their own and are unparalleled. History has documented well known saints of Kashmir to have been vegetarian for spiritual reasons.

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The cuisine has evolved over the centuries absorbing influences from settlements and migrations. The flavors and spices of Kashmiri cuisine include dry ginger, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and saffron to name a few.

Dum Gobi Paneer

This particular dish is my version, not very common but most people are familiar with Kashmiri Dum Aloo ( potatoes). “Dum” is a technique that is essentially slow sealed cooking. The cooking vessels can be sealed by using a flour dough between the pot and the lid and placed on hot coals which are also added on the top on the lid. Of course this can also be accomplished in the oven ( just giving you alternatives in case you want to make this while camping :)). I used a even simpler route and used a heavy cast iron pot with strong sealed lid and used low heat on my stove.

 

A little about the spices I have used.

  • Cloves: Dried flower buds that contain antiseptic properties and help in preserving food
  • Fennel Powder: Ground fennel commonly used to flavor sauces and stocks
  • Dry Ginger Powder: Fresh ginger is dried and then ground and has a distinct flavor aside from its healing properties
  • Garam Masala: A mix of dry roasted spices that varies from household to household
  • Asafoetida: a spice derived from the plant Ferula assa-foetida – a very distinct flavor and a pinch is all you need.
  • Turmeric powder: Dried and ground root like ginger. Add the beautiful orange color.

The dish is served with rice ( I have used brown) and a side of Kashmiri Onion Chutney.

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Enough about the history so let’s get to the recipe:

 

Dum Gobi Paneer - Kashmiri

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cauliflower head, cut in big florets
  • 1 slab of indian cottage cheese (paneer) about 6-8 pieces
  • 2 red onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder (Saunf)
  • 1 tsp turmeric ( Haldi)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder ( Sonth)
  • 1/2 red chili powder
  • One pinch of Asafoetida ( optional)
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying and cooking ( I used Avocado oil for frying and then Mustard oil for cooking) Please use a mild flavored oil of your choice.

 

Fry the Cauliflower florets and Cheese separately in oil until lightly browned.

Let the florets drain on a paper towel. Soak the fried paneer in warm water until ready for use.

Use a heavy bottom pan, add a couple of tablespoons of oil, add cloves until they splutter and add the onions

Once the onions are light brown, add the spices, cauliflower and paneer. You can use a cup of the paneer water to add to the pot.

Mix the ingredients, seal the lid of the pot ready well and then leave it to simmer for about 15 mins.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and chutney.

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/img_2413.jpgLinking to my favorite party at Angie’s Fiesta Friday co hosted this week by  Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters

KASHMIRI TSAMUN (CHEESE IN TOMATO GRAVY)

This dish is truly a comfort food for me. Immersed in the spices, flavors and memories of the beautiful valley of Kashmir. The spices are what makes it different from many other cuisines and similar cheese and tomato dishes so do pay special attention to the seasoning. The cottage cheese is best if made at home, cut in about 2 inch chunks and pan fried until just about brown on each side. The pieces are soaked in warm water right out of the pan and this is what will make the cheese (panner) soft on the inside.

Here is what you need:

About 5 ripe chopped tomatoes

2 tsp of garlic paste

8 green cardamoms

2 pieces of cinnamon stick ( 2 inches each)

4 black cardamom

2 tsp of tumeric

2 tsp of dry ginger powder ( sonth)

2 tsp of onion paste ( fried onions and that then ground in a processor)

2 tsp red chilis soaked in a cup of hot water

for the red color you can use dry cockscomb flowers poweder or annato seed oil ( or you can skip this)

2 tsp dry mint

1 tsp black cumin ( zeera)

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In a pan add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook down until a puree is formed. Add garlic, cardamoms, cinnamon, tumeric, ginger, onion paste, chili water and 4 cup of water  and let it cook until it gets a sauce like consistency and smells fantastic.

This is when you would add the cockscomb flower powder and then the cheese. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add dry mint and black zeera and cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve with rice.

A tip for the leftover sauce: Add boiled eggs the next day to enjoy the leftover sauce.