Tag Archives: kashmiri cuisine

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.

Haakh Tchaman- Kashmiri Cheese and Greens

The magic of Kashmiri cooking always inspires a smile and a happy tummy. So simple and fragrant served with steaming steamed rice and some pickles. The cheese can be homemade or you can buy a block of Indian Cheese which is pretty readily available in supermarkets now.  I do find the homemade version with organic milk much better and softer.

For the greens, I prefer the leaves called Chinese broccoli but collard green work really well too. Remove the leaves from the stems. If the stems are thick, peel the skin and use the inside, they are packed with flavor

The key flavor enhancer, I find is the use of Mustard oil. You can always substitute with regular vegetable oil. I used a pressure cooking but you don’t have to, it cooks just fine in a regular pot.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:

  • Collard greens or Chinese broccoli – 2 bunches
  • Indian cottage cheese sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • Cloves 2 pices
  • asafetida – 1/4 Tsp
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • Ground ginger powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 Tsp
  • Turmeric powder  – 1 tsp
  • Fennel powder – 1 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup mustard oil
  • 2 cups of water

Directions:

  • Fry the cottage cheese pieces in oil until lightly golden ( not too dark), remove and immerse in warm water. Set aside
  • In a pressure cooker add the same mustard oil and the cloves. Add Asafetida and garlic. Add water and the rest of the spices and bring to a boil. Add Salt to taste
  • Add the greens and pressure cook for 5 mins.
  • Remove the lid and add the cheese.
  • Cooks for 5 – 10 mins until the flavors combine and the cheese is soft.
  • Serve as a main dish or side dish with steaming rice.
Haakh Tchaman with Roganjosh

Linking at Fiesta Friday where co-hosts this week areMollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

Kokur Roganjosh

Kashmiri culture and ways of preparing the food lends to its exquisite and unique taste. An art form which is then accented by how the food is served….in copper dishes, with flavorful white rice, rich yogurt and tart chutneys.

Rogan Josh is a signature dish of the Kashmiri cuisine usually cooked with lamb. This particular recipe is with Chicken or “Kokur” and therefore the title. The subtle but important difference in the preparation is frying the chicken pieces beforehand which gives it the crispy exterior.

The rest of the spices are familiar with just a slight change is the way they are used in the thecooking process that differentiates it from other curries. The aromatic whole spices are fried in ghee to bring out the oils and aroma. The touch of water further steams through the spices.

I have used Mawal here, which is responsible for the deep red color. Mawal is dried cockscomb flower and is boiled with an equal quantity of water and then strained through a fine mesh. A couple of tablespoons of the liquid are then added towards the end of cooking.  A pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk or water is the last flavor and aroma enrichment.

This dish is cooked with love and the process of cooking it is something to be enjoyed as much and eating it. Many of the traditional ways of using the ingredients have been adjusted in my American kitchen but the uniqueness of flavor still commands the respect of the cook and the guest.

Roganjosh served with Paneer Haakh and rice

Kokur Roganjosh

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Kashmiri Chicken Roganjosh

Ingredients

  • 1 whole organic chicken cut into about 10 – 12 pieces
  • Olive or walnut oil for frying
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder soaked in warm water
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons mawal liquid ( optional)
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • Salt
  • Pinch of Saffron( 4-5 strands) soaked in warm milk
  • Black pepper
  • 4-5 cups water

Directions

  • Pat dry the chicken pieces and shallow fry them in batches until golden brown. Set aside
  • Slice and fry the onions until golden, grind to a paste and set aside
  • If using Mawal(cockscomb), boil in equal quantity of water for a couple of minutes. Strain through a fine sieved and bottle it up to use as needed.
  • Add ghee to a heave bottomed pan and add the cloves, bay leaf and cardamom. Fry until they sizzle.
  • Remove from heat and add a tbsp of water and cover to let the spices steam
  • Return to heat and add the garlic, saute for a minute
  • Add chicken turmeric, chili, onion paste and salt.
  • Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil
  • Cook the chicken until tender ( about 20 mins)
  • Add the mawal liquid, saffron and black pepper.
  • Once it has returned to a boil, turn off the heat.

Serve beautifully!

Linked to Fiesta Friday with Antonia  and Kat

Monji Haakh – Kohlrabi

Immersed in summer mountain vegetables is happiness. Kashmir is a place that gives me that.IMG_0064

Traveling through this tormented paradise brings out some bittersweet emotions. The consistent source of joy besides the rocking landscape is the produce that feeds the souls. The streets are of full of apples, peaches, and pears freshly picked from the nearby trees and accompanied by so many vegetables that you cannot stop filling up your bags to take home.

Kohlrabi is an important part of the Kashmiri diet and prepared with its leaves and served with a light gravy and eaten with rice. Monji Haakh is a simple dish and packs flavor and nutrition. .The key difference in taste I find comes from the use of Mustard oil. You can always substitute with regular vegetable oil. I used a pressure cooking but you don’t have to, it cooks just fine in a regular pot.

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Monji Haakh @foodforthesoul

 

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Monji Haakh @foodforthesoul

Monji Haakh: Kohlrabi made Kashmiri Style

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Kashmiri vegetarian delight

Credit: foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

  • Kohlrabi ( 4 large)
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 green chilies
  • Garlic cloves – 5
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Wash and peel the Kohlrabi and cut into slices. Remove the stems from the greens.
  • Chop 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, and  1 round plump tomato.
  • In a pan use a tablespoon of mustard oil and heat until sizzling.
  • Add garlic, 2 green chilies,  onion and 1 tsp of cumin seeds.
  • Fry for about 30 secs and add a pinch of hing ( asafetida)
  • Add the Kohlrabi pieces and fry for about 3 mins or so, add tomatoes,  cayenne, turmeric,  ground coriander,  ground ginger, and salt to taste.
  • Fry the spices for a couple of mins and then add the greens. Add baking soda and a cup of water. I use a pressure cooker to cook everything at this point for about 4-5 whistles. If using a regular pot, let it cook on medium heat until the vegetable is tender
  • Note: If using a pressure cooker, open the lid of the cooker immediately to retain green color of the greens.
  • Serve hot with rice and enjoy.

Sharing at Fiesta Friday where co-hosts this week areJhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

 

Kashmiri Tangy Eggplants – Chok Wangun

My love for eggplants keeps me experimenting with new recipes from around the globe. This one is close to my heart and soul and so very easy to make.

IMG_8318-5Frying eggplants will fill your kitchen with an amazing aroma. I often chow down a few slices even before they make their way to the dish.

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This recipe has the flavor of cloves, ginger, and fennel and is a delicate yet strong blend to showcase the eggplants. The tamarind paste is what adds the tanginess. Use it to your taste.

Tip: Be careful not to burn the cloves or the chili powder but adding water quickly.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggplants – long or 8 small
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 black cardamoms
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • Salt – to taste.
  • Mustard oil

 

Putting it together:

  • Soak the tamarind paste in 1/2 cup hot water. Put aside.
  • Chopped and fry the onion until golden brown and make a paste of the fried onions adding a dash of water
  • Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 3 to 4-inch lengths – keeping a part of stem on the end pieces.
  • Heat the mustard oil until smoking and deep fry the eggplants until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
  • In a wide pan take  3 tbsp of the remaining oil and bring to medium heat
  • Add the cloves, red chili powder and salt. Add 2 cups of water immediately not letting the red chilies burn. Add the garlic, turmeric and cardamoms fennel powder, ginger powder, onion paste and continue to cook for 10 mins adding 2 more cups of water if needed.
  • Add the eggplants and tamarind water and cook for 5 -10 mins to get to a saucy consistency.
  • Serve with a garnish of green chilies with white rice or roti.IMG_8320-6

Matz t, Palak – Lamb meatballs with Spinach

I spend a beautiful fall morning bringing out my Kashmiri spices in my American kitchen trying to connect and reconnect with a land so abundant with beauty and an unmatched gastronomical  adventure.

Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking.  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.

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My home smells like fennel and ginger and far away tales of dreams and amazing food are weaving in through the aroma creating an aura of peace. Continue reading Matz t, Palak – Lamb meatballs with Spinach

saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

This is a true fusion dish blending the flavors of Kashmir with Persian cooking. The fennel and dried ginger in the meatballs is so delicate yet intense. Good minced lamb is best but you can use any combination of lamb, beef and veal. I added a 1/2 amount ground turkey to make it lighter but you can make it all lamb.

Persian cooking gives us Kalam Polo which is a hearty meal made with white cabbage, beef meatballs and rice.  I have been inspired by this and the spices used in Kashmiri cuisine to make this dish.

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For readers who follow my blog you know I love saffron and often think of the fields in Kashmir that grow this beautifully purple flower harvested just within a few weeks for its incredible color and flavor. Check out Kashmir Box if you need to buy this right from the fields.

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Use white cabbage in this dish to absorb the golden saffron color, you will not miss the rice so this version is carb free. Cut the cabbage finely so it cooks quickly and evenly. The turmeric and saffron with give it the beautiful color and flavor.

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saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a fusion dish inspired by kashmiri and persian cooking

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb lamb
  • 1/2  lb turkey
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp hing ( asafetida)
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Pink Salt to taste

Cabbage

  • 1/2  head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp saffron blooming in a tablespoon of hot water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Chopped Parsley and Mint for garnish
  • Pink salt to taste

Directions

  • Squeeze the water out of the grated onion through a muslin cloth or a colander
  • Combine the lamb and turkey and mix in the onion and ground spices with your hands. Add the oil and crack in the egg. Combine well.
  • With wet hands make the meatballs the size of golf balls and line them on a baking tray
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and set aside
  • In a pan, add 2 tbsp of mustard oil. Let it get to smoking hot temperature.
  • Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they barely get brown.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for about 10 mins until tender
  • Add the blooming saffron and the turmeric and continue to cook for 5 mins.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Add the meatballs and combine until heated through.
  • Garnish with chopped Parsley and Mint

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Sharing this at the fiesta at Angie’s with co-hosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Elaine @ Foodbod