This is a traditional Onion Chutney that accompanies many a feasts and dinners in Kashmir. Kashmiri food, the whole playbook of amazing dishes often overshadows the humble accompaniments that elevate the flavors of the meal. The side kick here is truly kick ass, simply made with sliced onions that are marinated in vinegar, dried mint and red chili powder. The process is a quick pickling process which is very simple bringing out the tart, spicy and savory flavors.
The recipes call for dry mint but fresh would be fine if you are out of stock. I dry my mint in summer and fall and it lasts me at least 6 months. Dry mint does have a unique taste that it imparts to many Kashmiri dishes.
I serve it as a side to rice and savory dishes but you will find that it was be used in many other ways such as sandwiches, kebabs and burgers.
Gand Chetin Kashmiri Onion Chutney
A pickled spicy onion chutney
2 cups of organic red onions sliced thin
3 green chilies sliced thin
1/2 cup of green coriander/cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp black cumin ( different form regular
1/2 tsp dry mint
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 cup of organic vinegar ( i used rice
sea salt to taste
Salt the onions and keep aside for an hour or
so and then wash and drain. You will need to squeeze the water out.
Mix all the other ingredients ( you will not
need additional salt) and cool in the refrigerator before serving as a
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 yoghurt and tart chutneys.
In the series of
Kashmiri chutneys, this one is a little unusual and delightful. Made with
boiled bottle gourd (Lauki), yoghurt and a dash of honey, it brings a slight
sweetness to the table of spicy food.
In my version I have omitted the honey and the raisins but do add them if you prefer the sweetness. I also made a vegan version by using coconut milk instead. Either way it will come out just superb.
These are images of Bottle Gourd growing and being sold in the floating vegetable gardens on the Dal Lake in Kashmir. A visit to the pre-dawn vegetable market on the lake is a memory that does not leave your soul.
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”
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
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.
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 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 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Frying 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.
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.
4 eggplants – long or 8 small
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.
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.
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.