Kulfa ki Katli

Its a wonderful day today in Hyderabad. The weather is the coolest it has ever been since I landed here, and my jet lag seems to be fading away gradually. So, I thought this morning as the perfect opportunity to visit the wholesale market in Hyderabad at Gudimalkapur, and indeed the visit was totally worth it. The market was a frenzy, but a treat my sore eyes. There were huge piles of fresh greens, seafood, vegetables and fruits, flowers and I bought all that I could at very reasonable prices.

Kulfa ki bhaji ~Purslane

To start with I chose Kulfa ki bhaji (in Urdu language), (Purslane in English) that I bought to cook and satisfy my long patience. It had been more than 3 long years since I had tasted Kulfa ki bhaji and many other such basic fresh vegetables and fruits available here in Hyderabad. Purslane is a succulent with thick leaves and reddish stems and a crisp citrusy taste.

Today my Ammi prepared Kulfa ki Katli, a dal preparation cooked along with Kulfa ki bhaji, tomatoes, tamarind and other aromatic spices. Aloo Methi and Khushka were accompaniments to this humble dal concoction and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

Kulfa ki Katli – Purslane simmered in Aromatic and Tangy Dhal

Ingredients:

Thick Tamarind concentrate – 1/4 cup
Kulfa ki bhaji/Purslane – washed and drained, tender leaves and stems chopped fine, roots discarded ~ around 3 cups, loosely packed
Tuvar ki dal – 1 cup, washed in several changes of water and drained
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Tomato – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
For Baghaar:
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Dried red chillies – 2, each split into two
Garlic pods – 2, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Method:

In a pressure cooker, add the washed dal, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomatoes, salt and curry leaves. Add about 4 cups water and pressure cook until the dal is mushy. Once done, mash the dal with a dal ghotni, or blend it until smooth. Add the chopped purslane and gently mash just a little bit. Add tamarind and pour in more water to adjust the consistency. Let it cook on medium high flame. Meanwhile prepare baghaar, add oil to a small frying pan at medium high heat. As soon as it is hot, add the baghaar ingredients and let them splutter for just a few seconds. Immediately pour this baghaar hissing into the cooking dal. Let the dal cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve warm along with rice and a curry of your choice.

I have never been able to find this green leafy vegetable/herb in Toronto. If anyone of you living in Toronto has been able to spot Purslane at grocery stores, please let me know. Also, if anyone is willing to trade seeds with me, I am more than happy. Please contact me if interested.

Note: If Purslane is unavailable you can try this recipe with any of your favorite greens. I have tried this dal using baby bok choy and spinach.

Luv,
Mona

Palak Gosht

One of the most usual accompaniments to khatti dal and rice, or parathas at meals, palak gosht is a simple spinach+meat medley that both nourishes as well as satisfies. It is comfort food for me. Give me this combination and I will happily gobble it all up anytime.

Fresh Spinach leaves – Palak

You can even use frozen spinach as it will save both time and effort. However, fresh is best and always recommended. Make sure you wash the fresh spinach leaves well before use.

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Ingredients:

Lamb Meat with bone – 500 gms
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1, medium, finely sliced
Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
Green chillies – 6, chopped
Salt – 2 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 1, chopped
Fresh Spinach/Palak – 300 gms (or) Frozen Spinach – 300 gms
Dill leaves/Suva bhaji – 1/2 cup, finely chopped (optional)

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Method:

1. If using fresh spinach: Wash the spinach carefully. Cut and discard the thick stems. Hold the leaves together in a bunch and cut into thin strips. Again cut these strips thinly in opposite direction.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, add oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion. Stir fry until golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. In a minute add the meat with bones and mix well. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Pour in about 1 ½ cup fresh cool water and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Once done, open the lid and cook at medium hight heat while stirring frequently until the mixture dries up and starts leaving oil. Add the chopped spinach and chopped dill leaves and pressure cook for 3 more minutes. Open the lid and cook for 10 minutes at medium high heat. You can cook until the curry is dry, or leave a little gravy if you like. Serve warm.

Luv,
Mona