Kulfa Gosht

My love for Kulfa ki bhaji is beyond words. I adore the earthy taste of this succulent green leafy vegetable that is also a weed and rich in omega-3-fats and vitamins. It has thick and spongy leaves, and reddish stems, both of which are edible.

Names of this green leafy vegetable in other languages:

Portulaca Oleracea L. (Purtulacaceae)
English: Purslane, Garden purslane, Pigweed, Hogweed
Hindi: Khulpha, Khursa,
Bengali: Lunia, Bara Lunia
Maharashtrian: Ghol
Tamil: Pachiri
Gujarati: Luni bhaji
Telugu: Gangapaayala, Peddapaayala, Payala kura, Peddapaavila aaku koora, Goli Kura
Kannada: Doddagoni Soppu
Arabic: Ba’le, Bakli, Farfhin, Arnuba, Bighal, Barabra (Maghrib), Rijl, Rujila, Al-hamqa, Al-baqla, Badalqa, Kharqa
Armenian: Perper
Urdu: Kulfa ki bhaji
Greek: Glystiritha, Andrakln
Italian: Portulaca, Porcellana, Perchjazza (Bari, Apulia)
Spanish: Verdolaga
French: Pourpier potager
Turkish: Semizotu, Temizlik (Aksaray Province)

source: Wikipedia Commons

I was in Saudi Arabia the last month to visit the two holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah alhamdulillah, which must explain my absense from the blogosphere. To my surprise,I discovered Jeddah has become a mini version of Hyderabad. There are meat markets there that sell fresh Lamb meat from Hyderabad, lambs are I suppose shipped from Hyderabad/India/Pakistan and then slaughtered in Jeddah. And many restaurants that specialize in Hyderabadi food. I was amazed but equally happy. Also the fruit and vegetable market of Jeddah also called as the Halaqa is the biggest I have ever seen with so much variety of fresh produce that Jeddah is a foodies paradise for sure. (Susie’s Jeddah Vegetable and Fruit Market Album)

source: Wikipedia Commons

At the Halaqa there, I bought and alhamdulillah enjoyed many fresh fruits and vegetables which are otherwise not that easily available here in Toronto. The following is my mother in laws recipe. Succulent purslane leaves are cooked along with meat and the resulting dish is simply superb.

Kulfa Gosht – Chunks of Lamb in a succulent and spicy Purslane leaves mash

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Onion – 2, small, sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 2, small, diced
Red chilli powder – 2 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Lamb meat with bone – 650 gms
Green chillies – 4-6, chopped
Kulfa ki bhaji/Purslane plants – 4 big bunches

Kulfa Gosht – Chunks of Lamb in a succulent and spicy Purslane leaves mash

Method:

1. Chop off and discard the roots, tough stem ends and any yellow flowers of the purslane plant. Use the tender stalks as well as the leaves and chop them roughly.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour oil as soon as it warms up and add the sliced onion and fry until lightly browned. Add ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Add red chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder and diced tomatoes. Mix well. Add the meat and green chillies and stir to mix. Let cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add water to cover the meat and also add the chopped purslane leaves. Cover with the lid and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Uncover and let it cook for a while. Serve along with warm parathas.

Luv,
Mona

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

Palak ki Pakodi, Til ki Chutney

It has been raining since a few days here, and I was craving for some snacks. Palak Pakodi with Til ki Chutney is what I prepared today and we enjoyed it الحمد لله along with chai.

Palak ki Pakodi – Spinack Fritters

Ingredients:

Spinach – 100 gms

Palak – Spinach

For the batter:-

Gram flour/Besan – 1 cup
Cool fresh water – 1 cup
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Palak ki Pakodi – Spinack Fritters

Method:

1. Heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the fritters.
2. In a bowl, prepare the batter. Mix all the ingredients under the heading for the batter until the batter is smooth. Keep aside.

Spinach strips in batter

3. Wash and pat dry the spinach thoroughly. Discard stems and pile the spinach one above the other. Cut into strips and add it to the batter. Using a fork mix well and gently lift a small amount in the fork and drop it into the hot oil in the kadai. Deep fry on both sides until golden brown in color, around 3-5 minutes.
4. Remove the fritters into a large wire mesh strainer for the excess oil to drip off.

Til ki Chutney – Sesame seed Chutney

Ingredients:

Sesame seeds/Til – 1/2 cup
Small green chillies – 5, stems discarded, roughly chopped
Tamarind concentrate – 2 tbsp
Fresh Chopped Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp
Fresh Mint leaves/Pudina – 6 leaves
Garlic cloves – 2
Salt – to taste
Fresh cool water – 3/4 cup

Til ki Chutney – Sesame seed Chutney

Method:

1. In a pan at medium high heat, dry roast the sesame seeds until lightly golden brown in color. Remove the pan from heat and keep aside to cool.

Dry roasted Sesame seeds

2. Once the sesame seeds are completely cooled, add the rest of the ingredients and grind in a blender until smooth. Add more water if you need. Adjust salt to taste.
3. Prepare baghaar/tempering in a pan- pour 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan at medium hight heat. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 dry red chillies, and a few curry leaves. As they crackle, remove from heat and mix into the chutney. Serve.

Dip the Spinach fritters into the chutney and enjoy as a snack.

I also prepare this snack along with the chutney quite usually in Ramadan at Iftaar. This is my entry to the ‘Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ’09’ that I am hosting on my blog.
Do send me your entries as soon as possible before Ramadan starts. The deadline is 20th August ‘09.

Luv,
Mona

Palak-Tamatar Ki Subzi

This is my favorite brunch on a lazy weekend morning, Palak-Tamatar Ki Subzi with warm Parathas. Hmmm, comforting!

Palak-Tamatar Ki Subzi / Spinach in Tomato-Onion Gravy

The base I use for this spinach curry is a simple tomato-onion gravy. And as fresh spinach is not very easily available all the time, I usually get many frozen spinach boxes, as it will be much easier for me to quickly prepare any curry using these. You all can however use fresh spinach if you have assess to it, I do not get to see many fresh desi greens here. You can enjoy this curry along with rice too, but I always prefer to have it along with my warm parathas. You will love and enjoy it.

Palak-Tamatar Ki Subzi / Spinach in Tomato-Onion Gravy

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
Yellow Onions – 2, medium, chopped fine
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Ripe Red Tomatoes – 2, medium, chopped
Red Chilli Powder – 1 1/3 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Fresh/Frozen Chopped Spinach – 300 gms

Method:

-Pour oil into a small sized saucepan on medium heat and as soon it gets hot, throw in the chopped onions. -Stir fry them till they light brown in colour, then add ginger garlic paste to it. Saute the mixture for about 2 minutes.
-Add the chopped tomatoes and a cup of water, mix it well. Then close the lid of the saucepan and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes till the tomatoes are all mushy. Keep stirring it occasionally just to keep a check if it isnt drying up or getting burnt.
-Add the frozen thawed spinach and again close the lid. Keep stirring the mixture every now and then, till the Spinach is nicely mixed with the Tomato-Onion mixture.
-Sprinkle Red Chilli powder and Salt. Let it cook on low heat. You can add a little more water if needed. Once Done, serve hot with Warm Parathas. Enjoy.

And while having this brunch, you can have a look at the New Hyderabad International Airport soon to be opened, probably by next month at Shamshabad. Its beautiful and i’m proud of it.

Also, Download and check out Kanye West’s Performance at the recent Grammy awards. Its awesome !

Luv,
Mona