I must apologise to all of you – i promised part 2 of my delicous Gujarati vegetarian curry meal recipes two days ago!!! I shan’t bore you with the sad details of my life that resulted in this delay. Let’s get right back into this wonderful meal – these two recipes, the Khitcheri and the Kari – are the rice component of the meal and a sauce to spoon over the rice on your plate. Again, the exquisite balance of flavour with the palest buttercup yellow of the rice are immensely appealing to both my stomach and my eye. This is food that is deeply satisfying with no competing flavours – one of the principals of Ayurvedic food – and very very light on our ever decreasing pockets. We are all looking for foods that are nourishing – enjoyable and not too expensive. What a wonderful way to meat this criteria.
I asked Nalini about the order of the meal – in the west we serve courses ie. starters/ entrees – mains and dessert in a normal meal- this cuisine does not follow such rules. The meal is served all at once – allowing everyone to enjoy one vegetable at a time with rice or rotalis or chappatis (a flat pancake like bread). In the south of India – food is served on banana leaves, whereas in the north a Thari – a large round tray with many Katori (small individual bowls) each containing a different curry, and no cutlery is used. The rotalis or rice is used as a carrier and accompaniment to each vegetable. What i found very interesting is that usually the sweet is served at the beginning of the meal. Reason – your digestive system is better able to digest the food as it is at its strongest at the beginning of the meal. Undigested food results in heart disease and diseases of the arteries! Food for thought …. scuse the pun!
I shall start with the Khitcheri – most of us have heard of an English Kedgeree – well this dish was anglosized by those brits that spent years whilst the British Empire held India firmly in it’s grip – as a British Colony. Can you imagine the delight of those English women when they landed in India – to discover a world of flavour and spice such as they had never even heard of before! It brings to mind those Victorian Tea and spice Caddies – beautifully made in India and transported back to England by the hundreds – for the gentry to lock up their expensive and sought after Indian teas and spices. It would seem that they valued their tea and spices very highly.
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup oil lentils
1 tsp spoon finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
Soak the rice and lentils for about an hour – rinse it and put in fresh boiling water in a pot
and the ginger – tumeric and salt
bring to the boil and allow to simmer
when soft – cover the pot and allow to steam on a low heat until
all the water has been absorbed
and the rice is a nice soft consistency.
The rice should be softer than your normal consistency for this dish.
Remove from the heat and lightly mix in 1 dessert spoon of ghee.
Transfer to a serving dish.
500ml buttermilk (MAAS)
the tip of a teaspoon of tumeric (less than a 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp crushed green chillis
1/4 tsp garlic
1 heaped dessert spoon gram flour (chick pea flour)
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Beat all the above ingredients together with a hand beater to avoid the gram flour
To a pot add a tbl spoon of ghee – add 1/2 tspn black mustard seeds
and 10 curry leaves and a half tsp of whole cumin seeds
when they start to sputter add in the sour milkmixture and
keep stirring continuously for about 5 minutes until it comes
to the boil – DO NOT STOP STIRRING AS THIS MAY CURDLE –
remove fromt heat to a serving dish and garnish with fresh green coriander.
And there you have it – the pumkin and green pepper curry recipes – click here
and the kitcheri and kari accompaniments.
I do hope that you try these – I enjoyed the cooking just as much as the
eating of these exotic dishes.