Punjabi Thaali

BM # 15   Day 6

Punjab is a Northern state of India very rich in its cuisine.The food is rich in ghee and butter as Punjabi’s are robust people with robust appetites.By large their non veg food is very popular but nothing like their vegetarian cuisine which has endless variation.The hit list topping with Paneer variety then come in Raajma-chaawal,kadi chaawal..endless delicious food.The simple home cooking also tastes like restaurant food because of the use of ghee,butter and cream.They are basic wheat eaters  as wheat is the main crop of Punjab.The popular parathas…aaloo,gobhi mooli..lavishly fried in ghee, served with dollops of home made butter and some fresh chunky bowl of curd are a few favorite of Amritsari people.Ofcourse we cannot miss the Amritsari chole,wadiya and papad.Infact if you guys ever get a chance to visit Amritsar you must visit The Bharwan da Dhabba.This is a old dhabba with finger licking food.The dhaaba culture is very popular in Punjab.


In summer we see the Punjabi women carrying the chapati dough to the nearby tandoor.Here the tandoor wala makes these rotis with a nominal charge.Huge clay ovens ,  these tandoors are half buried in the ground and heated with coal fire lit below.These tandoors take me back when I was probably 6-7 years old.I still remember mom sending the dough to the closest tandoor,which I used to watch from my window.

The winter in Punjab brings the most flavorful green…Sarso ka Saag and Makki de Roti. The Punjabi  gravies are genrally made from onions,garlic and tomato.Connoisseurs of the cuisine say that the gravy component of Punjabi cuisine came from Mughals.

Coming to the sweets The Panjus have a sweet tooth and use lots of Gur / jaggery.Their kheers,pinnis,balushahis and Gajrellas being the top favourites.


For this dinner, my menu is…..
Drink
Masala Lassi
(Whisked yogurt diluted lightly with water and spiced with mint, ginger and coriander)

Snack 
Samosa
(Potatoes and peas spiced with Indian garam masala stuffed to make a fried snack)

Curries
(Chick peas simmered in a tangy sauce)
Sarso da Saag
(Musturd greens cooked with onions and garlic in pure ghee )
Balti Paneer
(Cottage cheese fried with gram flour simmered in a nutty gravy)

Rice 
Jeera rice with Matter Paneeer
(Rice garnished with fresh farm peas and fried cottage cheese , tempered with cuminseeds)

Roti / Bread
Paneer Kulcha
(Indian flat bread stuffed with cottage cheese)

Accompaniments
Dahi wada 
(Lentil dumplings with yogurt sauce)
Pyaas ka Lacha
(Onion rings)
Hari Mirch
(Fresh green chilly)
Hari Chutney
(Fresh coriander chutney)
Pachranga Achaar
(a tangy pickle from North)

Sweet
Gajjar ka Halwa
(Carrots simmered in milk and garnished with nuts)



Dhaabe de Chole

Sarso da Saag

Balti Paneer

Dahi Wada with Sonth

Jeera Rice with Mattar Paneer

Green chutney,Pachranga achaar,Pyaz ka lacha,Samosa

Gajjar ka Halwa


and now the recipes.....

Baalti Paneer
250 gms............... paneer cut into rectangles
½ cup................... besan
1/4tsp ...................red chilly pwd
Salt to taste
Make a pakora batter with besan ,adding salt ,chilly pwd and water.
Dip paneer rectangles and fry to a crisp golden.
Keep aside.

Gravy
3tbsp................... oil / ghee
1.............................bay leaf
I .............................medium onion sliced
½.......................... capsicum sliced
4........................... tomatoes,boiled and pureed
6-8....................... almonds
1tbsp ...................magaz tari
1tsp .....................ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp.................... red chilly pwd
¼ tsp.................... turmeric pwd
½ tsp ....................coriander pwd
½ tsp ....................garam masala
1tbsp.................... fresh cream
1tsp....................... kasoori methi
Salt to taste
Soak almonds and deskin them .
Soak magaz tari,make a paste of these two.
Heat oil.
Add cumin seed and bay leaf.
Add sliced onions,cook till pink.
Add capsicum and sauté.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute’.
Add the magaz tari paste ,cream.
Add pureed tomatoes  and all the spices.cook till oil seperates.
Add the paneer pakodas and little water  .
The pakodas absorb the puree so keep the consistency accordingly.
Sprinkle kasoori methi  and garam masala.
Garnish with coriander.


Paneer Kulcha
1cup................. wheat flour
¼ tsp................ salt
½ tsp................ curd
½ tsp ................sugar
Pinch soda bi carb
Milk to bind
Make a dough mixing all the ingredients,binding the dough semi soft with milk.
Leave to rest for an hour.

Stuffing
100gms ............grated cottage cheese
¼ tsp................. green chilly chopped
1/4tsp................ annardana,lightly crushed
Few raisins
Few cashews chopped
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients and prepare a stuffing.

How to go about…
Make balls of the dough.
Roll into a disc.
Place the stuffing and seal the edges.
Pat and roll again into a bigger disc.
Heat a gridle and cook like paratha or else bake  in a preheated oven for 7-8 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of butter and some sprinkled chaat masala.


 Advance preparation
Gajjar ka halwa…......3days in advance
It can be store in the frig for nearly a month
Samosas….................2days in advance..freezed them
Dahi wada…...........…1day in advance
These can be made and freezed, just defrost them and boil in water a few hours prior to serving.
Green chutney ......…1day in advance
Chopping onions,green chilly ginger and garlic, and making pastes,1 day in advance
Cooking time..............2hours
On the thaali day it took me about 2 hours to finish my cooking ,since there was’nt  much chopping to be done.The sarso  ka saag was frozen ,it just needed tempering. The only thing that took time was arranging for the shoot and the shoot itself. 



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#15
This Thaali goes to Valli's Thaali Mela


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