Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jewels from Avadh (Part I) - Guncha-O-Bahar

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The very mention of Avadh, brings memories of nawabs, tehzeeb and some delicately spiced, aromatic and tasty cuisine, dum pukht being the most famous. Although these days Avadh is synonymous with Lucknow, the Avadh region comprised of Balrampur (near Nepal border), Barabanki, Gonda, Allahabad, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad, Lucknow(the capital) and extended till Unnao. Under the patronage of the nawabs, the cuisine was taken to an entirely new level. Some of the famous culinary delights from the region include the melting galouti kababs, the kakori kababs, Sheermal, Taftan, Tunde mian's famous kababs and ulte tawe ke paranthe. The lucknowi biryani and the Hyderabadi Biryani have long fought a battle for the best there is to offer, with each camp boasting of several million die hard fans.
The vast variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes in the Avadh cuisine are complemented by the rich variety of ingredients used. It is fairly common to be find Kewra (Screwpine essence), Khus and Gulabjal being used in the cooking as it is find abundant use of nuts and other dried fruits like apricots and raisins being used.
The Dum Pukht cuisine, which entails cooking the food in its own steam over a slow fire, is said to have evolved in Avadh and perfected in the kitchens of the nawabs.

Guncha-O-Bahar

Ingredients:
Cauliflower, cut into large florets and washed - 1 Kg
Onions, finely chopped - 1/2 Cup
Turmeric - 1.5 Tsp
Lemon Juice - 2 Tblsp
Malt Vinegar - 6 Tblsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 7 Tblsp
Red Chili Powder - 1.5 Tsp
Almond Paste - 5 Tsp
Tomato Puree - 1 Cup
Yogurt - 1 Cup
Khoya - 120 Gm
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp
Fennel Powder - 2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 Tsp
Gramflour - 1/3 Cup
Garam Masala - 1/2 Tsp
Saffron - 1 Tsp
Milk - 1 Tblsp
Ghee - 6 Tblsp
Oil - For deep frying
Salt - To Taste

Method:
1. Blanch the cauliflower florets in water with Lemon juice, 1 Tsp turmeric and salt. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
2. Mix 1 tsp red chili powder with ginger garlic paste, salt and malt vinegar. Marinate the blanched cauliflower florets in this mixture for 30 minutes.
3. Mix cumin with the gramflour. Dust the marinated florets with this.
4. Deep fry the dusted cauliflower florets till they turn golden brown. Keep aside.
5. Whisk the yogurt and add in khoya paste, remaining turmeric (1/2 tsp), fennel, coriander powder, red chili powder (1/2 tsp) and salt.
6. Heat ghee in a kadhai. Add in the onions and saute till light brown.
7. Add tomato puree and the almond paste. Fry till the fat leaves the masala.
8. Add in the yogurt mixture. Cook till the gravy achieves a sauce like consistency.
9. Add the garam masala and stir. Take off flame.
10. In a shallow baking dish, arrange the fried florets. Pour the gravy on top.
11. Sprinkle saffron soaked in milk and cover with a silver foil.
12. Cook on Dum in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
13. Tear the foil on the dining table and serve hot from the baking dish.

2 comments:

Srivalli said...

Hey I didn't realize you started blogging again..that is a good post..step by step!..:)

JH said...

Excellent! Thx.

 
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