Oman dining: Eating the Sindhi way cuisine

Lifestyle Monday 18/September/2017 19:53 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman dining: Eating the Sindhi way cuisine

Dal pakwan
Dal pakwan is a delicious breakfast item in most Sindhi homes. Crisp flavoured puries known as pakwan are served with spicy dal topped with chutney.

• 1 cup chana dal
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
• 1 green chilli chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon mango powder

• 2 tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 6-7 curry leaves

• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 1/4 cup semolina
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 2 tablespoons oil
• Water to knead dough
• Oil to fry

Wash and soak chana dal for at least 2 hours in 3 cups of water. Drain water and in pressure cooker add dal, 2-1/2 cups of water, salt, turmeric, ginger, and green chillies, cover and cook over medium high heat. Dal should be soft and well-cooked. Season with black pepper, garam masala and mango powder, mix it well. Dal should be thick in consistency.
For the tempering: Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, after seeds crackle, add curry leaves stir for few seconds and pour over dal mix it well and set aside.
For Pakwan: Mix flour, semolina, salt, cumin seeds, and oil. Add enough water to make firm dough. Knead the dough well. Set the dough aside and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or longer.
Divide the dough in 10 equal parts. Roll the dough into about 5-inch diameter. Prick the rolled dough all over with a fork. This will make the puries crisp. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry 2-3 puries at a time until both sides are a light golden-brown. After the puries cool to room temperature they should be crisp. Serve Pakwan with hot dal with a dollop of tamarind chutney.

This spicy biryani has got to be one of the most flavourful biryani versions and is extremely popular all over the world. It originates from the Sindh province of Pakistan and the sweetness of prunes along with the punch of green chillies, make this biryani a delicacy.

For Marinade
• 1 kg mutton, cut into big pieces (or one chicken cut into 8 pieces)
• 1/4 cup yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt

For rice
• 5 cups long grain basmati rice
• 1/2 cup oil
• 6 medium onions, sliced
• 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
• 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
• 10 dried prunes, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes
• 2-4 green chillies, chopped
• 1 cup fresh yoghurt, whipped until smooth
• 2 teaspoons garlic paste
• 2 teaspoons ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 4 cloves
• 2 green cardamom pods
• 2 black cardamom pods
• 5 whole black pepper
• 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
• 1 teaspoon saffron, crushed and soaked in warm water
• Yellow/orange food colouring
• Oil for frying potatoes

Marinate the meat in the remaining marinade ingredients for at least 2 hours or preferably refrigerate overnight.
Deep fry the potato chunks on low heat. Wash and soak rice for about 20-30 minutes.
Heat half cup of oil in a deep pan and then fry the onion slices until golden.
Remove a quarter of the fried onions (these will be used later) and leave the rest in the pan.
Add the whole spices (cumin, cardamom, pepper, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and black pepper). Once they sizzle, add garlic and ginger pastes and stir. Next, add tomatoes, prunes, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder.
Stir and cook until the tomatoes are completely mushy and all the excess moisture is gone.
Add green chillies and the meat with its marinade. Allow the meat to cook in the tomato mixture for a few minutes, then add whipped yoghurt plus saffron mixture and mix well.
Then add about a cup of water (use just half cup water if cooking with chicken as it will cook faster than meat) and cook until the meat is tender and the masala/gravy is nice.
Now add fried potatoes and stir them in. Sprinkle the garam masala, then cover and set this aside while you prepare the rice. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add about 2 tablespoons salt to it and 2 tablespoons oil plus a few whole spices (two pieces each of cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves). Then drain the soaked rice and add it in. Cook until the rice is al-dente, do not cook it all the way. Drain the water off.
Layer the meat masala with the rice, remembering to sprinkle the reserved fried onions, chopped coriander and mint and some food colouring over the rice in between the layers.
Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15 minutes to steam. Once done, open and fluff up the biryani gently.

Sindhi Sai Bhaji is an authentic recipe from the Sindhi cuisine which is a healthy medley of vegetables and lentils with an overload of spinach.

• 1 onion, diced
• 1/2 cup chana dal (soak for 15 minutes)
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
• 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 bunch spinach
• 1/2 bunch dill
• 1-2 teaspoon tamarind juice
• 1 cup water
• Salt to taste
• Oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Chop spinach, dill and wash. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add onions. Sauté till golden brown. Add soaked chana dal, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies and all powdered spices except cumin seeds. Sauté for a few minutes till golden brown. Add chopped spinach and dill and tamarind juice.
Mix well. Now add water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles and then leave it to simmer for 5 minutes. When pressure is released from the cooker, mash the dal and spinach thoroughly. Heat ghee in a pan for tempering and a pinch of cumin seeds and 1 chopped garlic clove. Once it starts to splutter pour it on the bhaji. Serve hot.

This is a power packed Sindhi sweet with healthy dry fruits and all the vital nutrients to keep you warm in the winters. It is a winter speciality.

•150g edible gum/ gond (pan roasted - 1/3 cup)
• 1 cup water
• 200g sugar (2 cups)
• 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
• 150g pure ghee/ clarified butter
• 100g sliced mixed dry fruits - almonds, cashews, pistachios, raisins
• 300g wheat flour/ atta (3 and 1/2 cups)
• 1/4 cup dedicated coconut or sliced coconut
• 1/2 cup milk (optional)
• 2 tablespoons sunflower/melon seeds (slightly roasted)

Heat the pan, add edible gum/ gond and roast it on low flame until it’s swelled up little and change the colour a bit. Let it cool and crush it in coarse. Keep it aside. In a thick pan heat the water, add sugar and half of cardamom powder and let it cook until sugar dissolves and has a thick and sticky consistency. Keep it aside. Grease the tray spread some sliced dry fruits mixture and keep it aside. Melt ghee/butter in the heavy thick wide vassal. Add rest half of cardamom powder. Add flour and keep stirring on low flame until it turns golden brown. Add roasted crushed gum, required coconut and continue stirring on low flame. Add mixed sliced dry fruits and cook for a few more minutes. Add sugar syrup at high flame and mix it properly until all syrup is absorbed by the flour. Add the milk (if you’re adding) and continuously mix it. At this point the flour becomes very hard to stir. Mix it properly until the ghee separates. Turn off from heat and transfer to greased tray, spread it well with a spoon and decorate with the rest of dry fruits and melon seeds. Let it cool down to room temperature for a little while, then cut in diamond or square shape and leave it again for 2-3 hours until it sets properly.
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