Friday, December 04, 2009

Indian Curry Families - Bihar & Jharkhand

One Page Cookbooks
Bihar & Jharkhand Curry Families – A Primer
All recipes copyrighted. No reproduction / commercial use without permission.

1.: Tarkari (Stir fried vegetable curry)::. Basic Recipe : Kadima Tarkari : Take a handful of skinned, deseeded and chopped squash flesh. Heat a spoon of oil. add a pinch of fenugreek seeds, asafetida and a dry red chili. Add the squash, a pinch of turmeric powder, chili powder and two pinches of salt. Stir and cook on medium flame till squash is cooked. (Microwave squash for two minutes before adding in for faster cooking). Use your favourite vegetable in place of squash.

Bihari cuisine building blocks : Rice, Wheat, Vegetables, lentils.
Key Starches: Rice & wheat (Maize, millets, tubers, mahua flour (from dried flowers of Madhuca longfolia) in tribal regions.

Typical breakfast:: Sattu , Litti with chutney, curry or pickle, Chura Dahi, Khichidi ( Rice and lentil porridge), Kachauri with Ghughni, Roti/ Paratha / Poori with dal / curry.
Tribal Cuisine : Boiled cereals, millets, vegetable/ meat curries, boiled tubers seasoned with salt and chili. Milk and milk products are uncommon.

Lunch : Rice , Roti, Dal, Curries, pickle.

Key Flavourings: Panchforan,. Asafetida, red chilies, curry leaves, turmeric, ginger, and garlic are also common.

Making Panchforan : Mix equal measures of five seeds- ajwain ( carom), Fennel (saunf), Mustard (sarson), Fenugreek (methi) and Nigella (mangraila) together.

Curry Bases: Spinach, Yogurt, Dal

Preferred fats : Mustard oil, Ghee,

Protein Source: Lentils (Tuvar dal, Mung dal, Channa Dal, ),
Fish and seafood), Chicken, Mutton & Eggs. Beef & Pork are uncommon.
Common Vegetables:
Eggplant, Parval ( pointed gourd), French beans, Cauliflower, Radish, Potato, Squash, Ridge gourd, Spinach, raw banana, yam, onion, tomato. Popped fox nut (makhana)
Snacks: Kachori, Samosa, Jhal Muri, puffed and salted makhana

Souring agents : Amchoor, Tamarind, Green mangoes, Yogurt, Tomatoes .

Desserts : Sweets from cooked down milk (Kheer, Mohan Bhog), Sweets from milk solids (peda), Sugar syrup based sweets ( Malpua, Sesame Laddoo )
Shopping List:
500 gms.(yogurt, , tuvar dal, gram flour, salt, mustard oil)
200 gms (Squash, Parval, Potato, Green peas, Spinach, Eggplant, Cilantro) 50 gms (Panchforan, tamarind paste, fenugreek, coriander seeds, garam masala, amchoor, turmeric powder, pepper, ginger, dry red chili, green chili, garlic, curry leaves, asafetida, cumin, chili powder)

2.: Dal (Lentil curry):: Basic Recipe : Tarka Dal : Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of Panchforan. Add a dry red chili and a pinch of asafetida. Add a handful of boiled tuvar dal ( to one cup of dal add 2 cups water and pressure cook for three whistles). Mix in two pinches of salt, a pinch of chili and turmeric powder. Add half a cup of water. Stir and cook for a two minutes. Use any masoor / mung / your favourite dal in place of tuvar dal.

3.: Cooked chutney:: Basic Recipe : Parval Chutney Heat a spoon of oil. Add a handful of thin parval slices. Stir and cook on medium flame for around five minutes till they start browning. Let cool. Add to a blender with a garlic clove, four pinches of amchoor ( dried mango powder), two dry red chilies, two pinches of salt and a spoon of mustard oil. Blend to a paste. Instead of parval blend with boiled yam and you have Ole Chutney. Also try using tomato / ridge gourd/ your favourite vegetable.

4.: Ghughni (Whole bean / peas curry):: Basic Recipe : Matar Ghughni Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of cumin. Add half a handful of chopped onions, two pinches of chopped ginger and a chopped green chili. Stir and cook till onions brown. Add a pinch of turmeric, three pinches of salt, half a handful of chopped and boiled potatoes and a handful of fresh green peas. Stir and cook for five minutes. Use any fresh bean/ cooked dried beans like Chickpeas / Chana dal / Kabuli Channa / your favourite pea / bean in place of green peas.( Coking dried peas/ beans : Soak in water overnight, drain, add two measures of water to a measure of beans and pressure cook for three whistles)

5.: Gudila . (Soaked and ground lentil curry):: Basic Recipe : Matar Gudila . Soak a handful of dried green peas in water overnight. Drain and blend to a coarse paste. Heat a spoon of oil. Add half a handful of chopped onion, half a spoon of ginger garlic paste. Stir and cook for a minute. Add half a handful of chopped and boiled potato, ground peas, two pinches each of cumin, turmeric, chili, garam masala powders and three pinches of salt. Add a cup of water. Cook on medium flame till all are cooked. Use / your favourite fresh / soaked and ground pea / bean / lentil in place of green peas.

6.: Saag (Spinach curry):: Basic Recipe : Palak Saag : Heat a spoon of oil. Add four handfuls of chopped spinach and two pinches of salt. Stir and cook on medium flame till spinach is cooked. Let cool and squeeze out excess water. Mix in a pinch of chopped ginger, a finely chopped green chili and a dash of mustard oil. Shape into lemon sized balls and serve. Use any leafy green in place of spinach.

7.: Chokka (Boiled & Mashed Vegetable curry ):: Basic Recipe : Aloo Chokka Take a handful of peeled, chopped and boiled potatoes. Add half a handful of chopped onions, two pinches of salt, a dash of mustard oil and a finely chopped green chili. Mash well. Use any mashed and boiled tubers in place of potato. Use grilled vegetables instead of boiled vegetables and a Chokka becomes a bhartha.

8.:. Raw chutney (Blended curry):: Basic Recipe : Kothamir Chutney Blend two handfuls of chopped cilantro, two garlic cloves, two pinches of salt and a dash of lemon juice to a paste. Mix in a spoon of mustard oil. Use onions/ radish / mint / any salad vegetable in place of cilantro to make numerous chutneys.

9.: Bachka (Battered and fried veggies):: Basic Recipe : Baingan Bachka Take a handful of gram flour ( or rice flour). Add three pinches each of salt, chili powder and mix in enough water to make a thick batter. Dip in thin eggplant slices and deep fry in mustard oil till golden. Use capsicum, onions, raw banana, chili in place of eggplant. Eaten across India as Bajji/ Pakora / Pakoda, there are served with a meal in Bihar.

10.: Kadi (Cooked yogurt curry):: Basic Recipe : Bari Kadi Take half a cup of yogurt. Mix in a cup of water, half a handful of gram flour, a pinch of turmeric powder, two pinches each of cumin, chili powder and salt. Add to a pan and cook on medium heat till mixture starts boiling. Add a handful of bachka ( see above). Let simmer for 5 minutes. Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of cumin, asafetida, and a dry red chili. Mix in with kadhi and serve.

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