3 simple dishes that unite India
Aug 15, 2020
India is a land of culture, tradition, values, and mouth-watering cuisines. Be it the lofty Himalayas or the old-world charm of Kolkata, India is not only home to beautiful picturesque locations but also a hub of delicious cuisines.
Nandita Haksar’s book ‘The Flavours of Nationalism’ reminds us that food that we eat is not just personal; it is interwoven in culture, history and politics. It is shaped by our social location and identities.
This Independence Day, we take a look at some of the simple foods that unite us all, no matter where we live.
Sweet, crispy and crunchy, Jalebis are a sinfully addictive sweet that you will find on any celebratory occasion. Jalebi, also known as Zulbia, Jilapi, Mushabak and Zalabia, is an Indian sweet snack popular all-over South Asia, and the Middle East.
Prepping Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins
|For batter||For sugar syrup||For garnishing and frying|
|All-purpose flour – 1 cup||Water – ¼ cup||Oil/Ghee – As per requirement|
|Corn flour – 1 tsp||Sugar – 1 cup||Pistachios, chopped – 9-10|
|Baking soda – ¼ tsp||Saffron strands – ¼ tsp|
|Vinegar – ½ tsp||Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp||
|Curd – 1 tsp||
|Orange food colour – 1/8 tsp||
|Water – As per requirement||
Step 1: Take a mixing bowl and add maida, corn flour, vinegar, curd and water.
Step 2: Mix properly in round motion for 4 minutes. For a hassle-free whisking experience, you can also use a hand blender. The Bajaj hand blender enables you to concoct the mixture as per the consistency you require.
Step 3: Add baking soda and combine the mixture properly.
Step 4: Pour the batter in pastry bags or tomato ketchup bottles. If you are using pastry bags, cut out a hole at the end of the pouch.
Step 5: For making sugar syrup, take a pan and add all the ingredients (mentioned above). Bring the mixture to boil until it attains 1 string consistency. Keep it aside.
Step 6: Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Squeeze the bottle and make round spirals with the batter.
Step 7: When one side is partly cooked, carefully turn over and fry the other side till the jalebis turn light golden.
Step 8: Immediately, drop the fried jalebis in the sugar syrup for 30 seconds. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
Step 9: Serve hot jalebis hot with Rabdi!
Tip: While squeezing the batter in ghee, move your hand in a clockwise direction to form a perfect spiral.
Creamy and aromatic rice kheer is made with basic ingredients and is the quintessential Indian dessert that is made for majority of occasions in Indian homes. Flavoured with cardamom and nuts, it’s the best way to finish off any Indian meal.
Prepping Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 40 mins
|Milk, full cream – 5 cups||Pistachios, sliced – 4-5|
|Basmati rice, washed – ¼ cup||
|Sugar – ½ cup||
|Raisins – 10-12||
|Cardamom powder – ½ tsp||
|Almonds, shredded – 10-12||
|Cashews, chopped – 10-12||
|Saffron – ¼ tsp||
Step 1: Rinse basmati rice thoroughly under running water for a minute and then soak in water for about 30 mins.
Step 2: Take a deep bottomed pan and add milk. Keep the pan on a low to medium-low flame. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that the milk does not stick at the bottom of the pan.
Step 3: Let the milk boil for some time. Meanwhile, take one tablespoon of warm milk in a small bowl and add saffron strands. Keep it aside.
Step 4: Once the milk starts boiling, drain all the water from the rice and add it to the milk.
Step 5: Simmer and cook rice on a low flame.
Step 6: Once the rice is half-cooked, add sugar and mix properly. Keep stirring occasionally till the rice is cooked completely and the milk becomes thick.
Step 7: Add cardamom powder and raisins, almonds and cashews. Mix all the ingredients properly.
Step 8: Add the saffron dissolved milk. Continue to cook on a low flame for 10 minutes or till the rice kheer thickens.
Step 9: Turn off the gas and transfer it into a serving dish. Garnish with sliced pistachios.
Step 10: Serve hot or chilled.
Tip: If you want a vegan alternative, just swap the full cream milk with almond milk and it would taste just as good.
A smooth and tangy blend of green chillies, cumin, coriander and mint leaves, Green Chutney is served with almost every Indian snack, chaats or starters. A spicy condiment, this can be served as a side dish for Kebabs, Samosas, Kachoris or even Dhoklas.
Prepping Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 2 mins
|Coriander leaves – 2 cups|
|Mint leaves – 1 cup|
|Cumin – 1 tsp|
|Green chillies – 5-6|
|Garlic cloves (optional) – 2 cloves|
|Ginger – ½ inch|
|Lemon juice – 2 tbsp|
|Sugar – 1 tsp|
|Salt – As per requirement|
Step 1: Take a colander and add coriander and mint leaves. Rinse thoroughly under running water for a minute.
Step 2: Combine all the ingredients and grind into a smooth paste in a mixer grinder using very little water. Adjust salt and lemon juice to suit your taste.
For a smooth blending experience, you can buy Bajaj Stormix 750-Watt Mixer Grinder or visit shop.bajajelectricals.com for more options. Bajaj mixer grinders are certain to be your next favourite kitchen accessory.
Step 3: Store in a dry clean airtight container. Refrigerate and use whenever required.
Tip: There are multiple variations to this recipe according to various cuisines. You can also add Roasted Gram Dal, Coconut or Roasted Peanuts.
And as it is said, “Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body. It’s truly love.”