Festival fiesta

Amrita Prasad
Thursday, 15 March 2018

Although we love gorging on traditional dishes on Gudhi Padwa and Navroz, a little tweak here and there can always make the savouries and sweet delights exciting and interesting.

Food and festivals go hand-in-hand. When it comes to Indian festivals, moms and grandmoms never tire out spending hours in the kitchen and cooking elaborate meals and fancy dishes for the family. So upcoming festivals like Gudhi Padwa (March 18) cannot be celebrated without Puran Poli or Cheti Chand (March 19) without Sindhi Kadhi or Navroz (March 20) without Parsi Falooda. While all these festivals mark new year for the respective communities, how about eating traditional dishes packaged in a new way? City-based chefs tell us how. 

The famous Maharashtrian snack is loved by all. Its spiral shape and layers of masala and dough make it really sinful. However, what if you ate it in a shape of a cone? Wouldn’t it be interesting to play with the shape of the snack to add more fun and flavour to your Gudhi Padwa treat? But of course! 

Ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
    Coconut (dried and desiccated)...    ...½ cup
    Kashmiri chilli powder.....¾ tsp 
    Sugar....1 tbsp (add more if required)
    Turmeric powder......    ...¼ tsp 
    Amchoor powder...    ....½ tsp 
    Fennel seeds...    .1 tsp
    Coriander powder...    .½ tsp
    Cumin powder...    .¼ tsp 
    Sesame seeds..    .1 tsp
    Garam masala...    .¼ tsp
    Poppy seeds.    ...1 tsp 
    Salt to taste

    Maida....    ..½ cup 
    Besan...    ..½ cup
    Kashmiri red chilli powder.........................................¼ tsp 
    Turmeric......................... a pinch 
    Salt to taste
    Hing.................................. a pinch 
    Hot oil..    ..2 tbsp
    Water as required 
    Oil to grease..    .1 tsp

    Maida (for dusting)......    ¼ cup 
    Oil    3 tsp 
    Oil for deep frying

    Firstly, take the ingredients of the masala and grind it to a coarse powder.
    In a bowl, take maida and besan and add chilli powder, turmeric, salt and hing and mix well. Further, add hot oil to the flour and  knead to a tight dough. Finally, cover with moist cloth and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
    Divide the dough into equal portions and roll into balls. Brush some ghee on the divided dough, roll out, and cut into long strips.
    Brush the outer surface of a cone shaped mould (or take kulfi moulds) with oil and roll the strips around it in an overlapping fashion. Roll very firmly and slide them in hot oil and deep fry till golden brown and crisp.
    Drain on a kitchen towel, fill with the stuffing and serve.
(Recipe by Sahil Sabhlok, executive chef, The Westin Pune, Koregaon Park)

Mango Shrikhand in a cup
Shrikhand is another Gudhi Padwa special treat. But instead of serving it in a glass or steel bowl, think beyond, say, a cup made of vermicelli noodles. Not only will it look interesting but add to the flavours as well. 

    Vermicelli.....    .....250gm
    Condensed milk/milkmaid..100gm
    Butter.....    .....50 gm

    Hung Curd/ Greek yoghurt...300 gm
    Castor sugar ...    ........150 gm
    Cardamom powder....    ....5 gm
    Mango pulp.......    ..100 gm
    Saffron....    .a  pinch
    Almonds (chopped)...    ......I tsp 

  In a pan heat butter and add vermicelli. Sauté until golden brown on low flame. When brown add condensed milk or milkmaid. Cook it until soft. Take the mixture off the flame and keep it for cooling. Now with the help of cupcake moulds, fill it in moulds and give it the shape of a cupcake.
  Allow it to cool in freezer, and demould and keep aside.
    Take the hung curd and whisk it until smooth. If you don’t have hung curd, use Greek yoghurt. Or in a muslin cloth hang regular curd to drain water overnight.
    Add sugar, mango pulp, cardamom powder, chopped almonds, and saffron to it and whisk well until sugar dissolves.
    Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate. Mango Shrikhand is ready.
    With the help of piping bag, fill the shrikhand in vermicelli cups. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or mango pieces. Serve cold.
(Recipe by Praduman Bisht, executive chef, Marriott Suites Pune)

Kheema Na Cutlet
This traditional Parsi dish is more popular when made with chicken and potato. However, The Conrad Pune added a little twist by creating a version using lamb and no potatoes. 

    Lamb (minced)........    .100 gm
    Onion (chopped)........    .2 tbsp 
    Coriander (chopped)...    ...1 tbsp 
    Mint (chopped).......    ..1 tsp 
    Green chillies (chopped).    ......½ tsp 
    Chilli powder.....    ..½ tsp 
    Salt.........    .½ tsp 
    Turmeric powder....    ..½ tsp 
    Dhania- jeera powder......    ..½ tsp 
    Egg...    ...½  
    Sooji (rava)....    .½ tsp
    Sooji/ rava.....    ..2 tbsp 
    Whisked egg.....    ....1 no 
    Oil ( for frying)...    ....3 tbsp
    Lime juice as required 
    Combine all the ingredients with the minced lamb and set aside for 30 minutes.
    Shape the minced lamb in small roundels and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a pan.
    Flatten the mince meat and coat with the rava and then dip in the whisked egg and fry in the pan.
    Once golden, turn the cutlets over and cook on the other side as well till golden. 
    Serve with a squeeze of lime. 
(Recipe shared by Culinary Team, Conrad Pune)

Who can ever say ‘no’ to Kachoris? So if you want to give a fun twist to the traditional Puran Poli, try making the Puran Kachori which can be enjoyed as a sweet snack or along with your meal. 

    Wheat flour.................2 cup 
    Oil.....    ..1/2 cup
    Salt......    ..1 tsp
    Soaked chana dal.....    ..1 cup
    Jaggery...    ..50 gm
    Cardamom power....    ..1 tsp
    Cashew, raisins, almond as required
    Water for kneading
    Oil for frying

・    Mix flour, oil and salt together.
・    Put water and make a little hard dough.
・・    Boil chana dal till it is soft.
・    Now take a kadhai, put a little oil and cook chana dal till it gets dry and while it dries put jaggery, cardamom powder, and mix it.
    When it is cooked well and the water from the jaggery is dried, switch off the gas and mix in the sliced dry fruits.
    Now make a small roti of the dough and fill it with the sweet mixture, and seal it well.
  Give it a Kachori shape and keep aside.
    Take one more kadhai and put oil in it and heat the oil and fry the Puran Kachori till golden brown on medium heat.
(Recipes shared by Sunil Menon, executive chef, Four Points by Sheraton Pune)

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