My love for all North Indian food started with Khana Khazana a very popular TV show hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor. We got introduced to many cuisines that were unknown to us, and experienced right in our cuisine. As it is wrongly assumed by the others, who think Indian cuisine is all about Punjabi Food, we assumed North Indian Food was only Punjabi food.
This revolution in food industry happened during the early 90’s with the entry of Cable TV and we welcomed Sanjeev Kapoor into our homes. When it was time for the show, you would have seen us sitting with a pen and a book, to note down the recipes. We still have those recipes written down, many years ago. Then of course we came to know more about other cuisines and accepted everything wholeheartedly. However our entire love for the North Indian cuisine, stems from this show and we love all his recipes. Which was why it was such a different feeling when one of my post was retweeted by Sanjeev Kapoor, saying that it was such a neat idea. Of course I asked him if it was really him and he replied it was. But then well that was it. Anyway it was a nice feeling.
So coming back to the one cuisine that tops as my favorite, has always been the punjabi khana and the combination I made for the state today, has been on my to do list for the longest period. The main reason can be attributed to the fact that I was always thinking that Mustard leaves are not readily available. Until the Eureka moment struck me! I was feeling so foolish when I think about it.
Imagine we always use the mustard for all school science projects and have them growing and it never struck me that I could still do it for cooking. So when state dishes were to be finalized, I decided I would do Sarson ka Saag and started growing the mustard. We used two pots, unfortunately I had the boys along with me, where I was trying to show them, how to plant, do seedling etc. And it backfired. One pot had lots of holes, where apparently the boys become very enthusiastic and poked their fingers after I left them alone.
So in the end only one pot had the seeds growing and it took me a month to get what I finally thought was good enough to use. I used spinach and methi as well. Makki aata is always stocked at home as we like the Makki dosa, and just to make this more special as it was a Sunday Lunch, I made Carrot Halwa with Condensed Milk and Khoya that I had after making the Mohanthal.
The meal was simple, though we regularly make the Makki roti, with the saag it was very different. The saag, though a similar to Palak Paneer, will take time for you to get used to it. In other sense you need to have strong tummy. Anyway I enjoyed my meal, both with makki roti and then later with jeera rice, it was such a delicious meal for me. The crown was the carrot halwa.
If it is not a South Indian Meal that I am cooking, you will find me doing only North Indian or rather Punjabi food. So instead of listing out what I like or what I make, you can check out the North Indian Dishes that I have already cooked.
And yes not before checking out Sarson Ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti that I adapted from here.
Makki Ka Aata – 3 cups
Coriander leaves – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Warm water for kneading
Oil for cooking
Butter for topping
How to make Makki Ki Roti
Take the makki flour in a bowl, add salt, finely chopped coriander leaves. Bring two cups of water to boil, allow to cool a bit.
Then using a ladle, start adding the water to the flour, and mix with the ladle. Then slowing use your hands, making sure the flour is not hot to handle.
Knead well, the dough should be soft and easy to use.
One your rolling board, place a plastic sheet, grease with water and pinch down a big ball of dough. Wet your hand and gently pat it down.
Heat a tawa and transfer the rolled out roti and cook on both sides. When it is getting cooked on the inner side, make marks on the top with knife or fork, and drizzle oil over it, so that it gets cooked through the rotis.
Top it with butter and serve with Sarson ka saag.
Depending on how fine your flour is, you can knead the dough in two ways. If it is a bit coarse, you will need hot water to get the dough to hold it’s shape.
Growing Mustard Greens in your pot. It took nearly a month to have a 5 inch long mustard plant.
Sarson Ka Saag
Sarson Ka Saag – 2 cups
Spinach – 1 cup
Methi Leaves – 1/2 cup
Green Chillis – 4 -5
Garlic – 5 -6 big cloves
Ginger – 2”
Onion, finely chopped – 2 medium
Tomatoes – 2 medium
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Red chilli powder – 3/4 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Besan – 1 tbsp
Kasoori methi – 1 tbsp
How to make the Sarson Ka Saag
Remove the stems and wash all the saags couple of times, to make sure the mud is all washed out. Chop them roughly
In a pressure cooker cook the saag, methi, spinach, garlic, green chilli, ginger, salt with a cup of water.
After the first whistle, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Leave until it gets cold.
Grind the cooked vegetables into a paste adding one table spoon of besan for consistency.
In a non stick pan, heat oil and fry onion, followed by tomatoes.
Add asafoetida, garam masala, red chilli and turmeric.
When the oil separates from tomatoes, add the saag paste and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
You can add hot water if the saag paste is thick.
Serve with ghee and Kasoori Methi.
MW Carrot Halwa
Carrot, grated – 2 cups
Condensed Milk – 200 ml / half tin
Khoya – 1/2 cup
Sugar as required
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Roasted nuts for garnish
Milk – 2 cups
How to make MW Carrot Halwa
Wash, grate the carrots. In a MW safe bowl, add the carrot along with milk. MW for 20 mins in intervals of 10 mins.
Remove, add the condensed milk, khoya, sugar along with 2 tsp of ghee. MW again for 10 mins.
Finally add the nuts and remaining ghee. MW for 10 more mins.