Re-living some forgotten traditional cuisines

Re-living some forgotten traditional cuisines

We have reached in the era of 2020 where a variety of delicacies are available to us in the form of ‘ready to cook’ and ‘ready to eat’ types of food to satisfy our tastebuds. Amidst the best of restaurants and dhabas our favourite cuisine is at the doorstep, but still nothing can match the unbeatable taste of ‘Ghar ka khana’.There are several traditional dishes which our mothers have learnt from their mothers are losing their identities. They are about to extinct as we are too lazy to carry forward our culinary legacy. Thus it is our responsibility to make our next generation aware of the traditional preparations of authentic dishes of our community.
I was born and brought up in a vegetarian family of  Allahabad, where the traditional cooking technique is somewhat influenced by both Awadhi (slow preparation using handful of spices) and Mughlai (Use of milk, cream and spices). However the taste may vary from spicy to mild. We all have memories of childhood in the form of food. It can be ‘kadhi chawal’, ‘aloo ke parathe' , ‘khoye ki guzhiya' or a simple ‘aam ka panna'. There are certain flavours and aromas that bring us back to the nostalgic lane of memories. Here are some honourable mentions which I am sure many of us are aware about.

1- Litti-Chokha - Traditional dish from U.P. ,Bihar and Jharkhand consists of crispy Litti ( made up of wheat flour with a stuffing of sattu inside and cooked in tandoor) and chokha (a mixture of char grillred or boiled and mashed potatoes and brinjal along with raw onion, garlic, chilly, coriander and lemon). The combination becomes more heavenly when ghee dipped litti and chokha is served along with fried daal.

2- Fara/Goitha - This steamed lentil stuffed dumpling with a coating of rice flour when served with garlic chutney is so mouthwatering that it can give tough competition to momos. Being an oil free dish it is a good option for health conscious foodies.

3- Besan wali Kadhi - This appetising dish is a perfect blend of besan and curd tempted with rai and curry leaves. The kadhi along with submerged pakodas when served with laddle full of ghee and steamed rice makes a deadly combination.  At times pakodas can be replaced with boondi or besan sev.

4- Rikwach kadhi- The recipe for this flavourful curry follows the same procedure as that of besan curry with only a slight difference of using urad dal instead of besan. The pakodas are basically vadas of urad dal which make a relish combination with curd (as dahi-bada) and sambar (as sambar-vada).

5- Matar ka nimona- It is the signature curry of winters prepared with fresh green peas and potato. The goodness of taste is directly proportional to freshness of peas.Tempting it with heeng, cumin and urad dal bari takes the whole curry to another level.

6- Sag-pahita -This delicious and nutritious preparation is a combination of urad dal pressure cooked with spinach and later proper tadka of ghee, garlic and red chilly is tempted to enhance the taste. As per our preferences, urad dal can be replaced with chana or moong dal while bathua can be used instead of spinach.

7-Dal-tikri/tiki - Known by some other names such as dal dhokli or dal ka dulha, this wholesome dish is summer special. This palatable dish simply includes preparation of wheat flour dough in any shape (be it pasta, dumplings or simply in the shape of a poori) cooked with ‘aam ki dal’. Tadka is optional but don't forget to pour spoonful ghee before serving.

8- Tehri - Being an ‘Allahabadi', how can I forget to mention this adaptation of veg-pulao. This flavoursome one pot recipe is a combination of mixed- veggies, rice and spices blend beautifully. When combined with tomato coriander chutney and raita, tehri gives a heavenly taste.

It would be totally unfair if  I forget some other indispensable mentions such as Koh-dauri/bari (this is sun dried nugget made up of urad dal and is considered very auspicious), Khataai (sun dried raw mango wrapped in various spices which is cooked with pulses to enhance its taste), Mahua ki lapsi(it is very rare sweet dish where kneaded strings of wheat flour are cooked in mahua juice and milk), Aam ka panna (this is the healthiest substitute of cold drinks in summers which is a blend of boiled raw mangoes with salt and some spices), Gudamma (small pieces of raw mango are cooked in the syrup of jaggery), Anarsaa(originated in Maharshtra , this sweet snack is prepared during Sawan and diwali. It is made up of rice, jaggery and poppy seeds), Thekua (a Bihari snack similar to cookies is made up of wheat flour and sugar . It is served as prasad during chath pooja).

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