Dine like a nawab!

AGENCIES
Published Feb 1, 2018, 12:11 am IST
Updated Feb 1, 2018, 12:11 am IST
Dum biryani is very famous, but not many know that the technique of cooking with ‘dum’ dates back to centuries ago.
Dum literally means to “breath in” and pukth means “to cook”. Dumpukth is a cooking technique that is over 400 years old.
 Dum literally means to “breath in” and pukth means “to cook”. Dumpukth is a cooking technique that is over 400 years old.

Dum literally means to “breath in” and pukth means “to cook”. Dumpukth is a cooking technique that is over 400 years old. Originating from the Persian style of “zamin doz” cooking where food was slow cooked in sealed containers placed in fire pits dug in the ground, which was adopted and refined by the royal Awadhi kitchens.

Legend says that Nawab Asif-ud-Daulah once happened to catch a whiff of the appetising aromas coming from the food cooked for the workers building the Bada Imambara in Lucknow. On investigating, he found that large containers of meat, rice, spices and vegetables were sealed and cooked on a slow fire so as to sustain for a long time till served for the famine struck countrymen. Influenced by the heady aromas and taste, the Nawab ordered this process to be adapted for all the cooking in his royal kitchens. 

The first step in this technique is “bhunao” where the ingredients are separately roasted in ghee to release their flavours. Then the components are combined and the pot is sealed with dough to prevent the steam and aroma from escaping. In the second step or “dum”, the pot is placed on a very slow heat with lit charcoal put on the lid to provide heat from the top. Bhunao releases the flavours and seals in the juices and dum retains the natural aroma and richness of flavours.

Such long and slow enclosed cooking results in the retention of maximum flavours and can be used to infuse a dish with any desirable flavour like camphor, clove or saffron. 

Sometimes the entire vessel is covered in dough (like a lid) forming a veil or purdah. This bread cooks along with the contents, imbibes the flavours and is eaten along with the finished dish. Dum also preserves nutrients which can be destroyed by higher temperatures. With evolving times, we can try dum recipes at home in an oven. You can put the ingredients in a heavy bottomed vessel, seal with dough or foil  and slide into an oven on a low temperature setting. 

Dum GobhiDum Gobhi

 

Dum Gobhi
Ingredients
1 medium cauliflower, cut in to 
florets, boiled and strained
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
½ cup grated cheese
¼ cup tomato puree
½ tsp lemon juice
Fresh coriander leaves
Salt to taste
for masala
1 big onion chopped
3 green chillies
1” ginger
1 pod garlic
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tbsp curd
(Combine all the above ingredients and make it into a fine paste)
Method
Heat a heavy bottomed kadai and add butter and oil. Roast boiled cauliflower till moisture-free, remove from oil and keep aside.
In the same oil, add the masala paste along with tomato puree and fry till oil separates. Add salt and the roasted cauliflower. Mix well. Place the lid on the vessel and seal it with the kneaded dough. Cook on dum (low flame) for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and after the vessel cools down a bit remove the dough. Add lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves. While hot, sprinkle grated cheese and serve.

Dum murgh methiwalaDum murgh methiwala

Dum murgh methiwala
Ingredients
500 gm chicken leg pieces 
1 cup beaten curd
1 cup methi leaves, washed and drained
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
½ cup brown onion paste
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ cup tomato puree
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp kasuri methi, lightly roasted and crushed
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala 
powder
3 tbsp oil
Kneaded dough to cover the lid
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
Salt to taste
½ onion, finely sliced
Method
Clean, wash and pat dry chicken leg pieces. Make gashes on each leg piece and marinate chicken with beaten curd, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powders and brown onion paste. Mix well and keep it aside for at least two hours. In a heavy bottomed pan heat butter and oil. Add chopped onions and fry till they are transparent. Add fresh methi leaves and sauté for a while. Now add tomato puree and marinated chicken. Sauté on high heat for five minutes. Now add ½ cup water and when the gravy starts to boil add kasuri methi and salt. Now add garam masala.
Place the lid on the vessel and seal it with the kneaded dough. Cook on dum (low flame) for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and after the vessel cools down a bit remove the dough. Garnish with coriander leaves and onion slices. This dish goes well with roti, naan or parantha.

Kashmiri Dum AlooKashmiri Dum Aloo

Kashmiri Dum Aloo
Ingredients:
250 gm baby potatoes, boiled, peeled and deep fried till golden in colour
½ cup brown onion paste
½ cup curd, well beaten
1 cup tomato puree
1 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder  
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp kasuri methi powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Method
Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and add oil, brown onion paste and ginger garlic paste, and sauté for a while. Now add all the powders and tomato puree. Cook covered for a while, then mix beaten curd and one cup water. When the gravy starts to boil, add salt and deep fried baby potatoes. Place the lid on the vessel and seal it with the kneaded dough. Cook on dum (low flame) for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and after the vessel cools down remove the dough. Add kasuri methi powder and mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.





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