Royal Rajasthan

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RUPALI DEAN
Published Oct 27, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Updated Oct 27, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Rajasthan is as famous for its food as it is for its remarkable forts, dreamy lakes and vibrant cultural life.
MURGH KA SOWETA
 MURGH KA SOWETA

l Rupali Dean

Opulent, aromatically spiced and sumptuously prepared, Rajasthani cuisine offers an appetising history. The kings back then favoured a no-expense spared approach to cooking, and were always closely involved with the cuisine served under their roof. In fact, when a royal court travelled, they would often take the entire kitchen with them on their journeys! This close connection explains why Rajasthani cooking is very much influenced by the personal style and tastes of the Kings.

 

Some key ingredients used in the cuisine are corn, spices, yogurt, besan (ground chickpeas) and Mathania chillies, which are locally grown in Jodhpur. “Rich in royal history and a product of Rajasthan’s extreme climate, this unique cuisine has always intrigued me and I love experimenting with its flavours,” says Chef Sujit, Executive Chef, Leela Palace Udaipur, who adds, “In our country, the guest is God. Historically, cooking was a way of impressing important royal visitors, so premium ingredients were always used. There are even stories of peacocks being fed precious gems but that’s not something I replicate in my kitchen at Leela Palace Udaipur!”

For first time visitors to Rajasthan, Chef Sujit recommends trying indigenous speciality Kadhi Kachori at least once — essentially a soup dish served with fried, filled dough balls. Mirchi Vada — delicious, fiery chilli fritters, are also quite unique and a must-try whilst in Rajasthan.

“At Sheesh Mahal, guests can’t resist Laal Maas, a rich and utterly spicy mutton curry and Bajre ki roti, a comforting combination of millet flour flatbreads with jaggery and ghee. The technique of slow cooking allows one to create incredibly flavourful dishes and works particularly well with game meat, which the region is known for. I also like to use a large variety of spices, which is typical here. I am always trying to learn about local cooking techniques because it inspires me to create new flavour combinations for my guests at Leela Palace,” adds Sujit.

The region has plenty of tempting sweet shops too and Ghevar, a sweet cake soaked in syrup and lapsi, a traditional dessert of broken wheat prepared with sugar and ghee, are quite popular.

Chef Sujit shares few of his popular recipies.

MURGH KA SOWETA

Method:

Marinate the boneless chicken with a blend of ginger garlic paste and lemon juice.
Heat clarified butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add whole cardamom, mace and bayleaf.
Sauté the chopped onions until they turn golden brown, add turmeric, cumin and coriander powder.
Add chopped tomatoes and stir fry until cooked.
Make a homogeneous mixture of beaten yogurt, cooking cream and crushed corn paste.
Unite the above mixture and the marinated chicken in the pan and cook it until the chicken is tender.
Remove from heat and serve it garnished with fresh green chopped coriander and drizzle it with clarified butter.

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken: 600 gms     
Ginger garlic paste: 5 gms        
Hung yogurt: 200 gms     
Whole cardamom: 5 gms       
Mace: 1 gm
Turmeric powder: 2 gms
Cumin powder: 6 gms
Coriander powder: 10 gms
Bayleaf: 2 Nos
Chopped onions: 160 gms
Chopped tomatoes: 200 gms
Crushed corn kernels: 60 gms
Lemon juice: 5 ml
Salt to taste

JEERA ALOO

Ingredients:
Large potatoes: 500 gms
Red chilli powder: 3 gms
Whole cumin powder: 5 gms
Cumin powder: 5 gms
Oil: 30 ml
Lemon juice: 5 ml
Chopped ginger: 10 gms
Chopped garlic: 20 gms
Fresh coriander: 15 gms
Clarified butter: 50 gms
Turmeric powder: 5 gms
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and put them to boil in a deep bottomed pan.

Heat clarified butter in a sauté pan and add whole cumin seeds until it starts crackling.

Add chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and sauté it for a minute.

Add turmeric, red chilli, cumin powder and give it a stir.

Add previously boiled, peeled and diced potatoes and toss until evenly coated with spices.

Finish it with a dash of lemon juice and handpicked fresh coriander leaves.

CHOORMA

Ingredients:
Baati aata: 600 gms  
Semolina: 100 gms  
Ghee: 200 gms  
Castor sugar: 350 gms  
Green cardamom: 5 gms  
Pistachio:  20 gms 

Method:

Mix the flour and 200 gms of ghee.

Make a tight dough with 300 ml of water.

With your palms, make the uneven shaped dough called muthiya.

Deep fry in ghee till crisp and golden brown in colour.

Reheat the same before serving and garnish with crushed pistachio.

LAAL MAAS

Ingredients:

Lamb boti and burra: 750 gms
Yogurt: 50 gms
Kashmiri chilli paste: 15 gms
Red chilli whole: 2 gms
Coriander powder: 6 gms
Ginger garlic paste: 5 gms
Garlic chopped: 5 gms
Ghee: 50 gms
Cinnamon: 2 gms
Clove: 2 gms
Bayleaf: 2 Nos
Cardamom black: 2 Nos
Onion: 100 gms
Tomato puree canned: 300 gms

Method:

Mix 1/2 portion of lamb with 1/2 of yoghurt, 1/2 of ginger garlic paste, 1/2 red chilli paste, salt and cumin powder and chopped onion.
Heat ghee, whole garam masala except for the clove and whole red chillies for few seconds.
Add chopped onion, fry to golden brown colour.

Add marinated lamb, mix well and stir for 8-10 minutes on medium heat.
Add rest of the chilli paste, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder and yoghurt, cook for 8-10 minutes.
Add hot water, bring to a boil and simmer till the lamb is 3/4 done.
Remove the pieces from the gravy, strain the gravy and add the pieces back into the gravy.
Add tomato puree, bring the gravy to a boil and cook till the lamb is soft.
To finish: Heat charcoal and add the cloves with some ghee and place it in the Laal Maas container. Cover with aluminium foil, so the gravy gets a smoked clove flavour.

DAAL PANCHMEL 

Ingredients:
 
Urad dal whole: 300 gms  
Moong dal washed: 100 gms  
Channa dal: 200 gms  
Toor dal: 100 gms  
Masoor dal: 200 gms  
Refined oil for tempering
Garam masala
powder: 5 gms  
Cumin whole:  5 gms  
Crushed coriander: 5 gms  
Red chilli whole:  5 gms  
Onion chopped: 100 gms  
Tomatoes chopped: 100 gms  
Ginger chopped: 25 gms  
Green chilli chopped: 10 gms  
Hing powder: a few pinches
Turmeric: 5 gms  
Deggi Mirch: 5 gms  
Coriander leaves chopped:
50 gms  
Ghee:  20 ml

Method:

Oil the five lentils until soft.
In a thick bottomed pan, add oil and heat it, add red chilli, crushed coriander seeds and cumin.
Add chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli, sauté for few seconds.
Add chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
Add chopped tomatoes, garam masala and cook until it leaves oil.
Add boiled dal and let it simmer for few minutes.
Finish with hing, ghee and coriander leaves, serve hot.

BHUNEY PYAAZ KA PULAO

Ingredients:
 
Basmati rice: 200 gms
Beaten yogurt: 50 gms
Cumin seeds: 5 gms
Whole cardamom: 3 gms
Mace: 1 gm
Bayleaf: 3 Nos
Clarified butter: 150 gms
Sliced onions: 250 gms
Chopped fresh coriander: 50 gms
Salt to taste

Method:
 
Wash and pre-soak the Basmati rice in a stainless steel deep dish for 20 - 30 minutes.
Drain the excess water and put the rice to boil in a heavy-bottomed pan along with salt, bayleaf, mace and cardamom.
Once the rice is cooked, strain and reserve for later use.
Heat clarified butter in a sauté pan and add whole cumin seeds until it starts crackling.
Add sliced onions and sauté till golden brown, take out half the quantity and keep aside for garnishing.
Pour cream and beaten yogurt, evenly spread the cooked rice over it and cover it with a lid.
Let it simmer on slow heat. Wait for the aroma of the rice to fill up your kitchen and then remove from heat.
Take off the lid, slowly stir the rice and dish out in a bowl. Garnish with reserved brown onions and chopped fresh green coriander.

MURGH KA MOKUL

Ingredients:
Boneless
chicken: 600 gms
Ginger garlic
paste: 2 gms
Beaten yogurt:
200 gms
Whole cardamom:
5 gms
Mace: 1 gm
Turmeric powder:
2 gms
Cumin powder: 6 gms
Coriander powder:
10 gms
Bayleaf: 2 Nos
Clarified butter:
160 gms
Cooking cream:
250 ml
Chopped onion:
100 gms
Cashewnut paste:
200 gms
Salt to taste

Method:
Marinate the boneless chicken with a blend of ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt.
Heat clarified butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add whole cardamom, mace and bayleaf.
Sauté the chopped onions until it turns golden brown, add turmeric, cumin and coriander powder.
Add chopped tomatoes and stir fry until it gets cooked.
"Unite the above mixture and the marinated chicken in the pan and cook it until the chicken is tender.
Make homogeneous mixture of beaten yogurt, cooking cream and cashewnut paste and add that to the chicken. Simmer it for 10 minutes and finish it with a drizzle of clarified butter and dollop of fresh double cream.

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