Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Bihari Thali

Bihar always reminded me of floods,famine and corruption.But when I came across a Bihari Thali in Sia's Monsoonspice,I was like,"Thali and Bihar?!".But as I read through it and tried it myself I was like a cat who purrrrred after a nice meal of milk(No fish for my cat).It was simple but tasty.THANKS A LOT Sia for introducing me to this cuisine and also your photography is fantastic.I hope I have captured a teeny weeny bit of that .

A simple Bihari thali consists of Phulka,Aloo Chokha,Subzi Pancharanga Kurma and Kheera.These dishes are easy to prepare and here they are.

Phulka:
Phulkas are similar to chappathi,but lighter in texture and are served hot.

Ingredients:

Wheat flour/aatta: 1 cup
Oil/Ghee: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Warm water:as needed to form the dough

Preparation:


Mix together flour and salt in a bowl.Add oil and mix well to obtain a coarser structure.Add enough water to form a dough.Knead the dough a few times to make soft and elastic.Rest it for 30 minutes.

Make small balls out of it and roll out into a thin circle on a floured surface.

Heat a tawa/skillet.Place a phulka and fry till bubbles appear on the surface and flip over.Cook the other side similarly.

Take the phulka off the tawa and place it directly over the flame.The phulka will puff up to a balloon.Take it off and serve immediately.


Aloo Chokha:
Chonkna means tadka or seasoning.I have used panchphoron mix as specified by Sia.It is equal measure of onion seeds/kalonji,jeera/cumin,mustard,fenugreek and fennel/aniseeds.

Ingredients:

Potatoes: 2 big
Onion: 1 small
Garlic: 2 cloves
Green chillies: 2
Lime juice/amchur powder:1 tsp

Seasoning:
Panchphoron mix: 1-2 tsp
Red chillies: 1

Garnish:
Coriander leaves: few sprigs chopped

Preparation:

Peel and cube the potatoes.Chop onions nicely.Slit the green chillies and mince the garlic.You can adjust the red chillies and green chillies as per your taste.

Heat oil in a tawa,add broken red chillies and panchphoran mix.As they start spluttering,add chopped onions and saute.Add slit green chillies and minced garlic and saute till the onion turns brown.Add in the cubed potatoes and saute till they turn brown.(I was in a hurry so I did not wait till they were brown).Add in enough water and cook the potatoes till done,mixing periodically so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Mix in amchur powder/lime juice and coriander leaves and saute for a few minutes more.Serve with hot phulka/rotis/rice as a dry curry.



Subzi Pancharanga Kurma:

This is a very tasty but simple kurma.I am hoooooooooooked to it.

Ingredients:

Mixed Vegetables(potato,peas,cauliflower,carrot,beans):2-3 cups
Tomato chopped/paste/puree : 2 tbsp/1 large
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Red chilly powder:1 tsp
Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp

Grind:
Fresh/Frozen Coconut gratings: 2 tbsp
Poppy Seeds: 1/2 tbsp
Cashew Nuts: 10
Almonds: 5
Sugar:1tsp
Green Chillies: 2
Coriander Leaves: 3/4 cup

Preparation:

Cube the vegetables and cook them in enough water and little salt and keep aside.Grind the specified ingredients to a fine paste.

In a pan heat oil,add ginger-garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.Add the ground paste and saute till raw smell disappears.Mix in tomato chopped/paste/puree and powders and saute for a few minutes till oil separates.

Mix in vegetables along with the water in which they were cooked and mix well.Adjust salt and boil on a medium heat till the flavours are blended and you get a thick gravy.Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice/rotis.


Kheera/Cucumber raita
This is a simple cucumber raita.I did not have black salt and Kashmiri chilli powder. I simply used what I had with me.

Ingredients:

Cucumber :1 medium
Yoghurt:1 cup
Garam masala:1/2 tsp
Chaat masala:1/2 tsp
Chilli powder:1/4 tsp
Cumin-Coriander powder:1/4 tsp
Salt: as per taste

Preparation:

Wash,peel and grate cucumber.Squeeze out excess water and keep in a mixing bowl.Add all other ingredients and mix well.Chill for minimum 15 minutes before serving and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


To tell you the truth,I did not go for garnishing.The aroma from the dishes and hot phulkas did not allow me.Somehow I took the required photos and enjoyed my dinner.Hope you enjoy too.

This simple Bihari Thali goes to Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen where she is celebrating the monsoon of spices with Tried&Tasted:Monsoonspice.


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