April 11, 2021 2:10:12 pm
I have a special love for Sindhi food. Born and brought up in a Sindhi family, I have always enjoyed cooking. This has paved the way for me to learn and experiment more. And with millets, the journey has only become interesting and joyful.
Growing up, I have enjoyed scooping up chana dal with crisp fried pakwaans, the flatbread. And while the cooking genes in me are inherited from my parents, especially my father, I would love to share something very special on International Dal Pakwan Day today.
Last year, when we were adapting to the new normal, I had requested my dad to spare some time for something he has always been passionate about. Spice mixes! I have grown up observing him mixing and matching spices to the extent that we never felt the need to buy any masalas from the market. Even after I got married, I would request him to send me his signature spice mixes via courier. It was when the lockdown happened and my stock of spices exhausted, I said to him: “Why don’t you come up with a spice brand that specialises in Sindhi masalas?”. “At 70?” he had exclaimed.
He consciously worked for the next 10 months, and then launched his own range of Sindhi spice mixes. Through his hard work, he has assured that Sindhi food will now be handed over to generations. He believes the spices will bridge the gap between Sindhis and their favourite food.
Read more about the traditional recipe of the Dal Pakwaan and how I have balanced it with my love for millets. Try this recipe for a perfect Sunday.
Sindhi dal pakwaan with barnyard millet
Ingredients: (the traditional dal)
- 1 cup chana dal, split chickpeas (soaked for 3-4 hours)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp dal pakwaan masala
- Rock salt to taste
- Finely chopped onions
- Finely chopped tomatoes
- Green chilies
- Finely chopped coriander leaves
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 10-15 curry leaves
- 2 tsp ghee for tempering
- Tamarind chutney (tamarind pulp mixed with water)
- Coriander mint chutney
- Wash chana dal and soak for 4 hours.
- In a pressure cooker add dal with optimum water. Add dal pakwaan masala, salt, and a few drops of any cold-pressed oil (or ghee). Pressure cook till one whistle. Make sure the dal is tender but not mushy.
- Once boiled, sprinkle finely chopped onion, tomatoes, green chillies and dal pakwaan masala above the cooked dal.
- Separately heat oil in a tadka pan, add cumin seeds, curry leaves. Add the tempering to dal and allow it to simmer for some time.
- While serving, garnish with fresh coriander leaves, coriander mint chutney and tamarind chutney on top.
- Serve hot with crispy pakwaan.
Ingredients: (makes 8-10 pakwaans)
- ½ cup barnyard millet flour (freshly ground at home)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (maida)
- ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- Rock salt to taste
- 1 tbsp hot ghee
- Hot water to knead
- Cold-pressed mustard oil for deep frying
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- In a large mixing bowl, add millet flour, maida, carom and cumin seeds, salt and pour hot ghee over it. Mix it all well.
- Once ghee (or oil) is nicely mixed, add hot water to make a tight dough.
- Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8-10 equal parts.
- Start rolling them as rotis, as thin as possible.
- Prick it evenly with a fork to avoid puffing up while frying.
- You can even bake them at 180-degree C for 20-22 minutes with regular flipping.
- If you are frying them, fry them on medium flame till golden brown. Do not forget to drain excess oil.
- Refer to the video for the plating of dal pakwaan. Enjoy fresh.
- You can store extra pakwaan in an air-tight container for a week.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.
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