Thursday

Birth of a blog and a royal dish - Dum Aloo Kashmiri

The seeds were sown on day four. Should I? Can I? Will anyone be interested? What do I write about? Do I have the time? How long can I keep going? and on and on.
Day five -
All doubts settled for the time, I hesitantly took a step towards creating my own blog, Food for Thought
Day six -
Today! My first post.

I decided to celebrate by cooking a dish fit for kings - Dum Aloo Kashmiri. According to legend, Dum cooking was discovered when the Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah decreed that the builders of the Imam Bara Mosque should have access to food all through the day and night. Since cooked food grew cold, and chefs couldn't keep whipping up meals every hour, they hit upon an innovative solution. They set giant pots on gentle fires and filled them with rice, meat, vegetables and spices. Then, they sealed the lids with dough, and topped them with hot coals to slow-cook the food and keep it warm around the clock. The Nawab was so impressed with the taste of the final product, that he ordered the royal meals to be prepared in the same manner. And Dum (literally steam) cooking was born. Dum Biryani is the most popular result of this technique. Not having clay pots or charcoal I made do with my usual sauce pan and the result was still good enough for royalty!

Dum aloo kashmiri is a slightly labor intensive dish because of all the separate pastes required, but give it a try when you have time on your hands and you won't regret it. It has the signature mildly spiced, aromatic flavors of Kashmiri cuisine and is a treat with hot rotis.

DUM ALOO KASHMIRI
(adapted from this recipe)

Brown onion paste - 4 tbsp
Brown cashew nut paste - 1 tbsp
(Take 1 tsp oil in a pan. Fry 7-8 cashews till golden and keep aside. Chop 2 medium size onions and fry in the pan till golden brown. Grind with cashews to make a fine paste)
Tomato puree - 3 tbsp
(Use canned or prick one tomato with a fork and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Blend in the mixer to make a puree. NOTE - do not forget to prick the tomato)
Red chilli paste - 1 tbsp
(The best chillies to use in Indian dishes are Kashmiri, which give a lovely color but arent too hot. Use 2-3 red chillies, break into pieces and grind with water. If you do not have Kashmiri chillies, use less)
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
Clove powder - a pinch
Cinnamon powder - a pinch
(If you have a pestle and mortar grind the three ingredients together or put them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin)
Salt To taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Baby potatoes, par boiled and deep fried - 5-6
Oil to fry potatoes

Cover potatoes with water in a pan and bring to a boil. Don't boil them completely. Prick and fry potatoes till golden brown in 2 tbsp oil. Mix 1 tbsp chilli paste and 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste with water. In a fry pan take 1 tbsp oil and add above paste. Cook till water evaporates and the contents look like a paste. Add salt, jeera,clove and cinnamon powders. Add brown onion and cashew nut pastes mixed with 4 tbsp water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato puree and cook till oil leaves sides of pan. Add fried potatoes and cook until potatoes are done.
The dish goes well with rotis, not rice as it is dry. You can increase onion and tomato paste to get more gravy.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Inji Pennu said...

You know same here. I was known as the girl with 'golden fingers' :) for searching anything on the net,
even my VP at my office use to ask me to find something. And I completely missed out the food blogging thing! Shame on me! Though it took me 6 or more months to start mine, I was completely take aback that I didnt know it existed.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Aah LG, you are a kindred soul :-) Now I cant stop thinking of all those months when I could have had a blog! But better late than never so, be glad that we caught on to the trend finally :-)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini you Rock! I love your food blog. For a health nut like me this is a treasure trove.

Asha

5:40 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Asha, thanks for your kind words....really appreciate it :-)

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.

Thanks

5:58 PM  

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