Eid ul Adha 2012: What's cooking?
What's on the menu this Eid?
Tomorrow after Eid prayers we are going to an 'open house' invite at a friend's place. She is originally from Bhatkal, Karnataka India and her community cooks in a really unique way so I am excited to try their Eid foods...I love sampling the different menus at friend's houses on Eid.
In the evening we are hosting a potluck. I am making my mother in law's qabili pullao recipe, which doesn't look at all like Afghan varieties, although my MIL claims her recipe is originally from their Afghan familial connections. It is chicken, channa daal, fried onions, garam masala, and dried plums stewed together and served with rice that is cooked biryani style.
Then the party continues and we are invited for dinner on Sat and then again somewhere for lunch on Sun. I am bringing bakery bought dessert each of those functions.
So that's my eat. I mean Eid. What about your's?
Eat ... I mean Eid Mubarak LuckyF. :)
Wish you joyous celebrations. I would love to hear about your Karnataka friend's menu and cooking style.
(We are just recovering from a round of Navaratri feasts, and gearing up for Diwali, with Halloween tucked in the middle and TG to follow - a festive time of year!)
Her community is called Navayathi and most of the Navayathis are in/from Bhatkal. There are a lot of them in Dubai, too, but I had never heard of this community until I met her here in the US. I don't know much about them. Actually, I think they expect that most people haven't heard of them so when they meet people they usually say they are from Mangalore even though Bhatkal is about 2 hours away from Mangalore. They speak a language that is related to Konkani, and they seem to be a mix of South Indians and Yemenis(?) by heritage. All the women wear saris and they cook with a lot of coconut. Their famous dish is Bhatkali biryani, which I have yet to try.
My friend didn't serve a Navayathi menu, it was a mix of foods. But then she came to our potluck and brought this really interesting paalak gosht that she had perfumed with a smoking coal. I actually invited one other Bhatkali woman and she came with her mother. (It seems there is a small Bhatkali community in our area.) They brought medu vadas and coconut-coriander chutney. The vadas were so soft. Usually vadas that aren't piping hot don't have so great of a texture. I am not sure how she got them that way. She also brought me a bag of chakli home made from India. That was nice. Most of the other guests were Americans originally from Hyderabad, North India, or Pakistan, so the medu vada was a very unique menu item for the rest of us. The coriander-coconut chutney reminded me of one that our Bangalorean housekeeper would make.
Enjoy the festival season! I'd love to hear what your Diwali menu will be :D
Thanks for the reply luckyF. My father's family is from BLR, but I have never lived there (we moved around a lot when growing up). So the Navayathi community is new for me too, though medhu vadais are not :), in spite of having visited Bhatkal and Mangalore and knowing people there. I am very impressed by your detailed regional knowledge.
Will update you on the Diwali menu. I am still in the planning stages. Pot luck, so I will likely fill in some basics depending on what others bring.
re: Caitlin McGrath
OK, I copy-pasted this from my (sad, pathetic, amateur, and never updated) food blog since we aren't supposed to link on CH
This dish is simple but has several steps. The first couple of steps can be done a day ahead of serving. You can actually make the whole gravy a day ahead and add it to the rice the next day, as well.
1 chicken skinned, bone-in, and cut into small-medium pieces
1/2 cup dried channa daal (one cup cooked)
2.5 heaping table spoons garam masala
1 heaping tsp red chile powder
3-4 whole dried red chiles
15 aloo bukharay (dried plums from Indo-Pak market)
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
3 tbs oil
3 cups basmati rice
1 tbs ghee or butter
some whole garam masale: 3 bay leaves, 10 black pepper corns, 5 cloves, 5 green cardamom, 2 big black cardamom, 1-2 shards of cinnamon bark, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds
The daal: soak 1/2 cup channa daal for one hour. Boil water with daal a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then keep on a low flame for 20 minutes. Strain from water. You should have just tender whole channa daal. Keep aside.
The tali hui pyaaz: Thinly slice onions and fry until light reddish brown. Strain from oil and grind (crush or put in a grinder). Mix 1/2 of the ground fried onion with 1 tsp garam masala and keep aside.
The aloo bukharay: soak in water for about 10 minutes before adding them into the gravy. Strain before you add them into the gravy.
Now to make the gravy:
Heat oil and brown the chicken pieces to seal in the juices. When the chicken looks browned, add in the remaining ground fried onion, the red chile powder, whole red chiles, the remaining garam masala, and salt to taste---be slightly heavy handed with the salting because you will later add the channa daal to this gravy. Stir for a moment and then add the aloo bukharay. Stir again, add 1/4 cup water, allow this to come to a boil, cover and cook until the chicken is done. When it is done and still hot, mix in the whole cooked channa daal. Close the lid and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the channa daal to soak up the gravy flavors. The aloo bukharay should have disintegrated only very slightly, but should for the most part remain whole so that those who consume your dish get one or two in the mouth as they eat. If you serve this to people who have never eaten an aloo bukhara (pity the souls), remember to tell them to not eat the hard seed, lest they crack their teeth! Okay, your gravy is done. You could keep this in the fridge overnight or add it to the rice right away, as suits your needs.
Dum dad dum dum dum: The rice (this works for any biryani rice and is called the "dum" method):
Soak the rice for 1/2 hour. In the mean while boil a pot of water with the whole garam masalas. Allow to boil for 10 minutes to extract the garam masala flavor. I cheat sometimes and nuke the water with the whole garam masalas in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes to get out all that garam masala flavor. Strain the water, keep the garam masalay to the side, return the water to a pot, and allow it to return to the boil. You may add in a few of the strained garam masalay such as the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom into the water for looks. Or keep it out if you want and just throw the strained garam masalay away. You should salt the water double the amount you normally would for 3 cups of boiled rice because you will par-boil the rice al dente like pasta, and throw away the water, so the rice will be bland if it doesn't absorb enough salt.
Okay, now that your garam masala seasoned water is boiling, strain the soaking rice and add it to the boiling water. Keep the colander ready in the sink. Allow the water to return to a boil and let it boil away for 3.5 minutes. Watch the beautiful basmati. kernels lengthen. Now strain the rice. Quickly add 1 tbs ghee or butter to the bottom of a deep pot. Keep the ground onion and garam masala mixture on hand. Add in the strained rice, sprinkling it with the fried onion and garam masala mixture, then a layer of rice, then more onion garam masala mixture. Turn up the flame to high and cover the pot. After two minutes of high flame, put the flame to the lowest possible point and cook the pot of rice for 20 minutes. (I usually layer the chicken in gravy with the rice and serve it like biryani, but my mother in law serves the chicken and gravy on top of the rice, which is more traditional.) Turn off the flame. Allow the rice to rest for about 10 minutes before you mess with it further to avoid the kernels breaking.
For a party you can put the rice in a large platter and spread the chicken gravy on top of it. Alternatively you can layer the rice and chicken gravy like a biriani (as shown in the pic). It is up to you.