It is just a day since I arrived from India. My pantry needs a list of ingredients to keep my kitchen rolling. As I open each of my suitcases, I empty them with all the things hand picked from the local markets in India. How I wish I could always stay there and experience the rich traditions followed in every household.
Shravan brings in a string of religious occasions. Each holds a unique significance. The occasions demand a special meal as well. Every household has a way of celebration. Nag Panchami, is celebrated with a lot of vigour, especially by the women folks. They adorn their palms with beautiful henna patterns and wear colourful attires, It is the first Panchami in the Hindu calendar when they enjoy swinging. Ladies in the house pre-plan their meals. This day, they make sure no chopping or frying is done in the kitchen. They pay their obeisance to Naag devta(Snake God).
Our family meal comprises of vegetables chopped a day in advance and steamed kadbus’/dind.
Here is how one makes the steamed kadbu/Dind
3 cups of chana daal washed and pressure cooked.
1.5 cups of grated jaggery
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
few strands of saffron.
When we make steamed kadbus/Dind just the wheat flour is used. Kadbus’ can either be fried or steamed. For Naag Panchami, these kadbus’ are steamed and relished with dollops of ghee and kataachi amti.
3 cups of wheat flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of oil/ghee and some more to make the dough smooth
Mix and prepare the dough and keep aside.
Keep a cup of rice powder/wheat flour for rolling the polis
Once the daal is pressure cooked, drain the daal in a sieve and save the stock in another container. This stock will be used for katachi amti. Once all the stock is retrieved from the cooked daal, the daal should be cool,dry but soft(check if it mashes when you press between fingers). If it still seems moist, try spreading on tissue paper. Transfer the daal into heavy pan. Add the jaggery and cook this mixture on medium heat.Keep stirring. The mixture starts softening and gains a reddish brown colour. Cook till the daal and jaggery are completely mixed. THe whole mixture tends to come together.Add the cardamom powder, saffron and nutmeg powder. Some like adding sugar to the mixture. I prefer my filling with jaggery and like it soft. Turn the heat off and cool.
In a pressure cooker pour in water to heat. Prepare the idli stand by greasing it. Roll the prepared flour dough with a rolling pin. Fill in the Puran(filling). Bring the edged together, so that the puran in completely covered with the dough. Fold (called as murad) the edges with your thumb and the index finger. This helps to seal the edges. It can be tricky, folding the edges. My mother-in-law does this is seconds. I have tried my best and know practice makes a person perfect!!
Place each of the kadbus/dind in the idli stand. Steam for 10 mins. Serve while these are piping hot with a dollop of ghee and kataachi amti