Recipes | Jailsalmeri Chane, Sindhi Kadhi and Tomato Kulcha – People don’t fail, they just stop trying
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill.
“Our company is into motion pictures and TVC (television commercials), are you interested in doing a project with us? If yes, we would like to meet you today, as the shoot schedule and the artists are already fixed” the caller on the other end continued and waited for my reply.
“Sure, I will come in the evening and let you know about my decision” I replied to ‘C’, producer of the Ad agency.
I got to know the enormity of the said project, a television commercial for Malaysia after meeting the director in evening and was slightly skeptical to take it.
I did write a mail to the producer showing my reluctance to take up the project single-handedly, who in turn, gave an assurance that I will get adequate help from his production unit.
“I need to work for two shifts from 7 am to 10 pm…only two days are left to organize the entire shoot, food, props et al…and I don’t have any assistant to support me either” I was grumbling and arguing with my hubby over the pros and cons of the project that night.
“Am sure you would have heard the saying that “People don’t fail, they just stop trying.” hubby who was busy watching the election results on television, suddenly turned towards me and replied.
“You know, I have seen you building castles in the air and this is the perfect time to put foundation under them. Just believe in yourself and go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Hubby understood the confusion going in my mind and gave his candid opinion.
“I suggest you take up this project, I know you can do it and you are going to love the whole new experience of working with a production house.” He spoke lovingly and convinced me completely with his sweet talk.
Well, I finally reconciled my way of thinking to his and started planning for the shoot.
The day started quite early for me, got up at 5 am, cooked breakfast and lunch for children and hubby before the cab arrived at 6.40 am.
Of late, I have been doing many styling shoots for advertising and packaging companies and have become quite comfortable working in studios. With just the photographer, a couple of representatives from the client and a few assistants, I find the studio environment quite conducive, comfortable and less intimidating to work in. We work like a small family, eat together, suggest ideas, laugh and crack jokes when ever it gets little stressful, which makes the entire process of shooting in studio a fun experience.
I was a bit nervous when I entered the location early morning, what with hundreds of people running helter- skelter carrying giant light boxes, reflectors and the like.
I gave myself a few moments and quickly regained my composure after seeing a few familiar faces on-location. And after that there was no looking back.
The first half was a shoot for poppadoms and the next half was for various spices for an export company.
The location is being set for the first shoot where the actress’s sister climbs the stairs, hugs her sister who is sitting and reading a book on the couch and the talk about Poppadom begins.
I would have fried hundreds of poppadoms to get a few perfect Poppadoms for the still shoot and for both the actresses to enact the shot.
Second shift was quite hectic as I did not get the kitchen to work until the first shoot was over. Somehow I could just about manage to put up a decent spread of 10-12 dishes and style the set for individual shots.
The two very popular regional artists, Devadarshini and Delhi Ganesh were to enact the shot.
My bad that I am not into watching movies, but it was fun talking and sharing some good times about our families and work life with the actors sharing the same room.
1. Chickpeas in yogurt gravy or Jaisalmeri Chane
Coming back to the recipes, these are the few dishes I made for a small get-together on Mother’s day just after the shoot in a friends house. There were four families and we shared the dinner menu among all of us.
I was given the option to bring something special from Rajasthan or from any part of North India. I planned and prepared some of my favorite recipes I have been cooking for years, Jaisalmeri Chane , tomato bhature, fresh corn pudding and Sindhi Kadhi.
This version of chickpea curry was liked by everyone as the recipe is lighter version of Punjabi chole which has a heavy blend of spices and thick gravy. Tomato Bhature was an instant hit with children, they kept munching it long before the dinner was served. My Sindhi kadhi was served with cumin or jeera rice cooked by the host in her house.
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/2 cup curd
- 1 tbsp. chickpea flour
- 1 tomato
- 1 onion
- 1” ginger piece
- 1 tbsp oil
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
Method; Wash and soak chickpeas overnight in plain water.
Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas, whole tomato and peeled onion with 3 cups of water in pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles.
Cool the pressure cooker and mash the tomato and onion with the back of a ladle.
Peel onion and make ginger julienne or chop it very finely.
Mix curd with chickpea flour, salt, chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and combine to mix all the ingredients.
Heat oil in a pan and crackle cumin seeds in it. Add asafoetida powder and pour the curd mixture in it. Keep the flame on medium heat and cook the gravy for 6-7 minutes till the oil starts floating on the sides.
Add cooked chickpeas and cook again for few more minutes.
Take the Jaisalmeri chane or chickpea curry off flame and garnish it with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
2. Tomato Bhature with Nigella seeds
(about 20 small bhature)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp. semolina
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 2 tsp. sour curd
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- Oil for deep frying
- Salt to taste
Method; Add wheat flour, semolina, Nigella seeds (Kalongi dana) baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and combine well using your fingers or a fork.
Dice the tomatoes and make a puree of it.
Add tomato puree, curd and a tablespoon of oil in the dry flour mix and knead into a soft dough. Add a little water if you find the dough to be too hard.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and keep is in a humid place for atleast an hour. The more time Bhature dough is left to rise the better Bhature taste. At times I do keep the dough overnight to get the typical sour Bhature sold on Delhi roadside shops.
Make small balls from the dough, dust it with dry wheat flour and roll into round circle.
Heat il in a kadai or wok and drop the Bhature in it. Keep the oil on medium heat to avoid burning the bhature.
Remove the fried Bhatura from oil and place on a kitchen napkin. Repeat the same process to make all the Bhature.
These Bhatura has a wonderful colour and a tangy flavor of tomatoes in it.
3. Vegetable curry with chickpea flour a.k.a. Sindhi Kadhi
- 2 tbsp. chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp. Tamarind paste
- 2 cups of chopped Vegetables*
- 2 Tomatoes
- 2 Green chilies
- Coriander leaves
- 2 cups warm Water
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp. asafoetida powder
Method; I have used the following vegetables for this recipe;
- Handful of Cluster beans
- 1 large Potato
- 10-12 Okra
- 1 large Drumstick
Wash and chop the head and tail end of cluster beans, drumstick and Okra (ladies finger or Bhindi). Peel potato and dice into small cubes.
Steam all the vegetables for one whistle in a pressure cooker, make sure to keep the veggies crunchy, do not over cook the vegetables.
Grate the tomatoes.
Soak a small marble sized ball of tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract the thick juice.
Chop ginger finely and slit the green chilly in two halves.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok and crackle mustard and cumin seeds in it.
Add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder and sauté for a second.
Add chickpea flour in the wok, reduce the flame and roast the flour till it turns light brown in colour and emits a nutty aroma.
Add warm water and mix it well so that there are no lumps in the gravy.
Add grated tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder, slit green chilly, ginger pieces in the wok and simmer the gravy for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.
Add all the steamed vegetables and tamarind extract in the gravy and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes on low flame.
Garnish the curry with chopped coriander leaves and serve with plain rice.
Try one another version of Sindhi Kadhi cooked in pressure cooker on Alka’s blog, here.
- Do not roll the Bhatura too thin as it will not make the Bhatura puff up after it is fried.
- I try to substitute baking soda with baking powder as the former is known to initiate indigestion in many people.
- The Sindhi Kadhi is traditionally made with Kokum, a fruit which gives a distinct tartness and deep red colour to the recipe.
- Adjust the consistency of Sindhi Kadhi by adding warm water if the gravy thickens after it cools down.
- Use vegetables of your choice to make Sindhi Kadhi.
- Normally tomato is avoided in Jaisalmeri chane. I like adding tomato for the colour it imparts to the gravy.