What really makes Lucknow’s Tunde Kababi such a legend?

Lucknow is particularly loved for its meaty delights – especially its succulent kebabs (Galouti, Tunde, Boti and Chapli). The love affair between kebabs and Lucknow city goes back centuries in time. Historians believe that minced meat wonders were relished as a staple breakfast in 14th century Awadh. But it was only in the 17th century, that the kebabs of Awadh saw a revolution of sorts, and we all have a toothless king to thank for this. The story of Tunde Kebab from Lucknow starts from the beginning of the last century when a small shop opened at the Akbari Gate in 1905 for the first time.

The Delicious Story of Tunde Ke Kebab:

The story of Tunde Kebab is more than a century old. According to 70-year-old Rais Ahmed, the shop owner, his ancestors used to have in charge of the kitchen (khansamah) for the Nawab of Bhopal. Indeed, the Nawab was very fond of eating and drinking, but with growing age, his teeth left him. But even with the rising age and teeth, the Nawab and his Begum’s habit of eating and drinking have no bearing on them. At that time he ordered his khansamah to make such kebab which can be eaten easily without teeth. For such a kebab, grinding the meat very well and mixing it with papaya is done which dissolves after putting it in the mouth. Spices were mixed by keeping the stomach up and choosing it in the taste. After this Haji family came to Lucknow from Bhopal and started a small shop in the street near Akbari Gate. The fame of Haji’s kebabs spread so fast that people from all over the city started coming to taste kebabs here. The effect of this fame was that soon these kebabs got the status of ‘Awadh’s Shahi Kabab’.

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Tunde name of these kebabs?

Tunde kabab is so named because it was the specialty of a one-armed chef. There is also an interesting story behind the tunde name of these kebabs. Basically, tunde means not having a hand or one-handed person. Raees Ahmed’s Waleed Haji Murad Ali was very fond of blowing kites. Once he broke his hand in the kite rotation which had to be cut later. Murad Ali started to sit with the father at the shop. The customers who used to eat kebabs here, Tunde’s kebab began to speak because he operate with his one hand only, and from here the name fell to Tunde Ke Kebab. Haji Rais says that the same spices are used today in the kebab which was done a hundred years ago. It is said that no one can know its recipes, so they are bought from different shops and then in a closed room in the house, male members prepare them by sorting them out. Some of these spices are also imported from Iran and other countries. The Haji family yet not told anyone the secret ingredients behind spices not even the daughters of their families.

It takes two to two and a half hours to make the kebab. These kebabs also treat the neem hakim because it is beneficial for the stomach. These kebabs are eaten with bananas. Parathas are also prepared in such a way that Ghee, Milk, Almond and Egg are prepared in addition to the flour. Those who have eaten once they become crazy. It is worth mentioning that Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has often called the team that makes tunde during various events in his home (Mannat) in Mumbai. Anupam Kher, Asha Bhosle, Suresh Raina Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and lots of stars are among their big fans.

The special thing is that the publicity of tunde kebabs is of course all over the world, but the Haji family has kept their prices low even today, that there is not much impact on the pocket of a common man. The family’s attention was to earn more fame than riches. There was a time when ten kebabs were found in one penny.

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Strictly changing environments on illegal slaughterhouses:

The identity of Awadhi flavors Tunde kebab of Lucknow is famous all over the world but the blessings of the new Yogi Government of Uttar Pradesh are not happy for Tunde Kebab. This special shop of Lucknow was closed for the first time in 112 years. Buffalo meat is used to make tunde kebabs, but due to the illegal slaughterhouse closed in UP, the supply of meat has affected the entire state. This is the reason why chicken is being used now in this special dish. The news of the shutdown of the Tunde Kebab shop was a media headlines across the country, people were surprised that the news of the closure of a dish shop was found so much in the media. In the 112-year-old shop, people came from far away, they wanted to see  what is so special about this tunde kabab.

The special thing is that no one other than Haji Ji’s family does know about the special method of making it and the spices used in it. More than one hundred spices are added to the kebab. This is the reason, that the taste of kebab that is found here is nowhere else in the whole country.

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How ‘2-Minute Maggie’ becomes India’s favorite snack?

Maggi noodle was launched in 1984 by Nestle. In 1980s, instant noodles was an entirely new category, the challenge was to establish an entirely new product and yet find a relevant consumption benefit in the market. Maggi was, therefore, positioned as snack made for children who like to experiment food and was billed as a ‘fast to cook and good to eat snack’.

“Mummy Bhook Lagi – Bas 2-Minute” was a rendition of this approach. It fit well with the mother’s child caring relationship. These ads became so popular that “Bas 2-Minute” instantly reminded Indian consumers of Maggi noodles and the Rs. 2.50 per 100gm Maggi was an instant success.

Health Factor was gaining importance in those days. Several other brands like Hindustan Unilever launched the Knorr Soupy noodles for a healthy afternoon snacking option. Maggi did not want to stay behind, It rolled out a new noodle with a multi-grain variant called Multigrainz and aggressively advertised it as a nutritious food for kids. Maggi tops it all by being the market leader with the maximum share in its bowl.

A journey of Maggi in India:

Year 1984: Nestlé India announced the launch of its MAGGI of India Noodles range.

Year 1997: Nestle changed the taste of Maggi noodles, but it proved to be a failure.

Year 1999: Maggi reintroduces the old formulation and revived sales with the punchline “Fast to Cook, Good to Eat”.

Year 2000: Maggi noodles became the leader in instant noodles space.

Year 2005: Marketing strategy to keep Maggi brand fresh and as a healthy product with its tagline “Health Bhi, Taste Bhi” with the launch of Maggi Atta noodles.

Year 2009: Maggi celebrates 25 years of Maggi noodles with “Me and Meri Maggi” campaign and the launch of Maggi Pazzta.

>>>>— Me and Meri Maggi campaign invited consumers to share their Maggi moments. As a part of this promotional drive, magi launched a website, where the consumer could upload their Maggi moments and their favorite Maggi recipes or stories hit with the company will get a chance to be featured on Maggi packets or ads.—<<<<

Year 2012: Amitabh Bachchan has been made the brand ambassador of Maggi. Maggi’s Do minute Mein Khushiyan with Amitabh Bachchan was launched in 2012. Maggi had generally stayed away from the celebrity endorsements. In general, mother and child have been the celebrities for Maggi for the longest time. With its only exceptions, when Preity Jinta promoted the Rs.5 Chotu Maggi and the family packs.

Year 2015: A year of crisis for Maggi in India. A three-decade-long relationship was at stake, Maggi went down to zero in just a month. A nationwide ban was imposed on Maggi by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) due to high amount of lead found and No MSG label on its back that didn’t match with the safety standard. Prior to the ban, Maggi owned nearly 80% of the market share in the instant noodles segment. In the blink of an eye, its share plummeted to zero.

It was a state of emergency for Nestle India. The company was neither prepared for it nor did it have any immediate plan of action to overcome it. It only played with fire by initially denying the allegations of a hazardous composition of Maggi. But when it was proven guilty for the second time, the customers were furious. Maggi was losing not only its market share but also credibility. Nestle announced a recall of all its instant noodles from the markets and destroy 27000 tonnes (400 million packets having a valuation of 320 crores) of Maggi within forty days.

Year 2016: Nestle India relaunched Maggi in the market. Nestle India said all samples of Maggi Noodles Masala have been cleared by three National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories-accredited labs as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

Big B in the new campaign is a storyteller who narrates the stories given by the consumers. The aim is to bring back the segments of consumers who moved away from the brand since they have grown up. A powerful celebrity as a brand ambassador adds a big boost which is the need of the hour for Maggi with so many competitors around. The problem with such a heritage brand is that communication becomes boring over a period of time and it needs the right energy to move ahead and face the competition.

Maggi has captured the hearts of millions in India again because it understands the needs of people and manages to meet these demands. For example, in the 1980s, when there was a huge increase in the number of women joining the workforce, Nestle India introduced Maggi 2 Minute Noodles to the Indian crowd.

This is how Maggi revolutionized the instant food industry, particularly the instant noodles segment. When eating habits of people changed, Maggi tweaked its products to include low-fat bouillons. When Maggi was launched in India in the 1980s, there was no direct competition from instant noodle brands. However, there was competition from other snacks that Indians had been fond of for decades, and these included samosas, pakoras, and sandwiches.

However, most of these snacks are purchased from roadside stalls and are relatively unhygienic and unhealthy. So, Maggi positioned itself as the only hygienic homemade brand. It decided to target working women who did not have much time to prepare elaborate meals in the kitchen. However, Maggi realized later, through surveys, that children were the largest consumers of Maggi noodles. And then Maggi repositioned its brand towards the kid’s segment and included various promotional tools such as sketch pens, color pencils, and fun books to entice children. And this worked wonders for the brand.

Due to its promotional activities, Maggi’s annual growth grew by 15% during its initial years, and today, Maggi is the leading brand in the instant noodles segment in India, with a market share of 79.3%. in its bowl.

Being a pioneer in the noodles market in India has definitely given Maggi a boost and first mover’s advantage over other brands. Maggi is slowly but surely widening its market to reach out to more and more people. Maggi’s products come in travel packs as well as bulk packs, to cater to those who look for convenience while traveling and those who are price sensitive and prefer to purchase food in bulk.

Maggi is one of the few brands to have taken the time to understand its consumers and their requirements, that is why it is no. 1 choice and of course the most successful brands, not only in India but in the world.

Biryani: Its History & Variants

Biryani is a perfect mix of spices (chillies, mace, saffron, and cardamom etc), basmati rice, onions, lemon, meat (chicken, lamb or goat) etc. This dish is special as it is prepared in an intricate way. Meat is marinated for 10-12 hours and then it is soaked in yoghurt and sandwiched between rice and is cooked in a handi and is cooked on wood/charcoal. The perfectly cooked meat is irresistible and has good taste, fragrance.

Restaurants usually serve the dish with flavored yoghurt, salads and chilli sauce, thus making it a complete meal and a great value for money. For the vegans, there is a veg pulao version available which is loved by all.

Although it looks like the dish originated in India, but the fact is that it originated from very far away. Biriyani is derived from Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, which is a Persian word for rice. It is believed that biryani originated in West Asia.

It is believed that the Turk-Mongol conqueror, Timur, brought biryani to India in 1398. The dish, which is believed to be the war campaign diet of Timur’s army, an earthen pot which is full of rice, spices and any meats which were available would be buried in hot pit before being dug up and served to warriors.

According to another legend, the dish was brought to southern Malabar coast by Arab traders who visited there frequently. According to records of Tamil literature, a rice dish called Oon Soru. Oon Soru was prepared with rice, meat, ghee, coriander, pepper, turmeric and bay leaf. It was used to feed military warriors.

The most popular story of biryani traces its origin to Mumtaz Mahal, who was the beautiful queen of Shah Jahan and inspired Taj Mahal.

According to legend, Mumtaz once visited the barracks of army and found that the Mughal soldiers were weak and undernourished. She asked the chef to prepare a special dish that contained meat and rice, thus providing balanced nutrition to soldiers. The resulting dish was biryani. At that time, rice was fried in ghee, thus giving it a nutty flavour. Before cooking, meat, spices and saffron were added to it.

Biryani was also given promotion by the Nizams of Hyderabad and Lucknowi Nawabs. Throughout the world, their chefs were known for their signature dishes. These rulers had their own versions of biryani.

A perfect biryani contains a lot of ingredients. Biryani was traditionally prepared with dum pukht method(slow breathing oven). In this method, the ingredients are loaded in a pot and slow cooked on charcoal. The edges of pot are sealed around edges. This allows the steaming meat to tenderise and also flavours the rice.

Spices also play a major role in making good biryani. Some recipes use limited spices while others use more than 15 spices. The main ingredient is often meat or chicken. In some coastal varieties, crabs, prawns and fishes are also used. Some other commonly used ingredients include rose water, kewra and sweet edible ittar.

Biryani was traditionally prepared with long grain brown rice in the north. Today, it has been replaced by fragrant basmati rice. In the south, the biryanis are prepared with different kinds of rice like kaima, zeera samba, kaala bhaat and jeerakashala that give a distinct texture, taste and aroma to it.

There are 2 kinds of biryani, the kutchi biryani and pukki biryani. In kutchi biryani, the meat is mixed with raw rice in handi and cooked. If we consider pukki biryani, cooked meat and rice are layered in handi, thus giving it great flavours.

Some great variants of biryani include: –

  • Mughlai Biryani

The Mughal Emperors were fond of great dining and cooking was an art for them. Mughlai Biryani is a perfect dish that is prepared with delicious chunks of spiced meat that is kept in kewra scented rice. Due to its smell, you become instantly hungry.

  • Hyderabadi Biryani

This famous biryani came into being when Niza-Ul-Mulk was appointed by Emperor Aurangzeb as the ruler of Hyderabad. Almost 50 different versions were created by his chefs. These versions used quail, deer, shrimp, fish and hare meat. Most other biryanis are filled with flavoured meat. While, Hyderabadi biryani is filled with aromatic saffron.

  • Calcutta Biryani

The legendary gourmet Nawab Wajid Ali Shah tried to recreate his beloved dish in Calcutta. Due to budget constraints, the recipe was given a tweak by local cooks and they replaced meat with perfectly cooked potatoes. The dish, which has very low spices uses yogurt-based marinade which is cooked separately. Like most Bengali dishes, Calcutta biryani is sweet in taste.

  • Lucknowi Biryani

The dish, which is cooked in royal Awadhi style has softer textures and milder spices. The first step involves making yakhni from meat that is boiled slowly and is filled with spices for 2 hours or more. This makes the biryani more tender, moist and delicately flavored.

  • Tahari Biryani

Tahari biryani is usually cooked without meat. Rice is usually cooked with different vegetables in handi. Potatoes and carrots are the most used vegetables of India. According to legend, this biryani was created in Mysore when Tipu Sultan hired vegetarian Hindus as bookkeepers. Thus, a vegetarian version of this cult dish came into being. Tahari is also a very popular street food of Kashmir.

The Origin and Cooking Techniques of Awadhi Cuisine

The origin land for Awadhi Cuisine or Lucknowi Cuisine is the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow and its nearby places. In the early stages, the British termed Awadh as “oudh” which was derived from “Ayodhya”, a region in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This region was ruled by many rulers but the history was made during the reign of “Nawab of Awadh“. Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula was the first known ruler of Lucknow who began to change the city into a city of culture and enhance its cuisine. During his time is when they had gastronome of cuisine and many cooks began to arrive. During those days the experience cooks who cooked food for big gatherings in large quantities called “Bawarchis” who were brilliant at what they do. At that time lots of competition has happened where cooks used to compete with each other to show their culinary skills by providing with a wide variety of food to please their Masters (Daroga-e-Bawarchikhana).

It takes an Awadhi chef a long time to properly understand how to correctly use spices, how to select, toast and blend the spices together to create a proper flavour. It is much harder than it sounds. There are easily fifty spices used regularly, but in total it’s more than 150. The most common are Hing, Liquorice, Black Peppercorn, clove, Caraway Seeds, Cumin, Coriander, Chilies, Fenugreek, cinnamon, saffron, green cardamom, and mace.

‘Dastarkhwan’ is where people sit around and enjoy the food prepared by the bawarchis. This is the place dining spread is laid ceremonially. It is said that the richness of Awadh cuisine not only lies in the variety but the type of ingredient used to make the dish.

Some of their authentic cooking techniques include:

  1. Baghar:

    Baghar is a method of tempering a dish with spices in hot oil or ghee when making any curry dish. Tempering is done before the curry is made or before any dal preparation with the help of a ladle at last to give a finishing taste.

  2. Dhungar/ Dhunger:

    A smoking procedure used to flavor meat dishes, dals, and rice. A live coal is placed in the center of a betel leaf or shallow onion peel and placed along with the other ingredients to smoke it.

  3. Dum Dena:

    Dum means breathe, the process is done by cooking in a sealed large pot, wherein a semi-cooked ingredient is placed in a vessel which is cooked over slow charcoal fire. One of the famous dish cooked by this process is Biryani or Dum Pukht Biryani.

  4. Galavat/ Galawat:

    The process of adding softening agents to meat in order to tenderize it. One such preparation is Galavati Kebab. Papain, Kalmi Shora are few softening agents which are used in this process.

  5. Ghee Durust Karna:

    This is the process of removing the raw flavor from the ghee or oil so that it does not overpower the flavor and aroma of the dish. The ghee is reduced after adding the kevra water and cardamom and then stored after straining it for further use.

  6. Loab:

    It is a term used to refer a final stage of cooking when the oil used in the cooking rises at the surface and floats on the top giving a finished appearance to the dish. Roganjosh is one such preparation in which oil floats at the top after the dish is done.

  7. Moin:

    The process of shortening a dough by kneading the flour with fat. This makes the final product crisp and flaky. This process is used to make parathas and pooris.

  8. Gile Hikmat:

    A Persian influenced method where the whole meat is stuffed with nuts and spices and wrapped using a banana leaf, covered with a clay and buried deep about 4-6 inches deep, a slow fire is then placed on top for cooking. It is cooked for about 6-7 hours.

  9. Ittr:

    Using perfume in many dishes is the key factor in Lucknowi cuisine, mainly they use perfume taken from the musk deer.

The Lucknow dastarkhwan would not be complete unless it had the following dishes:

  1. Qorma (braised meat in thick gravy)

  2. Salan (a gravy dish of meat or vegetable)

  3. Qeema (minced meat)

  4. Kababs (pounded meat fried or roasted over a charcoal fire)

  5. Bhujia (cooked vegetables),

  6. Pasinda (fried slivers of very tender meat in gravy)

  7. Gullati (rice pudding)

  8. Kheer (milk sweetened and boiled with whole rice to a thick consistency)

  9. Sheer khurma (a rich, sweet rice dish boiled in milk)

  10. Muzaffar (vermicelli fried in ghee and garnished with saffron)

As we dig deep into the Lucknowi Cuisine we discover the Characteristic taste and flavors of this region, this will make you recreate the authentic flavors of the Awadhi cuisine at your kitchen. It is often said that Awadhi cuisine is Mughlai cuisine but it is not, Awadhi cuisine may have a slight influence from Mughal but both the cuisine varies. Awadhi cuisine is one of the old & richest cuisines of India has now become limited in a small region.

History of Authentic Mughlai Recipes | India Canteen

In the 16th century, Mughlai recipes originated in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperor Babur. Authentic Mughlai recipes were rich and cooked with aromatic spices, nuts, and dry fruits during that time in Indian history. The flavors of Mughlai can range from mild to spicy and are associated with their distinct aroma and use of whole, dried and ground spices.

Evolution & Distinct Features:

The autobiography of Babur named ‘Babarnama’ mention about various Mughlai recipe items including Kebab prepared out of sheep. Authentic Mughlai recipes have an extreme influence on the culinary styles and regional cuisines of present-day India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and its cooking style are applied in traditional Indian Cuisine, particularly in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as also in the South Indian city of Hyderabad. The cuisine also marks its influence in Karachi (Pakistan), especially among Muhajir who migrated from different regions of India during the Partition of India and Pakistan. The Mughal cooking techniques also had a deep influence in the Awadh region which eventually led to the development of the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).

The Mughals were Muslims by religion and thus did not eat pork and as Hindus did not consume beef thus meat of these two was not a part of Mughlai cuisine. The primary non-vegetarian dishes would comprise of meat of goat, sheep, and venison. The most special feature of Mughlai cuisine is the unique use of ground and whole spices and the remarkable aroma that gives each dish a different and exotic taste. Extensive use of dairy products like milk, cream, and butter in various gravies and curries makes the traditional Mughlai cuisines quite rich and heavy and also make the dishes mouth-watering with foodies ending up licking their fingers.

Making of Indian Mughlai Food

The making of Mughlai food is likely time-consuming and involves a number of flavored sauces and butter based curries. Nowadays most Indian restaurants convert Mughlai dishes as mild to medium-hot cream and nut-based gravies, rice dishes with lots of nuts, dried fruits, and rich creamy desserts where you should expect spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. These famous Mughlai gravies pair well with rice and bread.

The Mughlai dishes vary with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, common dishes that feature traditional Mughlai flavors include biryani, kebabs, kofta (meatballs), pulao (or pilaf), and different tandoori items. Examples of these traditional dishes include Mughlai chicken, Mughlai biryani, Mughlai paratha, malai kofta, reshmi kebab, kadhai gosht, and murg tandoor. A wide range of traditional Mughlai sweet dishes like bread pudding shahi tukra, barfi, kalakand, and falooda.

Let us have a quick look at some of the most famous recipes:-

Popular Mughlai Dishes:

Biryani:

Biryani is a mixed rice made with aromatic spices and seasonings among other ingredients and prepared with great accuracy giving it a yummy and exotic taste. There are two major categories of Biryani like vegetarian and non-vegetarian that vary in ingredients used according to different regions they belong to or according to the meat used. Hyderabadi Biryani is the most famous variety of Biryani, also a signature dish of the Hyderabadi Muslims. The vegetarian biryani is also called Tehari. It was developed so that the Hindu who works for the Muslim Sultans can taste this rice delicacy.

Haleem:


Haleem also known as Khichra is a very famous casserole prepared with wheat, barley, lentils, rich spices, rice, and meat. This dish is cooked very slowly that takes up to seven to eight hours and ensures a fine blend of all the ingredients to give it a perfect paste-like consistency. This dish is a street food and occupies a special place across the globe during the months of Ramadan and Muharram.

Mughlai Paratha:

Mughlai Paratha is prepared with whole-wheat flour stuffed with a mix of ingredients including keema or minced meat, eggs, chopped onions, green chili and pepper among others. This bread delicacy remained among many Mughlai cuisines that made their way to the undivided Bengal and today counts among the most popular heavy snacks items of Kolkata, India as well as in Bangladesh.

Murg Musallam:


Murg Musallam is one of the most exquisite Mughlai dishes that according to sources was a favorite dish of the Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq of Delhi at that time and also remained popular among the royal Awadhi Mughal families. The dish comprises of a whole chicken prepared with different spices and seasonings with the main ingredients like egg, tomato, ginger, and onion.

Navratan Korma:


Navratan Korma is a vegetarian delicacy from the Mughal kitchen, a vegetarian korma that is prepared out of vegetables, nuts, and paneer. Navratan means nine gems and this dish is usually prepared out of nine different vegetables.

Kebabs:

The origin of the variety of Indian Kebabs that are usually eaten as snacks or starters trace back to the Mughalai cuisine that includes appetizing dishes like Boti Kabab and Reshmi Kebab. Traditionally each of these dishes based on grilled meat has a distinct set of ingredients including an exclusive combination of spices and unique cooking procedures. With time, cooking procedures including grilling and roasting developed in preparing varied forms of kebabs, some of the popular ones being shish kebab, shammi kebab, doner kebab, Tunde ke kebab, and tikka kebab.

Rogan Josh:


Rogan Josh is originally a Persian lamb dish that was brought to Kashmir, India by the Mughals and has now become one of the staples of Kashmiri cuisine. Traditionally it is a gravy dish comprising of braised lamb chunks prepared with browned onions, ginger, garlic, and yogurt and seasoned with spices like clove, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves.

Pasanda:

Another delicacy from the royal Mughal kitchen is Pasanda, the name of which is probably derived from the Urdu word ‘pasande’ which means favorite. It is traditionally a rich lamb curry made of lamb legs that are flattened into strips and marinated with ingredients like chili powder, yogurt and a combination of spices for hours. The marinated lamb legs are then fried with other ingredients like onions, coriander, and chilies among others.

Sweet Dishes/Desserts:

Kulfi:


Kulfi is a popular frozen dairy-based dessert that probably originated in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. The term Kulfi is derived from a Persian word which means a covered cup. It is a mixture of thickened milk seasoned with saffron and pistachios that is frozen in a metal cone and later served with falooda, a kind of noodles prepared from starch, and garnished with pistachio nuts, saffron and ground cardamom.

Sheer Khurma/Korma:


It is a very popular Muslim vermicelli pudding that is prepared during festivals like Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The main ingredients of this dish, the name of which literally means milk with dates, are whole milk, vermicelli, dates, and sugar, while rose water, almonds, raisins, pistachios, saffron, cloves, and cardamom are added depending on the choice of the region.

Firni:

Firni is a kind of rice pudding that is set and served in a shallow earthen dish. This rice-based sweet is garnished with saffron, pistachios and chopped almonds.

Shahi Tukra:

Shahi Tukra is a rice bread pudding that is especially prepared during Muslim festivals like Eid and on the month of Ramadan. The ingredient of this delicious dessert includes bread, dry fruits, and condensed milk and is seasoned with cardamom.

Top 10 Easy Diwali Special Sweets Recipes | India Canteen

Diwali or Deepavali is the special and one of the biggest festival which is celebrated all around India. It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness and good over evil. In India, no celebration is complete without sweet recipes. Diwali is a time of exchanging sweets and gifts. During this festive celebration, all the temples, homes and shops are brightly decorated.

Special sweets are the highlight of every Indian festival. A great variety of sweet recipes are prepared during Diwali. It adds much more enthusiasm to the festive spirit. In this Diwali, light up your kitchen with our festive sweets recipes. Some of these can be prepared in advance and others almost needs no worry, so it can be made 1-2 days earlier.

Your guests will surely give compliments for these ultimate delicious sweets. You just need to spend very less little time in the kitchen to see the bright smiles on everyone’s faces. We bring to you our easy Diwali recipes from across the country:-

  1. Rasgullas:

    Rasgullas are a very special sweet for every occasion. They are round shaped sweet made of chhena, an Indian cottage cheese dough. These milk based desserts are cooked in sugar. Rasgullas originated in Orissa.

  2. Gajar Ka Halwa:

    This mouthwatering dish is prepared in almost all the homes of India. Gajar Ka Halwa is a sweet prepared from carrot and milk. The carrots are grated and then cooked in Milk. Celebrate Diwali with Gajar ka halwa to make the festival a more memorable affair.

  3. Puran Poli:

    Puran Poli, which is also known as Obbattu is a very famous dish that is prepared in Karnataka. It is also very popular in Maharashtra. Obbattu is a sweet and flat bread with stuffing of sweet and coconut. It comes in many varieties including peanut, coconut, sugar, Tur Dal, Sesame seed etc. A pinch of turmeric is added to it to make it look yellowish.

  1. Anjeer Barfi:

    Anjeer Cutlet is a delicious Cashew sweet. It is long cylindrical in shape. Although most people buy it from shops, but it can be prepared at home.

  1. Adhirasam:

    This dish is prepared in Tamil Nadu and it is a traditional sweet of South India. It is made of rice flour, butter, jaggery & cardamom powder which is sprinkled on the top. It is a famous sweet, especially for the occasion of Diwali. The most important part of making the adhirasam sweet is its syrup(paagu). The syrup makes it really tasty.

  1. Mysore Pak:

    Another famous sweet from Karnataka which is very delicious. Its original name was Mysore Pak as it was made from the flour of Masoor Dhal. It was initially prepared for a royal family of Mysore Palace. After that it was renamed Mysore Pak. The dish contains a good amount of Butter, Ghee, Gram flour and Sugar. The sweet is very soft and spongy and it melts in the mouth.

  1. Kaju Katli:

    Cashew Barfi or Kaju Katli is a special Diwali sweet. Kaju barfi is made of sugar and cashew nut powder. It is in the shape of flat diamond. As compared to other sweets, Kaju Barfi is expensive. So, why not make it at home?

  1. Gujia:

    Gujia is a very famous sweet of North India, Rajasthan. It’s a traditional sweet of Diwali made from Maida flour and is stuffed with khoya. It is a special dish, traditionally prepared for Diwali. It is known by different names according to states (for eg. Karanji, Karachika, Ghugra, Kajjikayi etc). In different states, the filling of this dish varies. Like in Uttar Pradesh, the filling is done with sweetened khoya and nuts while in Goa, filling is done with shredded coconut, jaggery and nuts.

  1. Laddus:

    Laddus are small sweet ball Indian sweets basically made with flour, nuts, sugar, jaggery, ghee or depends on its different varieties. A Diwali is incomplete without laddus. They are also available in many varieties like Til Ladoo, Coconut Laddu etc.

  1. Gulab Jamun:

    This list will be incomplete without the special mention of Gulab Jamun. It is made of Khoya, Wheat flour, chenna(pressed milk curd), cardamom and rose water. It is prepared using pure ghee. The name of the sweet Gulab Jamun is derived from Persian word gulab meaning ‘rose water’. The word jamun refers to a fruit of South Asia which is similar in shape and size to that of Gulab Jamun.

    For recipes from all around the world visit>>> http://tastyfix.com/

Top 5 Healthy Soups to keep you warm in Winter

A Soup has the power to do what a medicine or a therapy never can – soothe and relax you in an inexplicable way when you’re down with cold, cough and fever. It’s by far the most comforting and delicious food, not to mention, healthy too.

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hearty soup on a chilly day, especially when it’s ready in 20 minutes or less. In this early winter season, we bring you five different kinds of Indian soups that will keep you warm in this weather. In this list all the soups benefits you differently and each one is unique in flavor.

  1. Pepper Rasam:


    Winters are synonymous with common cold and cough. Besides right medication, it is necessary to consume comforting and effective foods. The spices in Pepper Rasam and the ingridients in this soup help in digestion and soothe your senses, and therefore is a perfect recipe for incessant sneezes and running nose.

    How to prepare : Method

    1. Soak the tamarind in a cup having warm water in it, extract its juice and throw away the pulp. Grind small amount of cumin seeds, pepper and garlic for a few seconds in a mixer.
    2. Take tamarind extract, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, crushed pepper, cumin, garlic, salt and curry leaves. Boil them together.
    3. Once it is starting boiling, keep the flame low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
    4. Heat a table spoon of ghee and add mustard seeds in it.
  2. Lemon Coriander Soup:


    Lemon is a very rich source of vitamin C, which in turn to helping in build immunity from cold and cough during winters. Take this soup hot in the evening for a comforting experience.

    How to prepare : Method

    1. Cut all the vegetables into triangles (optional) , blanch and refresh.
    2. Prepare coriander stock with fresh coriander and water.
    3. Add cleaned prawns cut in to dices.
    4. Add salt, lemon juice and white pepper according to taste.
  3. Miso Soup:


    The nutrients in mushrooms are different and having high number of protein and other nutritions from those of other vegetables and provide the vitamin B, folate, pantothenic acid and also biotin. Mushrooms also contains D group of Vitamins that helps keep bones strong and fights several disease. Mushroom Nimbu Ka Ras is a brilliant comibination of health and flavour!

    How to prepare : Method

    1. Heat some oil (ghee) in a pan, add mushroom and cook till it gets dry.
    2. Remove mushroom, and add garlic, onion in the same oil, and sauté.
    3. Add water and bring it to a boil.
    4. Adjust Heat, add spring onions, cream.
  4. Murgh Makkai Shorba:


    This soup contains Corn that is an excellent source of fibre, potassium and baby corn kernels are source of folate. When combine with chicken, Murgh Makkai Shorba makes for a soup rich in health as well as taste.

    How to prepare : Method

    1. Heat some oil(ghee) in a pan, add garlic, cumin seeds.
    2. Add garlic and saute, corn paste and cook.
    3. Add chicken and cook, adjust heat.
    4. Yoy may garnish with chopped coriander, and chicken dices.
  5. Carrot and Beetroot Soup:


    This soup contains beetroot that is rich calcium, potassium, iron, folic acid, fiber and also anti-oxidants and in the other hand carrots are an excellent source of A group of vitamins. Beetroot also helps in cleaning the kidneys and gall bladder. The darker the orange carrot, the higher is the beta carotene. Carrot and Beetroot also very beneficial for children as it benefits their vision, skin and immune system.

    How to prepare : Method

    1. Heat small amount of oil (ghee).
    2. Add bay leaf, cumin and ginger to it.
    3. Add chopped carrot, beetroot and green chillies. Cook the stuff for 5 minutes.
    4. Add water. Once its starting getting boil, strain and make a puree. Adjust the heat.
    5. Strain the puree. You may garnish it with diced beetroot and carrots.

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Sharad Navrati Special Recipes 2018 | India Canteen

Sharad Navratri 2018 is almost here, and one look around is enough to tell how eager all are to welcome the season of festivities. The word ‘Navratri’ means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit. It is that festive time of the year when many pray, observe fast and worship ‘Goddess Durga’. Goddess Durga has 108 Names and 9 Avatars that are worshiped in these 9 days, one on each day. During this festive season people give up non-vegetarian food and many others also try reducing intake of onion and garlic from their meals.

Celebration means every day you would get to relish on a different kind of delicacy. So Here we have Navrati Special recipes with ingredients, nutrition values and method to prepare. You can enjoy these recipes and tingle your taste buds during these fasting days:

  1. Sabudana Khichdi:


    Sabudana Khichdi is an easy to prepare dish. It is a commonly made recipe during fasting season as it is a healthy recipe and delicious too if prepared properly. This recipe is considerably easy. It takes a well experienced cook to get the nice texture in the sabudana pearls.

    How to Prepare: Method

    1. Heat the oil in a pan and then add cumin, hing & curry leaves.
    2. When they sizzle, add chopped potatoes and saute for 2 minutes after then add chopped tomatoes & green chilli and cook well for few minutes.
    3. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, sugar and coriander and mix it well again. Remove water from sabudana and mix it well in the pan.
    4. Add some peanut powder & chopped ginger
    5. Mix everything slowly & cook for 3 minutes. Add lemon juice in it Garnish with coriander.

    Delicious khichdi is ready. Enjoy it

  2. Makhana Kheer:


    Makhana Kheer is the simplest and in the most delicious recipe to make. Its creamy and beautiful texture tastes delicious whether served hot or cold. Rich in protein and calcium, makhana (fox nut/ lotus seed) combines beautifully with low-fat milk to make a creamy and delicious kheer.

    How to Prepare: Method

    1. In a large vessel, pour in the milk, break the makhanas into smaller pieces, add them to the milk and let it boil gently for about 30 to 45 minutes without covering it, till the milk start boiling down and the seeds looks softy.
    2. Add sugar according to the taste and stir for a few more minutes.
    3. Add small amount of pistachios, almonds, saffron and cardamom powder, cook it well again.
  3. Navratri Kaddu:


    Kaddu (Pumpkin) is loaded with lots of nutritions and is often used in prasad/bhog or at home. Kaddu Ki Sabzi is one of the popular dishes prepared during Navratri fast and it pairs well with chapati and poori. It’s sweet and tangy taste can not be compared with any other vegetable.

    How to Prepare: Method

    1. Peel the pumpkin and then scoop out the fibres, seeds in the centre before cutting it into cubes.
    2. Heat the oil in a kadahi and add coriander, chili powder, turmric powder and cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the ginger and salt.
    3. fried till lightly coloured and add the pumpkin.
    4. Stir-fry on high heat till it looks glossy then add garam masala, amchoor powder and sugar. Mix well.
    5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer till cooked through. Stir 3-4 times. Then garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
  4. Crunchy Potatoes:


    During Navratri, Crunchy and crispy potatoes topped with green chutney and curd – so flavorful and delicious!! One of the most favorite finger food of children and adults alike! Crunchy and crispy potatoes make snacking look good. These are easy to eat as well as easy to cook.

    How to Prepare: Method

    1. Wash and peel the potatoes then boil the potatoes in pressure cooker.
    2. Take one whistle in pressure cooker. Once potatoes become warm. Dice them in cubes.
    3. Heat small amount of oil (ghee) in a pan, deep fry the diced potatoes till crispy and golden. Remove them on an soaking paper to remove excess oil from it.
    4. Sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt immediately after removing on soaking paper.
      Serve hot.

    Note: You may use Rock Salt instead of regular salt while fasting

  5. Banana Walnut Lassi:


    Try making this super easy and healthy Banana Walnut Lassi to give your Navaratri mornings a boost of health and have a great day ahead. Celebrate this auspicious occasion with fun, grandeur and with delicious & healthy food recipes.

    How to Prepare: Method

    1. In a food processor or mixer add greek yogurt, whey powder, walnuts, chestnut honey and bananas.
    2. Blend it well till smooth and creamy.
    3. You may garnish it with chopped walnuts.

    Its done, Enjoy !!

History & The Secrets Behind ‘Jalebi’ | India Canteen

Jalebi is a crispy, crunchy, juicy Indian dessert that can be best described as funnel cakes. This sweet street food can beat the taste when dipped in cold curd and it will surely make you run for a single bite, jalebi is found across India and also in Iran, Africa, West Asia and many more countries.

It is fried in the hot oil, using a cotton fabric cloth and carefully soaked in the sugar syrup. It would not be wrong to say that the process of making jalebis is no less attractive than the final product on your plate. You can have jalebis alone, or with a samosa but best combination is with creamy rabdi. A glass of piping hot milk or chilled milk with crunchy hot jalebis is a popular breakfast in several cities like Haridwar and Indore.

Did you know your favourite dessert recipe i.e Jalebi that you see across all sweet shops or morning breakfast shops in your city is not Indian but a West Asian or a Persian import?

Yes, you heard us Right !!

Our very own crispy, hot and sweet jalebi is not an Indian recipe but we have made it our own. Originally it is a version of sweet dish “Zolabiya” or “Zalabiya”.

Zalabiya is a festive dessert in iran, enjoyed by everyone during the iftar parties of Ramzaan. In 13th century, Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi (writer) collected a total of about 260 recipes of that time and highlighted them in his cookbook, ‘Kitab al-Tabeekh’, where ‘Zalabiya’ was mentioned for the first time.

In the 15th century, the makeover of Jalebi from Zalabiya happened when the Jain author Jinasura talked about it first time in the famous holy writ called ‘Priyamkarnrpakatha’ . In his holy writ it is said that jalebi was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by our not-so-friendly Persian Turkic invaders. According to The Hobson-Jobson Anglo-Indian dictionary, the Indian word Jalebi is derived from the Arabic word zulabiya or the Persian zolbiya with the onslaught of Turkish and Persian traders. From 15th century till today, this sweet dish began to be known as Jalebi and became a compulsory part in festive occasions, weddings, Indian breakfast and even temple bhog/prasad.

The preparation of Jalebis is considerably not so difficult. In a large pot whisk refined flour, yogurt and sufficient water to a smooth and pouring consistency batter. Cover and keep in a warm place to ferment for minimum 1 day. Transfer the batter into a jalebi cloth, gather the edges and make a tight potli. The cloth filled with the batter is squeezed with adequate pressure from top to make concentric circles turning them over gently a few times, till they are evenly golden and crisp, and than transferred to the sugar syrup, which sometimes may also contain hints of saffron (for the perfect orange hue). Once the jalebis soak the sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes, take them out of the syrup and they are ready to serve hot.

This dish is not to be confused with similar sweets and variants like Imarti, Paneer Jalebi, Mawa Jalebi, Afgaan Jalebi etc.

The Story Behind “Butter Chicken”!!!

Butter Chicken, which is one of the richest dishes of India is prepared with succulent pieces of chicken that are dipped in a combination of cream, spices and tomatoes. This popular dish is a culinary success that is a treat for the palates throughout the world. The dish, which is known as Murgh Makhani in Hindi is a very popular dish of India that is prepared around the world. Although this dish is a favorite throughout the country, few Indians know how butter chicken originated.

Photo Courtesy: GoodtoKnow

How and When was “butter chicken” created?

The story of butter chicken starts with the evolution of delicious tandoori chicken. The latter originated in Gora Bazaar, Peshawar where a man named Mokha Singh Lamba started a restaurant 100 years ago. A young chef in the restaurant by the name of Kundan Lal Gujral wanted to do an experiment, so he started skewering yoghurt marinated pieces of chicken and cooking them in a tandoor, which was used for making breads in the past. And thus, the popular dish called “tandoori chicken” was created.

Kundan Lal Gujral
Photo Courtesy: Inextlive

The dish, which is prepared by the heat of clay tandoor has fragrant and flavour of smoke coming out of hot coals. The version of the dish which was prepared by Gujral was prepared with crispy skin and exterior that is bright red. The dish became a huge hit until Gujral was forced to leave Pakistan during 1947 partition.

When Gujral came to Delhi, he found a restaurant named Moti Mahal which is located in Daryaganj. At that time, there was a lack of refrigeration facilities due to which Gujral had to innovate again and avoid wastage, especially the tandoori tikkas that were unsold. He came to conclusion that tomato gravy, which is filled with butter and cream would soften his leftover chicken. The combination was a huge hit and thus by accident, this delicious dish came into being.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

The trick behind this mildly spiced recipe is a combination of tangy tomatoes and rich dairy. Gujral created a dish that was going to be a hit. Gujral then went ahead to create Dal Makhani which is another great dish that has similar preparation.

During the 1950’s, the Moti Mahal was very popular among celebrities and world leaders like Zakir Hussain, Richard Nixon, Jawahar Lal Nehru and J.F. Kennedy. The first education minister of India i.e. Maulana Azad told Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi that he must visit the Taj Mahal in Agra and Moti Mahal in Delhi. And thus, he became one of the most renowned patrons of Moti Mahal.

The butter chicken became so popular that many other restaurants came up with their own versions of this classic dish. This resulted in different variations like Chicken Lababdar, Mumbai-style Murgh Makhanwallah and Chicken Tikka Masala.

The chicken lababdar is prepared by mixing makhni gravy and onion masala, which is used in Mughlai dishes. To lend a creamier, richer taste to the dish, you must add ingredients like poppy seeds, almonds, cashew nuts or char magaz(which is a combination of 4 seeds/nuts: pumpkin seeds, almonds, watermelon seeds and cantaloupe seeds). These ingredients give creamier and richer taste to the dish.

Chicken Lababdar Photo Courtesy: Hotel Welkin Residency

Another great variant is chicken tikka masala, which is a gravy dish that contains tikka chunks, cream, combination of tomatoes and spices. This version is basically butter chicken without bones. Tikka which means ‘bits and pieces’ refers to boneless chicken that is marinated in spiced yoghurt and cut into small pieces and baked in tandoor.

In the year 2001, chicken tikka masala was named ‘British National Dish’ by Robin Cook(Foreign Secretary). This resulted in a fierce debate on the origins of this popular dish. Some people believe that the dish was invented by first Mughal emperor, Babur, who was afraid that he would choke on chicken bones. So, he ordered his chefs that they should remove them.

Chicken Tikka Masala Photo Courtesy: Food Network

Zaeemuddin Ahmad, who is a chef at Karim Hotel, Delhi said that the recipe of tikka masala has passed through generations of his family. The recipe, according to him originated during the reign of Bahadur Shah II(1837-1857).

In the 1970s, chicken tikka was ordered at Sheesh Mahal by a British man. When it arrived, the man complained that it was very dry. So, the owner of the restaurant, Ali Aslam Ahmed tossed a tin of canned tomato soup on the tikka and added some yoghurt and spices and thus, this popular dish of Britain came into being.

Chicken Tikka Photo Courtesy: Al Barakah Halal Meat & Deli

The butter chicken, with its many equally-delightful variants are a perfect example of the fact that best things in life are discovered by accident. Little did Kundan Lal Gujral know that when he invented Butter Chicken, he was creating history. Without his experimenting, we would not have known Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani or Tandoori Chicken.