Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A Melodious Monsoon Meal



Pakistanis, strong rooted in their culture, love to eat old-fashioned traditional food, especially on a rainy afternoon. Like always, monsoon season is here, whispering a new life into the green, never-ending fields and the wide spreading grey cities equally. In Karachi, where I live, people revive their bonds with nature through cooking and eating unique homemade monsoon meals. Sound and smell of crackling curry leaves in butter, appetizing fragrance of freshly roasted cumin seeds and sweet scent of ripe yellow mangoes, harmonizes with the aroma of wet soil and soothing sounds of rain drops knocking on a window. The music in the air of a romantic rainy day drives them to sing old melodies.

Back in the old days, when most of the people lived in villages, fresh herbs and vegetables were harvested to make monsoon meals. “Aloo bhera Parhata” or Potato stuffed flat-bread, my specialty, is one of the most loved monsoon foods. Chilled mint chutney, raw mango pickle, garden salad and any yogurt dip is served as complements. 





Aloo bhera Parhata
Potatoes are boiled, cooled, mashed and mixed with chopped herbs, green chilies, salt and lemon juice. Next, this mixture is layered between two small and slightly thick chapati or flat-breads, then it is rolled into a comparatively thin chapatti. lastly, it is cooked evenly on both sides on a hot griddle. Homemade butter is brushed on one side just before taking if off the heat. It is best enjoyed on a terrace where you can let your senses relax under the dark damp clouds. 




Sophie's Roast Tomato Chutney


Sophie's mouthwatering tomato chutney

Like our language,Urdu, our food also blends well with other cuisines. Just like this Australian sweet and sour tomato chutney compliments our very traditional Aloo bhera perhata.

Few weeks back, our friend from Australia, Sophie Gebhardt, shared her "Infamous Roasted Tomato Chutney" recipe on her community blog The Buzz and asked me to try it. Today seemed to be a perfect for this!

Slow cooked, roasted tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil are pureed and mixed with a combination of hot and tangy spices, vinegar and sugar to balance the acidity. Freshly grated ginger and garlic completes the flavor and a dash of fish sauce adds an unexpected aroma. 


Aubergine and Yogurt Dip



Aloo bhera Parhata is best served with any type of a raita or a yogurt dip. I love making grilled or baked aubergine dips. Thinly sliced aubergines are lightly coated with olive oil and baked until soft. I used garlic infused olive oil for extra flavor. Skins are peeled and aubergines are mashed. Yogurt and mashed aubergines are mixed together with herbs and spices to make a think dip. 



Mint and Mango Chutney

This very aromatic chutney just lifts up your mood on a rainy day. Freshly harvest mint is blended together with a ripped mango along with salt, chili flakes, some sugar and kolongi or nigella seeds. 


Its getting dark outside and I am hoping for some rain to fall so that I can cook more aloo parhatas and enjoy them with mouth watering chutnies and dips.








3 comments:

  1. Add Chef to your profile as well.. mouth watering read..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Post and Nice Article.Recipe are so Good specially for Monsoon.I like it.Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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