Sunday, April 5, 2009
A Slice of Royal Feast :Sheermal and Badam Kheer
The city of Lucknow is the melting pot of cultures,once ruled by lavish Nawabs who left behind there legacy in the fine lucknawi(Awadhi) cuisine.The city is also home to some of most famous poets ,remember Muzzafar Ali's Umrao Jaan?.Though I'm a mediocre when it comes to understanding the classic urdu shayari(peotry),but do enjoy the rhyme and sounds depicting the beauty of the language with Persian roots.
The Royal cuisine of Lucknow,true to its name,with frequent use of one of the costliest spices "Safforn"(Zafraan)[thankfully a pinch goes a long way with this spice] in many of its authentic dishes,from spicy kababs to an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian "Dum"(slow cooked) biryanis and curries.The cuisine is also enriched with variety of flat breads and desserts like shahi tukdre ,reminiscent of hyderabadi double ka meetha.The Sheermal is a rich saffron milk bread usually relished with meat stew or shorba.I was in mood for something lightly sweet so I paired it with a rich Badam(Almond) kheer ,for an affordable Lazeez treat. For more delectable food from lucknawi cuisine join in RCI :Lucknow,hosted by Lavi.The RCI food event was started by Lakshmi.
1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 tablespoon butter at room temperature
1/4ounce(7g) 1 Pack active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup of reduced fat Organic Milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 pinch saffron
handful of dried cherries or raisins,coarsely chopped
1 Organic Egg glaze(optional)
Prepare the Dough
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of milk and sprinkle the yeast and allow rise until it gets frothy, about 10 minutes.Warm rest of the milk in a saucepan,add butter,sugar, and saffron ,turn off the heat when butter is all melted and sugar is completely dissolved;about a minute.
In a large bowl combine the flour with the yeast mixture and saffron milk.Apply some oil on the sides of the bowl cover and allow to the dough to rise until double it size about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sprinkle some all purpose flour on the work surface and knead the dough for a minute until smooth ,then divide in 4 equal portions.Take one portion at a time,roll out using rolling pin to a square or circle shape.Score using a knife,use back of a wooden spoon carve 4 holes in to each rolled potion.Also using a fork prick all over the dough and place on a greased baking sheet .Whisk the egg and brush on the bread.sprinkle the dried fruit.Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.Serve warm with soup or stews.
Recipe Badam Kheer
1 cup Raw Almonds\Badam
2 cups reduced fat Organic Milk
1/4 cup white or light brown sugar
2 green Cardamom
Pinch of Saffron
Soak almonds overnight.Drain all water.Bring 2 cups of water to a boil,add the soaked almonds and allow to boil for 15 minutes.Drain and peel the skin.Grind the almonds to a smooth paste in a blender or wet grinder or food processor,add 1/4 cup of water while blending it.
In a thick bottom vessel,bring milk to a slow boil along with the cardamom and saffron.Add sugar and the almond paste,stir occasionally ,allow to cook for another 10 minutes until smooth and thickened a little.Fish out the cardamoms.Serve warm with bread or simply slurp it.