For me, it doesnt get more Punjabi than this...Move over aloo gobi and paneer makhani, here's the real signature dish of Punjab - Makki di roti, sarson da saag !
For some reason, this reminds me of Kapil Dev, the cricketer...I think in one of those old Palmolive ads, he mentions something about this and that perhaps was the first time I had heard of it..
I've heard so much about it since then and sometimes, you get a bit disappointed when you hear so much about a dish and then when you taste it, its like 'oh, this is it'...
I remember having it once, ages ago at a restaurant, but didnt think too much of it then..Maybe they got it wrong or my taste buds just weren't as developed...
Sarson / Mustard leaves are available only during winter, so this is a winter special dish. I have never seen it in the Bangalore markets, or perhaps never bothered checking, because it wasnt in my usual list of vegetable shopping...
This time I saw it in the markets in Ahmedabad and then thought I must give it a try..Sanjeev Kapoor to the rescue again - found his recipe for the roti and the saag in the set of books I told you about in my earlier post
I also got the makai/cornmeal from the local 'chakki' - the place where they grind all the flours for you
This was one delicious combination. The creamy saag was finger-licking good and makai rotis were just perfect with it.
The rotis were a first time for me and I was never too great with making rotis this way, where you need to flatten them with your palm, no rolling it out here...
I also got this 'tava', from the local potters. Its used to make bhakris, but I thought it really added a nice earthy smell and taste of the rotis...
It turned out to be such a good meal - I am definately making this again, very soon !
From Sanjeev Kapoor's books -
Makki di roti
What you need -
1.5 cups Makai ka atta / Cornmeal
1/4 cup wheat flour (optional)
1 tsp salt
oil and butter
What you do with it -
Mix cornmeal, wheat flour and salt Add lukewarm water and make a medium soft dough, it shouldn't be too sticky or too hard
Divide the dough into 10 equal proportions
Start making the rotis as soon as the dough is ready. If you wait too long, the dough harden up and the rotis tend to crack
Moisten your palm with some water and on a wet polythene sheet (I used a milk cover), flatten each into a disc, using only your palm
The size of each disc should be about 4-5 inches in diameter, not too thin
Heat the tava and add a little oil and then transfer the roti to the tava, taking care not to break it
Cook on low heat for 1 min and flip over and cook for another minute or so
Serve with a dollop of butter and hot sarson ka saag
Sarson da saag
What you need -
2 bunches fresh sarson ka saag / mustard leaves
1/2 bunch spinach leaves
1/4 bunch bathua leaves (I didnt find these, so left it out)
big piece of ginger
6 cloves garlic
4 green chillies
2 tbsp cornmeal / makai ka atta
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbp butter
salt to taste
What you do with it -
Clean, wash, drain and roughly chop the sarson, spinach and bathua leaves
You need to clean the stalks of the sarson really well, or it tends to get a little stringy
Peel wash and chop onions, ginger and garlic. Chop green chillies
Blend the cornmeal in half a cup of water
Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Saute for 2-3 mins
Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and stir fry for a bit Add red chilli powder, sarson, spinach and bathua leaves. Stir in half a cup of water and cook on medium heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally
Mix in the blended cornmeal and cook for 5 more mins. I though this really added to the texture and taste of the saag
Cool this and grind to a coarse paste
Reheat, adding butter and salt