The unique heritage of Rajasthan is not all that you can refer to. The cuisine of the place adds up to the unique heritage mainly because amongst all the Indian cuisines, Rajasthani cuisine is sensitive mainly because of the predominant dry climate that makes it difficult to obtain fresh vegetables. Though it’s a common notion that Rajasthan like its neighbor Gujarat is predominantly vegetarian, it’s a misconception that can be verified through the abundance of non-vegetarian dishes that varies from chicken, lamb to boars, venison, peacock, quail and even camels etc.
Rajasthan cooking is actually simple mainly because if the basic ingredients that are used to prepare the dishes. The main objective that is adopted by the natives is that no food should be thrown because it’s spoilt; the food should be non- perishable and could be eaten without heating, more out of necessity than by choice. So the whole principle of cooking revolves around using flour, seasonal sun-dried vegetables, grains, pulses, oil and traditional spices of the state.
Ker-Sangri ki sabji aka Panch-kuta is a spicy stir-fry vegetable dish which is bascally a combination of five dried vegetables and spices like Ker (wild berries), Sangri (dried beans), Khumbatiya (gumthi), Lisoda (or lesuaa) and dried mango prepared in curd and rajasthani masalas. These berries are very easily available in the grocery stores in Rajasthan. It is not necessary to use all the 5 berries and bean together or you can make it with just with 2-3 berries or beans only. These berries are washed and soaked over night to remove the dirt and then they are boiled and stir fried in oil,spices and yogurt. If you are willing to experiment with more flavors, you have the option of soaking the berries in buttermilk.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes (excluding the overnight soaking of the berries)
Cooking Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cuisine: Rajasthani, Indian
Level of Cooking: Easy
Spice level: Medium
Serves: 4 – 6
For convenience sake, let’s stick with only 2 berries for now, instead of all the 5
- Dried Ker and sangri – 1 cup/100 gm
- Green chili (hari mirch), chopped – 2 tsp
- Chili powder (lal mirch) – 1.5 tsp
- Dried whole raw mango pieces (sabut amchoor) – 5
- Coriander powder (dhaniya) – 1.5 tsp
- Mango powder (amchoor) – 1 tsp
- Yogurt (dahi) -4 tbsp (optional)
- Pickle masala (achar ka masala)– 1.5 tsp
- Turmeric (haldi) -1/2 tsp
- Salt (namak) – to taste
- Cooking oil – 1/4 cup
- Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1tsp
- Mustard seeds(rai) – 1 tsp
- Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida (hing)– 1/4 tsp
- Whole red chilies-5
Once the ker sangri has been soaked overnight, it is washed in normal tap water 3-4 times to get rid of all the dirt.
In a pressure cooker add ker sangri and enough water to cover it. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on medium heat. Let it cool down completely then drain all the water from ker sangri.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or a kadai. Add all the tempering ingredients in the oil.
Add chopped green chilies and boiled ker dangri to the pan and saute it for a minute. Add rest of the dry spices in it and continue stirring. Yoghurt is still an optional ingredient. So if you are willing add the curd and mix it well.
Cook on low heat until all the moisture dries up.
Serve: Hot/ Cold with missi roti or bajre ki roti, poori, daal- rice
Other: Niacin – 4.2 mg