I was sitting with Dr.Alka Srivastava,Head Of Department of Chemistry) at our College. She was sharing various delicacies prepared at her home at Banaras-the Land Of Gods and Banarasi Sarees (Varanasi).She was narrating her childhood experiences at Varanasi and how different kinds of dishes were prepared at her home. I heard the following dishes like Ghujaa, Daal Ka Dulhaa, Matar Nimona, Faraay, etc. That was the beginning for my introduction to the WORLD OF BANARAS FOOD. I started browsing various websites in order to know about these dishes which were exclusively new for me.
I was completely mesmerized by the dish called “DAAL KA DULHAA”.The literal meaning is “THE BRIDEGROOM OF THE LENTILS” (this is the name of the dish and especially prepared from Bengal Gram). The method to prepare it is easily available on some of the blogs on Banarasi food. I was impatient and tried my own hands in its preparation and learnt it. I do not know the reason why it got its name. However, my mind was pondering on something else!
Who can be the BRIDE? Ha ha ha!!! I did my research on various kinds of recipes illustrated in different blogs on Recipes or Cuisine of Banaras. I learnt about the basic ingredients and style of the cuisine-both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. I was restless till the time I discovered and prepared my own dish in BANARASI STYLE and called it “TAMATAR NIMONA KI DULHAN”. In this article, I would be showcasing the details of the ingredients and method to prepare this new dish.
- Panch Phoran-4 Tablespoons
- Asoefitida-1 Teaspoon
- Coriander Powder-1 Teaspoon
- Chilli Powder-1 Teaspoon
- Garam Masala-1 Teaspoon
- Cumin Seeds-1/2 Teaspoon
- Carom Seeds
- Bengal Gram -1/2 Cup
- Tomatoes- 8
- Fresh Coriander Leaves-6 Twigs
- Salt to taste
- Wheat Flour-3 Cups
- Water for kneading
Knead the flour by adding sufficient salt and carom seeds with the help of the water. Cover the dough with the wet cloth and leave it for an hour.After an hour, prepare small balls of the dough and roll out small sized pancakes of diameter 10 cm.
Soak the Bengal gram in water for 8 hours. Wash it with the fresh water and grind it in the coarse form. Add chilli powder,salt and cumin seeds. Mix it well with hands. Take a small portion of it and place it into the above prepared pancakes. Slowly lift the four corners of the pancake and prepare the dumplings. In a similar manner, prepare around 10 to 12 dumplings. One can deep fry these dumplings or use them as it is in this particular dish.
Take a pressure cooker. Add 2 teaspoons of oil into it. Add panch phoran and let the seeds splutter for some time.Lower the gas burner. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the cooker. Add salt and mix them well. Cover the cooker and let there be 2 whistles. After some time, remove the lid of the cooker and mash the mixture to prepare good tomato puree. Sieve it through a muslin cloth or the siever. Take a deep wok, add 1 teaspoon of oil and cumin seeds. Lower the gas burner and slowly add the tomato puree. Add chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder. Let it cook for some time. Later on, place the dumplings into the mixture and cook for another 15 minutes.Add ¼ cup of water in case it is required in the preparation.This is how one can prepare the dish called TAMATAR KA NIMONA KI DULHAN.
Whenever I plan for a thematic lunch or dinner in the Banarasi style, I make it a point that these two dishes viz. DAAL KA DULHAA and TAMATAR NIMONA KI DULHAN are always present. This is how I cannot miss my trail of compliments from my guests. They specially like the taste of the tamatar nimona. The flavor is absolutely amazing to one’s taste buds.