Now that both the kids are back to school I get a lot more time in the morning. One of these days I was in a mood to cook something exquisite . I had been planning to cook a curry using 'Dum' method of cooking since some time, so I thought let me grab the opportunity . My house was silent and I was able to concentrate properly with no one around. And the patience of cooking the curry on 'Dum' resulted in a finger licking curry.
'Dum' means to 'breathe in' signifying the steam and 'Pukht' means 'to cook'. So Dum Pukht means cooking in the steam and prevent it from escaping. The cuisine, the origin of which dates back to the 1780's was popular at the time of Nawab Asaf -ul-Daulah, the ruler of Awadh. This cuisine came by sheer luck when the state was hit by a famine and the unemployment was high. The Nawab decreed the construction of the giant edifice Bara Imambara to provide employment to many. By royal decree too, the arrangements were made to provide food. Enormous containers were filled with rice, meat, vegetables and spices, and sealed. Hot charcoal was placed on top and fire beneath while the slow cooking ensured the food was available day and night. The result was extraordinary, for when the containers were unsealed, splendid aromas attracted even the royal attention. The 'Dummed' cuisine was perfect for the royal table. Exotic dishes evolved in which the fragrances intermingled, with exqisite results.
The Dum Pukht cooking emerged in four major centres - Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kashmir and Lahore. It is represented by it's own taste and flavour in all the 4 places.
Here's what I used and how I made Dum Arvi.
350 gms of Colocasia ( Arvi )- Parcooked and peeled
4 small onions roughly chopped
5-6 garlic pods
an inch of ginger
5 tbsp tomato puree ( I used the tetrapak)
1/4 -1/2 cup curds (check the sourness)
2tsp red chili pwd
1tsp cumin pwd
salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric pwd
4 tsp coriander pwd
1 -1/2 tsp garam masala
Oil to cook
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
For the seal
softly kneaded wheat flour dough
- Grind together onion, ginger and garlic to a smooth paste.
- Cut each Colocasia into 4 long pieces.
- Heat oil and add mustard. Once the mustard crackles add the bay leaves, carom and fennel seeds.
- Now add the tomato puree and saute for a minute.
- In a bowl mix thick curd with all the spices. Remove the pan from the flame and add curds and mix ( This prevents curds from curdling).
- Put the pan back on flame and cook the masala till the oil separates.
- Now add the Colocasia, mix propelry. Add a cup of water and bring the curry to a boil.
- Cover the pan with a lid and seal the joint with the wheat dough.( Make long thin rope of wheat dough and press it on the joint ).
- Put the pan on a heavy base Tava (Griddle). Let it cook on low flame(Dum) for 45 mins to one hour.
- Remove the seal. (This will become dry)
- Serve it with Naan/Paratha/Hot rice.