For today’s post, we will travel up into the sparkling green hills of Himachal Pradesh to savour a traditional Pahadi spiced yogurt dish that exudes a gentle warmth that is just perfect for a crisp winter’s day in the verdant Himalayan foothills. Yes, we know it’s not winter right now – but this awesome dish is fit for every season!
The culinary delight of this dish lies in its subtle blend of spices. Nothing exotic, just everyday spices that one can find in any Indian home – and these are cooked with onion, garlic and a generous dash of cold-pressed Mustard Oil. In Himachal Pradesh, Mustard Oil has always been the first choice because for more than 5,000 years, mustard has been cultivated in these enchanting foothills.
The traditional Himachali dish we are making today is called Kheru. This is a recipe that has been preserved and treasured across generations and is known for its earthy flavour, rustic charm and endearing warmth.
Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Curd (Dahi): 400 grams
Onion: 1, medium-sized
Garlic (Lasun): 3 cloves
Dried Red Chillies: 4, large and whole
Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoons
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Half a teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 2 tablespoons
Salt: to taste
The quantities mentioned above are for preparing four servings. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.
Take the curd in a bowl and beat it.
Peel, wash and slice the onion.
Peel, wash and cut the garlic cloves into small pieces.
Coarsely chop the coriander leaves.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame till the oil reaches its smoking point. When this happens, aromatic wisps of white smoke will rise slowly from the surface of the hot oil. Reduce the flame to Medium.
Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil and sauté till the seeds begin to splutter.
Next, add the onion, garlic and whole red chillies. Sauté till the onion pieces take on a translucent texture.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Stir to mix well. Sprinkle a little water (just a tablespoon of water should be enough) over the contents of the pan and cook for around 3 minutes or so.
Reduce the heat to Low and slowly add the beaten curd, gently folding the curd into the contents of the pan. Keep stirring to mix the curd evenly with the spices and other contents of the pan – but make sure that you do not bring the curd to a boil. After a minute or so, turn the flame off. Typically, the curd in authentic Kheru is not thick like gravy – it has more of a soup-like consistency.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Your traditional Himachali Kheru is now ready. Serve it hot. In Himachal Pradesh it is customarily eaten with rice or chapatti… and with hot Paratha in the winter months.
You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/