Every now and again I need to regroup. It’s fun to concoct new things and test my yearling skills, such as they are. Lately however, I’ve been lacking the time I usually have to spend in the kitchen; when I’m not cooking regularly, I lack confidence in my experimentation. I feel drawn to the comfort and stability of a tried-and-true recipe.
This is “S” week of dear Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables. A perfect excuse for me to delve into my old Parsi cookbook treasure and make something I’ve been longing to try: Sektani Sing No Saas.
The title was appealing to me even before I knew that the main ingredient is one of my favorites: drumsticks! Best I can decipher, “sektani sing” must mean drumsticks, and “saas” is sauce. Any experts out there, please chime in.
I followed the recipe to the letter, and here it is, exactly as written in Bapsi Nariman’s A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine.
Sektani Sing No Saas
20 tender drumsticks
1 sliced onion
1 TB oil
1/2″ piece ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 c mutton or chicken stock, or water (I used water)
1 tsp sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 TB besan or plain flour
2 TB vinegar
a few chopped coriander leaves
Skin the drumsticks, cut in 2″ pieces and boil until soft. Remove pulp from drumsticks discarding the water. Keep aside the pulp.
Fry onions in oil until golden brown. Add the chopped ingredients, salt and turmeric powder and fry for a minute or two. Add the stock or water, drumstick pulp and sugar, and bring to a boil. Remove from fire.
Mix eggs, flour and the vinegar together. Add to the above mixture. Cook on a low flame until it comes to a boil. Remove immediately from the stove or else it may curdle. Serve with khichree garnished with coriander leaves.
(BP’s note: This sauce is also delicious when served with Parsi mutton cutlets).
My notes: I washed and boiled one standard pkg frozen drumsticks, and took the pulp from those. I didn’t have any coriander, so I sprinkled freshly cracked pepper. I also added a little melted ghee.
This was a very interesting sauce with the sugar and vinegar, egg and besan thickener. When I first saw the recipe, it made me think of hollandaise, that rich and velvety combination of egg yolks and butter than goes so well with asparagus. This was also rich and velvety, but the jury is still out on the vinegar flavor. Another time I might try it with lemon or lime instead.
Bapsi Nariman’s Khichree Recipe
also from A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine
1 1/2 c basmati rice (washed and soaked for 30 minutes)
3 TB arhar dal (washed and soaked with the rice)
4 TB oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large finely chopped onion
1″ piece cinnamon, broken
2 TB grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 1/2 c water
Heat oil, add cumin seed, cook for a minute. Add onion, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. Fry until onions are golden in color. Mix in coconut, turmeric and salt and saute for a minute further, turning the mixture over once or twice. Remove water from rice and dal and add to the onion mixture. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and let the mixture come to a boil, lower the flame. Place a lid on top of the pan with water in it. Cook until rice is ready and the water has dried. If more water is required to cook the rice, add it from the top of the lid. (Always add hot water.) Immediately fork the rice, so that the grains are separated. Serve hot.
My notes: I didn’t have basmati, so used sona masuri rice. I only made 1/3 of this recipe (1/2 c rice and 1 TB dal,and I cut back the oil to 1 tsp), and it made a *huge* pot of khichree, plenty for two and possibly three hungry people. Very delicious!
Sektani Sing No Saas and Khichree recipes taken from A Gourmet’s Handbook of Parsi Cuisine, copyright Bapsi Nariman
Thank you Nupur, for providing the perfect reason to try these new recipes! 🙂