Kaddu ki Khatti Sabzi and Malpua
A Playful Pick from Himachal’s Cuisine
Preparations of veggies played around with spices, yogurt and tamarind makes Himachali cuisine a treat of flavoured, textured and cultured goodness. With a generous quantity of ghee (clarified butter) added to age-old recipes, the food and its flavours are unparalleled. While each dish is unique, kaddu ki khatti sabzi and malpua stands distinctively for its combination of sour vegetable mash and sweet bread.
With its thick blanket of trees, which are often cloaked in a misty breeze, the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is a chilly place all year round. With mountains, forests and lakes making up its topography, its inhabitants have to tough it out in the rough terrain and extreme cold weather; and this is rather evident in the local fashion and food here. Warm and filling, just like its comfortable apparel, the dishes also leave one feeling cozy; but they could also be a little hot for the ones whose palates aren’t adjusted to the rich Indian spices.
Taming the spices for this particular dish is its accompanying sweet bread or malpua, which is eaten with a sour pumpkin mash or kaddu ki khatti sabzi.
Loaded with ghee, which keeps the body warm, the dish, like most others from Himachal Pradesh, has a dominant hit of jaggery or tamarind. In fact, the distinctive tangy and sweet taste is what makes the cuisine and this dish stand out from other Indian cuisines. Below is a simple recipe for you to try your hands at making this dish.
Atta (whole wheat flour) – 200 gm, Gur (jaggery) – 100 gm, Fennel seeds – ½ teaspoon, Black pepper corn – 5 pieces, ghee (clarified butter) – 150 gm.
Kaddu ki Khatti Sabzi (sour)
Kaddu (pumpkin) – 2 kg, Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon, Coriander seeds – ½ teaspoon, Tamarind – 200 gm, Jaggery – 70 gm, Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon, Refined oil – 2 teaspoon, Salt to taste, Whole red chilli – 3 pieces, Cumin – ½ teaspoon, Coriander seeds – ½ teaspoon, Cumin powder – 1 tablespoon, Fennel powder – 1 teaspoon, Asafoetida – 5 gm.
For Malpua :
- Melt jaggery in a cup of boiling water. Add atta and make a thick batter. Throw in some fennel seeds, black pepper corn and let the preparation rest for an hour.
- In a pan, add two spoon-full of desi ghee. Add half a ladle of batter and spread it as if to make a crepe. Cook from both sides and remove when golden brown.
For Kaddu ki Khatti Sabzi:
- Boil pumpkin in water and add turmeric and salt while boiling.
- Soak the jaggery and tamarind in hot water separately.
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin, dry chilli, coriander seeds and asafoetida (mixed in water).
- Add the tamarind and cook for some time.
- Add powdered spices and cook.
- Mash the boiled pumpkin and add to the pan.
- Cook till the pumpkin absorbs water and then add jaggery.
- Cook for five to ten minutes.
- Serve hot with sweet malpua.
Recipe inputs by Harish Sharma, manager and executive chef at Aamod Resort, Shogi.