For a few weeks now, I'd been trying to visit a new shop near my place that promised "different foods", but managed to visit it only last week. It had the usual different foods but what set it apart were the ker (on the right) and sangri (on the left), both dry, desert vegetables that I've not seen sold anywhere else, and two or three different kinds of kokum. In a rare moment of self-control, I let go of the kokum and bought just the ker and sangri. And then scrabbled frantically among my many cookbooks for Tarla Dalal's Rajasthan Cookbook.
I didn't know if I had amchur with me - there was a hazy memory of it being somewhere in the cavernous pit that's my kitchen shelf but after a week of reluctance, convenience vs moral dilemma (why can't I just buy another pack of amchur, why should I look for it), I finally dragged the stool up to the shelf, got on to it and peered into the dark recesses, only to find the packet right in the front, in foil pouch nicely bound with rubber band.
Then I shot off a mail to the hostess, asking her whether amchur would be considered a spice and when she replied in the affirmative, I went ahead with this dish.
After two days of ker sangri-from-the-fridge, I've come to the conclusion that the spice in my preparation was more asafoetida than amchur. Well, this morning there was some amchur, but this evening, I could taste only the asafoetida. As I use neither that often, amchur even less than asafoetida, I've decided I will enter the Think Spice event with both. Well, there's a third spice - red chilli powder - that this dish celebrates (oh yes, it causes tears) but I'm going to recommend lesser.
1 tablespoon ker
1 cup sangri
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
3 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander/dhania powder
1-1/2 tsp amchur/dry mango powder
1 tsp sultanas/kismis
salt to taste
For the tempering
2 Kashmiri chillies (I used 1 ordinary red chilli)
1/4 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing
3 tbsp oil
Pressure cook the ker, sangri and salt with 2-1/2 cups of water. Let the cooker hiss thrice.
Let cool, then drain the water and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
For the tempering, heat the oil in a pan and add all the ingredients in that list. When it crackles, pour it over the ker sangri mixture. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Serve hot with puris, parathas or missi rotis.
I don't think my mushy ker sangri is the real McCoy so I have kindly linked to this.
Here's another recipe with sangri
I liked my ker sangri with a dollop of curds/yoghurt - I found it too intensely dry/dusty-flavoured otherwise - at present, I can't describe it any better.
It did mellow with age.
And for the authentic experience, please have it with homemade rotis, unlike me, whose rotis came from a plastic pack and were warmed in the MW!
This goes to Think Spice's anniversary event.
Valli and I have been in touch regarding some fund-raising for her helper's daughter, Lakshmi, who has a severe heart condition and needs surgery to correct it. You can find the details here, please do your mite.
Ker Sangri Curds/Yoghurt Ker Sangri Asafoetida Amchur Red Chilli Powder