Madhya Pradesh -- Indori Poha with Jalebi
Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 15
State: Madhya Pradesh
Dish: Indori Poha with Jalebi
We are exploring Madhya Pradesh today. Madhya Pradesh is in Central India and the name literally means 'Central Province'. It is nicknamed 'Heart of India' because of its geographical location in India and it is the second largest state in the country by area. Madhya Pradesh is home to a large tribal population, who have been cut-off from the main stream development.
Cuisine: Like any other state the cuisine of Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat and meat are common in the North and West while South and East are dominated by rice and fish. Bhopal is known for meat and fish dishes. From what I've read, Indore is foodie's paradise and therefore it's now on my bucket list :-) Street food of Indore is renowned with eateries that have been active for generations.
Specialties: Dal bafla (consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee which is eaten with daal and ladoos), Poha and Jalebi.
- Combine all the ingredients for the jalebis to form a smooth batter. Cover and set it aside for 12~24 hours to ferment. I left it out for more than 24 hours since it was cold and the batter took longer than expected to ferment -- it should be foamy with bubbles and smell fermented when done.
- Mix the batter really well to make it more workable.
- Make the Sugar Syrup: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until it reaches single string consistency -- when you take a drop of the syrup between 2 fingers and stretch, it should stretch in 1 single thread. Keep the syrup warm and ready.
- Make Jalebis: Pour the batter into a ketchup bottle with small hole or pour into a ziplock bag and make a tiny hole in the corner.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Carefully pipe the batter as circles into the oil. Cook till the jalebis are crisp. Remove from the oil and place them in the syrup for 2~3 minutes, turning them around to coat completely.
- Remove and place them on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy them hot, warm or at room temperature. Stored in a airtight container, they keep well for up to 2~3 days.
Fennel seeds are a mandatory addition to this poha. They give a slight anise flavor that is quite interesting.
Recipe adapted from Desi Soccer Mom:
For garnish (pick 1 or 2 or all)
- Wash poha 2~3 times, drain and set aside until ready to use. There should be just a little bit of water left in the poha but not a lot. I mix in required amount of salt and red chili powder to the poha itself, so they absorb some of the flavors.
- Heat 2tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add fennel seeds, onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 3~4 minutes.
- Next add turmeric, potatoes and cook covered until potatoes are tender. Alternately potatoes can be microwaved until tender beforehand and can be added here to save time.
- Add the poha and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice.