Food talk
PUSHPESH Pant
Simply yummy

Faizabad, a small sleepy town like city in Uttar Pradesh has many claims to fame ó most of them forgotten. All most people remember is its proximity to Ayodhya and its collateral mention in the headlines in the context of the Babri Mosque-Ramjanmbhoomi Temple controversy. For the district officials posted there, it is a sensitive place where well-earned reputations can be sullied in a blink. The younger generation brought up on Indi-pop and Rahmanís repetitive generic Ďhitsí arenít aware that the Ghazal Queen Begum Akthar belonged to this place. Even earlier, before Lucknow usurped its place, Faizabad was the capital of the principality of Awadh with a resplendent repertoire of cuisine and culture. We have tried laboriously to rediscover some of the lost riches and continue be surprised by the delicious nuggets that we keep stumbling upon. Banda Faizabadi was encountered in a casual conversation with friend Madhukar Upadhyaya, of the BBC and a multifaceted person. This is an excellent example of a robust-rural dish finding its way to the noblemanís spread. Do try it out. Sure beats kachalu ki chaat!

Method

Boil the banda but donít let it become mushy. Peel and cut into large bite-sized pieces. Prepare a marinade mixing all other ingredients, except the ghee. Place the banda chunks in it and keep in a cool place overnight. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and when it reaches smoking point add the whole spices and when these change colour put in the banda along with the marinade. Cook uncovered for 7-8 minutes stirring in between carefully. Remove the whole spices and discard before serving. Temper with red chilly lightly fried in ghee. The dish ideally should remain dry but moist. Makes a great vegetarian tikka substitute or accompanied by daal of choice can substitute for "main course". 

Banda Faizabadi

Ingredients

Banda/kachalu 500 gm

Curds 200 ml

Bay leaf One

Cloves Two to five

Cardamom One brown

Cinnamon One-inch piece

Garlic-ginger paste 1 tsp

Green chillies (ground to paste) 2-3

Cuminseeds powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Dried pomegranate seeds powder/amchur powder 1 tsp

Red chilly powder Ĺ tsp

Black rock salt ľ tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for shallow frying

Tempering: 1 tbsp ghee and one whole red chilly






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