Manipuri Pakora Thongba (Gram Flour curry)

Ingredients

  •  250 grams Gram flour
  • 200 grams Chinese chives
  • 1 tbsp Pounded ginger
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek
  • 1+1 tsp Cumin
  • 1+ 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1+ 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1+1 tsp Chili powder (As per your spice level)
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 tbsp + 1/2 cup for shallow fry – Oil
  • 150 + 50 grams soak dry white peas(This is optional but strongly recommended. I soak the peas overnight)
  • 1/3 cup water + More for curry

Instructions:

This one is really close to my heart and brings nostalgic memories of my childhood.  Being a popular dish in the Manipuri society, you can find them in most of the cultural or ceremonial feast in the state of Manipur. Most importantly, the locals love it as an evening snack or literally just anytime.

In a medium-size bowl, Take the gram flour, turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin and a little salt.

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Finely chop Chinese chives and add 50 grams (approx) to the gram flour bowl. Keep aside the remaining chives for later use.

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You need to pay some attention while adding water to the flour mix. This should neither be thick nor thin. Make a smooth paste as shown below.

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In a frying pan, Heat up the oil, hot enough for shallow fry and keep it to medium flame. Drop the pakora paste in a rounded shape into the pan as shown below.

I recommend to avoid deep fry and keep them half immersed. This helps me give them the traditional pakora shape which is unique in itself. You can say it’s a trademark of our Manipuri gram flour pakora.

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Splash some gram flour water on the frying pan.Please be careful while doing this as oil will splatter and can sometimes be really hazardous.

This process will help create holes on the pakoras and hence resulting in creating more spongy and soft pakoras.

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Fry them till dark brown. Remove them and keep aside. In the remaining hot oil fry, 50 grams soak white peas in medium heat till crispy and keep aside for garnish.

I like the dark brown because when you put them in the curry, the color become lighter and eventually results in perfect looking Manipuri pakoras.

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Next step is to take a  pan  (karahi/Kadai/khang)

Put 3 tbsp oil on medium-high heat and add bay leaves Asafoetida, remaining cumin and Fenugreek.

Fry them for 30 seconds and add Chinese chives. Continue to fry them until crispy.

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For the curry, You will need to make a stock from soak dry white peas(pulse).  Take 150 grams peas (sometimes I add tomatoes in this process )and 1 liter (approx) of water in a container.  Cook till they become very soft.

Turn off the heat. Smash them a little bit with a spatula and strain it with the help of a strainer.  You will have to take only the peas stock which will be the base of the curry.

Put the peas stock in the pan and add more water. I add around 2 liters to the peas stock. I prefer to have more liquid in this curry.

You can now add remaining chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, some black pepper, and salt. Bring them to boil.

Once it’s boiled, add the pakoras and slow down the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes OR till the pakora become soft.

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Garnish well with the Chinese chives. Serve it hot and I am sure you will love it. This goes great with plain white rice too.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Manipuri Pakora Thongba (Gram Flour curry)
Author: 
Recipe type: Meal
Cuisine: Manipuri
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 200 grams Gram flour
  • 200 grams Chinese chives
  • 1 tbsp Pounded ginger
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek
  • 1+1 tsp Cumin
  • 1+ ½ tsp Coriander powder
  • 1+ ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1+1 tsp Chili powder (As per your spice level)
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 tbsp + ½ cup for shallow fry - Oil
  • 150 + 50 grams soak dry white peas(This is optional but strongly recommended. I soak peas overnight)
  • ⅓ cup water + More for curry
Instructions
  1. In a medium-size bowl, Take the gram flour, turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin and a little salt.
  2. Finely chop Chinese chives and add 50 grams (approx) to the gram flour bowl.
  3. Keep aside the remaining chives for later use.
  4. Make a smooth paste.
  5. In a frying pan, Heat up the oil, hot enough for shallow fry and keep it to medium flame.
  6. Drop the pakora paste in a rounded shape into the pan.
  7. Splash some gram flour water on the frying pan.
  8. Fry them till dark brown.
  9. Remove them and keep aside.
  10. Next step is to take a pan
  11. Put 3 tbsp oil on medium-high heat and add bay leaves Asafoetida , remaining cumin and
  12. Fenugreek
  13. Fry them for 30 seconds and add Chinese chives.
  14. Continue to fry them until crispy.
  15. For the curry, You will need to make a stock from soak dry white peas(dal).
  16. Take 150 grams peas and 1 liter (approx) of water in a container.
  17. Cook till they become very soft.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Smash them a little bit with a spatula and strain it.
  20. Put the peas stock in the pan and add more water.
  21. Add remaining chili power, coriander power, cumin power, some black pepper, and salt.
  22. Bring them to boil.
  23. Once it's boiled, add the pokoras and slow down the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes OR till the pokora become soft.
  24. Garnish well with the Chinese chives. Serve it hot and i am sure you will love it .

Black Sticky Rice and  Vanilla Rice pudding 

Black Sticky Rice and Vanilla Rice pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black sticky rice
  • Vanilla rice pudding
  • 1/4 cup white rice (jasmine)
  • 1/4 cup sweet condensed milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar( for black rice )
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

Instructions:

The rice that you see below is aromatic asian purple rice. You can buy this from any asian store. If you are in India , you can buy this from www.giskaa.com. Keep in mind that this is not a black rice and is very different.

Wash the rice thoroughly, You can cook this on a pressure cooker or a rice cooker. My preference is the rice cooker for this one. The recommended rice to water ratio is 1:2. Add sugar and let it cook till its done.

For vanilla rice pudding, take a heavy pan. Put sugar and milk and let it simmer for few minutes. Add rice and let it cook in a very slow flame till milk reduces to half the original amount. You can scrape off the vanilla pot.  I like the texture of the vanilla beans, if you do not like it , you can use the vanilla essentials. Cook for few more minutes. Now you can add the condensed milk until you get the  pudding  consistency. The whole procedure may take 30 minutes.


 

 

Black Sticky Rice and  Vanilla Rice pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: Desserts
Cuisine: Manipuri
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup black sticky rice
  • Vanilla rice pudding
  • ¼ cup white rice (jasmine)
  • ¼ cup sweet condensed milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar( for black rice )
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
Instructions
  1. Wash the rice thoroughly,
  2. You can cook this on a pressure cooker or a rice cooker.
  3. The recommended rice to water ratio is 1:2.
  4. Add sugar and let it cook till its done.
  5. For vanilla rice pudding, take a heavy pan.
  6. Put sugar and milk and let it simmer for few minutes.
  7. Add rice and let it cook in a very slow flame till milk reduces to half the original amount.
  8. You can scrape off the vanilla pot
  9. Cook for few more minutes.
  10. Now you can add the condensed milk until you get the  pudding  consistency.

Manipuri chicken

Ingredients

  • 700 g country chicken(young organic chicken)
  • 2 medium size potato
  • 2 tbsp roughly pound garlic
  • 2 tbsp roughly pound ginger and few thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 large onion chop
  • 2 tbsp garam masala( I use Machal, an authentic Manipuri garam masala)
  •  1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander (roughly crush it)
  • 2 tbsp paprika(or Kashmiri lal mirch)
  • few bay leaves
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 8-10 thorny coriander leaves(It’s call Awaa fadeegom in Manipuri)
  • few coriander leaves
  • salt
  • 6 tbsp of mustard oil

Kitchen Tools

  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Bowl(small, medium)
  • Wok
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Wooden spoon

Hmmm, Today I just want to get into my kitchen and start doing one of my favorite dishes. When I was a kid, my Dad used to cook the Manipuri chicken on multiple occasions and it has got such a wonderful taste. He usually cooks on natural wood fire which gives the smoky taste. This is a traditional way of cooking Manipuri chicken.  This dish has to come out at least once a month from my kitchen, the craving is humongous. Though not necessary but to get the best out of it, the chicken is preferred to be country chicken or organic chicken.

Step by Step Cooking Method

Wash the chicken properly and keep it aside in a bowl.

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Cut the onions in a similar manner as shown below.

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Roughly pound ginger garlic and few thinly sliced ginger

In a bowl put ginger, garlic, paprika, hot chili powder (depending on your chili resistance),  garam masala, turmeric, salt and a half cup of water and mix it well.

 

Take a wok. Pour oil and put on high flames. Heat up the oil till it smokes.  Put bay leaves, crushed coriander, and cumin. Immediately, put the onion (This is to avoid the masala from getting burned).

Continue to cook the onion till it becomes light brown. You can then slow down the flame now. Put liquid masala and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes until the oil separates.

Now put the chicken into the wok, stir it well while keeping at high flames. Keep stirring for  3 to 5 minutes or until the masalas get coated nicely onto the chicken. Now slow down the heat again and cover the wok.

You will have to stir it occasionally. You will see that a lot of liquid is being released from the chicken and eventually oil will get separated. Technically at this point, your chicken is done and is ready for our taste task. For those who like to drink on the go for the rest of this cooking session, cheers !! chicken is all set and we call it “Angouba” in Manipuri. I will do a separate recipe for “Angouba” in a different blog.

Now, towards completing our chicken curry, Add a potato or you can ignore this if you don’t like potatoes. For me, I am not a potato fan but I just find them perfect to have them on this dish.(i love to have big chunk of potato so I cut one medium-sized potato into 4 pieces)   Stir for 2 minutes now add 4 cups of water(if you want more liquid you can add more water).

Cook till the potatoes are done. It may take a good 15 to 20 minutes in low to medium flames. I must say this is very crucial to ensure your chicken gets the right taste. The logic is simple, with low flames for this duration, the oil gets separated from the curry.

Before we kill the flames, Make sure you taste the level of salt.  Put thorny coriander/awaphadeegom (this is optional though) and coriander.

Serve

Your Awesome Manipuri chicken is all ready !! Yeah. This goes best with rice. I hope you are able to produce the same and hope you love

This goes best with rice. I hope you are able to produce the same and hope you love it, Please do let me know the experience, I am so eager to hear back.


 

4.6 from 5 reviews
Manipuri chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Manipuri
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 700 g country chicken(young organic chicken)
  • 2 medium size potato
  • 2 tbsp roughly pound garlic
  • 2 tbsp roughly pound ginger and few thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 large onion chop
  • 2 tbsp garam masala( I use Machal, an authentic Manipuri garam masala)
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander (roughly crush it)
  • 2 tbsp paprika(kashmiri lal mirch)
  • few bay leaves
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 8-10 thorny coriander leaves(It’s call Awaa fadeegom in Manipuri)
  • few coriander leaves
  • salt
  • 6 tbsp of mustard oil
Instructions
  1. Wash the chicken properly and keep it aside in a bowl.
  2. Cut the onions.
  3. Roughly pound ginger garlic and few thinly sliced ginger
  4. In a bowl put ginger, garlic, paprika, hot chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt and a half cup of water.
  5. Mix it well.
  6. Take a wok.
  7. Pour oil and put on high flames.
  8. Heat up the oil till it smokes.
  9. Put bay leaves, crushed coriander, and cumin. Immediately, put the onion
  10. Continue to cook the onion till it becomes light brown.
  11. You can then slow down the flame now.
  12. Put liquid masala and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes until the oil separates.
  13. Now put the chicken into the wok, stir it well while keeping at high flames.
  14. Keep stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the masalas get coated nicely onto the chicken.
  15. Now slow down the heat again and cover the wok.
  16. You will have to stir it occasionally.
  17. Add a potato or you can ignore this if you don’t like potatoes.
  18. Stir for 2 minutes now add 4 cups of water
  19. Cook till the potatoes are done.
  20. It may take a good 15 to 20 minutes in low to medium flames.
  21. Before we kill the flames, Make sure you taste the level of salt.
  22. Put thorny coriander/awaphadeegom and coriander.
  23. Ready to Serve

Classic Manipuri Pork curry

Ingredients

  • 500 gm Pork belly
  • 2 tablespoon roughly pound garlic
  • 2 tablespoon roughly pound ginger and few thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 large onion chop
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoon paprika(or kashmiri lal mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8-10 thorny coriander leaves
  • Salt

Instructions:

Cut the pork belly to approximately  1.5  inches thick cube and wash thoroughly.

uncooked pork
Fresh clean pork

I am going to use the pressure cooker here to cook faster. Heat up the pressure cooker in high flames. Put the washed pork into the cooker along with cumin and some salt.

Cook for about 2 mins at high flames and make sure to keep stirring.

Now throw in ginger, garlic, onion and garlic slice into the cooker. Continue to cook for another 3 mins.

Add cumin powder, chili powder, and turmeric powder into the cooker. At this point, you should lower the flame and continue to cook.

After few minutes, you will see a lot of liquid oozing out of the meat.  Keep cooking till the liquid dries up, Here you have to make sure that you do not burn it, so you really need to keep an eye at this point.

If you are a garlic lover, you may want to put a whole bulb of unpeeled garlic inside the dish.  Make sure you do not cut the roots so as to avoid the garlic being scattered all over the dish.

Now you can add 2 1/2 cups of water into the cooker.

Cover up the lid of the pressure cooker and increase the heat to high flames.

Wait for the cooker to whistle 4-5 times.  You can now turn off the flames.

You will need to wait for all the pressure to escape from the cooker. Open up the cooker and you can see a thick layer of oil floating on top of the dish. This is because I use pork belly and it contains a lot of fats. Remove the oily layer with a serving spoon.

Put the cooker back on the heat at medium flames. This is the right time to adjust the salt.

Put thorny coriander and boil it for less than a minute at medium flames.

The mouthwatering Manipuri pork thongba is already. Time to jump in. I hope you will surely like this dish, Do let me know if you ever tried this, I am eager to hear back from you

north east indian pork
Manipuri cuisine

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Zeri's classic Manipuri Pork curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Meals
Cuisine: Manipuri
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 500 gm Pork belly
  • 2 tablespoon roughly pound garlic
  • 2 tablespoon roughly pound ginger and few thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 large onion chop
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoon paprika(kashmiri lal mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8-10 thorny coriander leaves
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Cut the pork belly to approximately  1.5  inches thick cube and wash thoroughly.
  2. Heat up the pressure cooker in high flames.
  3. Put the washed pork into the cooker along with cumin and some salt.
  4. Cook for about 2 mins at high flames and make sure to keep stirring.
  5. Put ginger,garlic,onion and garlic slice into the cooker.
  6. Continue to cook for another 3 mins.
  7. Add cumin powder, chili powder and turmeric powder into the cooker.
  8. Lower the flame and continue to cook.
  9. After few minutes, you will see a lot of liquid oozing out of the meat.
  10. Keep cooking till the liquid dries up,
  11. Now you can add 2½ cups of water into the cooker.
  12. Cover up the lid of the pressure cooker and increase the heat to high flames.
  13. Wait for  the cooker to whistle 4-5 times.
  14. Turn off the flames.
  15. Wait for all the pressure to escape from the cooker.
  16. Open up the cooker and  you can see a thick layer of oil floating on top of the dish.
  17. Remove the oily layer with a serving spoon.
  18. Put the cooker back on the heat at medium flames. This is the right time to adjust the salt .
  19. Put thorny coriander and boil it for less than a minute at medium flames.