Pakwan-e-Khaas

Pakwan-e-khaas, a variation of the traditional Dal Pakwan is a Sindhi speciality. Its a typical weekend brunch in a Sindhi or half-sindhi household (like ours). The components are very simple. As goes, looks are deceptive but lets not get fooled into underestimating the simplicity of this dish. You have to taste it to understand what I mean!
*Do check the variations at the end of the recipe to this traditional sindhi delicacy.
WARNING : This one’s not for the health freaks!!!!

Serves: 2 ppl

Ingredients:
1) For Pakwan (makes 4 pakwans):
100 gms all purpose flour (maida)
3/4 tsp cumin seeds or ajwain seeds
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Water to knead dough
Oil for deep frying

2) For Dal:
150 gm chana dal
1 green chilli (adjust according to taste)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

3) For tempering:
2 tbsp ghee (oil is also ok)
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
Few curry leaves (kadipatta)

4) For garnishing:
Tamarind chutney
Green chutney
Chopped onions
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped coriander leaves

Method:
1) Pakwan:
– Sieve the flour
– Add cumin seeds/ajwain, oil, salt and mix well (knead it to incorporate the oil)
– Add water and knead the dough
Tip – Dough should neither be too hard nor too soft
– Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 mins
– After having rested, divide the dough into small portions
– Roll out the pakwan like a chapatti (to 1-1.5mm thickness, not very thick)
– Poke the surface of the pakwan with a fork or knife, so that it doesn’t puff up while frying (this is very important – the crispier the pakwan the better)
– Heat oil
– Fry the pakwan on medium flame till it turns crisp and gets a golden colour.
(Pakwans can be made in advance & stored in an airtight container on kitchen towels to drain off excess oil)

2) Dal:
– Wash and soak dal for 2 hours
– Add dal, turmeric powder and salt in a pressure cooker
– Add 1/2 tsp oil to it
– Add water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles
– Dal should be tender & creamy but not mushy

3) Tempering & Serving:
– Add coriander powder & kashmiri red chili powder on top of the cooked dal (don’t mix it)
– Add cumin seeds to hot ghee and drizzle over dal
– In the bowl of tempered dal, sprinkle Amchoor powder, tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves..
– The dal has to be eaten hot with crisp pakwans.

*VARIATIONS:
1) For the spoilt brats – I temper each bowl of dal separately. Apart from the aesthetic appeal, this takes the dal a notch higher. Definitely makes a difference. TRY IT!
2) For quickies – Working women can make small puri-size pakwans. Roll out a big pakwan and make puri-size circles by cutting with a sharp-edged katori. You can store these for 15 days in an air-tight container. That way you can have a quick tasty dish when you feel like treating yourselves & the family. Just make dal & you’re done.
3) For unexpected compliments (pun intended) – How about some triangle-shaped pakwans (like nachos)! Store them & you can have a crackling sindhi-italian starter for unannounced guests.
4) For fussy kids – You can also make strips of pakwans. When you roll out the pakwan, with a shankarpali cutter, you can make long pakwan strips (like breadsticks) and store them. Kids will love to dip these in dal and eat. What better way to feed dal to the kids!
5) For the health freaks – STAY AWAY!

#NOTE – Whatever the variation – DON’T forget to poke the pakwans once you roll them out so that they don’t puff up. The whole idea is to crisp it up!

Pakwan-e-Khaas Recipe Contributed by Darshana Bhatia

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