Pakistani cuisine is vast and diverse. Most of the people usually think that Pakistani and desi dishes are full of spices, oil etc but this is not true. There are dishes that can be cooked without using many spices yet they taste so good. The beauty of these dishes is that they can be modified to enjoy them a little more without doing much effort. Along with qorma, karahi and pulao and many more famous dishes some starter recipes are loved and enjoyed by Asians and Pakistanis all over the world. Nowadays many famous starter dishes served in Pakistan and other Asian countries are enjoyed all across the world also. Most of the Europeans love to have pakoray (trotters), samosa, dahi baray, fruit chaat, gol gappay and the list goes on and on.
In this short write up, we are going to share some yummiest and delicious desi/ Pakistani starter recipes. Many people who live abroad miss their local food and mostly found eager to try their favorite starters on their own if they find a authentic recipes. If you are one of those you must not worry anymore since we are going to disclose the best and authentic desi starter recipes. Some of them are described with their ingredients and method of cooking as follows:
Starter Recipe # 1- Trotters (Pakoray)
Gram flour: 6 to 7 tablespoons heaped
Onion: 2 big ones (sliced)
Corriander leaves: a cup
Green Chilli: 4 to 5
Potato: one medium (grated)
Red chilli powder: 1 and a half teaspoon
Salt: to taste
Dry coriander: 1 teaspoon (coarsely grounded)
Cumin seeds: 1 tea spoon
Baking soda: A pinch
Water: For making batter
Oil: For Frying
First of all, take a deep bowl and add gram flour. Then add sliced onions, chopped green chilli, chopped coriander and add spices. Add red chilli powder, salt, dry coriander, cumin seeds and mix well by adding water. Now add baking soda and mix really well. Make sure the batter remains thick and soft. It should not be runny and should not be too hard to mix. Now heat up oil in a deep pan or wok. Make sure oil is not too hot and is at medium temperature. Until the oil, heats up try to mix the batter so that baking soda starts working. This allows trotters to be fluffy and soft without being hard from the middle. Now fry trotter one by one using a spoon or even hands. Using hands give them a lovely shape and some cooks say it becomes easier for them to fry trotters when they use their hands. No let them fry for 2 to 3 minutes and turn upside down. When all of them turn into beautiful golden color, dish out them. Try to put a tissue paper in your platter so that it absorbs the excess oil. Serve with Tomato ketchup or mint dip and enjoy.
Usually people prefer trotters to be fried in rainy season since it doubles the pleasure.
Starter Recipe # 2- Potato Samosa:
Flour: 1 cup
Oil: 1 teaspoon
Salt: A pinch
Cumin: ½ teaspoon
Water: to kneed
Potatoes: 3 medium
Onion: 1 medium
Coriander: 2 teaspoon (chopped)
Green Chilli: 2 to 3 (chopped)
Salt: To taste
Red Chilli Powder: 1 tea spoon
Cumin: 1 teaspoon
Dry coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Carom: a pinch (rubbed on palm)
For samosa, kneed flour with water, oil, salt and cumin seeds. Kneed slowly by adding very little water and make sure dough is smooth and plain. It should not be too soft neither it should be very hard. Now make small balls of the dough and roll it using a rolling pin. Spread it by rolling. Make sure it is not too think. Now cook it for a minute in a frying pan. Just to cook the samosa patti. After cooking from both sides, keep it in a napkin so that it does not lose its moisture. Apply same procedure for each ball of the dough. Cut each samosa patti from center to divide it into two. Now give the patti shape of the samosa and bind the corners using water or paste of flour and water. Fill each samosa with the filling and seal it.
For filling boil the potatoes and mash them roughly. Add chopped onion, coriander and green chilli. Then add salt, red chilli powder, cumin, carom, coriander powder and mix well. Fill each samosa with the filling. Make sure you do not fill too much filling. It should be a tablespoon or a little more. Otherwise there are chances that smaosa will not turn crispy when fried. After filing all the samosas, heat up oil in a wok or any deep pan and fry samosas on medium flame. Make sure you do not leave samosas unattended while frying. When each samosa turns golden brown dish out them and serve with tamarind sauce, mint sauce or chilli garlic sauce. Some like ketchup with samosa, so choice is all yours.
Starter Recipe # 3- Dahi Baray (Dumplings)
White lentil: ½ cup soaked overnight
Yellow lentils (mong lentil): 1 cup soaked over night
Cumin: 1 teaspoon
Dry ginger (saunth): 1/2 teaspoon
Onion (chopped): 1
Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
Yogurt: 4 cups
Water: 1-2 cups
Salt: as to taste
Sugar: 3 tablespoon
Chaat spice: 2 tablespoons
Grind both lentils in a grinding machine and add cumin, baking soda, ginger, onion. Now since all these will turn into a smooth and thick paste, fry them in hot oil and dip in water after cooling them at room temperature. Now whip yogurt and add water, sugar and salt. Add chaat spice too and mix well. Now take dahi baray (dumplings) out of water, squeeze out excess water, and dip into the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle chaat spice and serve.
Some people however, add tamarind or apricot sauce over these dumplings to add a little more taste. For Apricot sauce, you need to take dry apricots and soak them over night in water. Next day take out their seed and put them in blender. Then add sugar, salt and red chilli powder to it. Add all these according to taste. Make sure these spices do not overcome the taste of apricot. If you want, you can add mint leaves, coriander leaves, some green chilli, a tablespoon of dry pomegranate. Blend all this well and if you want to cook for a while you can. Otherwise, you can use this sauce as it is. You can freeze the sauce for many days or even weeks. You can sprinkle this sauce over dumplings mixture and can enjoy them a little more. Same sauce can be added to chana chaat or papri chaat and many other forms for chaat.
For tamarind sauce, you can take thick pulp of tamarind and add salt, sugar, red chilli powder, dry ginger, cumin grind them all well. Cook for a while and take it off the flame. Let it cool down at room temperature and add this sauce in dumplings, chana chaat or other delicious forms of chaat served in Pakistan and other Asian countries.