We’re big fans of different new year celebrations here in the SK kitchen, so Happy Baisakhi everybody!
After all, why should 1st January be the only time we have a party and eat great food?
The Chinese New Year is a great example. This happened in February and as Chinese food is one of our specialities; it would have been rude not to raise a Tsingtao or three to mark the occasion.
As we are also pretty darn good as making Indian food; then you will understand it will be remiss of us not to also to celebrate Baisakhi.
In the northern Indian state of Punjab, Baisakhi, which takes place in 14th April, marks the Punjabi or Sikh New Year. It also marks the harvesting of the crops in Punjab and farmers pay tribute to the Gods for the bountiful harvests through music and dance (bhangra).
So, if music and dance are involved, it’s safe to assume that food is too, in fact there are ten Punjabi dishes that are traditionally prepared during this time, including:
- Chhol bhature – chickpeas cooked in a tangy curry with fluffy fried breads; need we say more
- Achari lamb mutton – tender lamb meat picked in Indian spices and condiments and served with a paratha; go on then!
- Chicken saagwaala – Similar to butter chicken but without the butter, so healthier, it’s cooked in spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin and garam masala; there’s a reason it’s one of the most loved authentic Indian chicken dishes.
- Pindi chana – they love their vegetarian dishes and why not when you have this masterpiece prepared by cooking chickpeas in a paste with, yes you guessed it, loads of spices. It is served with raw onions, tomato slices and green chilies; so another reason for you to go veggie.
- Coconut laddoo – it’s not all about the savoury so try these delights made from grated coconut, semolina, condenses sugar and ghee; perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
We could list the five other dishes served at Baisakhi, but that would be cruel, and the worst thing is you are unlikely to be able to get most of them at your average restaurant or takeaway in the UK.
So, here’s something you can do at home and we’ll let you cheat with the naan; just use a large one and cut into parcels so you can stuff with the keema.
Keema naan bites
• 150 g (5 oz) minced lamb or beef
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp garlic & ginger paste
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp garam masala
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic & ginger paste for 2 minutes.
2. Add the meat and spices and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the mixture is brown and dry. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
3. Cut the naan bread to pocket sizes and fill with the keema mixture.