April 13, 2012

Adorable Amritsar

Adorable Amritsar

Known as one of the prettiest cities in India. It is home to the world famous Golden Temple. As beautifully serene Sikh temple in the middle of the city. They cook an astounding 50,000 meals a day and kindly feed every visitor should they wish to eat before they leave. I was amazed at the community spirit within the walls that is common at places of worship. The queues to hear the prayers inside were large enough to rival Disney world, and a glimpse inside is a must for all that have travelled to see it. Temple food is simple tasting. Lentils and roti with a sweetly spiced rice pudding.

Ok so that was the sight seeing part of my trip. The rest was the best bit. Amritsar, in the northern state of Punjab, is famous for its Tandoori Chicken and Amritsari fish. Both easy to make and are great starters for any meal. Delicate flavours that mean that your ingredient list is short. Perfect!

Stuffed Kulchas were a must on my list. Each place makes them different and spice their fillings with their own secret spice blends. In fact, they are a great way to use up your left over potatoes, roast or any other sort.

I tried flaky Amritsari Naans that have the texture of a flaky pastry, almost like a croissant but with less layers. They are still thin and cooked in a tandoor, and I dread to think about how much butter they use to make it, but they were super tasty. Great for soaking up the sauces of butter chicken and lamb curries.

Punjabi food is rich, heavy with butter, and full of choice. Another lasting memory I will have is their Lassi. A simple yoghurt drink that finds its way onto all sorts of menu these days. I decided to be brave and go to a well know street shack, and I was so glad I did. It was churned fresh for me, no spices just seasoned with salt and sugar, and then topped with the ‘malai’ from the yoghurt. This is the cream that forms on the top of homemade yoghurt full of the live culture flavouring the curd underneath. It is creamier than creamy and lends a fantastic texture, but it makes the lassi heavier than a meal. How local Amritsaris can drink this and carry on with their day without having a nap is beyond me! My version isn’t laced with malai, nor does it require you to do any churning, but it’s a wonderful drink to have, and the flavour possibilities are endless. Try it…you’ll fall in love with it I promise. Lassi.

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