Vaisakhi recipes and the concept of free kitchens

Published: April 16, 2014
Vaisakhi Parade Surrey

An Indian Sikh devotee distributes langar (free food) at the Gurudwara Santokh Sar Sikh Temple in Amritsar. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

Food, especially feeding others for free, is a central philosophy of Sikhism. Sikhs do not have many strict rules regarding food but many are vegetarians. In the free kitchens of the gurdwaras (langar), vegetarian food is always served.

The institution of the Sikh langar, or free kitchen, was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status, a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of 16th-century India where Sikhism began.

In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. At the Khlasa Day parade in Surrey this weekend there will be plenty of free food and drink being given away by individuals and institutions.

Related Stories:

Here is a sampling of what you can expect. Or if you want to try some of these Vaisakhi delicacies at home, follow these recipes.

Jalebi — Jalebi is a traditional sweet dish that no Sikh occasion can do without.

Jalebi

Ingredients

• 2 cups self raising flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 cup yogurt
• Vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil for deep frying
• 1 cup sugar
• Few strands saffron
• 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
• 2 drops orange food colour
• 2 tbsps rose water

Preparation:

Mix the flour, baking powder and yogurt into a batter and keep aside for 24 hours to ferment.
Pour batter into a ketchup dispensing bottle.
To make sugar syrup: Melt the sugar with the rose water and boil to get a one thread consistency. To check for one thread consistency, carefully dip the tip of your index finger into the syrup, touch your finger and thumb together and gently tease apart. If one thread is formed between your finger and thumb the syrup is done.
Turn off fire, add the saffron strands and cardamom and stir well.
Heat the oil in a deep wok-like dish. To test for the right temperature, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top of the oil, the oil is hot enough. Keep the flame on medium at all times to ensure all round cooking of the jalebis.
Now hold the ketchup dispenser over the hot oil and squeeze the batter into the oil into a wiggly, randomly coiled circle. Squeeze out several at a time.
Fry till light golden and then remove and put directly into the sugar syrup.
Allow to soak for 2-3 minutes and then remove.

Pakoras — Pakora or pakoda are basically indian fritters made with gram flour. Pakoras are fried, crisp snacks made with different veggies.

Pakora

Ingredients

• 1 cup chickpea flour
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3/4 cup water
• 1 quart oil for deep frying
• 1/2 head cauliflower florets
• 2 onions, sliced into rings

Preparation

Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and garlic.
Make a well in the center of the flower. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.
Over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Coat the cauliflower and onions in the batter and fry them in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Pindi Chana — Pindi chana or a dish of chick peas is normally fired up with Indian spices.

Ingredients

• 1 cup Chickpeas (Chole)
• 1 Tea Bag or 1 tbsp Black Tea Leaves tied in a cheesecloth
• 21/2-inch Ginger, 3/4th of it shredded finely for garnish
• 2-3 tbsp Oil
• 2 Onions, chopped
• 2 tsp Garlic, finely crushed
• 2 Green Chilies, sliced
• 3 medium sized Tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tsp Ground Coriander
• 11/2 tsp Ground Cumin
• tsp Turmeric Powder
• 1/2 – 1 tsp Red Chili Powder or as per taste
• SALT to taste
• tsp Garam Masala
• Finely chopped Coriander Leaves

Preparation

Soak Chole in water overnight or for about 6 hr.
Cook the chole with salt and enough water in the cooker for about 20 minutes or till fully done. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
Finely chop the remaining ginger. Heat oil and sauté onions till golden, then add garlic and chopped ginger and green chilies. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder and sauté over low heat until the oil separates.
Add chole, the reserved cooking liquid, salt and half of the coriander leaves.
Simmer, uncovered until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add a pinch of garam masala and serve chole sprinkled with the remaining garam masala, coriander leaves and shredded ginger.

This content is produced as part of a joint venture between Vancouverdesi.com and the South Asian Post.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »

Amanda Todd is shown in an undated handout photo. The man accused in the cyberbullying case of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd has denied the allegations against him in a letter released by his lawyer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook, HO

‘First off, I’m innocent’: Dutch man accused in Amanda Todd extortion case writes open letter saying he’s the wrong guy

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI The Dutch man suspected of online extortion in the Amanda Todd case has released a letter from jail, to tell the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children.  ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Supreme Court bans online advertisements for pre-birth sex tests

VANCOUVER DESI India’s Supreme Court has ordered Internet giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to block all advertisements for pre-birth tests that determine a child’s gender,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Amanda Todd is shown in an undated handout photo. The man accused in the cyberbullying case of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd has denied the allegations against him in a letter released by his lawyer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook, HO

‘First off, I’m innocent’: Dutch man accused in Amanda Todd extortion case writes open letter saying he’s the wrong guy

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI The Dutch man suspected of online extortion in the Amanda Todd case has released a letter from jail, to tell the…
Continue Reading »

sethi

American Punjabi rapper feels at home in Vancouver

Collaborative hip hop and artistic group Char Bagh set to play the PuSh Festival on Saturday   LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI California-based MC and artist…
Continue Reading »

Al Paskall, husband of slain hockey mom Julie Paskall, was in Surrey Provincial court today during day one of her accused killer's preliminary hearing. Gord Goble/Surrey Now.

‘I wasn’t there when I should’ve been,’ husband of slain Surrey hockey mom says in court

AMY REID SURREY NOW “It should have been me.” More than a year after his high school sweetheart Julie Paskall lost her life following an…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

File photo: The new Surrey City Hall in Surrey, B.C., December 29, 2014. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Surrey named one of top seven most intelligent communities in the world

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — The City of Surrey has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by New York-based think…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A leopard walks with a tranquiliser dart in the residential area of Jyotikuchi in Guwahati, the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam on March 15, 2009. Three people were mauled by the leopard after the cat strayed into the city before it was tranquilised by forestry department officials. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images

Leopard in India beaten to death by villagers after vicious attack

IANS Kolkata  – A young male leopard was beaten to death by a mob of angry villagers on Monday after it strayed into a West…
Continue Reading »

prv0122Nfashion01

Passion for fashion turned into day job for Surrey clothing designer

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s Davi Bains-Gill never thought her love for fashion and design could be her livelihood. She pursued a career in social…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood movie

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan rules out Hollywood

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan doesn’t foresee a transition to Hollywood, according to SkyNews. Although Bachchan recently appeared alongside Hollywood’s Leonardo DiCaprio in The…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »

Sunny Leone posts a photo of her family vacation to her Instagram account. Submitted photo/Instagram.

Sunny Leone signed on to mentor participants of new social media reality show

HINDUSTAN TIMES Listed as India’s most-searched celebrity last year, the Internet has certainly played a crucial role in Indo Canadian porn star turned Bollywood actress…
Continue Reading »