Lal Bhopla Bharit or Lal Bhopla Raita (Red Pumpkin in Yoghurt)

Lal Bhopla Bharit or Lal Bhopla Raita
Lal Bhopla Bharit or Lal Bhopla Raita

I love raitas and I love red pumpkin/gummidikaya/lal bhopla. So Lal Bhopla Bharit is a great favourite of mine. I first had it, some two decades ago, at the home of a Maharashtrian friend and ever since, I make it often.

Lal Bhopla Bharit or Lal Bhopla Raita is a great accompaniment to rotis. It also goes very well with spicy pulaos and biryanis where its sweetness offsets the spiciness.

Ingredients

  1. Lal Bhopla/Gummidikaya/Red Pumpkin – 200 gms
  2. Yoghurt – 3/4 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  4. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  5. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Crushed roasted groundnuts – 2 tbsp
  7. Oil – 1/2 tsp
  8. Sugar – A Pinch
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Grate the pumpkin, sprinkle one tablespoon of water, and pressure cook for two or three whistles.
  2. Let the pumpkin cool.
  3. Add well-beaten yogurt and sugar, and mix well.
  4. In a ladle, heat the oil.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  6. Add cumin seeds and fry till they just start to turn brown.
  7. Add split green chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the seasoning to the bharit/raita.
  9. Add the crushed roasted groundnuts and salt.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Serve with rotis.

Shrikhand with Kesar and Pista

Shrikhand with Kesar and Pista
Shrikhand with Kesar and Pista

Living in Maharashtra means encountering delicious Shrikhand on every festive occasion.:-)

Among my childhood memories are my Ammamma (maternal grandmother) ordering chakka (strained yoghurt) by the kilo and then getting us grandchildren to churn it into the smooth paste it needs to become before it can be made into yummy Shrikhand! The attraction for us to help out was the chance to taste the work-in-progress.

This time I made chakka at home and used a hand-blender, but the result was just as good.

Ingredients

  1. Fresh Yoghurt – 2 Cups
  2. Sugar – 1 Cup
  3. Cardamom – 5 or 6
  4. Saffron Strands – 7 or 8
  5. Warm Milk – 2 tbsp
  6. Pista – 8 or 10

Method to Make Chakka

  1. Tie the yoghurt in a fine cotton or muslin cloth.
  2. Place it tied yoghurt in a colander.
  3. Place the colander on a plate.
  4. Place a heavy weight on the tied yoghurt to help drain the water. I use a vessel filled with water, or a small mortar and pestle as the weight.
  5. For about 3-4 hours, leave the yoghurt to drain.

Method to Make Shrikhand

  1. Powder the sugar.
  2. Roughly crush the cardamom seeds.
  3. Soak the saffron strands in warm milk for about 30 mins.
  4. Using a hand-blender, blend the chakka into a smooth paste.
  5. Add the sugar, cardamom, saffron, and milk.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Slice the pista into fine slivers.
  8. Sprinkle on top of the Shrikhand.
  9. Serve with rotis or better yet, with hot puris.

Tips

  • Ensure your yoghurt is fresh and not sour in the least.
  • In hot weather, I keep the weighted yoghurt in the refrigerator to make sure it stays fresh.
  • Ensure the water is drained completely from the chakka or your Shrikhand will be runny. 🙁
  • Do not “over blend” the chakka while making Shrikhand or that the chakka does not become hot.
  • If you use a mixer instead of a hand blender, then blend a few seconds at a time so that the chakka does not become hot.