Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chak - Hao Kheer - Manipur Special

BM # 39
State: Manipur

Manipur is one of the seven states of north eastern India. We shall cook from this state on the 17th day .This is one of the most beautiful states and is known as Switzerland of India.

Mani means a jewel and Manipur is a land of jewels. It's rich culture excels in every aspect as in dance, theatre, sculpture. I have always loved the costume that they wear for their traditional dance , the reason being my possession of my favorite doll as a kid . I was gifted a manipuri dancer doll by my uncle. The traditional outfit changed every year when i would celebrate the dolls birthday.Mom would make a beautiful dress for her and we had a small party where my friends got gifts like chocolates, small shoes , jewellery for the doll. I remember carrying her along with me after getting married, but in time it naturally had to be discarded. It sure is a nostalgic feeling.

Coming to today's dish. The search for Manipur led me to a few vegetarian dishes, and I tried one of their salads. Somehow no one liked it, as it lacked flavors. The salad had to be finished with powdered dried fish! I spoke to my parlour girls who are Manipuri, but I had no luck with vegetarian dishes. My search ended when I visited the Satvik Fair held in Ahmedabad. We had a stall of Manipuri students.They gave me the option of two three dishes,one being Ooti,which was on my list.Rest of the dishes required ingredients which are impossible to get here.They have a variety of mushrooms that they eat. These guys had sampled a few dishes, and even sold them. I tasted the dishes but felt we need to acquire taste. The Chak - Hao kheer was something I really liked, the purple color looked unique and the taste was as good as our kheer. I requested these students to give me some raw rice, unfortunately they could give me just about 1/4 cup.Coming to black rice! what is black rice?

Black rice is an excellent source of fibre, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its colour changes to dramatic purple when cooked, so it is also known as “Purple Rice”. The purple color is due to the anthocyanins present in the rice which act as antioxidants. In China and some South-East Asian countries, it is commonly known as “Forbidden Rice”, as it was reserved exclusively for royalty in ancient China.

Coming to the recipe....
1/4 cup Black rice
125 ml milk ( full fat)
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder
Sugar to taste
Rinse the rice and soak for about 5-6 hours.
Drain the rice and transfer to a pot .
Add milk.
Cook on very slow fire making sure to stir it once in a while.
Cook till the rice is done, you could add more milk, if the rice absorbs this milk.
Adjust the milk according to the consistency of the kheer that you require.
Add sugar , raisins and cardamon powder.
Serve hot or cold.

The rice has a sweet nutty flavor and you actually do not need any nuts, though I added some raisins.
Chak-Hao kheer is served during all festivals and celebrations.
Here are some of the pics that I captured at the Manipuri stall at the Satvik Fair.

Jelly Ear ..this is a variety of mushroom, shaped like an ear!!

a dish made from jelly ear!!

The Chak-hao kheer and Black rice

Paknam is a dish made with another variety of mushrooms , where turmeric leaves are used

Thats the big red hot chilly that is a speciality of East ern India.

Manipuri students who put their stall.

All the dishes made by the Manipuri students had ingredients which are not easily available, they had called for these ingredients from Manipur.I have pics of two recipes and you can see that we have not even heard of these ingredients!

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  1. I chose this recipe to make for another NE state. I am very eager to see how this tastes :) The pictures are very tempting and I love your presentation!

  2. Such sinful looking bowl of kheer Vaishali!..

  3. wow Vaishali...the details on manipur are first of its kind in blogosphere the way you have captured, and the kheer indeed looks fit for royalty:)

  4. Vaishali, love the color of that kheer. The problem with these NE states was I could get the names but not the recipes of dishes. :)

  5. Kheer looks very inviting, and as you said the color of this one is a definite teaser!! Good that you got to see atleast these ingredients. Jelly ear sounds very interesting! !

  6. Colour of the kheer is just simply out of the world, i done almost the same kheer with usual rice, delicious kheer.

  7. Lovely color and kheer does look good. I wonder how black rice tastes.

  8. Cant believe you got some black rice just for BM! And can't believe that we have black rice as well :D (I didnt research at all for manipur. My totally followed my neighbour's instructions). And you can try the Uti. It's a good one. I really liked it.

  9. Must have been nice to interact with Manipuri students and get the information from them. The kheer looks good. I love black rice.

  10. it would have been a great one to interact with the students!!! nice idea Vaishali ji!! and this kheer is awesome!!

  11. It is nice of you to visit their stall and share the details with us. Good pick. Though I am yet to try the black rice !

  12. so much research. incredible work Vaishali. Talk about authenticity. the purple colour of the kheer is striking. lovely flowers.. makes a beautiful picture.

  13. Amazing. You got to see same of their ingredients? This black rice is available here. we call it as kavuni rice. And the preparation is so much similar. Kheer looks so nice...

  14. Thanks to those Manipuri students, we get to enjoy this yummy looking kheer. I have black rice in the fridge, will make this kheer soon.

  15. the jelly ear mushrooms we call wood ear here and is actually one of my faves I buy in Chinatown frequently. black kheer I have made Thai version with coconut milk. this one looks just as good

  16. Wow Vaishali the kheer is delicious. and yum. The students are so sweet.

  17. Kheer looks super tempting and loved the color of the kheer...

  18. So nice of you to share the food related pics Vaishali. The kheer looks so yum. I wish I had got back a bag of this rice from China.Miss it...

  19. wow lucky you di to visit the fair and find some traditional manipuri dishes .. I wish I cud find the raja mirchi here too .. kheer looks extraordinary and droolworthy !!

  20. Kheer kheer looks rich and tatsy ! Nice write up...


  21. Lots of great looking dishes here! I can't keep up with all the dishes I want to make...there's always so many good ones :)
    Indian Restaurants in Laxmi Nagar

  22. Really njoy to see everyone expression abt Manipuri's recipes s a Manipuri living in W B.