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So, I finally got my paws on a copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh. :wink: There's a nice recipe for this extravagant masala "available in. . . a few selected shops in old Lucknow" in the glossary.

It calls for both jarakush and baobeer. Anybody know anything about these critters?

Also, many of the recipes finish with a combo of keora and mitha ittr. Can anybody tell me anything about mitha ittr? (Other than it's a sweet perfume? :smile: )

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Some translation would be welcome. I feel like I just read something from a technical manual. Yes, I did fully understand the first two sentences (Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh is evidently a cookbook, probably in Urdu), but while you're expounding on jarakush, baobeer, and mitha ittr, how about also telling us what keora is. And while I know from Malay that laz(z)at is "delicious" (from Arabic), what is "taam"?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Since you asked nicely:

lazzat-e-taam: that which enhances the taste of the food

mitha ittr: sweet perfume

keora: screwpine flower (a search for keora/kewra will turn up some more)

dastarkhwan-e-awadh: the dining spread of awadh (region around Lucknow)

jarakush and baobeer: no clue. see original query.

d-e-a has been a hard-to-find cookbook. saveur mag did a nice spread on it last year.

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I appreciate the explanations.

I'm actually familiar with kewra water, but didn't know or recognize the other spelling.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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keora and khus/vetiver seem to be referred to interchangeably as mitha itr so it's possibly khus.jarakush seems to be some sort of wild plant or plant part and baobeer i have no idea.is there any indication of their action,say as colouring agents?

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keora and khus/vetiver seem to be referred to interchangeably as mitha itr so it's possibly khus.

Imtiaz Qureshi uses some khus essence toward the end of his gosht korma* in the Avadh section of Jiggs Kalra's Prashad cookbook. I've made it a couple times, it's really nice. I was sort of wondering if that was a possibility, too. I also just noticed that in the preface to D-e-A there is this: "Most commonly (the perfumes) are made from musk deer, hunting of which is now banned worldwide". So perhaps at one time, a dish finished with essence of musk deer??

Unfortunately, there's very little indication as to the other mystery ingredients' role--roast dry ingredients, grind and finish with the keora and ittr.

Another interesting technique mentioned in the book (ghee durust karna) is the tempering of ghee to be used as a cooking medium ("except for baghar, dhungar and deep frying.") Ghee is heated, then keora and cardamom are stirred into the hot fat, the water evaporates and the tempered ghee is used as a starter for many of the recipes. Luxury!

*"--which is a thin gravy--" he points out.

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Kewra/Khus/Vetiver/Screwpine is also Pandanus and I am lucky enough to grow it for my kitchen.

kewra.jpg

Ghee is heated, then keora and cardamom are stirred into the hot fat, the water evaporates and the tempered ghee is used as a starter for many of the recipes
I guess the water comes from Kewra water(if fresh kewra is not used).

IMHO, the above procedure is self defeating as any excess heat will only vaporise the aromas and flavor components. This is an argument I keep having with Chefs, CookBook authors and Culinary experts.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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I guess the water comes from Kewra water(if fresh kewra is not used).

IMHO, the above procedure is self defeating as any excess heat will only vaporise the aromas and flavor components. This is an argument I keep having with Chefs, CookBook authors and Culinary experts.

Yup, I should have written kewra jal, not just "keora." I haven't tried this myself, but I find the idea interesting as I often try to "layer" flavors when I cook, and this seems like a cool--if sort of extravagant--way of seasoning as I go along. It makes a lot of sense to me that the aromas would be burned off over high heat as you say. Some of the Awadhi recipes are dum cooked with very low heat for a very long time--wonder if, in these sorts, there is a lingering impact from the tempered ghee? --?--

Kewra/Khus/Vetiver/Screwpine is also Pandanus and I am lucky enough to grow it for my kitchen.

Is the picture of vetiveria zizanoides or pandanus odaratissimus? I thought these were different birds? I've only cooked with essence and water, how do you use the fresh stuff? Leaf, flower or both? Now that you've told us you've got kewra and avacadoes growing in your garden, I wonder what else you've got squirreled away! :wink:

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Dum cooking (Slow Heat) and post tempering/tadka are indeed the best ways to preserve the input flavours though I prefer the latter.

Is the picture of vetiveria zizanoides or pandanus odaratissimus? I thought these were different birds?

The picture has the male inflorescence of pandanus odaratissimus, I think. Perhaps our inhouse plant expert v. gautam may care to weigh in here.They are different, I listed them as interchangeable options which Gingerly correctly pointed out.

Some moreInfo

Ever since Jiggs referred to Vetiver as Kewda/Ittar in his book-Prashad, I find it difficult to convince people that they are different plants, therefore many restaurants and chefs use it erroneously and who am I to disagree. After all sweet dreams are made of these. Like Rossogollas.

Most off the shelf Kewra products are made from the synthesised primary hydrosol, ergo, I prefer using the real thing which has many other compounds.

I add a few into some of my Rice(raw) varieties and they impart a lovely aroma which creates a mystery for my guests.

I never make a biryani without a few of these in the pot.

I add them to my Thai recipes.

Sometimes I make a caramel custard with a few of these thrown in.

If I have a partner with deft hands then the choice is Ketupat but with an Indian touch.

Whippy, your interest in Indian cuisine is truly commendable as is your knowledge.

I wonder what else you've got squirreled away!
Gasp! How did you know I've got squirrels? :laugh: I've been trying to make friends by feeding them peanuts but it may be a few months more before I can get them to pose close enough for Jason's topic on feeding squirrels

On a sadder note my sandal wood tree was hacked and the trunk carted away by vandals. The incident took place 24th last month at early 4 am and I havent gotten over it yet. :sad:

When all else fails there is Gingerly. Thanks for the ambrette link, it sounds closer to the mystery ingredients.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Thanks for helping me sort these things out, both of you! Slow learner and all. . .

Most off the shelf Kewra products are made from the synthesised primary hydrosol, ergo, I prefer using the real thing which has many other compounds.

I KNEW it! Maybe I can source some fresh stuff at one of my SE Asian markets.... until then I'm using Viola brand. Viola brand kewra essence does not roll into a nice ketupat. Consider yourself lucky!

Your kind words are appreciated :wub:, but I'm just a little dabbler with a stack of cookbooks. Sometime soon I'd like to return to India *skinny* and fly home *fat*.

My condolences for your sandalwood tree. That sucks. :sad: I've been known to steep some sandalwood chips in a little dark rum, but I swear I was nowhere near Bangalore on the evening of the 24th.

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Episure,the khus leaves look wonderful.Can they be grown indoors?

Am truly sorry to hear abot your sandalwood tree.Have only grown a few veggies in my garden,so can imagine what it must be like to lose something so precious.

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Whippy

Your kind words are appreciated , but I'm just a little dabbler with a stack of cookbooks. Sometime soon I'd like to return to India *skinny* and fly home *fat*.

Such an insight into Indian cuisine cannot be generated by a collection of cookbooks alone, it must be your passion. Kudos.

My condolences for your sandalwood tree. That sucks.  I've been known to steep some sandalwood chips in a little dark rum, but I swear I was nowhere near Bangalore on the evening of the 24th.

Sandalwood chips in rum is a good idea, you might also want to try making a flavoured syrup/sherbet with jasmine flowers added. Great for a nonalcoholic summer drink.

ravum

Episure,the khus leaves look wonderful.Can they be grown indoors?

I doubt it, the roots structure is quite large.

Thank you both for sharing the loss of my sandal tree, I have tried to make up for the loss by planting a dozen in my friends farm.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Sandalwood chips in rum is a good idea, you might also want to try making a flavoured syrup/sherbet with jasmine flowers added. Great for a nonalcoholic summer drink.

I've tried making a sandalwood sherbet but couldn't get it right--long simmer, short boil, steeping, soaking, what have you. Never enough flavor, and I'm pretty sure it was me because I was using fragrant wood chips. However, throw a few measly lumps in some tasty barbados rum: in less than an hour you're good to go! adding jasmine may be gilding the lily, but i'm pretty sure i'm a lily-gilder through and through. yum!

you prompted me to venture down the lane, pandanus portland style:

gallery_17062_197_5220.jpg

Last freezer compartment on the left, 99 cents a bag. Haven't had a chance to goof around with it yet, but initial inspection yielded almost no fragrance. Shouldn't this be highly odoratissimus??

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So, I finally got my paws on a copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh.  :wink:  There's a nice recipe for this extravagant masala "available in. . . a few selected shops in old Lucknow" in the glossary. 

It calls for both jarakush and baobeer.  Anybody know anything about these critters?

Also, many of the recipes finish with a combo of keora and mitha ittr.  Can anybody tell me anything about mitha ittr?  (Other than it's a sweet perfume? :smile: )

I can't answer any of your questions. Instead I am writing to ask where you found that copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh. I have been searching the internet and each time I think I have a copy it turns out that they are sold out. Any suggestions?

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PhyllisBFP

welcome to eGullet!

i looked online for the longest time, too. very frustrating since it's not commercially available. then i remembered that there was a time before the Rise Of The Internet, and pursued old fashioned methods. otherwise known as the public library.

my "copy" is an interlibrary loan from duke university. i found 'rasachandrika' the same way via cornell.

hopefully your municipality offers the same great service!

--whippy

(i think it may have been jschyun who pointed out there's only one copy of sameen rushdie's book in the whole u.s. library system, meaning it's not up for grabs to the likes of me. anybody want to lend me one? i'm an honest chap.)

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another possibility

Kewra essence, made from kewra flowers, is used for flavouring sweets in sugar syrup, like petha(candied white pumpkin), ras malai(cream cheese cooked in double cream). Itr kewra, a stronger concentrate than ruh kewra, is used in dry sweets likeburfi(milk toffee) and gajar halwa(gratted carrot pudding). Kewra is also used to perfume meat pulaos.
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Shanta, thanks for the tip. I did look a little in a couple online booksellers based in India, but I didn't find one with Rasachandrika in stock. (But now that I have it, I have a better notion of what dinner was the other night.) :wink:

Gingerly, one of these days a mystery or two might just unravel. Sort of. Maybe? Okay, I like a good mystery.

Anyway, went back to the Saveur article and found another reference to musk. Also rather humbled by the use of (presumably ground) rubies as a coloring agent. Every now and then I get to use some fancy ingredients, but I remain confident that I shall pass to the end of my days on this earth without enjoying such a pleasure.

Also learned that the court's chickens were fed saffron, pomegranates, jasmine, pineapples and perfumes in order to scent their flesh. Lucky chickens, no?

--whippy

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Thanks, Whippy, for yur reply. Unfortunately, my local libraries don't have the book. So I'm still hoping that a used one will turn up on some web site or other. Hope springs eternal.!

P

quote=whippy,Mar 13 2005, 09:38 PM]

PhyllisBFP

welcome to eGullet!

i looked online for the longest time, too. very frustrating since it's not commercially available. then i remembered that there was a time before the Rise Of The Internet, and pursued old fashioned methods. otherwise known as the public library.

my "copy" is an interlibrary loan from duke university. i found 'rasachandrika' the same way via cornell.

hopefully your municipality offers the same great service!

--whippy

(i think it may have been jschyun who pointed out there's only one copy of sameen rushdie's book in the whole u.s. library system, meaning it's not up for grabs to the likes of me. anybody want to lend me one? i'm an honest chap.)

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  • 2 years later...
So, I finally got my paws on a copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh.  :wink:  There's a nice recipe for this extravagant masala "available in. . . a few selected shops in old Lucknow" in the glossary. 

It calls for both jarakush and baobeer.  Anybody know anything about these critters?

Also, many of the recipes finish with a combo of keora and mitha ittr.  Can anybody tell me anything about mitha ittr?  (Other than it's a sweet perfume? :smile: )

jarakush is the root of the popyseed plant. (No special brains, just lucky on a google search). Available, apparently, at ayurvedic stores.

Also - and this I'm sure of - khus is NOT the same as kewra. khus=vetivier is a wild grass related to lemongrass, while kewra is a large leafy flowering plant, also known as pandanus. The leaves don't carry much smell, you have to get the flower. Just to confuse things further, poppyseed is also known as khus but is not vetivier.

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So, I finally got my paws on a copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh.  :wink:   There's a nice recipe for this extravagant masala "available in. . . a few selected shops in old Lucknow" in the glossary. 

It calls for both jarakush and baobeer.  Anybody know anything about these critters?

Also, many of the recipes finish with a combo of keora and mitha ittr.  Can anybody tell me anything about mitha ittr?  (Other than it's a sweet perfume? :smile: )

jarakush is the root of the popyseed plant. (No special brains, just lucky on a google search). Available, apparently, at ayurvedic stores.

Also - and this I'm sure of - khus is NOT the same as kewra. khus=vetivier is a wild grass related to lemongrass, while kewra is a large leafy flowering plant, also known as pandanus. The leaves don't carry much smell, you have to get the flower. Just to confuse things further, poppyseed is also known as khus but is not vetivier.

I would agree that pandanus (kewra/keora) is not the same as vetiver/vetivert, (Vetiveria zizaniodes). The former has a very floral note, the latter, a very heavy dry grass smell, used in perfumes (I have some). The smell is neither pleasant nor unpleasant (in high concentration), just very heavy, like musk. Presumeably, it will lighten on dilution, as many smells do.

cheers

Waaza

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