The beautiful palaces of Nepal are known for their magnificent food and through Rohini Rana's cookbook, readers get a glimpse of the delectable cuisine of the royals.
Presenting two traditional recipes -- Post Dana Ko Roti, a bread seasoned with poppy seeds, and Sikarni, a type of spiced sweet yoghurt.
The Post Dana Ko Roti recipe was sourced from the household of the aide-de-camp general to his majesty the late Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva of Nepal.
Sikarni is a very light, refreshing dessert and the perfect culmination of a heavy Rana meal.
Post Dana Ko Roti or Poppy Seed Bread
- 2 cups maida or all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- ½ cup post dana or poppy seeds
- ½ cup oil or ghee for frying
- Salt to taste
- Combine the flour, 2 tbsp of the ghee, salt in a bowl.
Mix well, adding a little water and knead into a soft dough.
Roll out the dough into (about 4-5 inch in diameter) discs.
Add a little ghee on the surface of each disc and roll up the disc from one side till the end to make a tube.
Roll or coil the tube inwards (like a pinwheel) making a circle or disc again.
Flatten the disc and repeat for the balance dough.
Keep the discs aside for half an hour.
- Make a paste of the yoghurt with 1 tbsp water.
- Roll out the coiled discs and apply the yoghurt paste on the surface of each.
Brush the poppy seeds on them.
- On a griddle or tawa, heat each disc on one side, keeping the poppy seeds side up.
Cook for 2 minutes and flip over, apply a little oil to the sides and on top of the roti.
Flip over and cook till a golden colour.
- As a variation, deep fry the discs.
Note: For those allergic to gluten, opt to replace the maida with oat flour.
Vegans can stick with oil instead of ghee and vegan yoghurt, now made in India by a few brands.
Weightwatchers may swap oil for ghee, reduce the quantities of oil used and replace the maida with a multigrain flour in the recipe.
The Post Dana Ko Roti recipe is courtesy Ashta Lal, cook to Lieutenant General Nar SJB Rana, Honourable ADC General to His Majesty Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva and who belonged to the family of Maharaja Juddha SJB Rana.
Sikarni or Spiced Sweet Yogurt
- 1½ litres yoghurt
- 1½ cup castor sugar (a kind of finer sugar manufactured by top baking brands)
- 4 small dal cheeni or cinnamon sticks
- 3 large bara elaichi or black cardamom
- 6 small green elaichi or green cardamom
- 2 peppercorns
- 4 long or cloves
- 2 tbsp grated desiccated coconut, for garnish
- 2 almonds, slivered, for garnish
- Few slivered pistachios, for garnish, optional
- Few raisins, for garnish, optional
- Hang the yoghurt in a muslin cloth for at least 2 hours till all the water drips out.
- Dry grind the cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves together to a fine powder.
- In a bowl, add the castor sugar and the ground spices to the yoghurt, and beat well to a thick, smooth consistency.
- Pour into the serving dish and garnish with the grated coconut, raisins, pistachios, almonds.
Note: For a sugar-free dessert, swap the sugar in the recipe with stevia powder or stevia liquid. Each brand of stevia has its own stevia for sugar substitution ratio provided on its packing.
Use vegan yoghurt, now made in India by a few brands, to make a vegan version of Sikarni.
Excerpted from The Rana Cookbook: Recipes from the Palaces of Nepal by Rohini Rana with kind permission from the publishers Penguin Random House India.