Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Aloo Anarkali

Aloo Anarkali

Potato Cups:
500g potatoes, peeled and cut into little potato cups, then boiled in turmeric water

250 g mashed potatoes, inluding the holes of the potato cups
125 g chaana dal, soaked overnight, boiled until al dente
2 Tablespoons shai jeera (royal or black cumin seeds)
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
150g fresh pomegranate seeds
50 ml lemon juice
2 teaspoons chaat masala
2 green chillis, finely chopped
salt to taste
1/2 bunch fresh mint
1/2 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro)
50 g dried candied cherries, chopped fine

Toast cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Combine all filling ingredients and stuff into potato cups. Roast until hot and enjoy as a snack with tamarind chutney, or finish with a red chile gravy and yogurt to serve as a side dish.

Anarkali means pomegranate blossom. The emperor Jehangir, son of Akbar, had a love affair with a slave when he was the Prince (Salim). She was called Anarkali because of her striking beauty.
A play was written by imtiaz Ali Taj in 1923 called Anarkali

Here is a translation of one of the great scenes of the play which was origionally in Urdu. In the movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960), also based on the story of Anarkali and Prince Salim, this scene was filmed in color in the Hall of Mirrors (the Shish Mahal of the Lahore Fort). The rest of the film was shot mostly in black and white so this scene is even more dramatic. It is a classic Bollywood song and dance number where Anarkali (the voice is actually 24 year old Lata Mangeshkar) sings and dances for the king. But in real life the Shish Mahal had not been built durring the king's lifetime. His grandson built the hall of mirrors in 1631. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sang a few songs in Mughal-e-Azam. He was one of the most renowned classical singers of his time. He charged 25,000 rupees per song when famous bollywood singers like Lata were earning less than 500 rupees per song.
Download the soundtrack to Mughal-E-Azam here.

The film Loves of a Mughal Prince (1928) was also based on the same tale

Tune: Yeh Zindagi Usiki Hai from the film Anarkali (1953) sung by Lata Mangeshkar

Tune: Aaja Ab To Aaja also from Anarkali.
Louis Armstrong claimed to be born the same year as Imtiaz Ali Taj, 1900. But Satchmo was actually born one year later in 1901. Louis also died one year after Imtiaz Ali Taj was shot dead in 1970. Being from New Orleans, Satchmo played some festive funeral music.

Tune: Garden of Four Trees (1970) by Explosions feat. Juanita Brooks

Tune: Handa Wanda (1970) by Bo Dollis & The Wild Magnolias

Tune: Question (1971) by Bobby Powell

Tune: Baby (1971) by Os Mutantes

Tune: Purity Brigade (1900) by Edna May from the theatrical play The Belle of New York
Hear more of Little Edna May’s turn of the century recordings here.

Tune: Rocking Chair by Louis Armstrong

In the end, legend has it, Anarkali was burried alive in the walls of the palace.

Tune: Qeej Nqug Rooj (Lao Funeral Music) from The Music of the Hmong People of Laos.


Pupi said...

wassup Rog? how are things ghere all good. I had the 2 chottos for the last week now they are gone but tania still here till frid. We are havign the film fest. Love the food and looking forward to a Goan feast when you are back\

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