DUM means to breathe in and PUKHT to cook. Dum pukht cooking uses a round, heavy- bottomed pot, a handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking, bhunao and dum, or roasting and maturing, of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness if flavors that distinguishes the cuisine.
The food we serve originally included only traditional offerings from the Peshawari and Dum Pukht cuisine. Recently, we introduceda completely varied, yet delectable cuisine – Indo-Chinese. Learn more about these different cuisines below.
Peshawari: The famed Peshawari cuisine, one of the legacies of undivided India, originates from the North West Frontier Province. This succulent cuisine can be best defined as rustic and robust. The most popular aspect of this cuisine is tandoor cooking. The food is cooked in rustic style on slow fire for a long time especially for dishes like Haleem and Dal Makhani, which tastes best when cooked overnight on slow fire. The spices predominantly used include yellow chili powder, garam masala, cardamom, mace powder, royal cumin, and carom. Kasoori methi and Kashmiri mirchi, which enhancethe smoky flavor of food cooked in tandoor, like pulao, kebab and biryani, are sparingly used.
Dum Pukht: Dum Pukht or slow oven cooking is a cooking technique associated with the Awadh region of India, in which meat and vegetables are cooked over a very low flame, generally in sealed containers. Dum means to ‘breathe in’ and pukht to ‘cook’. Dum pukht cooking uses a round, heavy-bottomed pot, a Handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. Herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. Lesser spices are used than in traditional Indian cooking, with fresh spices and herbs for flavoring.There are two main aspects to this style of cooking; bhunao and dum, or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. The process of slow roasting gently persuades each ingredient to release maximum flavor. The sealing of the lid of the handi with dough achieves maturing.This is known as purdah (veil), and on cooking,the dough becomes bread, which has absorbed the flavors of the food cooked within, and the two are best eaten together. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavors that distinguish the dish.Dum Pukht food is all about aroma. When the seal is broken on the table and the fragrance of an Avadhi repast floats in the air, the temptation to savor every morsel is irresistible.
Indo-Chinese: The Chinese people have visited India for ages to tour their Buddhist pilgrimage sites and gain a better understanding of the Buddhist teachings. But it wasn’t until they settled in Calcutta, now Kolkata, in India, that the true melting of cultures took place. Quick to realize that Indians love spicy food, the Chinese, using the same vegetables and meat, took the masala that gave Indian cuisine it’s unique flavor and added their own flavors – soy sauce, corn starch for coating and thickening, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and generous amounts of ginger, garlic and chili. And, voila, a new cuisine was born – Indo-Chinese! Now, a permanent, much sought-after fixture in many restaurants, Indo-Chinese food is also found as street food sold on the roadside, in handcarts, food stalls, mobile vans, etc. Even the simple chaat item, ‘Bhelpuri’ has a new variety – Chinese Bhel. And, the hitherto traditional South Indian dosa dons a new avatar – Schezuan Chopsuey Dosa!Most Indo-Chinese dishes can be ordered with or without gravy. Common dishes in Indo-Chinese include Szechwan (spicy red sauce), Chili (hot and batter-fried) and Manchurian. They have very little in common with the original Chinese dishes. In fact, Manchurian isn’t even part of the original Chinese cuisine, though it is now such an integral part of Indo-Chinese cuisine.
We, at Underground Indian Cuisine, are proud and excited to be the first to offer Indo-Chinese cuisine in the Dallas area. Our Indochinese cuisine is available only at dinnertime.