Ker Sangri of Ajmer
Ajmer is the center for pilgrimage in Rajasthan as it is surrounded by the Aravali Mountain Range and is home to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a renowned and respected Sufi saint. Unlike most other districts and cities of Rajasthan, Ajmer is not exposed to the harsh and sandy winds of the grand Thar Desert. It is surrounded and safeguarded by the Nagpathar Range which is a part of the Aravalli Mountains.
Apart from being a pilgrimage destination of India, it is also home to some of the best Rajasthani delicacies. A large variety of dishes have originated from Ajmer. One of the most special dishes of the district is Ker Sangri ki Sabzi which is prepared out of simple ingredients. These ingredients too are local to the people of Ajmer and some specific parts of Rajasthan.
Due to the hot and dry weather of the city like the rest of the state, this preparation is in tune with the health requirements of the people. This dish helps people to stay cool in the piping hot weather of Ajmer during the day. The ingredients, which were discovered ages ago by the villagers of Ajmer, are readily available due to the weather conditions. Ker refers to a dried berry found only in the deserts and Sangri is basically dried beans. These were found during a phase of famine due to lack of water in the villagers resorted to dried food. In the hot weather of Ajmer, dried food is the best way to survive, which is the reason behind the popularity of this dish.
Now let’s find out, how it is prepared and cooked in Ajmer and what are the places it is served best in.
Ingredients for Ker Sangri
- Ker (1/2 cup)
- Sangri (1 cup)
- Dried Mango Pieces (5-6 pieces)
- Dried Red Chillies (4-5 or more as per taste)
- Yoghurt (1 cup)
- Oil (4 tablespoons)
- Ginger Paste (2 teaspoons)
- Red Chilli Powder (1 teaspoons)
- Turmeric Powder (1/2 teaspoon)
- Coriander Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)
- Coriander Leaves Chopped (1 tablespoon)
- Dry Mango Powder or Amchur (1 teaspoon)
Time to prepare-10 minutes
Times to cook-20 minutes
Method to be followed
The Ker and the Sangri need to be marinated and soaked in a cup of Yoghurt overnight. When you are ready to prepare the dish, take the Ker and Sangri out of the beaten Yoghurt. Following this they need to be boiled in water with salt and drained.
Then simply heat the oil in pan, add the cumin seeds and let them splatter at a medium heat. Once they stop splattering partially, add the ginger paste and the dry red chillies and saute it until the color of the cumin seeds turn a little blackish. Then pour in a little of bit of water to fried whole spices. The red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder should be added to the mixture. After this you can add the dried mango pieces, saute a little more and add the Yoghurt, keeping the flame at a very low heat. Finally add the Ker and Sangri to the base of the preparation and mix it well. Add some more salt to taste, followed by the dried Mango powder or Amchur and coriander leaves and mix it again. After mixing it well which should take about 2 minutes, takeoff the heat and garish it with fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle some Amchur to finish it.
This dish is best served with Puris, Parathas, Chapatis or Missi Roti. Some people also prefer it as a side dish with rice and other Rajasthani delicacies. It is an essential component of the lavish Rajasthani Thali. This dish is found in several popular restaurants of Ajmer which include Elite located in Station Road, Ajmer, Sangri in Tonk Road and Apna Gaon in Vishwakarma Industrial Area. These are some of the restaurants in Ajmer that serve a delightful Ker Sangri Ki Sabzi and must be visited by every tourist and local in the district.