Mukand wadi|Home made Seitan

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Mukand wadi/ Mukundvadi  was adapted by Sindhis from the cuisine of  Multan, a district in the Punjab province across the border, before the devastating partition of 1947 happened. Apart from Multani wadi, Sohan halwa and Dholi (Doli) rotis from Multan were popular amongst the people of Sindh. Post partition, many such traditional recipes started to dwindle away from the namesake kitchens of the makeshift homes of ‘‘Refugee” Sindhis. People were forced to cook and eat whatever was available around. Left with the daunting task of protecting the families living in most inhuman conditions, fighting an uphill battle to sustain without money or assets, it was tough for many Sindhis to stay connected to the roots. By the time the dust of brutal partition settled down, the elder Sindhis nursing the painful physical and emotional wounds, got so busy making the ends meet that the thoughts of preserving our culture, language, cuisine and folklore probably didn’t crossed their minds in that catastrophic scenario. Things changed for the better but a radical transformation in our culture left us confused and disorientated.

Coming back to Mukund wadis, or Seitan (the ‘veg meat’), these are available in some Kirana stores in their sun dried avatars. Mukundwadis are made from the wheat gluten that is left after washing the dough with water till almost all of the starch is drained out. The remaining insoluble elastic portion of dough is then poached/boiled, cut, and then either sun dried (to preserve for later use) or fried and added to gravy to make Mukundwadi curry. I first heard it from Medha, a Sindhi food blogger and a very sweet person. Her version of Mukundwadi was very different from the other version that I came across while going through ‘Flavors of Sindh’, a lovely cook book about Sindhi recipes. A little research followed and after getting inputs from various Aunts and Sindhi cooks, I settled with the following recipe. But when I was about to  steam it, I suddenly remembered my friend Suresh Hinduja’s (a celebrity chef, a  gourmand and a food critic) tips about adding some spice quotient to otherwise bland wadis, either by adding spices to the gluten or poaching/steaming it in some aromatic stock. I did both 🙂

I also came to know that Urad dal wadis as well as Soya nuggets are also referred to as Mukundwadis, which I doubt. Can anyone clear this confusion, please?

Today I will share the recipe to make Mukundwadis at home.My next post will be about a simple but delicious curry made by using these wadis. Kindly note that the authentic wadis were probably made without any spices.

Method: (Scroll down to check ingredients and the recipe written together)

Mix salt and flour and knead a stiff dough using water. Let the dough rest for an hour or so.

You can wash the dough in different ways;

1) Place the dough carefully, in a small tub of water and leave it undisturbed for sometime (5-15 minutes). The water will become white and cloudy. Drain it, fill the tub with fresh water, keep flipping and gently kneading the dough inside the water, and drain it again. Repeat the process till water no more turns white while washing the dough.

2) You can wash the dough without first soaking it in water. Just fill a small tub, place the dough, keep flipping and kneading it it gently till the water turns white. Drain and repeat till water stays clear.

3) I found this process simpler. Place the dough in an atta chalni (sieve, as in picture), and place it under a gentle flow of water. Keep squeezing it gently, washing the dough till water flowing out of the chalni runs clear.

Please note that with every wash, there is a significant loss of dough. During the process you might feel that you will be left with no dough by the end of the process, but that’s not going to happen. So relax! Supposedly if you start with 1 cup of kneaded dough, you might end up with less than 1/4 th cup of mukundwadi.

gluten1

Squeeze the gluten well and mix the spices (listed under ‘to spice up the dough’). Make a ball or flatten it . You can boil it as a whole chunk or cut it in small chunks/ slices

gluten

Take a pan or steamer and add enough water to poach the gluten. Add all the ingredients listed under ‘for the stock’. Let the stock boil for few minutes and then drop the spiced up gluten pieces in to the boiling liquid. When the wadis start to float, lower the flame and let these cook for a while.
Drain and let the wadis cool off completely.

gluten2

Heat some oil in a pan/[i] kadai[/i] and deep fry the [i]mukundwadis[/i] till golden brown.

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Mukand wadi
 
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Mukund wadi or seitan , made from wheat gluten is spiced up, poached and fried to make mukundwadi curry.
Ingredients
For Dough
  • 3 cups of flour
  • Water to knead the dough
To spice up the dough
  • 5-6 slightly crushed black peppercorns
  • A generous pinch of Asafoetida
  • Some red chilli powder (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of baking soda (Optional)
For the stock
  • Crushed Ginger 1"
  • Few black pepper corns
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1-2 clove/s
  • ½ inch stick of Cinnamon
  • Few chunks of carrots, some french beans, cut, spinach leaves (4-6)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Water
Method
  1. Mix salt and flour and knead a stiff dough using water. Let the dough rest for an hour or so.
  2. You can wash the dough in different ways;
  3. Place the dough carefully, in a small tub of water and leave it undisturbed for sometime (5-15 minutes). The water will become white and cloudy. Drain it, fill the tub with fresh water, keep flipping and gently kneading the dough inside the water, and drain it again. Repeat the process till water no more turns white while washing the dough
  4. You can wash the dough without first soaking it in water. Just fill a small tub, place the dough, keep flipping and kneading it it gently till the water turns white. Drain and repeat till water stays clear.
  5. I found this process simpler. Place the dough in an atta chalni (sieve, as in picture), and place it under s gentle flow of water. Keep squeezing it gently, washing the dough till water flowing out of the chalni runs clear.
  6. Please note that with every wash, there is a significant loss of dough. During the process you might feel that you will be left with no dough by the end of the process, but that's not going to happen. So relax! Supposedly if you start with 1 cup of kneaded dough, you might end up with less than ¼ th cup of mukundwadi.
  7. Squeeze the gluten well and mix the spices (listed under 'to spice up the dough'). Make a ball or slab of it. You can boil it as a whole chunk or cut it in small chunks/ slices
  8. Take a pan or steamer and add enough water to poach the gluten. Add all the ingredients listed under 'for the stock'. Let the stock boil for few minutes and then drop the spiced up gluten pieces in to boiling liquid. When the wadis start to float, lower the flame and let these cook for a while.
  9. Drain and let the wadis cool off completely.
  10. Heat some oil in a pan/ kadai and deep fry the mukundwadis till golden brown.
  11. Use in Pulav or curries. The recipe for Mukundwadi curry is coming up next on the blog 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Mukand wadi|Home made Seitan

  1. Thank you for this interesting insight into the use of wheat gluten in India.

    For those living in the USA, plain gluten already made into dough is sometimes available in the refrigerated section of Chinese groceries. It is mich cheaper than the seitan sold at health food stores for more than $7/lb.

    Also found in Chinese groceries are 2 canned wheat gluten products, whose canning juices can be washed away, although the nuggets themselves have been fried: they are called vegetarian duck and fried gluten. I like the quality and taste of the latter, drained of all oil and liquid. About $1.29 per small can of 6 oz.

    At health food stores, you will find enriched wheat gluten, which I think is flour enriched with gluten, not pure wheat gluten, which also exists. Where it can be found, I have not been able to discover, although all seitan makers in the USA import pure wheat gluten from China and hydrate and prepare dough from it on site. So, if people are concerned about various Chinese agricultural products, caution should extend to US seitan, no matter what health food store sells it!!

  2. This looks delicious! Thank you. Pinned 🙂

  3. i like it very much…

  4. Sir bhieah ptata miss it,vdriyo ptata.

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