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Rikikur: Sherpa potato pancake

Anisha Rauniyar May 9, 2020

Rikikur is usually eaten at breakfast, but it’s good all the time — especially now, with everyone locked inside. What’s easier to use than potatoes during this lockdown? Those who are lucky enough can have a surplus of potatoes in their kitchens. If you enjoy cooking, consider creating this tasty ‘rikikur’ potato pancake—a favorite dishe from the Sherpa clan.

Potatoes are root in the food history of Sherpa, but they haven’t always been. It adds to the prosperous agrarian culture and their economy — dry potatoes were also brought to Tibet for sale. From the Alps to the Himalayas of Nepal, the modest vegetation native to the South American Andes, helped societies like Sherpa conquer famines, led to economic prosperity and changed their way of life. Perhaps, in those days, the modest tuber may have been the hero of rough times right now.

In the Sherpa kitchen, the potato is as simple as it can be fried and baked in any conceivable way. Potatoes are render into rolls, dumplings, soups, stews, and in the past have been turn into flour and alcohol. Boiled potatoes eaten with spicy achaar are a popular mid-day snack for farm employees.

Rikikur is a rising Sherpas breakfast dish. ‘Riki’ means potatoes and ‘kur’ means roti or bread in the Sherpa language, and the dish is just that: finely grate potatoes combine with a little flour and baked in a oven. Traditionally, when modern graters were not usable, rough coat stones were use as grater. Today, steel plate grinders are popular in several of the Sherpa family house.

The pancake is follow by a spicy achaar, typically from serkam (a strong substance resulting from boiling buttermilk). If available, somar make the achaar extra flavored. Like fish sauce, they have a clear scent, but when they are sparringly apply, they perform a dramatic function, elevating the whole meal.

Although it’s usually a breakfast meal, Rikikur can be eaten at any time. The recipe is simple to create and doesn’t need a lot of ingredients. Only, when you have time during this lockdown, I urge you to try cuisines from all over Nepal and to educate yourself and your children about the value of cooking.

Directions:

Begin with an achar, if you don’t have a serkam, use a dense, sour yoghurt instead. If the yoghurt is too small, drain in a cotton cloth or a broad tea strainer until dense (about two hours). Grind the spring onion, garlic, green chillies and salt to create the paste, apply the yoghurt and blend.

Rinse and cut the potatoes before finely grating (a food processor should be used instead of a grater). The cleaner, the easier it is. Attach flour to the potatoes and combine to create a blender. The flower tends to tie. Eggs should be incorporated now, but this is not a conventional approach, because proteins would help to attach the mixture together. Stop applying salt because the pancake becomes soggy by removing moisture from the grated potatoes.

Warm the pan and apply a tablespoon of butter or oil. Apply about half a cup of the batter and distribute the mixture thinly with a knife. Cook on all sides until light brown. Serve with a little pad of butter and achaar dollop. Eat it hot — cold rikikur has a taste of raw potatoes.

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