Showing posts with label chaat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chaat. Show all posts

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sprouted Moong Dal- Healthy teatime tiffin


Sprouts were quite a favorite of mine in my younger days. My mom had them going almost every other week. Whole moong in the summer,  moth ki daal during monsoons and kaala chana for winter. The way I remember her doing it was to pick and soak the grains in the morning, and then tie them in a moist muslin cloth. She let the bundle hang in her kitchen sink. The sprouts came almost within a day. I’d usually wait 2-3 days till when the sprouts were about an inch (or more) long before attacking them….

…And that brings us to the actual eating preferences in our home:

1) I loved my sprouts raw. Just sprinkle them with a little salt and garam masala, and some lemon if you wish. Some might argue that you have to use a spoon, I just picked at each sprout individually and popped it in my mouth. Worked best for “soft” beans like Moong daal. And tasted best in the hot summer months.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Swedish Red Beet salad (Rodbetsallad) - an adaptation.

This summer our vacation took an impromptu, unplanned detour through the three Scandinavian countries. Although rushed, the trip was amazing. Being handicapped by language, I had many escapades in Norway- hilarious in hindsight, but really frustrating then. At one time, I had a collection of 9 bottles of water- all weird tasting- when all I'd asked for in all the supermarkets was clear, unflavored water!

Sweden was different. We were met with A's cousin and her family - so language was no barrier.  The first day we were treated to an all-Indian breakfast, lunch and dinner. By next day, the host's young daughter could take Indian no more. So, she laid out a breakfast of several different kinds of cereals, breads, cheeses and condiments - all surprisingly foreign-looking. A being more adventurous tasted first- and I nibbled from his plate before getting anything on my own.  The breads were good, and the cheeses better; but I'd prefer American breakfast cereal any day to their cereal. That leaves out the outstanding-

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Weekend Morning Brunch with Samosa

We grew up in a time when schools and offices in India dictated a 6-day work-week rule. To re-affirm Sunday as his day off from work, my dad did all the things that he normally wouldn’t on a week-day. He was always an early riser, but on Sundays, he made tea for mom and himself.   He also let her sleep that extra half-hour - a big concession since he was a stickler for time and schedule. My dad was also a foodie, as well as overtly conscious of hygiene. He loved eating spicy chaat and “gourmet" food; but then insisted that his digestion-related issues were because of the unhygienic conditions of the roadside stalls rather than his over-eating. In his mind, the perfect solution was to start a Sunday Brunch tradition where he insisted that we break free of the dal-roti-sabzi routine and cook something “special". My mom wasn’t too keen initially; but he promised her he would help her with getting the brunch started. And he kept his promise as far back as I can remember….

One of the first recipes I remember him bringing home is that of a Samosa. He had it on a piece of a greasy, lined notebook sheet, with step-by-step diagrams for my mom to follow. He said he’d given 10 rupees to his favorite roadside-samose-waale-panditji for the recipe. Mommy was so miffed, that she refused to make it for him. So him and I sat down with a bowl full of all-purpose flour and emptied a big jug of water to make the pastry dough. And then, we were stuck- for the recipe said to break the dough into balls while we had a river of white gooey stuff in our bowl…nowhere near a dough that you could break balls out of….The samose-waale-panditji, in all his wisdom, hadn’t bargained for complete novices trying to replicate his recipe. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A blast from the past: Kalmi Vada

My MIL claims not to be much of a cook herself. But the truth is, her discomfiture in the kitchen makes her one of the better home cooks I know of. She measures and tastes and strives for perfection when most people, including yours truly, get side-tracked by their own confidence into serving without tasting first.  One of the first things I remember from her kitchen was this delicacy she called Kalmi vada.  I had been married barely about a month,  when she made these for the Holi festival over a decade ago.  I remember she'd sounded surprised when I said that I'd never eaten those before. Apparently,  Kalmi vada is a Rajasthani snack....never saw it made in my Rajasthani side of the family though.....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shakargandhi-ki-Chaat - Easy Peasy Lemon Sqeezy

Through winter and spring in Delhi, Shakargandhi was a common sight at vegetable vendors. Stacked right next to the potato piles, the two were barely distinguishable. My mom had 2 ways of cooking up this tuber- the first, bury them deep underneath the koyla and wood. in the angeethi (wood-burning stove) and not worry about it for a couple hours at least; gave the best, smoky, juicy shakargandhi ever, The second, teeny-bit less on flavor, but definitely faster was to use a heavy iron tava (griddle) on a very low flame. She never cut up the shakargandhi, and she never used oil. And I could never resist either version....
 
Here in USA, I tried to make Shakargandhi on a hot tava like my mom. Never got it. They got too mushy, the flesh stuck to their skin, and I got very little out of them. When my mom came to visit, she tried to make them as well, without success. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dahi-Vada: with Moong Dal; and Das Lakshan Parv

The Jains' observe a week of renunciation and austerity during the months of August-September; and I gave you a glimpse of that in my last week's post on Paryushan. As with any other matter of the heart; the Jain religion is split up in the middle into two major sects. And despite being almost identical in faith and lifestyle, the observances between the two sects vary. Which is why one Jain is fasting this week; ending on Sept 29th - the Anant Chaturdeshi day, equivalent to the Samvatsri in my last post. Which is also why, in my home, the entire experience gets extended to 18 days (A and I come from the two different sects of Jains, and in my zest to neither give up and yet be accepted, I've been trying to assimilate the differences in observance). This year, I've split my observances with my visiting MIL, who is responsible for the 10-day long Das-Lakshan Parv, as opposed to my 8 days of Paryushan. I definitely get the better deal out of this whole arrangement :-))

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Drool-worthy Gol Gappe.....

Nothing exemplifies Indian street food as well as "Gol-Gappe"....the bite sized crispy balls of flour or semolina, filled with seasoned potato-chickpea mixture and dipped in a spicy green mint sauce as well as a sweet and savory tamarind chutney - the quintessential fun food at all the street side "melas" back home. Just thinking about them is making me drool....

My mom and I went out without fail, once every month for our Gol-Gappe trip. The day my dad brought in his salary and gave us all our "pocket money",  mommy managed to wheedle out a little extra from daddy.  With that money, my brother got an ice cream, and my mom and I got our monthly fix of the spicy goodness.  All my dad's warnings about the Chaat wala's dirty hands  and his unsanitary matki didn't deter us.  We ate out of this fellow's grimy hands every month, and never fell sick.  And yet one time, the only time that we could drag our dad to this fellow; we all ended up with severe diarrhea :-))

Friday, October 28, 2011

Khasta Kachori: and our Diwali memoirs!

The other day, a friend and I got talking about traditions - especially surrounding our festival season. We reminised about all the preperations that went into Diwali celebrations back home; and then about all the short cuts we take trying to celebrate this huge day after work; in the US.  Kind of sad, but true.


I loved Diwali back home. I can still relate to the excitement that preceeded the days between Dussehra and Diwali. School life came to a virtual standstill; as we were too excited to be learning anything. So instead, we had a week of talent shows, fancy dress competitions, traditional wear days, and arts day where we created numerous rangolis, kandils (paper lanterns) and diyas for our home. Mom got busy with superloads of laundry that included everything from drapes to bed covers. She was a good

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mix it up: Black Bean Salsa

I find entertaining to be very stressful. Don't get me wrong- I love  company. I just hate the little jiggles of worry that come with planned partying.  I worry about the house not being clean, about things not being right before the guests arrive. Most of all, I worry about not having enough food on my table. With that in mind, chips and store bought salsa and/ or guacamole.is a staple, as well as an emergency go to, for my entertaining.  Then last year, a dear friend introduced me to her black bean salsa....and I fell in love. When I asked her what went in the salsa, her response was very characteristic of her - "beans, and corn; then keep tasting and adding things till it tastes right...."! Knowing her, this is probably what she does. And actually, the first couple of times I made it, that was the approach I took. Lately though, my right brain has been niggling at me to standardize the recipe - that's my training in science; sometimes it interferes at home. As a result of this cross-boundary interference, the last couple of times I made this salad/salsa; I actually noted down what I put in there. And as with any good standardization that I do at work, today I figured it was time to document a protocol for this :-)) Here goes....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Khau na...Jhaal Murri


It all began one fine day in September of 2002. I called A and informed him of my decision. He raised all the due concerns a new dad-to-be should, and I rah-rahed him down with my new-found confidence of a soon-to-be first-time mom. I had found the perfect solution to our fast-approaching childcare needs. This woman I'd found was a grandma missing her grand-kids back home in Bangladesh, she did not want to care for more than one infant and she knew how to change diapers. My child would have her undivided attention and love during the day, unlike in a daycare. And she could show me how to change diapers. Perfect.

"But she hardly speaks Hindi, and not a word of English", A said.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An event and a Chaat

This month, we celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday. As I sat there mulling over what make-ahead starters we could have for the gathering of 40 or so friends, my memory registered seeing a blog competition about legumes the day before . A quick google brought me up to this announcement by Sia of Monsoon Spice who is hosting Susan's event this month. And an idea was born! I decided to make an effortless matar chaat, so popular on the streets of Old Delhi. It is easy, make ahead, and was real successful at my get-together. Unfortunately, there was no time to take pictures of the actual thing - I promise to remedy this soon enough!

Zhatpat Chatpat Matar Chaat
(Dried peas salad)
Dried green peas 100g soaked for about 4h 
Cucumber 2
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Lemon for juice 1
Red/Orange pepper 1
Ginger juice 1 tsp
Apple juice 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Green chillies 2-3/ to taste
Chaat Masala to taste


Now, it is all a matter of tossing everything together!
  1. But first of all, drain the soaked peas and cook them al dente. I used a pressure cooker, and cooked for about 10 min. (till two pressure whistles) in 1/2 cup of water. When done, the peas are almost dry. 
  2. Chop all the veggies as desired- I had kids at the party so I chopped them up real fine! 
  3. Toss the veggies together with apple juice, lemon juice and ginger juice and reserve till the peas have cooled down. 
  4. Now mix the veggies and peas together, add the green chillies, salt and chaat masala. Keep aside for 30 min or more, to blend the spices together.
And voila, you have the chaat from streets of Chandni Chowk! Serve it with the spicy pudiny-dhaniya chutney and sweet and sour Imly chutney on the side, for that additional spice. The street vendor back home will serve you this chaat garnished with julienne of sweet radish and ginger, sprinkled with cilantro and sev and an additional wedge of lemon. Try all the frills- you won't be disappointed! Another option is to serve it with toasted pita bread on the side. This here, then, is my entry for September's My Legume affair.