Saturday, October 29, 2016

New Look .... Coming Soon

So its been 6 years since I first started this blog. (((Gasp!!! I still can't believe it sometimes.))) None of this would have been possible without your constant love and support. I believe the time has come to give this space a little makeover. For the next few days you may notice a few changes to the blog. Please bear with me while I try to enhance your experience when you come visit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bombay Street Food Special #10 - Papdi Chaat

Now that you can make the very tantalizing Sev Puri at home, I'm eager to show you how to step this already amazing treat up a notch, into something spectacular. The trick is adding a little whipped yogurt. That's it. So basically, without the yogurt you have what we call Sev Puri and with the yogurt, you have a completely different treat called Papdi Chaat. That's how easy and simple it is.

The trick to a good papdi chaat is getting the right balance with the whipped yogurt. Unfortunately, there is no accurate measure here, because the tartness of the yogurt varies greatly. You could use regular pot set yogurt or greek yogurt here, either way, it has to be plain, unflavored and unsweetened yogurt. I start off with half a cup of yogurt for a single plate of chaat or 1 cup for 2 plates or portions. Trust me here, you'd rather have more of the whipped yogurt dip at hand, instead of falling short or running out of it.

So let's get straight to it then. The list below is an approximation. You add as much or as little of each of the ingredients to suit your preferences. The quantities below make one plate or 1 portion. You can easily double or multiply the quantities to make more. Also I used chickpeas here, you could use boiled potato instead or a combination of both.



Papdi Chaat
For 1 portion

6-7 puris (also called Papdi)
1/2 cup boiled / canned chickpeas, roughly mashed
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 tomato, finely diced
Mint Chutney (You can find the recipe here)
Date and Tamarind Chutney (You can find the recipe here)
Sev
Fresh coriander, chopped
Some chaat masala / amchur (dried mango) powder
1/2 cup plain, unflavoured and unsweetened yogurt
A pinch of salt
Sugar, to taste (superfine sugar)

To make this chaat, start off my making the yogurt whip. The mixed yogurt needs to sit for about 5 minutes for the flavor to develop.

Place the yogurt, a scant pinch of salt and 1 tsp sugar and stir together to combine. Taste and add more sugar if you need to. You are looking for a slightly tangy, slightly sweet taste with a faint hint of saltiness as well. If your yogurt is not too tart, start with 1/2 tsp sugar and add more if needed. Set the bowl aside while you assemble the chaat.

Place your puris on your serving plate.


(These puris can be made at home. I haven't tried making them yet. For now, I use the store bought version. I get mine in packets that look like the one below).


Over the puris, arrange the mashed chickpeas in a layer. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the chickpeas layer but here's one of the boiled potato slices. The trick here too is to not overload the puris. They will get difficult to manage.


Top that with the chopped onion. Use as much or as little as you like. But make sure you use some.


Top this with some chopped tomato.


Now add your green mint chutney. I would start of with small quantities of this as this is on the spicy side.


Now you add the Date and Tamarind Chutney. This is the sweet and tangy stuff, so feel free to add some.


At this stage, add a dollop of the whipped yogurt on each puri. I like a little extra yogurt on mine, but go with what you think you'd enjoy.

The next layer uses sev. Sev is basically little fried crispy noodles made out of chickpea flour. Again, this can be made at home, but I haven't tried that yet. I simply use a store bought packet.


Add a layer of the sev to the puris.


It's almost done. But there are a couple of flourishes that will take this treat to a whole new level. Sprinkle the puris with a pinch of chaat masala / amchur powder. Use this sparingly as a little goes a long way. Lastly garnish with some freshly chopped coriander.



Serve immediately.

There is only one way to eat these puris. You get a whole puri with its toppings in your mouth at one go.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bombay Street Food Special #9 - Sev Puri

Yup that's right! You thought I had given up on my Bombay Street Food Series, didn't you? The good news is that I haven't. I just don't always remember to take a picture when I make some of these. This time I did. So I can finally share one of my favorites with you. Sev Puri - Sev is just the almost super thin fried noodle like crunchy topping and Puri the flat disc that it sits on. This Sev Puri falls into a broader category of street food called Chaat, which also includes Bhel Puri, Paani Puri and many more. I love them all. Infact everytime I go back home, I have to go get some almost the day I get there. There is only one vendor close to where I grew up that I will ever go to. No one can beat his Chaat in taste. I should check if he's willing to make an appearance on the blog, when I go there next. You have to be careful about where you get your Chaat fix from because of overall hygiene levels of street food in Bombay. But this guy, I can swear by. We've been frequenting his little stall since he started his business, about 30 years ago. If you're skeptical about enjoying these on the street or don't have access to a vendor like this, with a little planning you can enjoy a fantastic version at home.

This little treat is basically an Indian version of nachos, except that these are individually topped with all the fun stuff. The way you eat this is you pick up one Puri and try not to drop off any of the toppings and the whole things goes into your mouth at one go. What you end up with is an explosion of flavors and textures. It is literally a party in your mouth. To make these puris, you'll need to have some boiled potato at hand. You will also need a couple of chutneys. From time to time I make these chutneys at home (I'll add the link in the recipe below), but this time around I'd run out of the home made version and used store bought chutneys. You should be able to find all of the ingredients in your local Indian grocery store. I do hope you try these out. These are best eaten as soon as they are assembled, otherwise they tend to go soggy. You will also notice that your second and third attempts will be better than your first one, because these babies are all about a balance of flavors. Once you've tried them, you'll know what you want to increase or decrease the next time around. The quantities below are not fixed, you can add more or less of any of them to suit your taste. Each plate typically serves one and can easily be doubled or multiplied. The quantities below make 1 plate.




Sev Puri
Serves 1

6-7 puris (also called Papdi)
1 potato, boiled and thinly sliced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 tomato, finely diced
Mint Chutney (You can find the recipe here)
Date and Tamarind Chutney (You can find the recipe here)
Sev
Fresh coriander, chopped
Some chaat masala / amchur (dried mango) powder
A few drops of freshly squeezed lime juice

Place your puris on your serving plate.


(These puris can be made at home. I haven't tried making them yet. For now, I use the store bought version. I get mine in packets that look like the one below).


Over the puris, arrange a layer of the boiled potato slices. Don't overload the puris. They will get difficult to manage.


Top that with the chopped onion. Use as much or as little as you like. But make sure you use some.


Top this with some chopped tomato.


Now add your green mint chutney. I would start of with small quantities of this as this is on the spicy side.


Now you add the Date and Tamarind Chutney. This is the sweet and tangy stuff, so feel free to add some.


The next layer uses sev. Sev is basically little fried crispy noodles made out of chickpea flour. Again, this can be made at home, but I haven't tried that yet. I simply use a store bought packet.


Add a layer of the sev to the puris.


It's almost done. But there are a couple of flourishes that will take this treat to a whole new level. Sprinkle the puris with a pinch of chaat masala / amchur powder. Use this sparingly as a little goes a long way. Add a few drops of freshly squeezed lime juice. Again with the lime juice, less is more. You can add a bit, taste and add more if needed. However, if you add too much there is no way to balance it out. Lastly garnish with some freshly chopped coriander.


Serve immediately and get ready to be very popular with anyone you might serve this to.

There is only one way to eat these puris. You get a whole puri with its toppings in your mouth at one go.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Recipes for Diwali ... both sweet and savory

In India, the festive season is just around the corner, starting of with Dusshera and moving on to Diwali and finally ending the year with Christmas. So as you can imagine, things start getting pretty hectic right about now. If you are prepping for Dusshera or Diwali, I have a little something to help you with the food aspect of your prep. I have collated a list of much loved recipes from my blog that would be perfect on a platter of treats to share with family and friends.

Some of these are treats that you will see around the Diwali season, others are so popular, they make an appearance at both Diwali and Christmas. This list comprises of both sweet and savory treats that are easy to make at home. So if you are looking to make something this Diwali to share with your loved ones or, like me, you are in a land far away and are missing out on all these treats, the recipes below will help you re-create some of that deliciousness in your very own home.




Sweets





















Savory / Namkeen
























I hope there's a little something here for everybody. 

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

SRC: 2-minute Nutella Mug Cake ... with just 4 ingredients

I don't know what I'm most excited about - the SRC reveal, this 2-minute cake, the Nutella in it or that it uses just 4 ingredients. It's safe to say that I'm super happy with this recipe. For this month's SRC assignment I had Cathleen's blog, A Taste of Madness. Picking a recipe for this month's reveal was particularly tough. Cathleen loves baking and is a big fan of anything covered in chocolate, in a nutshell. After spending some time going through her blog, I think we could become good friends. I know we like the same kind of food. How do I know that? Its simple really. I wanted to make (almost) every single recipe I came across on her blog. Seriously, go over to Cathleen's blog and check it out. You can thank me later :) With great difficulty I narrowed my choices for this reveal down to her Coconut Oatmeal Cake, Homemade Caramels, this crazy Smores Brownie Pie, these Gooey Cinnamon Squares and the Nutella Mug Cake. After a lot of deliberation, serious deliberation, the Nutella Mug Cake won.

4 ingredients, a quick stir and 2 minutes later, your kitchen will smell amazing and you'll have a little mug of deliciousness in the form of this cake ready. This recipe was really the obvious choice for this reveal when I think of it, atleast subconsciously. My first mug cake recipe - this 2-minute Chocolate Mug Cake is one of the more popular recipes on my blog. And I know why. The appeal of instant gratification is hard to turn down. So if you lurve your Nutella, treat yourself to this Mug Cake.




2-minute Nutella Mug Cake

4 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Nutella
3 tbsp milk

Whisk all the ingredients together. I find it easiest to whisk everything together in a bowl.

Pour the batter into a microwave safe mug.

Microwave for about 90 seconds and see if its done. If its not done, microwave in 30 second increments as needed.

Enjoy!!!