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Friday, March 27, 2009

Hinger Kochuri

Fried Pancakes or Indian bread stuffed with a filling of lentil-asafoetida mix
Though Hing er Kochuri with Alur Dum was a favourite Sunday brunch during growing up years, it was my cousin's visit last week that propelled me to make it myself. Without access to my cooking guru, my Ma, I had to go by the taste I remembered. It was more of a trial and error which thankfully yielded moderately good results...though the hing flavour was a tad too mild for my satisfaction. So today when I made it again, I added some more hing and the flavour was just about right. I still havent had the opportunity to confirm my impromptu recipe's accuracy from Ma. Once I do and if there are any modifications, will post the same...

For now, the recipe for the Hing er Kochuri goes as follows :

Ingredients :
Chholar dal (Split chickpea) 100 gms - Soaked overnight
Kolai /Urad dal (White lentils) - 150 -200gms - Soaked for 1 hour
Fennel Seeds - dry roasted-for seasoning
Hing/ Asafoetida - 4 tbsp
Oil - 1/2 litre
Maida/All purpose flour - 1/2 kg
Salt to taste
Green chilli - 1 or 2 (Optional)
Red Chilli - a pinch (Optional)

Procedure :
For the filling :
1. Mix the soaked dal/lentils, throw in a tsp of salt, a green chilli and grind them together to make a paste. It need not be a very smooth paste.

2. In a wok, add about 3-4 tbsp of oil. Temper with fennel seeds. Add the hing/asafoetida, fry for a few second (dont overfry...hing burns ver easily). Add the dal/lentil paste. Add sallt, as required. Mix well. Fry for about 10 minutes or till the hing, lentil paste and salt have mixed unirformly. Keep aside.

For the Dough
1. In a small skillet, take a tbsp of oil. Heat it and throw in a tsp of Hing. Fry for a second or two. Take it off the flame.

2. Now take the maida. Mix the oil+Hing as above, to the maida. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. And mix well.

3. Now knead the maida into a soft dough.

4. Like in making puri/luchi, pinch of balls off the dough, roll them into smooth balls. Then make cavities in the centre and add a spoonful of the lentil-hing mix. Fold up the dough cup with the lentil mix in the centre and seal it and again roll into ball.

5. Now roll out the balls as you would in case of puri/luchi.

6. Deep fry.

The Hing er Kochuris are ready to be eaten with the Alur Dum or achar, Chholar Daal, or just plain!

Note : With the maida, around 14 Kochuris could be made. The filling of dal-hing mix can be refrigerated in an air tight box for a few days. I make the maida dough fresh each time.

This is my entry to the event 'My Legume Love Affair-Ninth Helping' (MLLA9) hosted for the month by Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.

The creator of this interesting event which is doing its 9th round is Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.
The logo for the event is :

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mixed Fruit Chaatni

The Bengali Chaatni can have any fresh fruit as an ingredient. One of the most common being the tomato, of course. Other common ones being Aam (Raw mango), Pepe (Raw Papaya), Olive (Aamra), Anarosh (Pineapple) to name a few.
Tomato chaatni having become too common and more importantly there being only a handful in my fridge, made me think out-of-the-box. A peek into the fridge, brought out half a pineapple, some grapes and as I've already mentioned, a handful of tomatoes. So got down to an improvisation...with some seedless tamarind and dates (which are always available in my fridge) thrown in to the fruit medley, a mixed fruit chaatni, it would be!

Ingredients : what I used in this impromptu recipe Tomatoes - 3
Pineapple - 1/2 a pineapple (small one) - chopped into small pieces
Grapes - about 15-20 - sliced longitudinally
Seedless tamarind-a small ball soaked in warm water to make a pulp
Seedless dates - a small bowl full
Cashew/Kaju - broken pieces - about 30-40 gms
Sugar - 100 gms or depending on the desired sweet-tangy taste
black salt- a pinch
fennel seeds - dry roasted or microwaved for a minute
Dry Roasted Cummin powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1 (Optional)
Mustard Oil - 1 tbsp

Procedure :
1. Heat the oil in a wok. Throw in the bay leaf
2. Temper with the fennel seeds as phoron.
3. Add the broken kaju pieces and the chopped seedless dates. Fry for a few seconds
4. Add the tomatoes. Stir around in the wok till they are almost mashed.
5. Add the sugar. Mix well
6.Add the pineapples pieces, grapes, tamarind pulp.
7. Cook till they all integrate. Sprinke some water if too dry.
8. Check for the sweetness.
9. Add a pinch of black salt and the chilli flakes. Mix well
10. Before taking the wok off the flame, sprinkle some roasted Cummin / jeera powder.
The Chaatni will have a sweet-sour-slightly hot taste.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ilish Maachh Bhaja..Tel Kaancha Lonka diye

(Fried Hilsa fish eaten with Mustard Oil & Green Chilli)

Even as I write, I'm salivating thinking of this simplest of simple, yet heavenly fish preparation.
To say it is easy to prepare, is an understatement.

Hilsa or Ilish tastes best when the size is big, minimum of 1 kg. But staying away from the fish lovers' hub that my home town is, I dont always have a choice. And have to be satisfied with whatever size the vendor has. Hence when last Sunday, a tiny Hilsa, Khoka Ilish (literally translated, it would mean Khoka=young boy ;)), weighing around 300gms was all that was available, I bought, two such Hilsas. But the bones of Ilish are such, that it would scare even the most loyal of fish lovers! And the smaller the size, the finer the bones.
Hence decided to prepare this particular preparation, which is a crispy, deep fried dish, where the crunchy bones can be chewed and eaten up!

Ingredients :
Illish Maachh (Hilsa) - cut into pieces and washed and cleaned (I used 2 Hilsas, 300gms each)
Salt - to taste
Turmeric/Halid - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Mustard Oil - 200-250 ml

Procedure :
1. Smear the washed fish pieces with Salt, turmeric and red chilli powder and keep aside for about 15 minutes
2. In a wok, pour around 250 ml of mustard Oil for deep frying. Heat the oil.
3. Deep fry the marinated fish on high flame till they are browned and crispy.

To eat this fried fish :
The mustard Oil in which the fish is fried, is mixed with hot plain rice, smeared with Kaancha Lonka (Green Chilli) and a bite of the crunchy, crispy Ilish Maachh bhaaja.

Bread Pudding

The easiest recipe for dessert. Simple, easy to make, yet delicious. So in almost every lunch/dinner gathering I host, if their isnt much time for more elaborate affair, I can safely fall back on this Pudding dish.

So without much ado, here goes the recipe..

Ingredients :
Milk - 1 litre
Sugar - 70gms (or as per taste)
Egg - 2
Bread - 1 slice (I used 1 slice wheat bread)
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
cashew/kaju - broken pieces (I used around 40gms)
raisins/kishmish - a handful (I used around 20gms)
Chocolate sauce - as topping
Almonds - Blanched, skinned, Roasted and sliced - for garnishing
Note : The topping & garnishing can be changed as per your liking. The most common one I do is the chocolate one (as is given here).
Strawberry crush, A combination of orange marmalade & tiny fresh fruits pieces like apple,orange, strawberry also taste great!

Procedure :
1. Boil the litre of milk and reduce it to about 750ml

2. Add torn pieces of bread slice and the sugar into the boiling milk. Reduce it further to approx 500ml. Cool the mix

3. Beat two eggs.

4. Add the whipped eggs, baking powder, vanilla essence and the kaju & kishmish and mix well.

5. In an oven proof dish, spray some oil, preheat it (optional) and pour the batter prepared as at Sl. 4.

6. In a Convection oven, I bake for about 1/2 hr - 40 minutes at 180-200 deg F.

This time I was in a hurry...hence bake in microwave for 15 minutes, in Medium Power.

Before taking it off the oven, insert a knife or anything pointed and if it comes out with some semi-solid batter stuck to it, bake for another few minutes.

7. Take it off the oven, smear the top with a thick layer of chocolate sauce (or any other topping of your choice). Garnish with the roasted and sliced almonds (This again may be changed to any garnishing of your choice)

8. Put it in the fridge to chill and serve!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Roshogolla or Rasgulla

Bengal is and always has been famous for its sweets. And Roshogollas and the Bongs go hand in hand! There are many a variety of Bengali sweets, each delicious & exotic, heavenly to taste. But for reasons unknown to me, the Roshogolla or rasgulla is the face of Bengali sweets and confectionary.

In our household, the father-daughter duo of SD & AD are the quintessential Bong sweet lovers. Living away from Bengal, the greatest disadvantage of the true blue Bong, is the lack of availability of authentic Roshogolla. And the tinned ones are a poor substitute. So it is for them, that I often become adventurous and try my hand at the roshogollas and Sandesh.
So here it goes..the simplest Roshogolla recipe:

Ingredients :All measures are for 1 litre milk which yielded 20 medium sized RoshogollasMilk – full cream – 1 Litre
Lemon juice of 2 lemons
Maida – 2 tsp
Elaichi /cardamom powder
Nokuldana (Sweet globules) - 20 nos. OR sugar – 2 tsp
Sugar syrup made with Sugar : Water ratio = 1:2. I used 3.5 cups (250ml) cups of sugar and 7 cups of water.

Process :
1. Boil the milk. Add the lemon juice to make fresh Chhana (home made cottage cheese).
2. Squeeze the water out by putting it in a clean cheese cloth and rinsing it.
3. Knead the chhana as you knead atta/maida. The chhana should become very soft and pliable and your hand must feel oily. The trick to make soft roshogollas lies in this step of kneading. The better your knead, the tastier will be the roshogollas.

4. After the chhana dough is smooth and soft, add 2 tsp of maida to it. Mix the maida with the chhana by  kneading.
5. Add a tsp of elaichi powder to remove the lemony taste of the chhana. Keep in mind that the elaichi should be just sufficient to nullify the lemony taste but should not give its strong elaichi flavor to the chhana
6. To make the sugar syrup, in a pressure cooker, add the sugar and water in 1:2 ratio and let it come to a boil
7. Divide the chhana dough, into 18-20 globules.
8. Take each pinched off chhana piece, and make it into a globule by rolling it between your palms. Push in a nokuldana or a pinch of sugar into the centre of the globule. Again by rolling it between your palms, smoothen the globule surface,
9. The size of the globules should be half of what you want your roshogolla size to be.
10.While you are doing steps 8 & 9, the sugar-water mix may have come to a boil.
11. Add the globules into the boiling syrup. Close the lid of the pressure cooker.
12. Let a whistle blow. Lower the flame and cook for another 10 minutes on low flame. Switch off the gas. Let the steam come out of the pressure cooker on its own.
13. The spongy white spheres of roshogollas are ready. You can have them hot or refrigerate them and have them chilled. The choice is all yours!

This is my entry to WYF:Cuisine and the logo for the event is

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Koth Bel Maakha....delicious Wood Apple Pulp!!

That the routine weekend trip to the supermarket would transport me to my growing up years...who knew. As I mechanically stuffed the Gourds, Potatoes, Onions into my basket, a familiar yet not-so familiar aroma drew me to a corner of the fresh vegetables/fruits section. A row of moss-green-pale-yellow speckled, rough & hard textured sphere with the name of Wood-Apple were sitting pretty on the cornermost shelf.
Is it or is it not, was what I asked myself ???
A quick SOS call to Ma describing the appearance and English name of Wood-Apple confirmed that it was indeed the 'Koth Bel' Dida used to mash and spice up for us to savour on hot summer afternoons, sitting on the terrace and squirming yet loving the predominantly sour-yet-sweet taste with the distinct flavour of the Koth Bel Maakha (Maakha-a Bengali term which means to mash & mix)!!! almost involuntary shiver in remembrance of the unforgettable taste ran through my palate even as I stood right in the middle of the supermarket. Greedily I picked up four Koth-Bels or Wood-Apples (a name totally unknown to me till that day) and proceeded towards the cash counter......

Well, without wasting any more time, I'll proceed directly to the simplest possible recipe of a fantafabulous pickle dish which is chock-a-block with nutrients (something which a quick google search informed me)

Ingredients :
Koth Bel - 2
Sugar - 1 tsp (or as per taste)
Salt - 2 tsp (or as per taste)
Mustard Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Green Chillies - finely chopped (again depending on the chilli tolerance factor ;))

Procedure :
1. The hard rind is to be cracked open.
2. Scoop out the brown pulp within.
3. Mash it into a smooth paste. The soft seeds may not be removed...they add to the taste
4. Add all the ingredients as given above and mix well.
5. A few hour in the sun would be great but we were too greedy and couldnt wait that long....
6. The flavour cant be have to have it to understand....

This is my entry to this week's WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING #173 hosted for the week by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. The history of WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING is available here. The logo for the event is .....

Bengali Cuisine..a closer look

(Pic:courtesy Google images)

While I have been posting glimpses of Bengali cuisine on and off, in the past one month of food blogging experience, never have I given an introduction to the basics of Bengali cuisine.

A typical Bengali meal is eaten course by course....starting off on a bitter note and culminating in the sweetness of desserts.

The BITTER may be simply fried bitter gourd with some potato & pumpkin or a duet of tender neem leaves with tiny pieces of brinjal fried together or the more elaborate Shukto (a moist semi-dry mix veggies of predominantly bitter-sweet flavour). Strangely enough Shuktos are eaten ONLY during lunch. The DAAL or LENTILS (Mushurir Dal being the everyday staple) accompanied by a BHAJA or FRIED DISH (Brinjal, Potato, Potol being the most common fries. Often fried fish accompanies the Daal.). This is followed by some form of VEGETABLE DISH. It may be the dry chhechki/chorchori or semi-dry ghonto (here 1, 2) or the moist gravy veggie dish ..the Daalna (here 1, 2). And last but not the least ..the focal point of the MAIN COURSES is of course the Fish. Once in a while the fish is substituted by the Mutton Curry or Chicken Curry or the Paneer Dish ....the Chhanar Dalna. On special occasions, more than one fish preparation or a combination of fish and chicken/mutton is quite common. With the main courses over, the beginning of the end is the sweet & sour tasting CHAATNI/TOK.
CHAATNI (here-1)is something of what the rest of India calls chutney but not quite. Made in most cases of fresh stuff like tomatoes, raw papaya, Pineapple, grapes, olives, sweet potatoes, either in combination or as a single component dish, the taste is often enhanced by addition of dry fruits like cashew/raisin. Often enough for everyday meals, the Chaatni is substituted by the TOK or AMBOL, which like the Chaatni is a sweet&sour dish but of thin consistency (almost like soup). The Simplest and most common being Aamer Tok/Ambol (Tok made of Raw mango). But Maachher tok (made of Fish) is also not uncommon!!!! On completion of the sweet-sour penultimate course, comes the final DESSERT...Doi - mishti (here-12, 3).

Well, we are through....time to get up, wash our hands, tuck a paan and proceed to curl up for an afternoon siesta!! is bliss!

This six-seven course gastronomical bonanza is tough to dish out on a regular basis in today's lifestyle where speed is of utmost value. But the balanced diet provided by this elaborate, low on spice meal cannot be denied. In traditional Bong cuisine the focus is less on spice and more on retention of the authentic taste and flavour of the vegetables. Most are just tempered with the Phorons and apart from a dash of turmeric here and ginger there, a touch of bay leaf, garnishing by whole green chillies, we let the veggies speak for themselves!! Its more of steaming or letting the vegetable cook in its own moisture. Garlic is almost taboo. Fish in its myriad varieties is omnipresent. Each variety of fish again has various preparations. So the fish saga is never ending...
Some families who are sticklers for tradition or are connoisseurs in their own small way continue the elaborate several course meals even till this very day. My parents belong to the genre of foodlovers and amongst the women of both my parents' families... my grandmothers, mother and aunts, cooking is considered fine art and is never ever delegated. The Kortree (the lady-in-chief of the inner domains of yesteryears' joint family system) performs the art of cooking! I being more of the lazy kind, love my food but not the cooking. But more often than not the love for good food overshadows the limited liking for the cooking and the result is mostly moderately tasty food. I stick to my 3 course dinner (Lunch being a packed affair eaten at our respective workplaces) it's daal, fry(bhaja)/(Torkaari)vegetable dish and of course fish/chicken/paneer. SD & AD love curd shaada doi (plain home made yoghurt) is a must with every meal. Weekends are a bit more elaborate....a shukto and a Chaatni/Tok are often added. And of course on Sundays we try not to miss out on the afternoon siesta!!!! ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thor Chhechki

A dry vegetable dish made of Banana Stem/pith

In a previous post I had mentioned that in Bengali cuisine, every part of a banana plant finds utility. Not only utility, dishes made out of the banana flower and banana stem are delicacies of the highest order in Bengali vegetarian cuisine.

Today I shall narrate the story of my maiden attempt at making Thor Chhechki .

Thor is the stem or pith of the banana plant. Rich in medicinal value and nutrients (ref. Herbal Food & Its medicinal Values by H.Panda), thor in the Bengali style, is prepared as a ghonto (Semi dry vegetable dish) or a Chhechki (a dry vegetable dish).

Chopping the banana stem, after throwing away the outer hard cover, is the toughest task of all. The return of my live-in maid (M) from her village saved me from the time-consuming and cumbersome task! (Details of how to cut & segregate the edibles from the non-edibles of this veggie is given in this blogpost of rice-n-curry ) A quick telephone call to Ma, gave me the cooking details.

A small tip from Ma helped me decide that Chhechki it would be, rather than the Ghonto.

*If the thor had been tender and hence easy to chop, then ghonto preparation (a semi dry dish) would taste good.
*But if the thor is not so tender (as in today's case), then the dry recipe of Chhechki would suit better.

So here goes the recipe :

Ingredients :-
1. Thor (Banana stems) - 2 pieces each around 1 ft long
2. Grated coconut - 1 bowl (250ml bowl)
3. Dry Whole Red chilli - 2
4. Kaalo jeera (Nigella seeds)
5. Turmeric powder - 3 tsp
6. Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
7. Mustard powder - 3 tsp mixed with a few drop of water to form a paste
8. Green chillies - 2 to 3 slit
9. Coriander leaves
10.Mustard Oil - 4 tbsp
11. A bowl of Diced Pumpkin (I did not have pumpkin so did not use it today)
12. Soaked Bengal Gram (This is usually added in case of Thor Ghonto, but since I had some Bengal gram sprouts, I used them up)
13. Salt to taste
14.Sugar - a pinch

Procedure :-
1. Remove the tough outer cover of the banana stem. The tender innards are chopped as fine as possible and soaked in a big bowl of water containing a pinch of turmeric and salt. The turmeric prevents the chopped thor from turning black.

2.Since the thor was not as tender as is desirable, I pressure cooked it till two whistles blew and after that kept it on low flame for around 10 minutes. Before putting it for pressure cooking, add a pinch of salt and sugar

3. After taking it out of the cooker, mash it some more and squeeze out all the water and keep minced, boiled semi-dried thor aside.

4. Take the Oil in a wok and warm the . Throw in the whole dry red chillies and the kaalo jeera. Add the diced pumpkin pieces (I skipped the pumpkin)

5. Add the Bengal Gram (in my case it was Bengal gram sprouts) and half the quantity of grated coconut

6. Add the minced, boiled semi-dried thor into the oil. Stir well to mix well.

7. Add a tsp of turmeric, a pinch of sugar and salt. Again keep stirring to mix well. No additional water is added. Cover the wok with a lid and turn down the flame to low.

8. After 4-5 minutes, remove the lid and add the mustard paste. Mix well and let it cook.

9.When the thor is almost done, add the remaining coconut after keeping 2 tsp aside for garnishing. Throw in 2 slit green chillies for flavour. Give the veggies a last stir.

10. Garnish with the remaining Coconut and coriander leaves.

Eat with plain steamed rice....delicious veggies oozing with the goodness of nutrients

An a hurry to get over with the cooking, I forgot to click a picture of the raw Thor. For my Bengali blogfriends, that's not an issue as they have seen thor many a times all their lives, but for those who are not familiar with this stem of banana plant, I will photograph it after my next purchase and put it up on the blog.
This is my entry to WYF:Cuisine and the logo for the event is

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Muri Ghonto....A Heady Delight!!

That we Bongs love fish is an understatement. But this delicacy proves beyond doubt our unadulterated love for anything fishy!!
We dont spare the poor fish's head and manage to dish out mouthwatering culinary delight out of the head of the fish.

Before I proceed to narrate the recipe, let me give you a sneak peek into the Bong's fish eating tradition. As I have told you earlier, to the Bengali, fish means more than mere food. It is an intrinsic part of the Bengali culture, tradition, religious and social ritual. Another peculiar and interesting custom is the designation of the fish parts as per the family hierarchy...the Fish Head (Maachher Muro) or the Fish Tail (Lej/Lyaja) are the parts reserved for those held in the highest esteem. The son-in-law of the family receives an almost royal treatment and he is the de facto recipient of the largest Fish head available in the market...

It was a cause for immense merriment and leg-pulling when my parents' son-in-law (aka SD), was in a sorry spot when as the guest-of-honour, he was served a massive head and tail on the day after our wedding (Baashi Biye). He loves fish but is extremely uncomfortable in handling these choice portions of head & tail!!!!

Before I lose track amidst the never ending tales of heads and tails, let me revert to the Heady Delight of Muri Ghonto...a mix of Fish head, Potato, Rice, flavoured with spices and ghee.....

Ingredients :-
1. Fish head - washed clean several times over (I used half the head of a 2kg Kaatla fish)
2. Potatoes -2 cut into big pieces
3. Gobindo Bhog Rice / Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup. (I used Gobindo Bhog Rice)
4. Onion - finely chopped - 1
5. Tomato - 1 diced into small pieces
6. Whole garam masala- 2-3 cardamoms, 1 piece of 1" cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves
7. Bay Leaf - 2 small
8. Masala paste - [1 tsp of Turmeric powder + 1 tsp cumin powder + 1/2 tsp of coriander powder + 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp of kashmiri mirch powder (for colour) + 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (optional) mixed with a little water]
9. Ginger paste - 1-2 tsp
10. Garlic paste - 1 tsp (Optional...traditionally, Bongs use very little garlic in their cooking)
11. Ghee - 1 tbsp
12. Roasted & ground garam masala - 1 tsp
13. Sugar - a pinch
14. Slit Green chilli - 2-3
15. Mustard Oil - 3 tbsp

Procedure :- (In the sequence I do)
1. Soak washed Gobindo Bhog/Basmati rice in water.
2. Rub salt and turmeric on the washed fish head and keep for 10-15 minutes
2. Cut the potatoes into big cubes and rub them with a little salt and turmeric and lightly fry them in oil and keep aside.
3. Fry the fish head till crisp and break the head into smaller pieces.
4.Take fresh oil in a wok. When hot, add the Bay leaf, whole garam masala & the garlic paste
5. Add the masala paste. Stir and let the masala cook till you see the oil & masala separate.
6. Add the ginger paste followed by finely chopped onions and add a pinch of sugar for colour
7. Fry the onions to brown them but take care not to burn them. Add the chopped tomatoes
8. Keep stirring and cook on low to medium heat for about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle water if required.
9. Add the uncooked rice. Stir well and let the masala seep into the rice.
10. Add the pre-fried potato cubes. Add some water (about 1/2 glass)
12. Keep cooking and when the rice is semi cooked in the masala, add the broken fish head pieces.
13. Stir well and add some more water if it has become too dry.
14. Cook on low heat for another 10 minutes.
15. Keep checking and stirring from time to time.
16. The rice should not be overcooked but the rice, potatoes and fish head should be well blended as is characteristic of any Bengali 'ghonto'
17. Add the slit green chillies
18. Before switching off the flame, heat the ghee in a skillet and add a tsp of roasted & ground garam masala and add this to the almost done 'Muri Ghonto'.

The amazing aroma of the blend that is Muri Ghonto will tickle your taste buds alive and you are ready to taste these heady delicacy with hot steamed rice!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alu Chaat with a Healthy Touch

The name Chaat makes me drool...literally!

Chats from roadside eateries are what we've grown up with. The sweaty, dirty fingers kneading the 'Alu', the water from suspicious sources, the unwashed shaalpata containers never dettered us from savouring the delights of Phuchkawalas / Chaatwalas dishing out mouthwatering phuchkas, churmurs and many more yummy treats to die for.

Time changes, so do we and so does our priorities. Today after a tired day's work, Chaat, though still tempting, does not make us jump and run out to the roadside vendor. And the squalor and lack of hygiene does make us squirm once in a while...though there are times, when we turn a blind eye and just let the taste take over ...

Today being a Sunday, lunch was late, as is usual. A warm Sunday afternoon rolled into evening while we watched a movie, chatted and were just being lazy. Wasnt in the mood to get dressed and go out anywhere....Moreover, AD was busy playing with her friends no whining or demands for an outing came our way. That's when the mood for some Chaat time set in and Alu Chaat being the easiest and fastest, I dragged my lazy self into the kitchen and set to work.

A peep into the fridge and veggie basket brought out a bit of this and that and I smiled to myself... so healthy chat it will be and thus shall I redeem myself from commiting the sin of Gluttony!

So here goes my recipe for Alu Chaat with a touch of Health

Ingredients :
1. Boiled Potato - 4 medium sized
2. Moong Sprouts - 1/2 cup
3. Bengal gram sprouts - 1/2 cup
4. Tamarind pulp - 6 tbsp or add some more till the taste is right
5. Black salt - 3 tsp (or to taste)
6. Green chillies - finely chopped (depending on your tolerance for chillies)
7. Dry Red Chillies - roasted & powdered - 1/2 tsp
8. Roasted & ground Cumin powder
9. Chopped Coriander leaves
10.Cornflakes - 1/2 bowl
11.Sev/Alu Bhujia - 1/2 bowl

Procedure :
1. Mash the boiled potatoes or slice them finely. (I mashed them)
2. Add all ingredients from 1 - 8 (of Ingredients)
3. Mix well.
4. Garnish with Cornflakes, Alu/Sev Bhujia and Chopped Coriander Leaves....
5. Serve & Eat
6. ...Mmmmmm......Bliss....