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Sunday, Dec 16, 2001

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Everyone's favourite

ALMOST everyone is tempted by the tantalising sight and aroma of chaats. The bhel puri pani puri vendors with their lip smacking array of pungent and savoury concoctions attract both the young and the old. Here are a couple of chaat recipes.

Dahi wado (Eight servings)

Ingredients:

Chilled beaten curds 3 cups
Milk 1 cups
Split black gram dhal 1 cup
Sweet tamarind and date chutney 1 cup
Chopped cashewnuts 1 tabs
Chopped green chillies tsp
Chopped fresh ginger tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
Salt tsp

Method:

Soak the black gram dhal in water overnight. Wash well, drain and grind to a fine paste, adding cup of water and salt. Add cashewnuts, chillies and ginger to the paste. Heat oil in a kadai and, with a wet hand, drop small balls of the paste into it. Deep fry till golden in colour and then place in warm salt water for five minutes. Gently squeeze out water, put them in milk and keep aside till required.

To serve, place four balls in a bowl, cover them with 4 tbsps of curds. Spoon 2 tbsps of the tamarind and date chutney over the curds and serve sprinkled with chilli and cumin powder. You can also add tsp of salt to the curds.

* * *

Sweet tamarind and date chutney

Ingredients:

Tamarind the size of a tennis ball size

Dates 200 gm
Oil 2 tbsp
Powdered jaggery 2 tbsp
Dry red chillies 2
Salt 1 tsps
Dry ginger powder
(sonter sukku) 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds tsp
Mustard seeds tsp
Cumin seeds tsp
Sonf (sombu) tsp
Kalonji (nigella) tsp

Method:

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water, squeeze and strain out the juice. Add 1 cup hot water to the chopped and deseeded dates and grind when cold. Heat oil in a pan, add dry red chillies, fenugreek, mustard, cumin, sonf and kalonji seeds to it. When it splutters, add the tamarind juice, date puree, salt, chilli and ginger powder. Boil till thick, stirring all the while. Use as required.

* * *

Papdi chaat (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
For the papdis
Thick beaten curds 2 cups
Sweet tamarind and date chutney 1 cup
Sev (ompudi) cup
Chopped coriander leaves cup
Boiled channa cup
Boiled and cubed potatoes 4
Green chutney 2 tbsps
Salt tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp

Ingredients for papdis

Maida 2 cups

Oil 4 tbsps
Salt tsp
Kalonji (nigella) tsp

Method:

Mix everything together with a little water and knead into a firm dough. Make balls of the dough, roll out into thin large circles, deep fry till crisp. Keep aside to cool, crush slightly into "bite size" pieces and store till required.

Green chutney

Ingredients:

Chopped coriander leaves 2 cups
Mint leaves cup
Roasted gram dhal (pottu kadalae) cup
Salt tsp
Sugar tsp
Green chillies 6
Garlic 6 flakes

Method:

Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste along with cup of water. Mix in the juice of one lemon. Keep aside till required.

Making the papdi chaat

Mix the green chutney, boiled potato and channa together. Mix salt into the curds. Pour a thin layer of curds on a large platter.

Place a layer of potato and channa mixture over it. Place the crushed papdis over the potato and channa layer and cover with curds. Spoon the tamarind and date chutney over the curds and sprinkle chilli and cumin powder on top. Serve garnished with coriander leaves and sev. Serve immediately or the chaat will become soggy.

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