Shital's-Kitchen: May 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sev Puri

Last week was so tiresome. Hot climate and temperatures rising to more that 90 F made me feel tired and sick. I was down with cold and flu-like symptoms with sore throat and body ache. Every morning, I would go to our school nurse to ask for an Advil, so that I could feel better rest of the day. In every phone call with my mom, she would tell me to eat khichdi or dal and rice. You know how mom's start to worry and tell you to eat something light, easy to digest and comforting food when you are sick :) So, I followed her suggestion, and that is exactly what I did. Some of you might have seen my Khichdi post on Shital's Kitchen FB page.

By yesterday, I was tired of soft, mushy, tasteless food. When I spoke to my mom and family back in India, they were all enjoying my favorite chaat item in Mumbai. Yes, Sev Puri! It is totally a Mumbai specialty. So many flavors and textures in one dish!! Crisp wafer/puri is topped with veggies, chutnies and crisp sev noodles. What makes it street-food style is the delicious chutnies and generous mound of sev topping! I am sure, you will agree with me on this one. This is not available in any Bay area restaurant. I would surely have this on my restaurant or food truck menu :) This will be a hit!! That is future!! Presently, I could not resist thinking about it. I made this delicious spicy chaat for dinner yesterday.

Auto rickshaws and sev puri, these totally depict Mumbai Streets.
I wish I could put in some Mumbai street noise and chaos too :)

All set to start:
Finely chopped 1 medium onions, boiled and chopped 1 large potato, chopped 1 tomato, 1/ 2 lime wedged, and finely chopped cilantro for garnishing.
Date and Tamarind Chutney
Garlic Chutney
Spicy Bhel Chutney

Dilute chutney with some water and a pinch of salt to get a pouring consistency.

Crisp, golden brown, flat puri.
The main ingredient of this dish.

Fine sev, gram flour noodles for garnishing.
Another important ingredient.

The bhelwalas/vendors use card stock paper to assemble sev puri. The glossy card stock paper which is usually printed for company reports is recycled and used to parcel food. Paper plates and disposable flatware has not been very common amongst street food vendors. The taste and feel of street food is also obtained from the way it is served. So here I used a glossy, card stock from my husbands magazine to assemble this sev puri.

Assemble 5-8 puris. Add some potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.

Sprinkle some salt and squeeze some lime on each of them.

Top with all three chutnies according to your taste.

And now the generous topping of sev.

Garnish with cilantro and some tomatoes.

I am going to make some more for me now! 

Garlic Chutney

All Mumbai street food is incomplete with the spicy and delicious flavor of Garlic! I am sure this will be super hit in your family for your next street-food/ chaat party

Start with peeled garlic cloves. 

 Grind 6-7 garlic cloves with 1 cup dry red chillies or 1/2 cup red chilli powder. 
Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup water while grinding them.

Enjoy your chutney for your next Chaat Party!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stuffed Cut Mirchi

Few years back, we had been to a South Indian restaurant with our friends. They introduced us to a very popular Andhra snack (specialty from Andhra Pradesh,  a southern state in India) called 'Cut Mirchi'. In simple terms it is just a spicy jalapeno dipped in chickpea flour batter and deep fried.  In Mumbai, we would call it Mirchi Bhaji. But there was something special that made it different from Mirchi Bhaji. The outer covering was crisp and delicious. These fritters were cut into pieces, and served on the bed on onions with a lemon wedge to be able to squeeze it fresh on the fritters and enjoyed! Oh my!! that jalapeno was super spicy!! But, indeed a delicious appetizer!

So, while I was treasure hunting inside my refrigerator :) I found these Anaheim Peppers. And before they would turn more wrinkly, it was time to use them. Of course, I love them stuffed. But, in my mind I had Cut Mirchi recipe to make. No worries, time to fuse the two!

Start with de-seeding and de-veining the pepper.
Slit the pepper from the center.

I like to use my pepper corer.

It is so easy to clean and de-seed the pepper.
Keep the seeds in, if you like the spice.

For 3 large peppers, you might need around 2 medium or 3 small potatoes.

Boil, peel, and mash potatoes.

Add 1 tsp salt. 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp. roughly ground coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds/saunf. Squeeze fresh lemon juice. Mix well.

Stuff potato filling into cleaned peppers.

To prepare the batter:
Mix 1 cup chickpea flour/gram flour/besan with 3 tbsp. rice flour.
This is what makes it different from Mumbai Bhaji.

Add 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp. chilli powder.

Add bit of water at a time, and whisk to form a lump-free batter.
You need a thick, but a pouring consistency batter here.

Dip each stuffed pepper into the batter to coat it well from all sides. Deep fry in hot oil occasionally flipping it, till it turns golden brown.

Let the fried pepper rest on a paper towel for a minute or two.

Cut into 1 inch pieces.
While typing this recipe, I am drooling again!! ;)

Serve on the bed on chopped or sliced onions.
Sprinkle tangy chaat masala and serve with few lemon wedges.

 Spicy, Delicious, Snack!