Monday, 11 November 2019

Chatpata Kala Chana / Spicy Black Chickpeas with Potatoes

"Uncle …. phatjhadi laake do na! "
We had gone to our usual place … a slum where construction workers stay with their families in makeshift homes with plastic roofs. There are about eight to ten families living there, with around twelve to fifteen children among themselves. Or maybe more. 
We often go there to distribute snacks, chocoltes, fruits, clothes or food materials.
And sometimes ice cream too.
This time we went just a day before Diwali to give out gifts and sweets. 
The children know us and know well that if they jostle or create a ruckus, they won't get anything. 
So they quickly line up or sit down on the footpath. Some rattle off their names; some chatter on. 
This time one boy of about seven or eight came up to B and asked for 'phatjhadi'

B looked confused and asked 'what?'. 
"Phatjhadi; phatjhadi". Said the boy , trying to be patient. 
Still drew a blank. 
Even I was confused. 
These people are from other states …. so their Hindi is not proper.
And the children are not fluent with the local language too.
After giving out the gifts, we started to return but the kid just would not give up. 
He hung on to B's kurta and kept repeating the word. 
And then suddenly he started gesturing with his hands and said "Flower pot! Flower pot ! Light! Boom! Charkhi gol gol! " …. looking up with his big eyes filled with hope.

And both B and I burst out laughing.
He wanted crackers!
After all it was Diwali! And for little children, it isn't Diwali if there are no crackers to burst. 😀
We told them to wait and set off to buy some crackers. 
We were still laughing at the new word the kid has coined …. "phat from patakha and jhadi from phooljhadi!!! " … we decoded. 😀😀

Both of us decided against any flower pot crackers as they would be too dangerous for the children.
And bought some charkhi and phooljhadi  sparklers instead.
The kids were overjoyed.
B appointed a teen, giving him the responsibility to oversee the whole thing and that the kids play safely. It made the child feel important and almost immediately, he started giving orders and organize everybody. 
I remembered an old bag amongst the things to give away that had some of my old lipsticks ,nail polishes and bangles.  Dug it out and gave it to the young girls. 
The grins on their faces and the spontaneous clapping of hands at being overjoyed with this surprise melted my heart.
And as always, we came away smiling, with a feeling of warmth, that is so rare in the fast flying days of life right now. 
And as always, we asked them what would they want to eat the next time. 
And little girl piped "Poori". 

So I decided to make the sukhi chana or this dryish dish with boiled black chickpeas to go with the pooris
And remembered this photo languishing in my folder. 
So decided to make them see the light of the day. 

I make this very regularly …. sometimes without onions too. 
This makes for a good snack for those in between meals hunger pangs. 
Spicy, tangy and eaten hot, this is one dish that you can enjoy on its own or with Puris, Luchis or plain Parathas. 

Need :

Kala Chana / Black chickpeas - soaked overnight and boiled with a little salt
Boiled potatoes - cut into small cubes 
Onion - chopped 
Green chillies - chopped 
Black salt - to taste 
Turmeric powder - a pinch 
Red chilli powder - to taste 
Salt - to taste 
Roasted Jeera powder - to taste 
Chaat masala - to taste (optional) 
Cooking oil 
Lemon juice 
Coriander leaves - chopped 

How to

Heat oil. 

Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent. 
Do not brown them. 

Then add the potatoes and the chickpeas and toss them well. 

Add the rest of the ingredients and give a good toss on high heat till everything mixes well and comes together. 

Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Enjoy with steaming hot masala chai on the side.

You can skip the onions if you are fasting and enjoy on a vrat too.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Kokum, Coconut and Garlic chutney

Hello there!

Here I am  ….. back after almost an year.
I hope all of you, my readers, are well.
And have not given up on me and my blog.

By now, I am sure, you are well used to my long breaks.
But I keep coming back.
For however long possible .... even if it is for as little time as only a month .... I keep coming back.
And I try my best to be regular.
Thank you all for being with Kitchen e Kichu Khonn and for staying in touch with me on Facebook as well as Instagram.
And on messenger too.

I will not go into the reasons for my taking such a long break.
Instead, I will focus on what I love doing .... write and post a recipe.
It will take me time to get back that much needed flow for smooth writing .... but I will try.
A lot has happened in the last year and now we are at the fag end of it.
I hope it has gone much better for you than it did for me.

But what ever has been, has been.
Life moves on. It will move on.
We cannot give up on life.
We need to get up and get going.
Happily or unhappily … that is in our hands.

I trudged through this year. And not exactly happily.
Two major disappointments in our lives, ruled this year.
And one big health issue for me that resulted in a surgery.

If last year was bad, this year has been worse.
But I am like always on a trampoline. I bounce back.
Or at least try to.
And that is what we should be doing … right? Bounce back.
Because life is like the sea …. it gives back to you whatever you give it.
So better give something good …. eh? 😊

And what better than a blog post on a beautiful chutney.
Chutneys rule as an accompaniment to any Indian meal and helps not only in digestion but also help make any plain meal interesting.
Most chutneys are healthy and are almost always made fresh, at home, along with a snack or meal.

Today's recipe is of a chutney that I had made along with the Rawa Idli that I had posted a few posts back.
I had promised to post the recipe 'soon'.
And am truly sorry for this much delayed 'soon'.
So posting it first and then go on with my other recent recipes.

I had kept this chutney slightly dryish and absolutely loved the texture.
And the best part is it stays well in the refrigerator for more than a week or two, when kept in an airtight glass bottle.
Do not use metal utensils to store it.

Need :

Kokum / Garcinia Indica - the size of a small ball
Garlic - a few cloves
Jeera / Cumin seeds  - 1 tsp
Dhaniya / Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 3 or 4
Chopped fresh coconut - 1 cupful

Urad dal - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste
Cooking oil - 1 tsp

How to :

In a heavy pan, heat a little oil.

Add the jeera, dhania, garlic and the whole red chillies.
Fry on low heat till the garlic turns reddish and releases an aroma.

Add the chopped coconut, Urad dal, Chana dal and fry till the coconut is well fried.

Remove and cool.

Now add the Kokum ( you may use tamarind in lesser quantity too ),
salt and sugar.

Grind in a mixie to a coarse damp powder.
The idea is to get a little of everything in a bite …. the crunch of coconut and the dals, the burst of tang of a very small piece of kokum, the spice of the red chilli ….. get the idea?

You may add water, if needed, but only very little.
This is supposed to be a dry chutney.

You may skip the Kokum and make it too.

Store in an airtight glass bottle in the fridge.

Enjoy with Dosas, Idlis , Upma or with plain rice too.

Take care all!!