Indian street food is my weakness. Period. I miss them when not available, go way overboard with the portions while enjoying them, then promise myself never again, only to break it soon enough. The vendors trundle their wooden carts along the neighbourhood lanes. Some park theirs in a fixed spot in town. The carts in need of a paint or two, or a spellcheck in the header but have their interiors arranged to perfection. The green chillies stand like little soldiers, the lime in one corner and small paper bags stacked in the back. Concoctions of spice mixtures, assorted bottles of syrups, fresh herbs all within arm’s reach. Ergonomics at its best.
‘Aamra chaat khete jabo , Boudi’, We are going out for Chaat, Boudi, said D, my SIL. I was visiting India last year about this time. We decided on Raj Kachori. The quarter plate sized deep fried bread came with a filling. The dressings overflowing on to the plate. I took a couple minutes to feast with my eyes first. The sharp smell of the black salt hit my senses. “Darun khete na?” Tastes great, doesn’t it ? enquired D. Between tackling the mouthfuls and wiping my running nose I nod my head in agreement. A perfectly titrated combination of sweet, sour and heat.
Then came the Recipe Revelations Challenge. Why don’t I, I said to myself, create a healthier version of the food from that evening. I eliminated the fried bread altogether. Included spinach and developed a new salad. This is my entry for the ” Best in salad” category.
Friends, once I started to taste the salad it was hard to stop. Do you feel the same way looking at the picture? I need your help, please leave a comment below and like this post here.
Boiled and cubed potato Four medium
Chickpeas soaked and boiled One cup
Whole green lentil sprouted One cup
Pomegranate seeds One Tbsp
Sev noodles One Tbsp
Greek Yoghurt One cup
Salt To taste
Sugar To taste
Roasted and ground cumin seeds One tsp
Chaat masala One tsp
Tamarind pulp Half cup
Pitted dates 6 or 7, chopped
Jaggery Half cup in small pieces
Cumin seeds One tsp
Fennel seeds Small pinch
Black salt To taste
Chilli powder one tsp or to taste
Dried ginger powder Half tsp
Wash the spinach leaves and chop them into bite sized pieces.
For the yoghurt dressing, whisk the yoghurt and add the rest of the ingredients.
The tamarind dressing can be made this way. Dry roast the cumin and fennel seeds and grind them. Set aside. In a pan combine the tamarind pulp, dates, jaggery and a cup of water to boil. About five to seven minutes until things come together. Add all the other spices, strain them to get a smooth chutney.
Take the serving platter. Arrange the spinach pieces all around as the base layer. Add the potatoes next. Build up the layers using the chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, sprouted lentils, Sev noodles. Drizzle the dressings just before serving.
Keep the kleenex box handy.
The Tamarind dressing can be made ahead and stored in a fridge. Store bought can be an option for lazy days.
Sev noodles are available in Indian grocery stores or in the world food section of Superstore. They are made out of Gram flour. Look for Nylon Sev, they are the thinner ones.
Black salt is available in Indian grocery stores.
SIL Sister in law.
Boudi Term used to address elder brother’s wife.