Gone are the days when you could happily make weekend plans with friends or family, to dine at a new restaurant that has recently opened up in the neighbourhood, leave alone savour some good old street food from the local vendor.
Owing to the partial lockdown still in place across all states in the Indian subcontinent, to halt the spread of COVID-19, most eateries remain closed, with a few of them functioning solely to deliver meals at the doorstep. For only in this manner can some level of social distancing be enforced, to prevent crowds from gathering in one place.
Given the current circumstances, we can somehow forego the delights of experimenting with novel dishes in upscale cafes and bistros. However, the yearning for some “thele wali chaat” i.e. typical desi fast food, whipped up in moving carts or food trucks, by a familiar face often addressed as “bhaiya” or brother, cannot be contained. Also Read: Oil Free Snacks To Satisfy Monsoon Cravings
Lip-Smacking Chaat Recipes With A Healthy Twist:
Well, here’s the answer to all your longing desires for quintessential Indian snacks. We bring you a couple of time-tested recipes from two of the most thriving cities in India - Delhi and Mumbai, which can be easily prepped at home in a jiffy.
What’s more, these simple yet irresistible snacking options are cooked sans any preservatives and exclusively with wholesome lentils, garden-fresh veggies, flourishing, verdant herbs and supremely nurturing spices. These are all instilled with the goodness of key nutrients like proteins, dietary fibers, healthy fats, besides a plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, thereby guaranteeing improved overall wellbeing.
Dilli Ke Golgappe
The national capital of India prides itself not only in being the residence of prominent political personalities, but also its vibrant food culture. And the humble “golgappa” (or pani puri) tops the list, being served with at least 5 distinct flavours (sometimes 7 or even 10!) of “pani” i.e. water, in Delhi’s famous stalls, from Vasant Kunj and Dilli Haat right up to Chandni Chowk. One can never say no to biting into a crunchy puri packed with a cocktail of spices.
Ingredients:For the puri:
1 cup wheat flour or atta
1 tbsp all-purpose flour or maida
A pinch of salt
1 cup vegetable oil, for deep fryingFor the stuffing:
½ cup chickpea, soaked and boiled
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
A sprig of coriander leaves, finely cutFor the flavoured water or pani:
3 tiny pieces of a green chilli
½ cup lemon juice (for nimbu pani)
1 cup fresh mint leaves (for pudina pani)
3 tsp chaat masala
2 long pieces of ginger (for adrak pani)
A dash of hing
½ cup tamarind extract (for imli pani)
¼ cup jaggery, powdered
Salt, as per taste
Knead the atta, maida and a bit of salt, with some water, into a flexible dough.
Using this, make even-sized moulds, in the shape of small circles.
Heat oil on high and fry the round casts until they fluff up and turn light brown.
Switch off the stove and set aside the hot puris in a vessel.
Fuse the soft chickpeas, potatoes with the coriander leaves, add required salt and store it in a bowl.
Now, separately blend the roasted cumin-green chilli, mint-chaat masala, ginger-hing adding water, in a mixer, sprinkling some salt in each, to obtain three zesty liquids.
Mix the lemon juice with chaat masala, salt and the tamarind paste with jaggery powder, along with water, for two more concoctions.
Enjoy the crispy golgappes, by breaking a hole in the centre, filling it with the chickpea-potato stuffing and pouring in your choice of one or more panis, be it the spicy jeera pani, tangy nimbu pani or sweet imli pani.
Wheat flour supplies carbs, fibers and fats, for energy, optimal metabolism and potatoes, chickpeas are rich in proteins, for muscle strength. Cumin aids in digestion, while lemon juice detoxifies the liver, kidneys. Imbued with gingerol, a potent antioxidant, ginger helps fight respiratory infections and prevent cancer. Mint, coriander leaves possess flavonoids, for regulating blood sugar levels and mitigating diabetes. Also Read: Coriander Leaves: 5 Excellent Health Benefits Of Adding These Aromatic Leaves To Your Daily Diet
Bombay Style Misal Pav
Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is certainly not far behind, where all things cuisine is considered. The crumbly “misal”, ubiquitous in the mobile kiosks of this crowded metropolitan city, usually savoured with warm, buttered “pav” or buns, is in fact, loaded with healthful components. Yes, believe it or not, misal is actually a gravy prepared from sprouted moth beans, which are nothing short of a superfood, combined with a mouth-watering onion-tomato base. So just go ahead and indulge your taste buds!
1 cup moth beans (matki), soaked and sprouted
1 big onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, cut into pieces
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhania or coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
Salt, as needed
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
A fistful of curry leaves
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 cup farsan or chiwda (fried savoury mixture), for toppings
10 – 12 bread rolls or buns
1 tbsp butter
Pressure cook the sprouted moth beans so they become soft.
Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, put in the cumin seeds, curry leaves, onions and sauté until the latter becomes translucent.
Transfer the cut tomatoes, along with ginger garlic paste and powders of turmeric, red chilli, coriander, cumin, salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame.
Pour in the cooked moth beans and stir continuously for 3 – 5 minutes, to allow all spices to blend in.
Switch off the stove, garnish the gravy with farsan and set the misal aside.
In a tawa, melt some butter and toast the buns till they turn golden-brown on all sides.
Dip the warm bread in the tasty, crumbly misal and relish to your heart’s content.
Moth beans or matki comprise a wealth of beneficial constituents, including essential amino acids, proteins and fibers, for enhanced growth, development of all body organs and tissues. Onions are renowned for their ability to lower high blood pressure levels, avert cardiac ailments and augment heart health. Tomatoes abound in carotenoid compounds, for uplifted eyesight and enriched skin texture. Bestowed with myriad vital minerals and antioxidants, curry leaves promote the growth of thick, strong locks of hair.