Chaat Platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Platters

I have a picture of a chaat lunch in my drafts folder, I had taken the picture because it was filling out our dining table with the various chutneys and yogurt and the fillings and everything. I actually had to stand on top of a chair to take a picture of the whole meal. It looked nice and so I had planned a chaat platter for the mega marathon.

Once I had the recipes in place (ragda patties, Chole tikki and pani puri as bass recipes), I happened upon the world of food boards/ charcuterie boards. You have to look up that hashtag in Instagram or give a google search to see what a visual treat that it is!! It’s chopping boards or cheese boards or trays completely filled with food. I have seen Charcuterie or cheese boards before, but the boards can be of any theme of your choice. And so I decided to do a chaat platter like a food board.

The biggest advantage of serving a food board is that you can choose and make whatever combination you like. With these base recipes of Chole, ragda and pani puri, you can make a whole lot of chaat recipes. The same patti can be used for ragda patties, Aloo tikki Chole and Aloo tikki chaat. For pani poori, you can have variations like boondi pani puri, Dahi poori, Chole pani puri, ragda pani puri on top of the regular potato and Chana filling. You can try any combination you want. Usually I make a couple of different kinds of pani, but with so many options, I decided to stick with just the regular pani.

I usually make the chutneys too at home, but this time I had some readymade chutneys and so used that. I have linked the recipes that I use below, but the platter has the readymade one. The puris are also readymade. The chaat masala is homemade, mine finished during the peak coronavirus times, so made it at home since I had all the individual spices.

The platter has

  1. Aloo tikki / Patties
  2. Ragda
  3. Chole
  4. Yogurt
  5. Green chutney for chaat (readymade)
  6. Tamarind chutney for chaat
  7. Coriander leaves
  8. Chaat Masala (recipe below)
  9. Chopped onions
  10. Panipuri pooris (readymade)
  11. Panipuri Paani
  12. Boondi (readymade)
  13. Potato filling for pani puri (recipe below)
  14. Chole filling for panipuri(recipe below)
  15. Lime wedges

Potato filling for pani puri

  • Mash one boiled potato with salt and chili powder to taste. Sprinkle chaat masala and some finely chopped coriander leaves, if preferred. Use as stuffing for pani puri.

Chana filling for pani puri

  • In a bowl, add half cup of cooked chana. Add some chopped onions, chaat masala, chili powder and salt to taste. Mash with a fork but leaving some Chana in chunks and some mashed. This helps it to hold together well making it easy to scoop and fill the Puris.

Chaat masala recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ajwain seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoons dried mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons amchur
  • 2 tablespoons kala namak

Method: Dry roast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds over medium heat until it turns a little darker. Once it’s cooled down, grind into a powder with the rest of the ingredients. Store in a dry airtight jar.

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Misal Pav

BM #113 : Week 4, Day 1
Theme : A-Z Curries

Have I ever mentioned that the Indian stores in US has a lot more variety in terms of grocery than the local stores in India? Since the stores here cater to all Indians, they are stocked up in stuff from all parts of India use. Where as a local South Indian store won’t stock up on an item like Goda Masala that’s not part of the South Indian lifestyle. They won’t be able to sell it and so naturally they won’t stock it up too.

The reason for me saying that is because I have never had Misal Pav at Trivandrum or Chennai. The first time I had this was at a chaat place couple of years back. It was here in US that I tried this popular recipe from Maharashtra!!

Anyway I was happy I had the opportunity to try it, because oh boy!! It was so delicious! I have already made the authentic version from scratch a couple of times, but I was not able to click pictures then. The recipe here is not the authentic version, it’s a shortcut all in one version from here. But this also tastes good, so now this is my go to recipe if I am not in a mood to make the masalas from scratch.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 4 green chilies or per taste
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2” piece of ginger
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon goda masala/garam masala/achar masala
  • 2 cups moong or moth sprouts
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt to Taste

Method:

  1. In a small blender jar, make a coarse paste of green chilies, garlic and ginger. Keep aside.
  2. Pressure cook the sprouts with 4 cups of water for one whistle. Let the pressure release naturally.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard crackles, add the onions and sauté until pink. Add the ground chili paste and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and mix it in. Now add all the masalas- turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin and goda masala (or it’s substitutes). Cover and cook until the tomatoes are mushy. Add a tablespoon or two of water if it’s too dry.
  4. Once everything is cooked through , add the sprouts along with the water it’s cooked in. Let it come to a boil and cover and cook for about ten minutes or until the oil floats on top. Turn off the heat.
  5. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top.
  6. To serve, add this curry to a bowl, add some farsan and finely chopped onions on top and serve with pav bread. I didn’t have any pav left, so I served with regular bread.