Vegetarian Concoctions

January 24, 2007

Banana chaat

Filed under: Banana, Chaat, Fruits and nuts, Snacks and Appetizers — Hema @ 11:10 pm


Bananas have long been man’s favourite fruit. How long? Well, the picture above says it all! Bananas are a great source of fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. They also contain all the eight amino acids that our body cannot produce itself.  And guess what? There is a whole site dedicated to this wonderful fruit! So, go ahead and check it out.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of bananas. In my defense, I did say man’s favourite fruit – not woman’s! But again, I didn’t want to miss the first fruit at the  AFAM event hosted by Maheshwari. So, here’s one of the few ways I love to eat bananas. This is a quick, easy and a tasty recipe I learnt from my aunt.


What you need:

Bananas – 2 nos.

Jeera – 1 tbsp

Red chili pwd – 1 tsp

Rock salt – 1/8 tsp or to taste

Lime juice – 1 1/2 tsp

Mint leaves or cilantro for the garnish

Dry roast the jeera (cumin) and dry grind. You could use cumin pwd bought at the store, but the fresh roasted powder is a lot more fragrant. Make sure the bananas used are not very ripe. Cut the bananas into slices. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well making sure not to mash up the bananas. You are done!

The monkey-banana photo source:


October 29, 2006

Gol Gappa

Filed under: Chaat, Indian, North Indian, Snacks and Appetizers — Hema @ 2:23 pm

Gol gappa if you are in Delhi or Pani poori elsewhere. That’s what it was (previous post). Nothing to do with the diwali treats as many of you guessed. I was trying to make my own pooris. At first, I decided to call amma, who BTW makes amazing pani pooris,  but it was 3 a.m in India and it has been ages since I called amma at that hour (yes, have done this numerous times during my school days). Did’nt want to scare her this time. I found all these recipes online, but was not sure which one would work best. So, I just decided to try all of them and made dough enough for 3-4 pooris for each recipe. Having tried all these recipes, the winner was…..actually none. Most of them did not puff up. If they did, they did’nt stay crisp. I was disappointed and finally had to call 911(U-Know-who). This is what was instructed to me:

Soak 1 cup sooji in water just enough to wet all the grains well. Let it soak up for 10 minutes. Once the grains turn soft, knead the sooji well by rubbing the dough to the vessel with your palm. It turns to a creamy while color. Add 1 cup maida, 2 tbsp atta and 1 tbsp rice pwd and salt. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll into small round bite-sized pooris and deep fry them in medium – low heat for about 7-8 minutes, 3-4 minutes on each side. If none of the poories in the 1st batch puff up, add little more water to the dough and soften it up. Most of my poories puffed up and stayed crisp. Needless to say – I was elated!



Mint leaves – 2 bunches

Cilantro – 1/2 bunch

Green chillies – about 6 (reduce the amount if needed. I like it spicccccy)

Dry ginger powder – 1 tsp

Black pepper powder – 1 tsp

Hing – A pinch

Salt – 1 tsp

Black salt to taste

Cold Water – 4-5 cups

lime juice – 2 tbsp

Grind the leaves and chillis in a blender with water. Strain out and add the dry ingredients. Add about 5 cups of water, salt it up with kala namak / black salt and add lime juice. Taste it and add water or salt as required. Intead of the dry ingredients, you could also add a couple spoons of pani poori masala. Pani should be served cold. Refrigerate before-hand or add ice for immediate use.

Khatta meetha chutney: There are two ways of making this:

Method 1:

Tamarind- 1/4 cup

Jaggery – 1/2 cup

Chilli pwd – 2 tsp (again, reduce heat if you cant take spice)

salt – 1 tsp

black salt – 1 tsp

jeera pwd – 2 tsp

Boil Tamarind and Jaggery in water till the raw smell goes. Add the dry spices and strain it. I like the chutney a little thick. Add more salt or water if needed. I like to make extra chutney and store it in an empty ketchup bottle for later use. This goes well with samosas, puffs, bread rolls, cutlets etc.

Method 2: This is healthier and tastes just as good

Dates – 1/2 cup

Tamarind – 1/2 lime sized ball

Aamchur pwd – 2 tbsp

Chilli pwd – 2 tsp

salt – 1 tsp

black salt – 1 tsp

jeera pwd – 2 tsp

Boil the Dates and tamarind. Add the dry ingredients and strain.

Potato-chickpea filling:

Potatoes – 2

Chickpea soaked and boiled in salted water – 1/4 cup

Cut potatoes to small pieces and boil in salted water till done.  Drain and mix it with the chick-pea. Add salt and chilli pwd to taste.

To assemble: Break the thinner side of the poori with your thumb. Fill 3-4 pieces of the potato mixture. Pour a little khatta-meetha chutney. Dip it into the pani and fill it up to the brim. Put it into your mouth as it is without biting. Enjoy!

So? what is the curd is doing in the photograph? It is an answer to another question. What do we do with the poories that did not puff up? First, we start by changing their name to papdi and then make a quick papdi chat. Dip 5-6 papdis into the pani and arrange it on a plate. On each papdi place some of the potatoes. then pour some salted, churned curd. Drizzle the khatta-meetha chutney on top. Garnish with little chilli pwd, jeera pwd and chopped cilantro (Sorry, no photographs here).

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