It's been a whirlwind few weeks. After an impromptu trip to Atlanta, I hurriedly returned home to lots of baking and the market, which led to many orders this week. It's been exciting and exhausting. I made an assorted batch of 115 macarons for a baby shower in Chicago yesterday! Sometimes I stop and think about younger 'me' and how I never thought my life would be going this way, but I'm so happy it is.
I know my blog is called "TheSweetArt" but bear with me, I have a savory post today!
The recipe I'm about to share with you is something very near and dear to my heart. It's a typical Bombay/Mumbai street snack that you'd get on the side of the road at any random stall. Of course, they'd probably make it a lot spicier than I'm used to. It goes by many names, like sev puri, or dahi (yogurt) chaat. I often have to read the descriptions on the menu to make sure I choose the right one.
In general though, this is hard to find in typical Indian restaurants. Most Indian restaurants make North Indian food, with naan and chicken tikka masala style dishes. That's probably the most well-known form of Indian food that non-Indians have tried. This dish is more often served in a South-Indian restaurant, if at all. It's one of the best kept secrets, I think, of Indian food.
Truth be told, I've never had this on the streets of Bombay since my mother made it so well at home. I also didn't know how to make it for the longest time, because my mom always made it for me. For shame, I know. But when she last visited me, she finally walked me through all the steps, and I've been making it myself ever since.
There are many variations to the fillings, but this one is definitely my favorite. Once you have all the different components it's very easy to put together. But since the puris get soggy fast, you have to eat them within five minutes (that's never a problem). The combination of sweetly-tart tamarind, spicy mint chutney and yogurt, mixed with potatoes and onions leaves the most refreshing and unique taste on your palate.
The puris (fried balls that are filled) are found at most Indian grocery stores. Be sure to ask for a bag of fresh ones. It's worth it.
Tamarind- Date Chutney
8-10 pitted dates
1 cup Jaggery
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 cups of water
Bring all ingredients to a boil on medium heat and stir till combined.
Add a little more water if it's a bit thick (you don't want it too thin or too thick).
Remove from heat after about 10 minutes and let cool.
Stores in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*You will have leftovers of this, but it's rather tasty and could be used as a dip or in a variety of other ways--get creative!
**If you're truly lazy, this jar is also available at Indian stores, usually labeled as date or tamarind chutney.
OR Green Chili Chutney (this one is super spicy!) - available at Indian stores
Nonfat plain yogurt (Greek, or Euro style, or just regular will do)
Sev - Yellow savory sprinkles on top, available at all Indian stores
1 bag of puris --pronounced "poo-rees" (ask for a fresh bag at your local Indian store)
1 boiled potato + 1 finely chopped onion (I usually store this together in the fridge in a ziploc for up to a week, to make this again and again)
Poke a wide hole on one side of each puri. I like to check both sides to see if one already has a hole in it.
Fill generously with potatoes and onions
Drop 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of mint chutney into each puri. (depending on how much of a kick you'd like)
Pour 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of date-tamarind chutney into each puri.
Liberally drop dollops of yogurt on top of each (it's ok if it spills over!)
Liberally toss the sev all over the puris and the plate.
Garnish with cilantro (optional).
Eat immediately with a spoon or your fingers.
This is meant to be eaten like sushi, the entire puri in your mouth, no cheating!
For my ATL Peeps: Check Taj Imports or Cherians for puris; try this dish at Chat patti in Decatur.
For my STL Peeps: I got the puris from Seema Enterprises, next to Gokul. Gokul also has this dish on the menu.