Category Archives: Chai Nashta

“Chai Nashta”: an informal way to say tea and snack.

Spring cleaning: discovering new recipes

It has been good to put the focus on trying to use up the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. Since we are moving soon, it helps to have less groceries to carry even if it means just 2-3 less boxes to carry. The real joy has been to find and try new recipes using ingredients bought on impulse or for a specific recipe. Here are some of my favorite discoveries: Vegan pumpkin- chocolate bars Last fall, I bought one too many pumpkins when we visited Yakima valley…

Read More »

Veg tikki burgers inspired by ‘tikki chaat’

Tikkis (टिक्की ), the griddle fried spicy potato patties, served with spicy chickpeas and topped with a combination of yet spicier cilantro and tamarind chutneys,  are a popular street snack in North India.  You can read here for more details. Tikki wallahs (hawkers) carrying a variety of  savory/spicy snacks commonly referred to as ‘chaat’ can be easily spotted at every block on any shopping street in my hometown. Premade tikkis are stacked around the edges of the of a big round ‘tava’ (griddle) and fried to order (watch this small video to get…

Read More »

Poha

 If there is a one meal that I miss the most being away from India, it is the breakfast. There are many savory breakfast dishes cooked in Indian households and to me, weekend mornings seem like a perfect time try that at our house here in Seattle. Poha (पोहा), also known as flattened rice is a  lighter version of rice (read here for more details).  It makes for a quick and tasty breakfast or light snack  when tampered with mustard seeds, nuts, curry leaves and cooked with vegetables,…

Read More »

Kala chana

Kala chana (कला चना) is my “go to” potluck/picnic dish. It is easy to prepare, travels well and when served with tamarind sweet-sour chutney and/or fresh coconut chutney, it stands out in flavors. While this salad can be made with other beans like chickpea or black eyed peas, I prefer to make with kala chana (literal translation means black chickpea). Kala chana is a smaller chickpea like bean native to India. It has a nuttier taste and retains its shape due to tougher outer coat.. Read here to…

Read More »

Wonton Samosa

I think of samosa as the king of all snacks (described here). In India, good samosas are available everywhere and trying to make it at home is not worth the effort. There are halwai shops (read here for a definition) everywhere that make good samosas and sell at a reasonable price. Usually each shops has a set time in the afternoon to make fresh samosas. Since most of the neighborhood knows this time, you can see people queuing up around that time to get the…

Read More »

Dhokla recipe

If you read my previous post here, you know the basic steps to make dhokla – mix chickpea flour with yogurt, let it sit and ferment, add minced ginger, chillies, cilantro, and then steam the batter. You also know that adding Eno means you dont have to wait for the fermentation process. Since eno is used to add air bubbles to the batter, you no longer need to rely on sour yogurt to ferment the batter. Prior to eno days, we always added yogurt to…

Read More »

Horror of making Dhoklas & the magic ingredient

Dhokla – I am not sure if I should describe it as a steamed dumpling or steamed bread. Dhokla is airy, light, flavorful steamed fermented chickpea flour batter and is usually had for breakfast or as snack any time of the day. I dont know when and how mummy first started to make it at home. Dhokla, while very common now all over India, was not as common in north when we were growing up. There is a story associated with how I learned to…

Read More »

Choti Idli

Mummy was always adding new pans, pots and cooking gadgets to her kitchen collection. Sometimes she discovered a new recipe needing that special gadget and other times she simply found a better, newer version of a gadget she alredy possesed. Whatever was the reason for her new purchase, we always benefited from it. She either bought the new gadgets for us or passed on the older version. Idli stand to make choti (small) idlies was one such purchase she made while visiting my brother in…

Read More »

Appams

The reaction from people of all ages who taste the appams for the first time is always the same – they find it delicious and they always assume that making it must be really complicated. I cant describe how surprised and pleased I was when Mummy introduced Appams to me several years ago in 2001 or 2002. I had eaten something similar in Bangalore but had no idea of how to make it. I was even more pleased to find out that Mummy had got…

Read More »

More ways to eat Pattodas – Pattoda Pakora

I had made a big batch steamed pattodas roles(recipe previous post ) and I still had some left. Mummy had told me that you can even fry the steamed pattoda pieces like pakoras. I had never tried that before and I decided to give it a try. So sunday morning, I prepared some chickpea batter (using chickpea flour, salt, red chilli powder, amchoor powder, all combined with water to make a paste with heavy cream consistency. Spices can be added per taste) for pakoras and…

Read More »