Okay, I’ll be honest here. This isn’t really my brainchild. Nor did I try to add my ‘special twist’ to this one. I feel my mother makes the best tamarind chutney. It’s just the right balance of sweet and tangy and spicy. I love this chutney for its versatile nature. You can add this to any chaat(see my Bhelpuri recipe here) or drizzle it over dahi bhallas. And if you are a lazy ass picky eater just like me, who hates the dalia/khichdi/veggies, you could add this to any of these tasteless dishes and make them worth eating.
I dare not sway from the measurements and ingredients that my mother uses. So here’s the step by step, right to the measurement recipe for the same.
- Tamarind/Imli (soaked in water for at least 4 hours or for 2 hours in hot water if making in a jiffy)- 100 gm
- Sugar – 125 gm
- Salt, Black pepper, red chilli powder – My mother uses 1/2 tsp each but you can tune it to your taste
- Sonth (Dry ginger powder) – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin (roasted) – 1/2 tsp
This could get a little messy. So make sure you are wearing an apron over your dress.
- Mash the tamarinds in water using your bare hands so that you can reap all the pulp out. Strain the mixture into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Add sugar and let it cook until the sugar mixes completely.
- Add the salt, pepper, chilli powder, sonth and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. It should be of the same consistency as your tomato ketchup.
- Sprinkle the roasted cumin over the the mixture and let it rest until it cools.
- You can now transfer this to an airtight container and store it for 2-3 months in the refrigerator.
So, during our vacations, my brother and I have these hunger pangs around 5 pm- 6pm everyday. Sound familiar? Well, obviously! The other day, we had a similar situation with a minor twist that our mother was a little annoyed with us(for reasons known only to mothers!)
Now, I feel they should probably frame the saying as ‘Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned’. 😛 We couldn’t ask her to cook something for us, nor could the staple for every Indian household that has raised 90s kids(MAGGI, what else?) work. Unless of course, you are feeling a little daredevil to take on the ‘Maggi is the worst of evils’ outrage. With the ingredients I had at hand, I decided to make my own version of Bhel puri.
It’s really simple, has all the different flavors and textures and really quick to make. If that isn’t enough to get you off your lazy bums and make this, probably this picture will make you drool.
Time required: 20 mins (including all the chopping and cooking)
- Puffed rice – 3 cups
- Onion (finely chopped)- 1 large
- Tomatoes (finely diced) – 1 large
- Black grams (boiled) OR peanuts(roasted)- Half cup (optional)
- Sev/Namkeen(any variety but I prefer the one that’s just salted) – Half cup
- Squeezed lemon juice- 1 tbsp
- Tamarind chutney(Mom’s version) – 2 tbsp
- Tops Green Chilli sauce – 1 tsp
- Everest Chaat Masala – 2 tsp
- Salt, Red chilli powder – whatever amount your taste buds like
- You can also add chopped green chillis if you like setting your mouth on fire
- Dry roast the puffed rice. For dummies- just toss all your puffed rice into a frying pan, do not add any oil, turn the cooktop on, and stir occasionally to not let the rice burn. This makes the puffed rice really crispy.
- Mix the black grams/peanuts and sev/namkeen with the puffed rice.
- Mix together the chopped onions, diced tomatoes, chopped green chillis. Add the chutney, green chilli sauce, chaat masala, salt, red chilli powder to this mixture.
- When ready to serve, put together the puffed rice mixture with vegetables mixture in a deep bowl, cover with a plate and do some swift biceps curls to mix everything up properly. 😛
- Finally squeeze some lemon juice on the top and serve or eat up!
P.S. Make sure that you do the last two steps just before consumption otherwise the bhel-puri will turn soggy.