A drizzle of flavours

A drizzle of flavours

Down foodpath

A drizzle of flavours

While most cooks have an interesting story to tell about how they have been cooking all their lives, mine started only after I moved to the city. My father never allowed me to enter the kitchen as he believed that I should spend that time studying instead.

Once I finished engineering, I moved to Bengaluru. I started watching cookery channels and that suddenly piqued my interest to prepare something on my own. Chef Aditya Bal was my inspiration. I tried making ‘Pahadi mutton’ that he demonstrated on television and it turned out really well. To be honest, I was quite surprised that I was able to cook so well in the first try itself. I am a big travel enthusiast and that’s one of the reasons I love trying out the traditional recipes of different places. I believe that street food brings out the essence of a particular place and I ensure that I try out as many recipes as I can.

My friends often tell me that I have magic in my fingers as I make some delicious food items. That’s why I started my blog called ‘Ladies Sphinger’. I share all the recipes that I create and recreate on it. Though Indian cuisine is one of my favourites, I also like experimenting with Mexican and Italian by giving it a touch of Indian flavours.

Even though my first experience of cooking turned out to be great, I didn’t always succeed in the kitchen. The first time I baked a cake, it turned out to be a disaster that I didn’t expect. I didn’t realise that baking soda and baking powder were different. Well, the rest is history!

I am a self-taught cook and read a lot of cookbooks. My sister is usually the one who tastes what I prepare and gives me feedback. 

The recipe that I’m sharing today is of ‘Pakodi chaat’ which is perfect for the Monsoon. I love ‘chaats’ a lot and therefore, the inspiration. It’s easy to make and pairs well with a hot cup of tea.

Recipe: Pakodi chaat

Ingredients
* White peas — 1 cup
* Turmeric — 1/2 tsp
* Gram flour — 1 cup
* Small onion, chopped — 1
* Baking soda — 1/8 tsp
* Black pepper powder — 1/2 tbsp
* Roasted cumin powder — 1 tsp
* Coriander powder — 2 tsp
* Green chilli paste — 1/2 tsp
* Tamarind paste — 2 tsp
* Coriander leaf paste — 1 tbsp
* Powdered sugar — 1 tsp
* Curd — 3 tbsp
* Green chilli, chopped — 1 tsp
* Cooking oil, for frying
* Black salt
* Salt as per taste
* Onion, chopped for serving — 1
* Roasted or fried peanuts — 2 tbsp
* Curry leaves   

Method

* Soak white peas for four hours. Add turmeric and salt and pressure cook for three whistles until it is soft.

* Mash the peas with the back of a spatula. Add black pepper powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and cook with 1/4 cup water for two minutes.

* Meanwhile, fry the ‘pakodis’. Make a thick batter of gram flour, salt, curry leaves, chopped onion and baking soda with four to five tbsp water.

* Heat the oil and drop the batter in it to form small fritters. Reduce the heat to medium and deep fry until golden brown.

* Make a green chutney by mixing tamarind paste, coriander paste, green chilli paste and salt.

* Mix the curd and powdered sugar.

* Take two plates. Spread the spiced mashed peas on them. Add the ‘pakodis’. Top with curd and green chutney as per your taste. Add chopped onion and green chillies. Sprinkle black salt. Add fried peanuts on top.

(As told to Anila Kurian)

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