Street Treat : Bun Omelette

Bun Omelette, true to it's name, is a soft bread roll smothered in butter and stuffed with the most delicious, spicy, omelette ever. It's a common street food in Northern India (although not the most hygienic!) and was a sporadic late night treat for us when my brother & I were home for the holidays from boarding school.

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Herbs Dal (Lentil Curry)

"Herbs" Dal meant nothing to me till a few months ago, when I made a simple spinach lentil curry and my husband says "Oh, this reminds me of our Herbs Dal". Being of South African Indian origin, my husband's foodie language is sometimes just as confusing as their mixed culture, so I decided to dig deeper. I discovered that Indians households in SA make a version of spinach lentils with a bunch of mixed greens & sour leaves. I couldn't exactly find all the 'herbs' they used, so decided to make my version with a few favourite seasonal greens.

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Cucumber 'Noodle' Salad

When I served this at one of my events, I really didn't expect for people to ask me the recipe. Had the plain ol' cucumber salad cut un-laboriously for every childhood meal, suddenly become mainstream? Or was it that in an effort to appreciate complicated food, one had forgotten how simplicity tastes? Either way, I couldn't help but remember those summer days when mum used to serve this alongside a Rajma (kidney bean curry) Chawal night, and we always tried not to look at it (as though it would magically disappear!) - not that we didn't like it, but as kids, who wanted to have anything green!

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Watermelon & Cucumber Chaat (Salad)

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"I know I know, summer is over, but can't we celebrate anyway?

Slurp, crunch, savor, the red we love all May...

Spiced like the streets, on a scorching Indian afternoon

It's like those childhood treats, during holidays in June

July has come & gone, and Autumn is taking over the sun

So we'll hold on to the warmth, in this little glass of yum.."

Ingredients

1/2 watermelon, cut into cubes or rounds (using a melon baller)

2 large cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled and cut into 1inch pieces

Juice from 1 lemon

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped (the more the better!)

12-15 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon black/rock salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika or chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dry mango powder

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

Salt to taste

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Mix the watermelon, cucumber, coriander & mint and chill for 30 mins. When ready to serve, toss with lemon juice and spices.  Eat fresh. A quick, simple, super healthy spiced fruit salad that will change the way you see watermelon!

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Maple Yogurt w/ Cinnamon Ginger Plum Compote

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"Red fiery red, swirled with white

Like ribbons of energy, in a dark lifeless night..

A burst of flavor, tart, sweet & spice

Your go to snack, when dessert doesn't suffice.

Quick to whip up, pleases the mid day munch

A luscious splash,  and a recipe emerging from a hunch!"

 

Ingredients

2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped into pieces

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup thick yogurt (greek or otherwise)

2 teaspoons dark maple syrup

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Heat a non stick pan. Add sugar, along with 3 tablespoons water and allow the sugar to melt. Once melted, add the ginger and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the plums, cinnamon & vanilla essence. Cover and cook on medium flame till plums are tender.

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Turn heat to high, and mash the pulp with a spoon. Continue cooking till most of the liquid is absorbed and you get a jam like consistency - but don't let it get too thick. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix the yogurt & maple syrup till smooth & creamy. Add a dollop of the compote in a tall glass, followed by the yogurt. Refrigerate for 2 hours & serve cold.

A creamy, low fat dessert with hints of summer fruit & spice!

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Spicy Corn Salad (Chaat)

“I walked streets

Of vendors full,

Frying & tossing

Aromas that pull..

A quick squeeze

For a perfected snack,

Spice, masalas & lemon

No flavors lack!

Chaat for family

Or when you’re lone,

A delicious memory

Re-created at home..”

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Ingredients

2 cups frozen corn kernels

½ red pepper, finely chopped

½ green pepper, finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want it too fiery!)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped

Bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (leaves & stalks)

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Juice of half a lemon

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon chat masala (or dry mango powder)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon light olive oil

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Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Add corn, salt & paprika and roast on high flame for 10-12 minutes, till the corn is tender and all the moisture has been absorbed. Continue to sauté till the corn kernels start turning brown. Remove from heat & cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green chili, peppers & tomatoes. (make sure you don’t mix the vegetables when the corn is hot, or they’ll wilt & become mushy).

Put the mint, coriander, vinegar, lemon juice in a mortar and pound to make a chunky wet paste.

Once ready to serve, toss the corn in the vinegar mixture. Season with chat masala, cumin and pepper. Adjust salt & serve fresh.

Try this, and other delicious creations, at one of my upcoming dining experiences!

Corn Chaat