The word 'Chaat' is not just used to describe a food, it is also often used as a generic term for a group of spicy, tangy, sweet street foods. Mostly North Indian in origin, they make a great alternative to a meal because they're wholesome, quick and easy to prepare. Chaats are always made fresh and eaten immediately and because they combine tangy, hot and sweet tastes together, are very addictive! They are so well loved, crowds line up alongside roadside Chaat stalls in India!
One of my favorite Chaats is Sev Batata Puri, 'born and raised' in the streets of Mumbai! It is extremely easy to put together... in fact, once you have a few basic ingredients ready, it takes just a few minutes!
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Dum Pukht means slow cooking in a sealed container. This ancient technique is usually used to cook meats in almost no water but in their own juices. The low heat and pressure inside the pot slowly tenderizes the meat and infuses the rest of the dish with its flavors!
Dum Pukht Biryani is a great example of Dum Pukht cooking. Featuring layers of rice and meat and topped with saffron, it is a meal fit for kings! While Dum Pukht Biryani takes time to cook, the technique for cooking it is simple. The result is a dish that you will be glad you tried.
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When it comes to food, I usually get carried away with quantities! I always cook more food than is required. While this could be a problem, I use it to my advantage by reinventing the leftovers for another meal. Clever right? :-)
When you start with leftovers, your job is already half done! So, if you want to get creative with leftovers, here are a bunch of my recipes....
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Adrak Ki Chai is my hot drink of choice. I love it so much, I cannot properly start my day without it... I am sure all the coffee lovers hear me! It is a great drink when you need something to warm you up and wake up your senses.
I have 'taught' my husband how to make me my Adrak Ki Chai exactly how I like it! So for the last 10 years or so, he makes me a cup every single morning and brings it to me with a sweet smile. What a way to start my day! :-)
Here is my recipe for Adrak Ki Chai
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I love Thanksgiving! Any day that makes me stop and remember everything I am grateful for, is a good day! I have A LOT to be thankful for and without getting too sentimental, I wanted to say how grateful I am for you. Thank you for coming back to Indianfood.about.com again and again and trying my recipes. I hope you have a beautiful day celebrating with friends and family.
Here are some recipes that have been hugely popular in the last couple of days...
Image © 2013 Petrina Verma Sarkar licensed to About.com
I woke up this morning craving something sweet... very specifically Jalebi!!! There isn't a self-respecting sweet shop in India that does not sell these juicy, sweet 'coils' of yumminess!
Jalebis are an unassuming but very popular Indian dessert, loved by young and old. They are essentially North Indian in origin but can be found all over India. You can eat them on their own or soaked in warm milk. Juicy Jalebis soaked in warm milk was a Saturday morning staple in my parents' home when I was growing up!
Street Vendor in Mumbai, frying Jalebis Image © 2013 Petrina Verma Sarkar licensed to About.com
I was recently at a dinner party where one of the guests was a caterer - of Indian food. As he spoke about his business to friends, the most enquiries and excited discussions were about Tandoori foods. Not surprising as Tandoori cooking is popular the world over. There is nothing to beat the lovely smokey flavor cooking in a Tandoor (clay oven) creates in foods. From breads to Kababs and curries, there's a lot you can cook Tandoori style.
Most people, even in India, don't have a Tandoor in their backyard! This doesn't mean you still can't enjoy the delights of Tandoori style cooking. All my recipes are written so you can cook them in the oven, on the grill or on your barbecue. Enjoy...
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Spinach may not be everybody's favorite veggie - courtesy of the unimaginative way it is often cooked - but it is a great way to get your greens and is choc-full of all the good stuff!
Spinach is a go-to staple for me when I want to add veggies to a meal but don't have time to cook a separate dish... I just chuck some into whatever I am cooking! Most often however, I enjoy cooking it into a dish where it plays the lead starring role.
Here are some of my spinach recipes. I often use these to cook this leafy green for my family. The result? My picky kids love spinach! Give these spinach recipes a try...
Image of Palak Ki Subji © 2013 Petrina Verma Sarkar licensed to About.com
When I was at University, my favorite haunt at lunch time was Panchali, a little café that served freshly made Samosas and Khasta Kachori. For hardly any money, you could also get yourself a freshly-made, hot Samosa or Khasta Kachori and a steaming, sweet cup of sweet Masala Chai to go with them. You could often find me at Panchali, savoring every bite of my favortie snacks!
Even today, I cannot eat a Khasta Kachori (pictured) without thinking of those days.
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Delicious Medu Vadas are not hard to make, but require a little practice to get their shape right. You could call them Indian Lentil Doughnuts! They taste fabulous when served as a snack with a steaming cup of Masala Chai.
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