Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spicy Garlic Chutney (Teekha Lahsun Chutney)

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Necessity is the mother of invention. And if not invention then atleast the attempt to rediscover. All these years of living in Maharashtra and Gujarat got me really hooked to Vada Pav. And coming back to Delhi, if it was one thing that I missed it was the simple vada tucked away in a bun which had been smothered with a dry garlic based chutney. The only place that came close to satisfying this urge to have vada pav was the food stall in Dilli Haat and at what expense. You spent hours dodging the Delhi traffic and then fighting your way to get a decent parking, since Dilli Haat happens to be in a crowded place. Once you had parked your car, you stood in a queue to buy your ticket and if your luck was really rotten the queue would end up snaking right till the edge of the road and you will have to wait a good 20 odd minutes to buy your ticket. Once you bought the tickets, you would go through security, and then through swarms of people and handicraft shops to the Mumbai food stall. There you would get your taste of Mumbai street heaven for 70 rupees only. There was a time, I just hopped across the street in Mumbai to buy my vada pav for 5 rupees  If I was in an indulgent mood, I would also throw in a cutting chai from the tea vendor next to the vada pav wala. But then good times don't last, memories however, do.
I digress. Coming back to the point of Vada Pav, it was the dry garlic chutney that lifted this simple fritter in a bun to greatness. And all these years this dry chutney which had been readily available in supermarkets kept my craving at bay. Not recently though. We decided to make some vada pav at home. Making the vadas was a piece of cake and pavs these days are available across the country thanks to the national liking for Pav Bhaji. Still one bite and something was found missing, and as al of us in the family looked at each other with the "Mazaa nahin aaya" look (didn't get the excitement), the eureka moment hit us. It had been the chutney all along. The simple spicy garlic chutney which stared at us innocently from the supermarket aisles with a 'take me home' look. A sudden dash to the all the supermarkets nearby only yielded disappointment. No one stocked it up here and I was in no mood to scout the entire Delhi and Gurgaon market space for it. So, made a few frantic calls to my Gujju and Maharashtrian friends and made it on my own.
It was easy to make that I made a few jars. Later that evening at a party, this simple chutney stood out amongst all the dishes prepared and the requests literally poured in to supply them with a few jars if not the recipe. Well, here is the recipe, try it out and give me shout as to how it went. All I can tell you is, that I think I will be making this every few days since my better half seems to be having this with everything. Thankfully, I can now firmly think that it has displaced the gunpowder, which found its way on her plate with every meal. Not that I have anything against the gunpowder..I just like this one better.
And as for the Vada Pav, the recipe for the bondas (the vadas dear) will follow in the next post. Till then prepare this chutney and save it up for the vada pavs.

Spicy Garlic Chutney

Garlic, peeled and minced finely - 60 gm
Green Chilies, minced finely - 20 gm
Dessicated Coconut - 30 gm
Peanuts - 20 gms
Sesame seeds - 20 gms
Hing (Asafoetida) - A pinch
Red Chili Powder - 10 gms
Cumin Powder - 5 gms.
Salt to taste
Oil - 5 ml.

1. Roast the peanuts and sesame seeds slightly till the raw smell goes. Do not burn them. Wait till they are cool, then make a dry powder of them in the processor.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add in the hing and as it crackles, add in the minced green chilies. Cook for 30 seconds.

3. Add in the minced garlic and cook for a minute.

4. Add in the dessicated coconut. Cook for a couple of minutes till it changes color. Do not let it brown.

5. Switch of the flame and add in the cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix well. You will notice that the entire mixture now looks totally red.

6. Add in the powdered peanuts and sesame seeds. Mix well.

7. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note - The quantities given can be adjusted by you based on your preferences and tolerance to spices, esp. red chili powder.


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