Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Misal Chaat: Bombay Style

What do you do when you have a packet of Tostitos staring at you in face? Well, you simply innovate!! After coming to US, I have learnt the importance of mixing and blending different ingredients from different parts of the world to create a simple "POTPOURRI DISH". P gave me a feedback the other day: "You tend to go by the book. Get creative!".

Guess the words stuck to me like a bee sting and I was donning many a hats to decipher the right blend of creative elements for creating something new. Yes! I found my creative enlightment. I decided to make Misal: Bombay Style with Tostillos as the Puri base. I had pretty much everything else stacked in the fridge so thought preparing this would not be a hassle: Vatana (White), Tostitos, Coriander leaves, Onions, Papadi, Chaat Masala, Lime, Spices, Ginger-garlic. I was set to surprise myself. Do not know. But no harm in giving a shot.

Misal was a introduced to me a in a different package, thanks to Maa who is extremely dextrous and surprises me all the time! Unlike the Misal-Pav combination which is what the Mumbaikaars proudly devour, she simply used to make this soupy curry ooozing with spicy flavour and oodles of sizzling vegetables cooked to perfection. I know that Misal Paav is eaten in a different fashion and many would opine that this is not authentic. In Mumbai, Misal-Paav is served as street food. Boiled Vataana is treated with Goda Masala and seasoning, served with chopped onions, coriander and Paav. This is the way Misal Chaat is made at home and I have grown eating this flavour, hence close to my heart.

Recipe Source: Mom
Serves: 4-5 individuals


Misal curry -
Vatana (White) - 2 Cups (soaked overnight)
Water - For curry consistency
Ginger - 2"piece
Garlic - 6-8 flakes
Cloves - 4-6 sticks
Onions (chopped) - 1 Cup
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Pepper corns (black) - 5-6 seeds
White Til/ Sesame seeds (optional) - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Coriander seeds - 4 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/10 teaspoons

For garnishing -
Tostitos - 3/4th pack (regular flavour)
Onions - 1 Cup (chopped finely)
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup or 6-8 sprigs chopped
Lemon/ Lime juice - 6 teaspoon
Chaat Masala - 1 teaspoon
Paapadi/ Gaaathia/ Muthia/ Sev: Basically Farsaan mix you get in store - 5 cups
Tamarind-Date Chutney - 6 tablespoons: Soak 6 Dates and 1" lump of tamarind and grind to paste with water, salt and cumin powder.

Misal curry -
Soak Vataana overnight. Boil next day in pressure cooker. Mash lightly for flavours to blend in. Set aside. Roast all the spices in the curry lightly and grind them alongwith chopped onions. Add this gravy mix to the peas and bring to boil. Add turmeric and set aside.

While serving, take a deep dish bowl and serve the Tostitos first, press them gently and pour a ladle of Misal curry. Garnish further with Tamarind-Date chutney. Spread over ample helpings of Paapadi, Onions, Coriander leaves, Chaat Masala and Lime juice. Serve hot as an evening snack.

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