Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sweet Potato Chaat | Festive, Filling & Healthy

Among my favourite veggies, sweet potato has a memorable place. I loved the sweet potato chips my mum used to make. This was one of my favourite childhood snacks. To be honest I never tried sweetpotato except as chips. It was later after marriage, I got to know this potato relative and started enjoying it steamed and seasoned and in chillies and breads etc.Slowly I got to know about the vegetable and different ways of preparations. I remember my friend who is from Bhopal telling how they do tadka to it and prepare as an evening snack. But the easiest was the best for me. Microwave it and turn it into a chaat. This is something I tried out from Nupur and it has given me the easy way out. 

Recently I tried another chaat version from here though you can find several such versions on googling. The vegetable is accepted while observing Navratri fast and is filling and healthy. Use of the Himalayan Pink Salt / Rock Salt/ Sendha namak makes the chaat perfect for festive fasting. Though ofcourse you can use common salt if you are not fasting. It can easily be put together and can be enhanced with additions like cucumber and apples.

Ingredients:
Sweet Potato: 1 cup atleast, steamed/microwaved ,peeled and cubed
Green Chillies : chopped: 1 small

Lemon Juice: as per taste
Chilli Powder, Chaat masala Cumin Powder, Salt/Rock Salt: as per taste

Cilantro/Coriander Leaves: chopped for garnish

Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients together adjusting the spices and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve in bowls as a teatime or anytime snack. 


You can add cucumber or apples to this as well. The recipe is too short but the dish is definitely tasty. Its been long since I posted a vrat/fasting recipe or rather any recipe. So I thought of starting with the easy one.Do enjoy the chaat .


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mast Kalandar Vrat & Utsav Maha Thali | Make Navratri Special & Authentic

Dussehra,Dasara, Navratri, or Durga Puja -call it whatever name the nine days of celebrating the Goddess in different  forms are here again. In 2014 they start from today-25th September and continue till Vijayadashmi or the tenth day on October 4,2014. The festival celebrating victory of Good over Evil is observed almost all over India and is a time for fun and food.


A fast or abstinence especially from certain food and vegetables is observed by most people across India especially Northern India during the festival. The fast which starts from the first day and ends on the ninth comes with several rules. Scientifically we can think of it as a cleansing of the body of impurities and increasing immunity/ resistance to diseases especially when the nights grow long and cold. 

A 'no-salt more fruit' based diet might leave some confusion as to what to cook and how to make it tasty. Though age old fasting recipes are available sometimes it becomes tedious and you are in a dilemma. Also after elaborate cooking  you find your appetite gone in most cases. 

Its here that Mast Kalandar - North Indian quick service chain of  restaurants enters your life with its special Fasting  & Feasting Maha Thalis.

A 65 store strong retain chain in F&B sector, Mast Kalandar believes in food being a symbol of hospitality, togetherness, joy and traditions. This Navratri, the authentic Vegetarian North Indian restaurant, tries to revive the memory, taste, and smell of delicious fasting food. 

By doing so it tries to spread the awareness and pass on the age old recipes to the modern/ future generations. "We will not let the recipes and traditions fade into oblivion" were the words by Head Chef Samta Gupta and upheld by Pallavi Gupta, co-founder Mast Kalandar. I had the opprtunity to talk to these wonderful ladies and taste the Fasting Thali over a live cooking demo  last week.

The traditional vrat ki thali is created with the general rules of most of the Northern Indian communities and is semi organic.It has the key ingredients Kuttu ka aatta (Buckwheat flour), Makhana seeds (lotus seeds) and Sendha namak (Himalayan Pink salt). The thali comprises of dishes like aloo subzi , paneer subzi , nariyal laddoo , Kuttu ki puris, makhane ki kheer and sabudana pappad along with raita, salad and chutney/ relish.

Fact 1: The Himalayan salt is said to be purest ingredient and is 'fasting specific'. I have heard that if just leave it out in open it absorbs impurities and cleanses the atmosphere. MK fetches it from a reliable central source.

Fact 2: Kuttu ka atta has no gluten and while making puris kneading into a dough is tougher. Rolling out is another pain. It takes an accomplished chef to get it correct..

Psst..Thumbs Up Head Chef Samta (a.k.a Chef Cheeku) & Chef Aniruddh.


For those who are not fasting, there is an 'Utsav Maha Thali' comprising of 12 distinct dishes from UP and Central India like Pindi Chhole, Jodhpuri Kofta curry, with Pulav ,Ras malai and other desserts.


I loved the fasting thali especially the kuttu ki puris that go very well with the aloo ki subzi as recommended by chef Samta.The makhana kheer was to die for and so was the Jodhpuri Kofta curry which I  tasted from the feasting thali.



What are you waiting for? The festivity is in the air and enjoy it hassle free with

Mast Kalandar Vrat ki Thali & Utsav Thali
Available at all outlets of Mast Kalandar 
Over Lunch & Dinner
From 25th September till October 4th 2014

For Rs.229/- Only 
and also Mini Takeaway for Rs.149/- only


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