I’m back after visiting my family at the scorching yet lovely Chennai! I spent 4 weeks doing nothing but relaxing and enjoying the company of my family, all the while stuffing my face with much missed traditional South Indian fares both homemade (by mummy of course) and shop-bought. It sure was fun. It would have been more fun had it not been for the searing heat and time zone difference which my toddler didn’t take very kindly to.
The first week of our stay was the hardest for him as he refused to eat or open his bowels and had constant temper outbursts as he struggled to adjust to changes in the time zone and the hot weather. Praise God he bounced back to his normal cheery self after causing us all to worry and lose sleep over him! If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this holiday with my toddler, it’s that kids can make or break a holiday despite all the meticulously planning in the world. Sometimes it just a matter of riding it out through unexpected problems like this that helps the most instead of fretting and wasting precious holiday time!
Anyway, it’s nice to be back in my bed and cook in my own kitchen after a nice refreshing break. So what happened to the low calorie diet I went on prior to my holiday? Ah, well! I temporarily relaxed my diet while in India and surprisingly have maintained my weight despite indulging myself a little. I’m going back on the low carb diet with a renewed conviction to prime myself up for a glorious English summer here. Here’s a recipe for a starter/salad that I have always enjoyed every time I go back home. It’s called Bhel Puri, and is essentially a salad put together with puffed rice, Sev (deep fried noodle made of chickpea flour), tamarind sauce and any assortment of preferred veggies. It is refreshing and light and hits all the taste buds in your tongue with its sweet, tangy and spicy notes. Back home Chaat dishes like Bhel Puri, Paani Puri and Pav Bhaji are amongst the most popular street foods that people prefer on an evening out by the beach or while with friends in the city. Here’s my version of the recipe. Feel free to add any veggies you have knocking about in the fridge to this dish. Sweet corn, shredded cabbage or zucchini etc all work very well.
- Maggi Tamarind Sauce (or any shop bought tangy sauce or plain tomato ketchup)
- Chaat Masala
- Sev or Bhujia (I used Haldirams)
- Puffed rice
- Mix of shredded/chopped veggies
I used plenty of chopped onions, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and cubes of boiled potato
- Chopped coriander to garnish
- Mix 2 – 4 tablespoons of the tangy sauce in a bowl with the chat masala.
- Add the salad and mix. Before serving spoon the mixture on to a plate and top with a handful of sev and puffed rice and garnish with coriander
Give it a good mix before eating and enjoy the party of flavours in your mouth!