Archive of ‘Gujarati’ category

Sev Khamni – Gujarati snack

sev khamni-001Sev Khamni a widely available Gujarati street food snack, – or ‘naasto’ – which describes a small snack, usually in the afternoon with masala chai. The ‘khamni’ is the main part of this dish, a soft chickpea ‘porridge’ with ginger, garlic and chilli, it is then topped with ‘sev’ which are small fried chickpea noodles. It’s meant to be soft and comforting, to fill you up in the afternoon – the sev on top provides crunch and texture, the mix of soft and crunchy is very important in most Gujarati snacks. (more…)

A Very Indian Afternoon Tea

I’m holding my very first food event! After lots of talking, thinking and encouragement from the lovely people who make up the Cambridge food blogger ‘scene’ (not sure I like that word but it fits) I have decided to hold two events celebrating Indian food.

First up I’m starting with afternoon tea, which seems like the natural first event for me, someone with such a sweet tooth. After that I will be holding a supperclub where I’ll be cooking up an all vegetarian Gujarati feasts for around 15 guests.

 Indian Afternoon Tea – Sunday 4th August, 3pm – 5pm  – a few places left
A central Cambridge location, not far from the rail station 

 The much loved British afternoon tea but with an Indian / Gujarati twist. Savoury nibbles (think Indian street food) to begin, sweet treats, a masala chai cake (pictured) and of course tea!
 £19 per person
To book places for the afternoon tea email me at with the number of places you’d like, I’ll then send you a PayPal invoice for the tickets. 

Gujarati Supperclub – no date as yet but it will be late August / early September. 
I’m still scouting around for the perfect venue, plus perfecting a stack of perfectly round rotli (chapatti). 

I’m really excited to be bringing you my ideas for these two events, I’ve had a lot of fun planning the menus for both and I really hope my guests will be wowed. Email me if you’d like to book or for more details. See you in August!

Bhel Puri

Hands down, bhel puri is my favourite savoury thing to eat. Closely followed by pani puri and then from a completely different culture – macaroni and cheese.

Bhel Puri is a type of Chaat – which is simply savoury snacks sold at the roadside all over India, but many associate them with cities like Mumbai and Delhi. I love the origin of the word chaat.

From Wikipedia “The word derives from Hindi cāṭ चाट (tasting, a delicacy), from cāṭnā चाटना (to lick), from Prakrit caṭṭei चट्टेइ (to devour with relish, eat noisily).”

You can also buy (or make yourself) chaat masala which is made up of amchoor (dried mango) powder, black salt, coriander, ginger, salt, pepper, asafoedita and chilli powder. This is used in all kinds of chaat to easily season, plus it tastes great! Add it to your next chickpea curry.

Bhel puri offers everything – it is a Gujarati snack made popular in Mumbai by migrants to the city-  it’s crispy, crunchy, soft, sweet, savoury, spicy and sharp. The base is a mixture of puffed rice (mamra) and fried chickpea noodles (sev) which is then topped with chopped onion, sometimes tomato, boiled spicy potato (often with chaat masala), mint chilli coriander chutney and tamarind chutney. You mix it all together and eat it up immediately whilst it is still crunchy. Fancier versions I’ve had, at Dishoom for example, also contain pomegranate or diced mango.

As I’ve said, it is traditionally a snack, but if you love it like I do, it’s more than ok to eat three portions and call it dinner. You’ll find sev, mamra and tamarind in most Indian grocers and also very large branches of the main supermarkets. If not The Asian Cookshop has everything you’ll need, and their delivery charges aren’t too dear.

Tamarind can be bought in a large scary looking block, which needs to be soaked and then passed through a sieve, it is a bit of work but you can freeze the resulting paste and take out as needed. You can also buy jars of tamarind paste in most supermarkets, but it often has added ingredients.

Bhel Puri Serves 2 generously for dinner, 4 for a snack 

 200g sev
200g mamra puffed rice
 ½ onion, diced finely then soaked in water
 2 medium sized potatoes diced and boiled
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp chaat masala salt (boil til soft, drain, cool and then add seasoning and spices) 
2 tomatoes, diced

 Green Chutney 
15 mint leaves
large bunch of coriander
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cumin ½ cm ginger salt
¼ green chilli (or more to your taste!)
4 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
scant 1 tsp sugar 

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor – you want a thin sauce, a bit like salsa.

Tamarind Chutney 
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
1 ¼ tsp caster sugar
pinch of garam masala
5 tablespoons of water
pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and simmer over a medium high heat til boiling. Turn down and then simmer gently for 5-10 minutes til it thickens to just a little thinner than ketchup.

To Serve
When serving put all your separate ingredients in to bowls and then let diners make their own bhel puri by piling up ingredients and chutneys to taste in a bowl.

I’ll be serving bhel puri plus plenty of other yummy things at my upcoming Gujarati Supperclub in Cambridge in August, dates to be announced soon – sign up to the mailing list here

Gujarati Kadhi – Yoghurt ‘Sauce’

It is very hard to describe what kadhi exactly it, it is basically a yoghurt and gram flour based sauce/soup/gravy for rice. You can also add it to dry curry dishes, like potato. I blogged Kitchri a little while ago, a soothing lentil rice dish gently spiced with turmeric and garlic – kadhi is the best companion for kitchri. You can also have kadhi with plain boiled basmati rice.

Kitri and Kadhi is wonderful when you are sick, it is simple, soothing and comforting – I think it has medicinal qualities similar to chicken soup! I got it together to make this on a weekend when we were both ill with a horrible cold virus thing that caught as at the end of a long winter, it is very easy to make and gentle on a tummy that has been punished by too many Hall’s Soothers and Paracetmol pills.

Gujarati Kadhi
makes 4 portions, keeps well in the fridge for a few days

250ml natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons of gram flour / chickpea flour
about 1cm of grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp sugar
750ml cold water

for tempering:
1-2 dried red chillies – depending on how hot you want it
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
vegetable or sunflower oil

1. Whisk together the yoghurt, chickpeas, ginger, water in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil and add all the tempering ingredients once the oil is hot.  When the mustard seeds begin to pop add in the yoghurt mixture and then water and salt.
3. Bring to the boil, be careful it doesn’t bubble over the top. Then let simmer gently for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally to stop any lumps.
4. Taste and season again if you need to, and then add the fresh coriander.

Serve with kitchri or plain basmati rice.
The traditional way to serve it is in a small cup and let each person add the kadhi to their rice as they eat. I sometimes like to drown my rice in it, but at other times add a little to make it drier, it all depends!

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