Sev 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.
You’ll need to make a special trip to an Indian supermarket, or a Sainsbury’s or Tesco well stocked with lots of Indian ingredients. You need ‘chana dal’ – dried split chickpeas or sometimes called Bengal Gram, and a box of sev noodles. Sev can also be used to make bhel puri.
The dal needs to be soaked, so you need to start about 4 hours before you want to eat it. Once that stage is done it will come together in about 15 minutes.
250g chana dal (split Bengal gram)
2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1cm piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
1-2 green chillis, finely chopped (depending on your preference)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 tsp of turmeric
squeeze of lemon juice
pinch of asafoedita (optional)
1. Soak the dal in warm water for 4 hours.
2. Drain the dal and blend in a food processor or with a stick blender, with about 100ml of water. You want the consistency to be of mashed potato
3. Heat the oil in a small frying pan or saucepan, when hot add in the asafoedita and fry for 10 seconds
4. Lower the heat and then add in the dal, alongside another 50ml or so of water. Fry until the oil starts to separate from the dal mixture.
5. Add in the ginger, garlic, chillies, turmeric, lemon juice, salt and sugar – stir to combine and fry on a low heat for a few minutes.
6. You may need to add some warm water at this point to get it to soften to mashed potato texture again.
Serve as a starter or snack with a handful of sev and chopped coriander leaves.
It’s a bit different but I’d love it if you tried it and reported back! It’s a great starter if you’re cooking a big Indian feast.