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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Schezwan Matar Chaat ( A Crazy Indo-Chinese Fusion experiment )

Stick to a desi palate ? Or try some Chinese 'chatka' for a change (does not matter even if it is for the 500th time). One of the perennial dilemmas that I face everytime I venture out for some street food is to make up my mind. Walking down one of those lanes is sheer torture for me with the tongue tickling panipuris, chaats, pav-bhajis and dahi vadas trying to lure me with their tantalizing appearance even as the sinful aromas drifting from a nearby Chinese stall has my mind in the throes of what can only be described as a 'culinary orgasm'. Often I end up ordering both. Only to regret wasting food. That is if I am lucky enough to escape the obligatory tummy-ache.

It was during yet another bout of such a dilemma on an idle winter afternoon that I thought of marrying two of my all time favorites so that I could enjoy both at the same time. "Only an idle brain can come up with something so insane ", retorted the husband as he promptly dismissed the idea. "Hah ! Wait till I execute my idea. You will be asking for seconds", replied back the incensed rebel (aka me). Though the first trial did not go as well as I had expected, a little bit of perseverance paid off. It was no longer a toss between the two. Instead I had the perfect amalgamation of two of my favorite street foods.

A simple ragda chaat is infused with the flavors of Schezwan egg noodles. Minus the noodles bit of course. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 cup yellow peas (soaked overnight)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 large capsicum
  • 1 small carrot 
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced cabbage
  • 5-6 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • chopped green chillis 
  • 3-4 tsp Schezwan sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 2 pinch garam masala
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing
  • fried papad for garnishing 

Preparation - Wash and cook the yellow peas with 2 cups water, the potato, turmeric and salt to taste. Remove from flame after 2-3 whistles. The peas should be thoroughly cooked without turning mushy.

Drain the excess water. Peel the potato, roughly mash it up and add it to the cooked peas.

Cut the capsicum and carrot into long slices.

Cooking - Heat a wok. Add 2 tsp oil.

Add the finely chopped garlic and green chilis. Once the garlic is fragrant, add all the veggies and saute on high for 2-3 minutes so that they do not lose their crispiness. 

Add the sugar, schezwan sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar. Toss for 1 minute.

Add the boiled peas and potato along with a generous sprinkle of water. Adjust the salt.

Cook for 2-3 mins. Sprinkle garam masala and mix in. (If it looks too dry at this point, sprinkle some more water. The yellow peas tend to absorb a lot of water)

Around the same time, scramble the eggs in another skillet.

Transfer the schezwan chaat to the serving bowls/plates. Top with the scrambled eggs, sliced onions, more green chili (optional), crushed papad and cilantro.

Serve immediately.


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