Holy Cow – I have a treat for you! My friend, Pragati Bidkar, author and recipe developer behind the food blog KamalKitchen, has published yet another eCookbook entitled Chai Street – Indian Street Food For Vegans and Vegetarians. It is loaded with delicious and tempting recipes based on celebrated street foods found throughout India. And, lucky me, I got a sneak peak at her latest creation!
Every time I read one of Pragati’s books, I’m introduced to new, intoxicating flavors from this centuries’ old cuisine. And even if your kitchen, like mine, doesn’t contain the wide variety of ingredients a traditional Indian pantry boasts, with a bit of improvisation, you can re-create many of these tasty and decadent dishes at home.
I found a new favorite blend of spices called Chat Masala, which Pragati features in her Corn Bhel – aka Corn “Hottie”. While there are many spice combinations which can be used to make a chat masala, the featured ingredients are amchoor powder (dried mango) and black salt. I wish I had these sitting in my cupboard, but I don’t. So I took some liberties in creating my own humble version based on what I had available – pureed mango and Himalayan Pink Salt. I know my concoction is missing the depth of flavor a true chat masala offers, but if my version is even a fraction as delicious as the real thing, you won’t be disappointed!
Here’s what I used for my chat masala blend (see recipe below):
A true chat masala is all powder, but since I used pureed mango, it turned into a paste. I used a coffee grinder to blend all of the ingredients together – except the mango. Then mixed it together to come up with an awesome tasting condiment!
Thanks, Pragati, for sharing this recipe and congratulations on another beautiful cookbook (wait until you see her mouth-watering photos!) that will delight all lovers of authentic Indian food!
Homemade Chat Masala Paste Ingredients (makes about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon mango powder (or 1/4 cup pureed mango – fresh or frozen)
1/2 tablespoon black salt (or Himalayan Pink Salt)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
Blend all dry spices in a coffee grinder. Mix thoroughly with pureed mango. Store extra in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze, for later use.
Corn Bhel Ingredients (make about 5 – 6 cups) adapted from recipe by Pragati Bidkar
3 cups sweet corn (fresh or frozen – thawed)
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced sweet or red onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chat Masala powder (or 1 tablespoon Homemade Chat Masala Paste, see recipe above)
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Boil fresh corn until cooked (3 – 5 minutes) or thaw frozen sweet corn. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Add chat masala, paprika or cayenne pepper (depending on desired spice level), and lime juice to the corn and mix well.
- Add diced vegetables and mix until well blender.
- Serve hot or chilled with cilantro garnish. May also be served with a green chutney or tamarind chutney for extra flavor!