Apr 14, 2011

Discovering and Experimenting

Kale and Tofu Bhajiyas with some Gun Powder Chutney!

I have to admit, one thing I cannot get rid of is my love of fried food. Everyday I tell myself that
yesterday was the last day I had something fried (or sweet) and the next day I have to say the same thing to myself!

I love discovering new ingredients in the markets and it's more exciting if they are locally grown because I know I can find it again and also I know I can grow it someday. The best place to discover new stuff in Bombay is Crawford Market. Every time I go I end up spending much more than I budget for. It's like a treasure hunt in there!

The last time I went, I found me some fresh artichoke, Chinese Kale and some beautiful Chard. Of course when I heard that they had Kale I got super excited and thought it was the calcium
rich Kale available in the US and without looking at it I planned to make some Kale chips only to realise that this was another variety. [I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy artichoke or asparagus grown in India because we still haven't mastered it. The artichokes are too small, the asparagus too thin and both are quite expensive.]

So I come back home with three bags full of my new exotic findings (i always over do it since it takes me a couple of hours to get to Crawford market) and excite my mom in to experimenting with it.

I'd forgotten about the Chinese Kale when one day my mom was frying up some bhajiyas and we decided it was time to use the Kale. It's as easy as it looks and tastes awesome. The chutney was an on the spot invention and it was a perfect combination.

You need:

Some chickpea flour (say 1 cup)
A teaspoon of Bishop's Weed (Ajwain)
Half teaspoon of turmeric
Half teaspoon of red chilli powder
Nicely washed and dried Chinese Kale with the stocks
Tofu (cut up however you want, I made tofu blocks)
Oil for frying

Heat the oil in a deep dish wok preferable cast iron.

Mix the chickpea flour, bishop's weed, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Add water little bit at a time and keep stirring till you get a thick batter.

When the oil is hot, dip the kale leaves in the batter till they are coated. You won't get an even coat but do it until you are happy and fry till golden brown.

Do the same with the tofu. One thing I did with the tofu is I rolled it in some Chaat Masala and then dipped it into the batter before frying. So after you bite into the crispy chickpea-chilli batter you're hit with the sourness of the masala and then you bite into the soft tofu!

For the Chutney, throw in some dried whole red chillies, a couple of pieces of tamarind, a couple of pieces of jaggery and some salt into a blender. Blend it till it's all mixed up and gooey.

This will go well with almost anything, if you can handle the spice.

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