Simple Date & Tamarind Chutney Concentrate

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Thanks to the lockdown we’ve been doing bhel quite frequently. It’s not just because we love chaat, it’s because it’s convenient.

The date and tamarind chutney concentrate is always stocked in the freezer and taken out in bits for consumption on need basis. It stores rather well, I’d say a couple months easily.

Ingredients:

• Seedless dates

• Tamarind

Keep the date to tamarind ratio at 3:1 or even 4:1 depending on how tangy you’d like it. We like ours sweeter than sour.

• Dried ginger powder

• Saunf (Fennel seeds)

• Sugar or Jaggery (if you’d like it sweeter), the sugar acts as a preservative, hence I always add sugar in spite of the dates.

• Cinnamon powder

• Cumin powder

• Salt just a pinch

• A hint of Kashmiri laal mirch powder

Method:

• Soak the dates and tamarind in a little water (don’t submerge fully) and add all the masalas

• Pressure cook for about 8-10 whistles (adjust according to your cookers, mine’s ancient and takes forever)

• Once done cool down and grind without adding water (if adding water, boil once again).

• Cool down, pack off in a container and store in the freezer.

Plz note: The concentrate freezes like a sorbeto and doesn’t crystallise rock solid.

Use:

• Scoop out the required quantity in a separate container and dilute in desired amount of water.

• One can make a mix of a thick consistency for papdi chaat or dahi puri and a thinner consistency for bhel.

I make a batch which will last me two months easily.

Crackling Neem

IG: @nomnommum4

I’ve been reading about how to consume neem leaves lately and a recent post by a friend about roasted Neem got me thinking on the lines of the ‘Crackling Spinach’ we all love so much and adapt it by using neem instead of spinach.

Yes it was bitter, but boy was it crunchy and packed a flavourful punch. I was surprised at how easily it was accepted by the kids too.

Here’s to more flavour while building our immunity with this medicinal plant!

Ingredients:

•Neem leaves

•Jeera powder

•Hing

•Kashmiri mirch powder

•Sesame seeds

•Salt

•Sugar

•Ghee to roast

Method:

•Heat a little ghee

•Add the sesame seeds and roast for a few seconds

•Add the neem leaves and roast until crisp

•Add a pinch of hing, mirch powder, salt and sugar all to taste

Store in an airtight container and consume at the earliest.