The joy of walking on a bright morning, smelling & breathing the fresh air…nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees…that concrete bench is my favorite spot to sit before sun rises and watch the world go by.
Fateh sagar lake in Udaipur, Rajasthan
One of the most favorite activities of the day is to stroll along serenely on the pavement forgetting everything…
Gumberry tree or Gunda
Plucking fresh gum berries or Gunda on the way from morning walk to make yummy Gunda or Gumberry pickle.
Favorite pastime for children is to pick fleshy wild kikar fruits during morning walks near the lake…Kikar trees are commonly found in the desserts of Rajasthan, the fruits are sweet and slightly pink in colour when ripe.Children are exploring & loving the good old simple ways of playing outdoor. They are happily avoiding their internet games for plucking Tamarind pods, Kikar fruits outside our house, running behind goats, chasing birds and butterflies…. 1. Savory Black Chickpea Snack or Chan Zor Garam
Channa Zor Garam
The moment I land in my home both mom and my brother’s wife take turns to spoil me completely with their hospitality. I am not allowed to be in the kitchen for long unless I wish to take pictures of the food they cook. Each day starts with planning for the foods I miss after marriage, from authentic Daal Baatis to exotic Gatte ki subji filled with nuts and dried fruits…they leave no stone unturned to pamper me with their love and let me indulge in my favorite food.
Here are two such recipes they cooked for me during this visit.
Chana zor garam is a street food which is normally made with packed ready-to-mix black chickpeas which are flattened and deep fried in oil. But this version which my brother’s wife made is healthy and has all homemade ingredients in it.
Method; Wash and soak black chickpeas or kala chana overnight. Boil the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker for one whistle or in a vessel for 10-15 minutes.
Peel and chop onion, cut tomatoes finely.
Drain the black chickpeas. Take a few black chickpeas and flatten slightly with a rolling pin, repeat the same with all the chickpeas.
Heat oil in a vessel, add cumin seeds and flattened chickpeas. Saute for a minute and put off the flame.
Transfer the black chickpeas in a large vessel and add all the ingredients in it, mix well.
Serve the spicy Chana Zor garam in a paper cone or in small bowls as a healthy & filling tea time snack.2. Baked Spicy Cornmeal Buns or Paanya in Gumberry leaves
Mom makes these crumbly, spicy Baatis or Buns everytime I am in Udaipur. These are filling baked buns which are eaten normally during winter days. A very special ingredient called ‘Papad Khar‘ is used to bake these bun which is a kind of alkaline salt and gives the extra crispness to the dish. I don’t get this ingredient at my home in Chennai and I substitute the same with baking soda.
(make 4 )
Paanya with fresh tomato chutney is a delicacy..
Method; Take coarsely ground cornmeal flour, chickpea flour and semolina in a large bowl and rest of the ingredients except water and gum berry leaves. Pour a few teaspoons of water and knead into hard dough.
These whole flour buns are traditionally baked or cooked in earthen stoves called Chulha in Hindi which is lit with charcoal fire. You can use the conventional oven to bake the same. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
Make small balls from the dough and fold each bun in Gum berry leaves if you are using it as shown in here . If you don’t get leaves, place all the buns in a greased baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes till the buns turn golden brown in colour.Take out the baked buns , smear butter or ghee and serve hot with mixed lentils, roasted Brinjal and potato Chokha or fresh tomato chutney. I don’t need any accompaniments with these baked buns or Paanyas , these are a delicacy and a complete dish in itself.