Certain things with their vintage charm/taste cannot be replicated or substituted; the taste of old Delhi street food for instance. With changing times, environment, water and farms submerged in pollution and toxins, it is not advisable to even try your luck with street food for the comfort which once came as a package with the foods which were once a part of your daily diet. For example, shakarkandi (sweet potato) roasted on charred coal, matar kulcha or patile wale chole, ladoo garre etc.
With winter chill at its peak and shakarkandi and mooli (radish) in season, one can’t help but try and get their hands on these seasonal delights for the great comfort these foods bring. Here are 2 recipes with some variations from the vintage taste, which I believe cannot be replaced.
Take shakarkandi (sweet potato), as much as you’d like, peel and cut in big chunks. In a heavy bottom skillet add butter (quantity to your liking) and 2tbsp olive oil and sauté shakarkandi on low heat till it turns crisp. Sprinkle salt and add chopped fresh oregano, marjoram, parsley, half tsp butter again and turn the heat off. Remove from the pan and devour!
Mooli ke Gulgule (our version of laddoo garre)
- 5-6 Radishes (Moolis)
- 1 cup split yellow gram (mung dal) soaked ground and kept overnight to ferment. Ensure the paste is thick otherwise radishes will make it runny.
- 1 tsp roasted powdered cumin (jeera)
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Chopped green chillies and finely chopped ginger
- 2 tsp chickpea flour (besan)
- Hot oil for frying
Grate the moolis and sprinkle with salt. Don’t throw away the greens. Take about a handful and chop finely. Leave the grated moolis in a sieve to drain water. After ten minutes press out all the water and immediately mix all the ingredients and shape into small balls.
Deep fry in hot oil and team up with green coriander (dhania) chutney.
Radishes are famous for causing gas in the stomach. For this reason Ayurveda advises never to eat mooli without their leaves; additionally eating jaggery (gud) along with mooli and its leaves aids its digestion.